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Thread: ugh. venting.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Maryland
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    Default ugh. venting.

    So yesterday my boss called me in because he's been hearing from my supervisor I am "never at my desk" and "he can't find me." Never mind that he knows I'm pumping, I've told him that I go three times a day (and usually grab my food/lunch/bathroom at the same time to maximize my time at my desk). We have a work-supported program here so we are allowed half hour pumping breaks. I hardly ever exceed this (and in my twelve years here, I have gone out to lunch maybe 25 total times, and hardly ever use my allotted breaks, so it's not like I'm out wandering around being useless).

    My boss seems pretty cool with it, and is fine with the fact that I am in the building and reachable by cell phone. But my supervisor still seems to make obnoxious comments about it all the time. He's also made several comments like "maybe it's time to switch to formula" if I mention the work involved in pumping.

    I think it's largely a perception problem - he gets here at 6 AM and I get here at 9:15, so almost half his work day I'm not here as it is (we have flex time, and the latest I can get here is 9:30. But the culture in my group is "early." Unfortunately I'm on daycare dropoff duty and getting here between 6-7, when I was doing it, was killing me and making me useless after a long night of interrupted sleep to breastfeed. sorry. rambling).

    Anyway, I am well informed of my rights, and also work in a federal workplace, so I'm pretty secure in everything (and if there is continued problems I have no problem going to my division director about it. Or pumping at my desk. If they want me to be at my desk, fine, but be prepared for the consequences! Give me a blanket and I'm good to go!), but just needed to vent. I was so upset yesterday - I am following all the rules and getting my work done and keeping all my users happy. I am never far, and when there's a question/problem, it's very, very rarely an immediate emergency and I am accessible either way, so it bothers me. And I have a sad.

    I know a lot of people have it worse - having to take unpaid breaks or use broom closets, but... meh. wah.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Virginia
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    362

    Default Re: ugh. venting.

    Sorry you are dealing with this supervisor momma. I completely understand the stress involved in keeping up a pumping schedule and getting your work done. Even though we know we are doing right, and within our rights, it's still hard to pull away for 30 minutes at a time 3 times a day. This supervisor obviously is not versed in what your rights are, and must be blind to some of the legal changes taking place in regards to breastfeeding and pumping. Do you think your boss will reprimand reprimand him, or set him straight?
    FT working momma to a 9/11/10 busy boy and 11/13/12 happy little man.
    Also wife to hubs since 8/23/08, bonus momma to H (girl) -99 and G (boy)-03

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: ugh. venting.

    I might address it with my supervisor and force it out in the open. Especially if you know you have the support of your boss. Ask to have a meeting to discuss it next time he makes a rude comment. You could say something like, "You seem to have issues with my current pumping arrangements. If you have concerns I'd like to discuss them with you. Let's meet with HR/our boss so we can work out something that works for everyone."
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
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    Default Re: ugh. venting.

    Your supervisor feeling irritated is one thing, but making comments about you switching to formula is completely inappropriate. I would record a date and time of every time you hear a comment like this and present it to your boss, so he/she knows how seriously the situation is affecting you.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Northern Virginia
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    Default Re: ugh. venting.

    I work for the federal government, too, and other than debates about what room we could use no one seems to care what I do, so I guess I'm lucky. In fact, I always maintain that even with my three times a day pumping I was getting more work done than most people at my workplace! I'm the one who feels like I'm too busy, but no one has ever mentioned it as a problem. Not sure what union you fall under, but make sure to keep them informed. I think OPM has everything spelled out on their site. Try to get your supervisor to put the complaints in writing, even if you have to write it as a follow-up to the meeting ("Just so I am sure i have it right..."). I think federal work is generally more tolerant of pumping, so your supervisor needs to get on-board.
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: ugh. venting.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*filmmommy View Post
    I work for the federal government, too, and other than debates about what room we could use no one seems to care what I do, so I guess I'm lucky. In fact, I always maintain that even with my three times a day pumping I was getting more work done than most people at my workplace!
    hahah!

    Are we at the same agency? LOL

    The nurse in the health office says in her decade of working here I'm the first person to ever have a problem with it, if that tells you anything.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Northern Virginia
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    Default Re: ugh. venting.

    I like to remain somewhat anonymous online, but my agency just opened a fancy new lactation center (not at my office, of course!) so they must be pretty pro-BF.
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    California
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    Default Re: ugh. venting.

    Your supervisor sounds like a jerk That said, is there any way you could get to work earlier, like 8AM instead of 9:15, if the culture in your group is to come in early? I've found that conforming to the workplace culture, whatever it is, is pretty important to getting along with your co-workers and supervisors. They might not mind you pumping so much if you were getting in closer to the time everybody else is. It would give them more 'face time' with you and the appearance (not the actuality) that you are there more. Just a thought.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Maryland
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    Default Re: ugh. venting.

    It's something to consider. We'd have to change up the daycare routine again. It's really important to the SO that our son is at daycare for as little time possible - I've extended that just because he does best on a certain schedule, but we have it set so I drop him off in the morning after he wakes up on his own (well, normally, by the law of averages anyway) which gets me in about 15-20 minutes before the latest possible time I can come in, and SO gets here early, then leaves early to pick him up. He's a contractor so would have to talk to his management about switching his schedule back if we were to do that. I don't know if, with all my night waking and stuff, I could physically get us both ready and here earlier than that, other than to switch dropoff/pickup duty.

    Oh well. Just gonna keep plugging, and probably will meet with supervisor's boss again next week just to make doubly sure everyone is well versed in all the rules, especially if I feel like I'm still under some microscope. I seriously feel nervous just about going to the bathroom, like if I even do that and anyone walks by and I'm not here, they'll "chalk it up" so to speak.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Dallas, TX
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    255

    Default Re: ugh. venting.

    And really, if you are meeting your deadlines and getting good reviews from your clients, who cares? Keep us posted on how things go!
    Lisa

    Mom to Aimee, born 8/22/11
    for 20 months!

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