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Thread: New job, hours and pumping probs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    99

    Default New job, hours and pumping probs

    So I got this great offer for a job. 20 hours per week - 2 10 hour days. They even lowered my hours to 2 -9 hr days, but only for a moment

    The first day went great. I lugged my big rented pump that operates on batteries and pumped twice in the bathroom. Nobody knew. I then got my office and pumped . OOPS! The office manager barges in through the locked door and finds me pumping. He was cool about it, or so I thought.

    Then the other shoe dropped. I got an email this evening that changed my schedule to 2- 10.5 hour days AND they took away my office. So instead of working from 9-6, I am working from 9-7:30. I have an hour or more commute, so that makes me gone for almost 13 hours! My baby is only 6 months old, and I'll go two days in a row without seeing her awake. I don't know if I can do that.

    Now my pumping in private without anyone knowing is over too. I know I am protected by law (I'm in Ca.) when it comes to pumping and they have to give me a private spot to do it. I wish I didn't have to take public transit or I would pump n my car if had to.

    It's just so weird that they're being so hard core about staying the extra 1/2 hour with an enforced meal break. At my last job, I was also an exempt employee and always waived my lunch break and ate at my desk while working instead.

    In fact, if I can get my office back, I can eat and pump and not have to have any time away from working (except to go pee, of course) Over 1/2 of my work time is spent writing/reviewing documents, so as long as I can have my office, I won't have to even take much time away except to clean parts.

    I'm sure when I have to tell them about pumping they'll try to extend my day even longer. They can't do that of course, because exempt employees aren't supposed to get docked for pump breaks.

    So it's weird, I'm a salaried employee being treated like an hourly staff.

    Any ideas on how to start out on the right foot with this company? I don;t want to get into a p***ing contest at the very beginning, but I simply can't be away from my baby that long and I certainly can't quit pumping!

    Here's my thinking : I work from 8:30 to 6:30 and waive my lunch break. That way I get home between 7:30 and 8 and can still be there to get LO into bed. No way would she go down to sleep at night without nursing.

    As much as I need the money, I don't know if I can give up a chunk of DD's babyhood for a job.

    Thanks for any ideas you might have...

  2. #2

    Default Re: New job, hours and pumping probs

    Situations like this are always hard. Diplomacy, tact, and creativity are often used to help get through the situation.

    Perhaps a review of your rights as a pumping mother, with the company's HR people, and asking them for creative ways that they think you can do to get the work done, yet pump. Many mothers find that by getting the company on their side, letting them know how important providing breast milk is to the baby is, and asking for help to find a solution leads to a solution that mostly works for everyone.

    Other mothers here have been in similar situations, I hope they jump in and provide their experiences.
    Shannon
    LLL Leader

    Protect your privacy online; don't use your full name. Click My Alias at the top left corner.

    I'm horrible at html and encoding links, so I apologize in advance for all the long links!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    257

    Default Re: New job, hours and pumping probs

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllshannon View Post
    Situations like this are always hard. Diplomacy, tact, and creativity are often used to help get through the situation.

    Perhaps a review of your rights as a pumping mother, with the company's HR people, and asking them for creative ways that they think you can do to get the work done, yet pump. Many mothers find that by getting the company on their side, letting them know how important providing breast milk is to the baby is, and asking for help to find a solution leads to a solution that mostly works for everyone.

    Other mothers here have been in similar situations, I hope they jump in and provide their experiences.
    Very good advice. I haven't been in your situation but I think talking about it in a "creative" way, involving your employer and making it a positive conversation would definitely work best. How many pump breaks are you taking? I multi-task while I'm at work too. Sometimes I relax and pump and other times I work right through it. If you have to, explain to them that there are hands free solutions so you can continue to work while pumping. And...if you're comfortable with not cleaning your pumping equipment after each use you can save time that way too. I work an 8 hour day, and I don't clean my pump in between sessions (at first I cleaned btw each pump and it took soooo much time). Sometimes I'll throw them in the refridgerator and sometimes just in my bag (since bm can sit at room temperature for up to 8 hours I think it's ok) but totally up to you. Good luck, I hope everything works out. I can tell bfing is very important to you. It's a good thing...bm!
    I'm Jill
    Mother to
    Bear 12/13/98
    Bagalli 8/5/07
    little (3/21/09).
    Kafessa: 5/17/10
    expecting 10/1/11


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    399

    Default Re: New job, hours and pumping probs

    I would go to HR and ask about your rights. I have found that HR is much more pro-employee than some bosses

    Good luck and keep us posted!!!
    Clara Ann from 6/27/07 to 7/2/09

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: New job, hours and pumping probs

    Here's an update on the new job and pumping situation. Turns out I wasn't booted from the office, at least for this week.

    I've decided to go about getting what I need gradually with as much tact as I can muster. Today I succeeded in getting my schedule down to 10 hour days, not 10.5. It took my supervisor calling human resources to verify my ability to waive my lunch break, but before the day was out, I was approved.

    Of course, I never mentioned my need to pump. As long as I have a private space, there won't be a need to disclose. I pumped as I worked and refrigerated milk in front of others without comment.

    It's just a strange place. At 8 PM on a day off, I got an email with contact info for a client. I was out of town, so there was no opportunity to do anything about it. My supervisor actually expected me to send a letter and make work calls on my days off! I kind of chuckled when she asked if I did it. I explained that I was out of town, and could not mail anything without letterhead anyway. She emailed me the template for letterhead! Like I would be mailing out a business letter while on vacation!

    At the end of my work day (6:30 PM) I was told to have follow-up conversations before next work day next Tues. I repeated that I already had the conversations and was awaiting confirmation. I was told to make call backs while at home with LO. All I could say was I'd try, but couldn't guarantee that DD would cooperate. Since I have no childcare during business hours on my days off, I could not be sure if I would have the opportunity to do any work at all. All I could promise is that I would check my voicemail.

    So it seems to me that this corporate culture isn't very family friendly. I hope to be able to retain my cool as the implausible requests keep coming.

    Any words of wisdom?

    .

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: New job, hours and pumping probs

    All the suggestions about working with the company to help solve problems. It can be hard to keep your cool when it comes to a topic that is so important to you and your little one.

    While there are definitely things you can compromise on in order to resolve differences, I think it may be important for you to be very clear on boundaries. Right now, I work from 7:30 to 5pm in a salaried position. However, the culture of my department is to stay until your work is done, no matter how or when it comes to you. Luckily, I am not expected to receive & respond to work emails at home. However, when I came back from maternity leave, I made it clear to my supervisor that I cannot stay extra hours because my daycare situation would not allow me to. Knowing my boundaries, we are now both making sure to communicate when projects need to be handed to me in order to make deadlines. (I get projects from other departments, unfortunately...)

    I hope your HR department or supervisor can help you.

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