A brief reprieve

So tomorrow (Wednesday 31 May, 2017) is meant to be my final day of maternity leave. Actually Monday 22 was meant to be my first day back at work, but I took annual leave to eke it out until the beginning of June. Somehow that seemed easier. 

My boss had told me he didn’t want me to go back to my previous client and to go to our base office instead. It’s 1hr away instead of half an hour so not ideal, but hopefully I’ll be back on a client soon. (My last client was a bit… interesting, and probably doesn’t warrant me working on them full time.) 

So I was calling around HR and the office manager to see if they’d get me a room for pumping (as per UK law for breastfeeding mothers). The office manager told me she had told my boss they don’t have anything suitable and so I should work from home!! 

Now ordinarily I’d think this is a great idea but realistically it’s just not going to work. The whole point of me going back to work is to get back to my career and do a good job and hopefully get promoted. Much as I’d like to sit around in the sun at home, my job is based on client work or being in the base office and other than occasional wfh Fridays it’s not really practical to spend all your time at home. 

I said I was totally willing to give it a go in our office. There’s a small videoconference room / phone booth I could use but there’s no lock on the door so they’d have to put a sign on (“Do not enter under any circumstances”) and there’s the small matter of papering over the window, but I was willing to try it. 

Thing is, this is a job that pays more than I’ve ever been paid and it’s miles better than my old one (no obvious misogyny/ possible racism for starters!) so I want to try and do well at it and keep it!

Anyway the office manager was completely against it and told my boss that it was unacceptable. (I think the law is in the UK that they need to give you a private room with a lockable door and power source… that’s not a disabled bathroom. Or something.) I said I didn’t mind trying it. As I said, realistically my job is not one you can do from home in the long term so I need to try and do something that works in the longer term. 

So my boss calls me and says he doesn’t want me to come into the office yet as he doesn’t think we can accommodate the pumping… so to work from home for my first few days until I meet him on Tuesday! I think he’s afraid I’ll sue them or something. 

So that’s three days I get back. I mean, I’m not sure how I can really work from home other than checking my emails… and maybe do an online course or something… but really. Not much work to do. 

It’s a strange feeling as I’d psyched myself up to start work in two days on Thursday and now I don’t have to go in until Tuesday. But to an office that’s an hour away rather than half an hour. With no pregnancy bump to use to get a seat! Ah well… We shall see. 

Some photos… mainly of food!

So… a few days reprieve! I’ll take it!

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10 comments

  1. MrsD

    Wait what?! They seriously can’t accommodate one room in the entire office for you to use a couple times a day?! That’s ridiculous! Making you work from home sounds more discriminatory than giving you a room without a lock (and how hard would it be for them to get a lock and some curtains?!)

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    • Nara

      The problem is, they don’t have a room that has no windows, and they don’t have a room with a lockable door! So they’d have to paper over the windows. We shall see. The issue is I would usually be on client site so the base office isn’t really tricked out for permanent working. If I get a new client I doubt it’ll be an issue.

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  2. EmilyMaine

    Oh man, what a build up. At least you can meet him in person and discuss your concerns face to face soon. He has always seemed pretty reasonable so I hope he plays a good hand here and keeps it up! Good luck! X

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    • Nara

      Yeah, I’m concerned that something might happen to ruin our relationship. We’ve always gotten on so well but maybe he’ll give me a hard time. He hasn’t seemed unreasonable before though so I’m hoping it’s okay! I enjoy my job – I mean it’s good aside from I’d rather stay home with B – so I’d really rather continue enjoying it!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Yeah it’s nuts! I’ve actually had a potential meeting in for Friday with someone else (a new manager who may end up being my manager) so I think I’ll be popping into the disabled loo!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dubliner in Deutschland

    That’s annoying about the one hour commute! How many times would you have to pump in the office? I hope that the meeting room with the sign on the door will be a good solution but I can imagine it would be hard to relax knowing someone might not notice the sign and walk in! And there probably would be no point in working half days in the office half at home since you’d have two hours just travelling. x

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    • Nara

      Yeah it’s not ideal but I’m assuming it’s not permanent and just while I’m “between clients”. I hope he doesn’t want to bench me or something! Ideally I would have a job where I can sometimes work from home… We shall see. I don’t know how often I’d have to pump. Maybe not very much as he tends to eat more when we are at home and less when we are out during the day so… who knows?! Will see how it goes!

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  4. 30yr old nothing

    That’s a pretty cool. I wonder if they have law’s like that in the States. I’m sure they do. I’m currently thinking about where I would potentially have to pump in a high school. Probably the nurses bay. lol.

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