After serious contemplation, some testing, and repeated assurances from my immediate neighbors (all blessedly female) that they cannot hear the motor, I’ve settled on a new location in which to pump at work. My cubicle. Risky choice, I know. Other places were of course considered. For example, the car. I have used my pump in the car a couple times other places and it wasn’t so bad. We have several multi-floored parking structures at work, the top floors of which remain relatively unused, so at first this seemed like a great solution. However, upon closer examination it turns out these structures are all regularly patrolled by security guards, which means that 1) I have to assume the parking lot may not be the safest place in the world to partially disrobe on a regular basis and 2) at some point the woman who sits in her car and partially disrobes on a regular basis might actually fall under some sort of suspicion. Also, this thing takes like eight batteries when you’re away from an outlet, and I’m cheap.
Due both to a growing sense of desperation as well as to it’s being such a hot button issue these days, the bathroom did unfortunately keep coming to mind as a possible spot. I am fairly certain that I’ve heard other women with their pumps in there from time to time; but while the restrooms are kept relatively clean, I couldn’t stop imagining all the super gross microscopic pathogens that most certainly hang on every surface and even in the air! I also couldn’t help but think that if I didn’t want to actually use the bathroom on these trips (which I wouldn’t), I would then have to be making additional trips for more… traditional purposes. This would most likely add up to at least five, perhaps six or seven, trips to the loo (three of which would last 15-20 minutes) in an eight hour period – a habit which in the long run might actually prove to be more suspicious than hanging out in the parking lot topless.
I also briefly considered running home to simply feed my child au naturel, but that was just ridiculous.
So my cubicle was the clear winner. I have a privacy screen to pull across the entrance (which I’d already been using for the occasional lunch break nap session) and an ocean wave simulator on my computer for added white noise. At first I tried playing music, but needing to avoid any potentially offensive or irritating musical genres, the more neutral ones weren’t quite cutting it in terms of sound masking, and I quickly tired from listening to the same carefully crafted playlist three times a day. So there you go. Now everyday (once in the morning, once on my lunch break, and once in the afternoon) I draw the screen, turn up the waves, bare my breasts and hope there’s not a fire.