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NWR: Common spaces vs. shared spaces at work

Hi all!  I'd appreciate some outside opinions.  I'm a new working mom and  I pump twice a day in our office's lactation room.  To use the room, you have to make arrangements with HR (badge access, group calendar, clean up the space).  According to our calendar, there are only 3 of us currently using the room.

Today, for the second time, when I went to the room at the time I reserved on the calendar, I found a woman in the room taking a break.  Not a pumping break, just a work day break.  She's not one of the women on the calendar (it's a small enough office that we know each other).  She was quick to leave so I could use the room, but something feels off.

I know the room is a shared space between all of the nursing/pumping moms, but it's not a common space.  I suspect this person was able to use her key to enter the room (rather than the badge access the rest of us have) because she's also part of our building maintenance team. 

On one hand, a break is a break, she left, NBD.  OTOH, the room's supposed to be used for pumping and something feels off about other people just hanging out.  Would it be totally out of line for me to say something to her? To HR?  To offer her the HR contact info in hopes of passive aggressive non-confrontation? Do I get the other moms involved?

TL; DR.  I use the lactation room at my office.  Twice now I've found a woman (the same person), just taking a break in the space when I've had it reserved.  Say something to her?  To HR? Get the other moms involved?
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Re: NWR: Common spaces vs. shared spaces at work

  • thefanciestbecklerthefanciestbeckler Chattanooga, TN member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    I wouldn't get the other moms involved, but I'd say something to her first and if she continues then take it to HR. It sounds to me like she's abusing her access, which is not looked on very highly where I work.

    If I was pumping, I personally wouldn't want to fool with feeling like I was kicking someone out every time I needed to pump- especially if they weren't supposed to be in there in the first place. Besides, who's to say she wouldn't come in one day when you or someone else was in there? It's just awkward.

    kimmiinthemittenemmaaacharlotte989875
  • I agree with Beckler.  Also, if your HR has gone to such great lengths about restricting and monitoring use of the room, then it should just be used for that purpose.  

    I feel way more awkward pumping in front of people than breastfeeding, so if it was me I really wouldn't want people walking in who weren't also there to pump.  
    kimmiinthemitten
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    I wouldn't say anything to the other moms.  I would probably alert HR or some authority about what's happening though.  Let them sort out why this person is there.  She could be legitimately on a paid or unpaid break or she could be hiding out to avoid working while on the clock.  Either way, it sounds like she should only be in that room to pump or fix something, of which she is doing neither!

  • Okay, I am not a mom, so obviously I've never used the nursing room, but I totally agree with you on this. My office has one mother's/nursing room and it happens to be on my floor. Everyone knows the moms that use it because there are only a few. Sometimes other people (including men) use the room to take or make calls or for whatever other reason, and I think it is insanely rude.

    I know one woman who was using it for a year would be upset every time someone else would use it for non-nursing purposes. Her whole thing was that someone could go in there and get their germs in there and then she would pick them up and get her baby sick.

    Personally, I just think it's inconsiderate and weird. There are other rooms here for people to use (it is an open office environment), so they have other options. I know that someone who is not a nursing mom saw a guy go into it and she told him it wasn't appropriate and he did leave.

    If I were you, I would say something to her. You can just play it down and be like "hey, did you realize this was a room for nursing mothers? I'm worried about other people using it and then being exposed to germs that my baby isn't ready for" or even just say "this room is for nursing mothers and it makes me uncomfortable when people aren't using it for that purpose."

    Otherwise, you can say something to HR. I'm sure they will address it. I don't think you need to involve anyone else though, because I'm sure once you or HR says/does something, it'll be over with.
    SP29emmaaa
  • I don't see anything wrong with either speaking to the woman first or HR first.  Personally, I'd just mention it to HR because I'd be uncomfortable even nicely confronting her about it.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I would let HR handle it. Does the room lock when you are in it, or could anyone with room access presumably walk in on you? In our office the person can lock the door and we also have a "do not disturb" sign. Our room also doubles as a small meeting space but those pumping have first priority on the calendar

  • anjemonanjemon Minnie and Paul (MN) member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    That is hard. It's not really a common space that she should be using. But I'm also super non confrontational. I probably wouldn't say anything since she's leaving with no issue when you get there.

    But since your work goes to such lengths to restrict access to the room, you would be okay to say something to HR about it. She's fairly obviously using the room without approval and if she needed it for breaks (medically approved breaks) she could get approval.
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  • I'm a big fan of handling things directly first.  A "I just wanted to bring to your attention. That this room is for X and it was reserved."    Them if it persists go to HR.  
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited March 2016
    banana468 said:
    I'm a big fan of handling things directly first.  A "I just wanted to bring to your attention. That this room is for X and it was reserved."    Them if it persists go to HR.  
    I would go a little more passive-aggressive and say something like "My time is limited and I did reserved this room.  Could you please check the schedule before using the room so it doesn't cut into my time?"


    Fact is I really don't care if others use the room for non-nursing reasons when the room is not already booked.  However, I do care when people cut into my own time when I followed proper procedures.

    eta - missing word






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • Thanks all!  I appreciate the perspectives and knowing I'm not alone feeling this is weird.  I will reach out to HR about this.  For @kvruns and those who asked, it's a private room, marked as a family room.  The door locks automatically (locking you in the room) after a badge holder swipes in and closes the door.  Plus, there is an "In Use" sign. 

    I'm aware she could have a legit reason to be in the space regularly but it just seems odd that in that case she wouldn't be held to the same procedures the rest of us are.
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  • anjemonanjemon Minnie and Paul (MN) member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    JaxInBlue said:
    Thanks all!  I appreciate the perspectives and knowing I'm not alone feeling this is weird.  I will reach out to HR about this.  For @kvruns and those who asked, it's a private room, marked as a family room.  The door locks automatically (locking you in the room) after a badge holder swipes in and closes the door.  Plus, there is an "In Use" sign. 

    I'm aware she could have a legit reason to be in the space regularly but it just seems odd that in that case she wouldn't be held to the same procedures the rest of us are.
    This. She could have a legit reason to be in the room, she could even have a reason that isn't really something that goes according to a schedule. But if she did and it was approved use, they would probably have let you know or shared the calendar with her or something.
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    short+sassy
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    You absolutely should say something. We have a "mother's room" in our office, that has a combo lock or badge access. I'm only 6 months pregnant, but when I was talking to my HR rep last week, she mentioned the room and said there was a shared calendar and it's mostly used by nursing moms, but anyone with a medical need could use the room if they have permission. It could be someone needing to inject insulin, or any other medical procedure, but you are right, they would have access to the schedule, and if there was a conflict, should have talked to someone about popping in there for a minute if needed.

    This room used to not be restricted access, it would just lock when you were in there. But a 20 something guy went in there one day to change his shirt, and the facilities manager saw him and said it was inappropriate and then they got access restricted to those who need it.
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  • So apparently on Wednesday, a woman was using the mother's room for its intended purpose, and some guy had the audacity to KNOCK ON THE DOOR. Either the woman inside replied or someone sitting nearby said something, because he booked it immediately.

    Fortunately, the company VP happens to sit right there, and she immediately emailed HR, who sent an email to the company reminding everyone that the mother's room is only to be used by nursing mothers. Though I wish the email ended with FUCKING DUH, I was pretty happy about it. 
  • nerdwife said:
    So apparently on Wednesday, a woman was using the mother's room for its intended purpose, and some guy had the audacity to KNOCK ON THE DOOR. Either the woman inside replied or someone sitting nearby said something, because he booked it immediately.

    Fortunately, the company VP happens to sit right there, and she immediately emailed HR, who sent an email to the company reminding everyone that the mother's room is only to be used by nursing mothers. Though I wish the email ended with FUCKING DUH, I was pretty happy about it. 
    That's insane. Unless he is the only lactating male on the planet, what the hell was he booking it for?
  • nerdwife said:
    So apparently on Wednesday, a woman was using the mother's room for its intended purpose, and some guy had the audacity to KNOCK ON THE DOOR. Either the woman inside replied or someone sitting nearby said something, because he booked it immediately.

    Fortunately, the company VP happens to sit right there, and she immediately emailed HR, who sent an email to the company reminding everyone that the mother's room is only to be used by nursing mothers. Though I wish the email ended with FUCKING DUH, I was pretty happy about it. 
    That's insane. Unless he is the only lactating male on the planet, what the hell was he booking it for?
    Oh, by "book it," I meant like hurried away. Not like he went to book the room. That would be even more insane than knocking.
    sparklepants41
  • nerdwife said:
    nerdwife said:
    So apparently on Wednesday, a woman was using the mother's room for its intended purpose, and some guy had the audacity to KNOCK ON THE DOOR. Either the woman inside replied or someone sitting nearby said something, because he booked it immediately.

    Fortunately, the company VP happens to sit right there, and she immediately emailed HR, who sent an email to the company reminding everyone that the mother's room is only to be used by nursing mothers. Though I wish the email ended with FUCKING DUH, I was pretty happy about it. 
    That's insane. Unless he is the only lactating male on the planet, what the hell was he booking it for?
    Oh, by "book it," I meant like hurried away. Not like he went to book the room. That would be even more insane than knocking.
    Ahh. Yes. That kind of booking it makes more sense. LOL.
  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer

    Agree with others to say something.

    I can't believe several of you have this at your office. That is really cool. My office certainly has no such thing and I assume I'll be doing it from my own office. Which people are used to just walking in without knocking so that ought to be fun getting some locks or something.....

                                                                     

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  • jenna8984 said:

    Agree with others to say something.

    I can't believe several of you have this at your office. That is really cool. My office certainly has no such thing and I assume I'll be doing it from my own office. Which people are used to just walking in without knocking so that ought to be fun getting some locks or something.....

    It is cool to have, though I work in an open office environment, aka no one - not a single person - has their own office, so it's somewhat necessary. But my company is pretty progressive and has good benefits and stuff, including three months paid maternity leave, and the ability (in most cases) to take up to six months if you'd like.
  • I am SO GLAD that I had my own office after DS was born.   I started WFH when he was 4 mo and at that point it was totally private.   In the meantime everyone knew that if Banana's door was closed her (really small) melons were out. 
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