When word got out a couple months ago that men were colonizing their offices’ lactation rooms for non-lactation purposes that included naps, meditation, personal calls, and even office sex, I thought those dudes were the worst coworkers in the world. I was wrong. The worst coworker in the world is the office creeper who got caught stealing breastmilk from the fridge in the office lactation room.
Stealing breastmilk from babies.
A working mother wrote to Dear Prudence’s Mallory Ortberg this week to share the story of her office creeper. She works at a large company, and when she returned from maternity leave she was glad to be able to use the office lactation room to pump milk during work. The lactation room even has a mini fridge, where all the pumping employees stored their milk.
One day, however, she noticed that she was missing an ounce. That was weird, but she thought she’d mistaken the amount when she recorded it. Then it happened two more times.
Thinking she was going nuts, she mentioned it to one of the other women who used the pumping room. That woman’s milk had gone missing too!
Once they both realized their milk had been stolen, they went together to HR.
Now I know why HR employees need special training and certification. Nothing prepares you to deal with a situation where someone is stealing breast milk from the lactation room.
Once the women reported the theft, it turned out most of the women using the lactation room experienced the same thing.
HR locked the lactation room and started monitoring it.
HR, presumably panicking about the legal ramifications of having an employee sipping from all the other employees’ breast milk containers, immediately put a key card lock on the lactation room and only gave keys to the employees who were pumping.
They also started monitoring the room, and they did catch one dude trying to get in. HR questioned him, but couldn’t prove anything. He hadn’t been caught doing anything wrong because he couldn’t get in without a key card.
All the women are super creeped out that some random guy was stealing their breastmilk. They don’t know who it was or what exactly he was doing with it, but he must have been drinking it, right? There’s no non-creepy reason to steal your coworkers’ breastmilk.
Now that the room is secure, HR will probably never catch the creepy milk thief. Unfortunately, the whole experience was so disturbing that now at least one of the mothers says she’s having trouble relaxing enough to pump at work.
Also, just as a public service announcement to any office creepers out there: Pumping mothers measure everything. You can’t steal an ounce here and an ounce there and expect it to go unnoticed. This isn’t the office creamer. Pumping women keep track of every drop. Stealing your coworkers’ breast milk is horrible and should get you fired. If you need breast milk, buy it from Craigslist like everybody else.
(Image: iStockPhoto / Pilin_Petunyia)