Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Gotta Love Security at a Nuclear Power Plant

Now that I have returned to work (part time) as a nursing mother, I am required to pump while I am gone in the mornings.

I will admit, I have it a lot easier than a lot of other professions- retail, waitresses, etc. I get to sit in an office by myself in a comfy desk chair, and can basically take all the time I need. However, none of these people have to bring their pumps through security at a nuclear power plant every morning.

For starters, its a good quarter to half a mile between my car and my cubicle, through two different security buildings. And when we go through access screening, its like being in an airport, except more intense. In addition to your basic metal detector, we have bomb sniffer machines, the guards have automatic weapons, and anything that looks metal must be removed and put in a little container all by itself to go down the conveyer belt through the X-ray machine.

This does not bode well for my nifty little sealed pump that is built into a "fancy bag." It doesn't come apart, and it apparently looks really funny on the X-ray monitor.

My very first day back at work, it all ready took me three times to get through the metal detector (I was a little rusty on all the clothing and other paraphernelia I had to remove, and then this crotchety old security guard has to rifle through my bag, because he's trying to figure out what it is. He then pulls out the power cord, all the little tubes, containers, etc. and lays them out on the dirty, muddy, germ-infested conveyer belt. This is not going well. He finally gives up and gives it back to me and I continue on my merry way.

This little routine has occurred every morning since I returned to work, the only variation is the security guard. Now, I have gotten smarter. Certain items are kept in clear zip lock baggies, so I don't have to wash them all again in the employee bathroom once I am inside (that definitely got me some funny looks on my first day, let me tell you!)

But this morning was extra special. After rooting around in the bag for the elusive metal internals, he walks back over to me and angrily asks in a rather loud voice, what is it!!

So I now feel obligated to reply just as loudly and angrily, that its a breast pump. He turns about three shades of red, turns to his coworker who happens to be female and mumbles "you got this." while he runs away. I thought it was hilarious. He then came back later when she was done inspecting it, and requested that I buy a pump to keep at work, so I don't have to keep bringing it through security every morning.

Ahhh, its good to be back. :-)


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Buying an extra pump to leave at work is RIDICULOUS! Sure.. let me just pull that spare $200 out I have laying around here somewhere.. Welcome to 2011. Women have babies. Women feed babies. Women pump milk at work to feed said babies. They can get over it. You will have to eventually get through all of the security guards- right? Maybe you could put a sign on it- 'I am a breast pump!' That'd be fun!
    Keep it up momma! :)

  3. Lorelei, I told her that perhaps work (or that guard) would like to buy her a spare? That would be an acceptable compromise.

  4. Yikes! Some people are stupid. I understand the security aspect but c'mon! Good luck! :)

  5. Ok...I am curious to know what Amy's post was...it is removed, so therefore I am assuming it is entirely unappropriate! PS...love the story!

  6. I'm curious what Amy's post was too, but she removed it before I read it, so I may never know!

  7. This is hilarious! I'm glad you have a sense of humor about all this. Ahh, the fun of being a nursing mama in this world:)