NPD Chronicles: Pregnancy Sympathy?

So when I first started working here, my supervisor K, was pregnant. She was only there about 2-3 months after I started and I was supposed to cover her maternity leave, so I was trying to learn as much as I could from her and we ended up becoming really close. I love her to this day. Every time I remember this story, I kick myself for not seeing the red flag, which is obvious to me now. But here is what happened:

K was in her 3rd trimester, very pregnant and as it happens with pregnant women, suffering the usual symptoms: fatigue, swollen feet, etc. Unfortunately, she worked here, and well, we don’t have time to slow down. My boss though, for once, did notice that she was tired and so he decided to do something about it.

What did he do, you ask. Did he tell her to go home early and get some rest? No. Did he tell her to take an extended lunch and relax? No. Did he allow her to work from home? Nope. He walked into work one morning, with 2 sleeping bags in tow. He proceeds to walk into the conference room and layout both of the sleeping bags on the hard, woodern conference room table. He then announces in a loud voice that he did this for K, so whenever she gets tired she could climb on top of the table and take a nap.

See…to this day I kick myself for not realizing what a huge red flag that was. He expected this pregnant woman to climb on a chair, to get on top of the table and lay there to take a nap. What the hell was wrong with him? How could he be so insensitive? The sad part was that K was so tired, that she actually did it. I had to help her up on top of the table so she could get some rest. I remember closing the door behind me and wanting to just laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation.

Unfortunately, her nap was short lived, as he needed her soon after. He had already done his part of pretending to care, so he needed her to get back to work.

To this day, almost 5 years later, the sleeping bags are still in his office. We’ve changed locations, but he managed to bring them with, saying that he’s keeping them here in case we ever have to work on a proposal overnight. Ha! He will be sleeping alone in them, because you will NEVER catch me working overnight for him.


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