Interrupting Cow--Moo!

em connell mccarty By em connell mccarty, 29th May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

This is a very short and humorous story about a new mother's experience in a male dominated work force.

Claire Goes Back to Work

Claire had only been back to work for two weeks. She had taken a six month maternity leave despite all the raised eyebrows and smirking comments from her colleagues. And now she was back—some days thinking she only came back to prove them wrong—some days believing she truly cared about her job enough to leave baby Sam at the home of her sister and her sister’s kids.

Claire came into the morning meeting after getting four hours of sleep in short increments throughout the night. In between keeping the magic in her marriage alive and nursing/comforting baby Sam, Claire was able to grab snippets of sleep, never any of it deep sleep. She always had an ear open for the slightest whimper from Sam.

Claire felt the eyes of her co-workers and knew they were taking in her rumpled look with a dash of spit up, her lack of make-up showing off her tired eyes. Claire tried to stand tall all the while hoping her breasts wouldn’t start leaking before she had a chance to take a break and pump milk for baby Sam.

Andrew started the meeting. Andrew with his tousled blonde hair and his hipster wardrobe. Andrew with his super even aren’t-I-just-the-most-calm-and-rational-man-alive voice, so soothing that the untrained ear couldn’t hear a smidge of condescending undertones. Andrew began the peer review they had all met to complete this morning.

“Steve is a great guy and a pleasure to work with. I really enjoy seeing him first thing every morning and hearing his take on life. He is a swell guy. And a helluva golfer! Hahaha.”

Keith chimed in next. Keith with his new age crystals and long hair tied back with a friendship bracelet. Keith and his keen intellectual take on everything accentuated with his twelve years of college and five different degrees. Keith stroked his greying hair and adjusted his ponytail before speaking, waiting for all eyes to rest upon him.

Steve is a blessing to this company. He has boundless insights to offer and have you met his wife? She is a breath of fresh air. She keeps their house immaculate! I would eat off their floor. Hahaha.”

Kent spoke after Keith. Kent with his shaved head and closely clipped Vandyke beard. Kent had been with the company so long that no one questioned him about anything. No one was sure what he did, but it must have been important because he never had time to help with anyone else’s projects. In fact, he was rarely seen outside of his office.

“I have no problems with Steve. Steve seems like a down-to-earth kinda guy, and I’m glad he’s on the team.”

Claire cleared her throat to speak.

“I have a problem with Steve. He was supposed to assist me on the Parson’s project, but he took off to go to get a massage and—“

“Hey hey hey, now, Claire. Don’t make this personal.”

Claire paused and gathered herself. “Andrew, Steve is taking credit for work I am—“

“You don’t have to raise your voice, Claire. We’re all friends here.”

“Is this something post-partum? Post-partum psychosis or something?”

Claire stood up.

“Do you have to use the bathroom, Claire? I thought having that baby would fix that problem,” Kent asked innocently.

“Oh no,” Andrew said knowingly. “It just gets worse. Hahaha. My wife can barely hold her pee after the twins. She can’t even sit through a movie without having to pee. And if it’s a comedy, I better have a plastic sheet on the couch.”

“Oh you poor thing.”

“However do you cope with that?”

“I couldn’t do it. You are a folk hero, man.”

Claire addressed the three sitting men to tell them that no, she did not have to use the bathroom but was getting a glass of water.

“In that case, be a dear and bring me some coffee, wouldja? Keith? Kent? Coffee? Three coffees, Claire.”

In the break room Claire made three cups of coffee and then calmly took out her left breast to express some milk into her right hand which she then let drip into the black coffee. She watched the swirling white mix with the crisp black knowing that fat baby Sam would not miss this milk—and it had probably soured during the meeting anyhow.


Glass Ceiling, Humor Writing, Motherhood, Working Mother

Meet the author

author avatar em connell mccarty
I have been writing for as long as I could hold a pen. I have written novels, short stories, essays, creative non-fiction, comics, and numerous freelance articles.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
29th May 2013 (#)

Humorous take but realistic too - the lack of appreciation, understanding and accommodation needed for inclusiveness - siva

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