She waltzes into the room with her hair perfectly preened, a crisp suit and commands attention with her roaring voice.
“Any items on emerging issues?” The 14 staff members, a mixture of male and female, old and young, all nod their heads and look down at the table avoiding eye contact.
“What about you?” She gazes in my direction.
The whole room turns my way.
“How long are you taking off? She answers ‘A year?” before I respond.
“Who is taking your position?” barrages of questions continue.
My face burns as I feel like melting into my chair and disappearing. I should have answered, "YES, clearly I’m pregnant, I will take as little or as long as I want and it’s none of your goddamn business in such a public forum".
This woman isn’t my manager. I don’t report to her. Yet why is she making it her mission to make me feel like I’m incompetent because I’m six and a half months pregnant?
It continues the next day on a phone conference with several people.
“With all due respect, she will be finishing up soon, so it’s probably best we have another colleague to run the program who is here for the long term.”