At work yesterday, I was asked by a senior colleague to assist a new worker lift some heavy items as she was pregnant. She wasn’t an especially large woman but had a fairly substantial baby bump.
I followed her to the storeroom and saw her pick up a large box. I advised her not to do that and that I was there to lift the heavier things. She responded with ‘I’m not pregnant’. Awkward moment! I tried to ignore the comment and changed the subject. She went on with ‘I was pregnant last year and I’m trying to lose weight at the moment’. The awkwardness continued.
Thankfully, she wasn’t upset and I managed to complete the task quickly and escape quickly without further adding to my embarrassment.
I went back to the senior colleague and advised that the woman wasn’t pregnant. He responded without a raised eyebrow with ‘She was when I saw her last year’. Last year??! I’m no expert but a gestation period of 15 months is surely on the long side. To be honest, all I could do was laugh.
My embarrassment was shared. My manager (based again on my senior colleague’s advice), advised the woman to task it easy while she was pregnant. Thankfully, the woman took it all in her stride and found amusement in the fact that the manager went bright red when advised otherwise.
I won’t be trusting that colleague again!