I've had what I imagine is a fairly typical experience with trying to pump breastmilk at work: lots of people have good intentions to help, but it's been quite difficult at times.
Stanford's medical school has a brand new, enormous, beautiful building called the Li Ka Shing Center. Unfortunately, when it was being set up, someone forgot that half of the population can have babies, that those babies need breast milk, and that breast milk often needs to be pumped while women are at work and school--so when it opened, there was no designated space for pumping.
"What's the big deal?" you might think. Why can't you just use the restroom? Well, aside from the small matter of hygiene (you don't prepare your meals in the bathroom), the bathrooms in the new medical school building only have power outlets right next to the sink. Out of desperation, I did stand next to the sink once to pump, and just winced every time someone walked in--but that was pretty bad. Unlike when you're nursing a baby, your breasts are quite exposed when you're pumping, and if you're like me, you feel utterly ridiculous. So you actually appreciate a good amount of privacy.
Eventually an empty breakroom was designated as the place to pump. Unfortunately, the room is locked, and they won't give me a key. So I have to request a key from someone every time I need to pump (every few hours). This is bad for several reasons: