If you’ve ever used a breast pump, you’ll know the familiar, repetitive sound of it doing its job. I must admit, there are times when the constant drone has almost put me into a milk trance.
So you can kind of feel for the university student who ended up reporting a fellow student who was using a breast pump during an exam.
“I had a college test yesterday and shortly after starting I kept hearing a continuous sound right behind me, like a repeated tapping about every three seconds,” the student revealed on reddit. “At first I just attempted to ignore it and figured someone was tapping heavily on their computer’s keyboard over and over out of anxiety, but it was very noticeable in the otherwise quiet environment.”
The sound continued for another 10 minutes, and the student noticed others in the exam room started to be disturbed the noise.
“One lady across the room made eye contact with me with a questioning look as if to say, ‘What in the hell is that?’ I shook my head to let her know I had no idea. The professor noticed the other student looking over at me, and the student pointed in my direction so I think the professor must have thought I had a question or was trying to get her attention, so I slightly raised my hand and she came right over.
“I quietly told her I wasn’t sure what this ‘tapping’ sound was but it seemed like people were becoming distracted by it. She asked, ‘Is it me making the sound at my desk?’ which confused me because this wasn’t a subtle noise and of course I knew it wasn’t her. So I said no, and motioned behind me to show her where I was talking about. She said, ‘I understand’ and went to the student behind me and I didn’t hear what was said, but the noise stopped after that. So whatever, I just moved on with my exam.”
It wasn’t until after the test was finished, that the student discovered the sound had been an electric breast pump. “Someone from my class told me I should apologise to that lady at once because she likely had suffered physical issues due to my actions and that her whole pumping schedule was probably messed up now, and said this woman likely hates me now because of the pain she must have endured due to me. I just responded that I had no idea of what was going on so I surely couldn’t be at fault for that.”
The student says they’re now not sure how they should have reacted to the situation.
“Should I have just not said anything? It is very hard for me to focus while listening to distracting sounds, especially in a pattern, and I may be more sensitive to this than others. I very much support people’s right to have accommodations to pump as needed but when it’s becoming a noisy distraction to the rest I can’t help but feel other arrangements would be reasonable? And was I wrong to say something to the professor even though I had no idea of what was happening?”
What do you think? Was the student right to report the noisy breast pump?We may get commissions for purchases made using links in this post. Learn more.