Whether your office is an open floor plan or totally private, you're still going to bump into coworkers when you're leaving the loo. And since you probably spend more time around your colleagues than even your closest friends, it's inevitable that you'll cut some cheese at some point during a meeting. But does it really have to be an embarrassing situation? Here, the best ways to keep calm and carry on when your body needs to do its business.
If you hear someone rip one in a meeting, don't pop your head up like a gopher. If you're the tooter, again, acknowledge nothing. Cracking a joke or apologizing is so much more awkward than simply ignoring the passed gas.
You have two options: Courtesy-flush the instant your poo plops to minimize stank, or spritz an essential oil product into the toilet (pre-#2) to create an odor-blocking film on the water's surface. Should you choose the latter, do not let anyone see you with this in hand or you'll forever be known as the woman whose dumps are so gross she went out and bought a special dump perfume. If your poop made a huge splash, wait until a busy bathroom clears before exiting your stall. Same rule applies if you suspect a coworker has recognized your shoes.
Mums at Jessica Alba's The Honest Company can handle their business in a suite full of girlie furniture. You might not have that luxury, but there still may be an official place for you to lactate. In the US there is a federal law called Break Time for Nursing Mothers requires a company with over 50 employees to provide a non-bathroom space (like an empty office) where a new mom can pump until her baby is 1 year old. If you have your own office, put a sign on your door: "Pumping in Progress." It's direct, but it's the truth and will keep colleagues away. Try listening to soothing lullabies while looking at pictures of your kiddo—both have been shown to increase milk production.
"You don't have to tell your employer what you've had done—patient privacy laws protect you," says Jennifer Walden, a cosmetic surgeon. If it's a septorhinoplasty, she tells patients to go with the deviated septum line, or return to work post-splint and wear more concealer than usual. "You will have swelling and discoloration under your eyes—blame that on staying up too late," she says. Most breast surgery patients can go back to work after five to seven days; wearing a sports bra and a baggy top should be a good enough disguise.