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A Conversation about Crying at Work

17 September 2013




Women inherently carry a lot of stress. From managing expectations, appearance, work, home, husbands, parents, kids, friends and self it is a lot to deal with. I don't know about you, but I reach this critical threshold or "glass ceiling" where all of a sudden I've lost my balance and can't take one more thing on my plate. Have you experienced the same?

Recently, I've been quite busy at work trying to finish a research manuscript so that I can begin to write my dissertation and obtain my Ph.D. in Immunology. I am tired and worn out beyond measure. Then add to it blogging, my home [which is a wreck], my family, working to keep up with Youth at church and my marriage. Already a lot to juggle. I was in a meeting with the 4 other folks in my lab. We were called to assemble because my lab manage gave her two-weeks notice. I am so proud of her for moving on to bigger and better things! My only problem is that she has been my one champion, an intercessor on my behalf to my boss who has less experience dealing with women than a cloistered monk. 





It was during that meeting that "my plate" started spilling over and falling all over the floor and all it took was a tone of "you don't matter" in my boss' voice in response to a question about my role once our lab manager departs. I started to cry. Right there in the meeting. And it wouldn't stop. I cried for 5 solid hours. The tears wouldn't stop coming. When I thought that I'd be done...nope more tears would stream down my face. I went home crying, fell asleep crying and woke up crying as I thought about the way I was treated, the things on my plate, the world...etc. 




Do you have a "personal policy" for crying at work or in front of your boss? On one hand it shows weakness and vulnerability but on the other I pray that my boss' social awkwardness makes him walk on egg shells around me for the remainder of my stay in his tutelage. When I went in the next day, it was like nothing had happened. No one really talked to me, which is normal.

9 comments:

  1. My boss is my dad, so crying at work for me is something I like to avoid, because generally I get the "Suck it up" talk from him. But I tell you what, when my plate gets too full at work, I have a habit of just crying. Like yesterday, I am still catching up from being out 2 days 2 weeks ago, and my desk was just covered, I mean covered. I couldn't see my actual desk for all the papers, and I got overwhelmed, and just cried. Sometimes I think a good cry can make things better though. It sounds like you have a ton on your plate. And to me it sounds like you might need a vacation, even if it is a mini one. Good luck on your research!

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  2. I don't cry around my boss not because I'm scared to show emotion but because I never see my boss! I kid you not, he's here a max of an hour before he leaves for the job sites. So, with that being said, I love my job (now) and I rarely need to stress about crying around him. I'm sending prayers that you find comfort in knowing it'll all be over soon and that you go through your writing process as quickly as possible! Sending love and hugs!

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  3. Oh no. We've all been there. As women, we really do have so much to balance and it's something I really struggle with.

    I try really, really, really hard not to cry at work. BUT it totally happens, sometimes things just get to me. Although, it's only my boss who has ever seen me cry, I think it's because I feel comfortable with him.

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  4. I try not too but it has happened a time or too. Sometimes like the Meme said you have been strong too long and they need to buck up and listen! Hope it gets a little easier and he learns to deal with being a little gentler in his approach!

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  5. Ah man, I'm sorry you had such a tough day! I've definitely cried at work, and it's rough because I work in an office with 30 men, so I'm sure they're all thinking I'm the crazy hormonal lady in the corner, but sometimes when you don't feel respected and appreciated and everything just goes over the top like you said, it happens.

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  6. Oh wow. We desperately need a pizza date. I'm emailing you now. Love you.

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  7. well I'm an emotional person. and when i do cry you know i'm at my wits in am completely stressed out or something sappy just happened

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  8. I try not to cry at work because I'm in a male-dominated field where women are often viewed as the weaker sex. It happens though, and I try not to beat myself up when I cry. Crying is a sign that we're alive.

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  9. I've cried at work a couple times. I don't mind if my boss sees, she's really great. I just try to avoid doing it in front of students. It's only been a couple of times so it's not that big of a deal. Plus I'm a teacher so being all feely is good or something. :)

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