• Antoinette Minor

I Cried at Work

For the first time ever I cried at work. I don't know if it comes with old age, if I'm becoming a softy or if shit just got real. Whatever the reason, it was the first time it happened to me and I was embarrassed. Let me explain...

Now, I've gotten teary eyed while watching a puppy video on Facebook at my desk but this was different. I'm typically a person who is very sweet and caring but on the inside there are a pile of rocks that sit on my feelings. These rocks typically suppress any urge to be sad or cry because I don't like showing my feelings. Yes, I'm a thug... This time was different. I was upset and the usual, "get yourself together," talk didn't help. I had to walk myself to the bathroom and boohooed like a baby! Why was I crying?

The real reason is I just had enough! It wasn't really all about my job but more so about the fact that adulting had gotten so tough that I was worn out and at a small breaking point. Money is tight, projects and emails are piling up, I need a vacation and there was one final thing that made me go over the edge. You know how we all have that one thing that makes a bad day an even worst day. Yeah, that happened. I received a text that just made me even more sad. I won't go into details but it just really hit me to the core and the tears started to form. 

When it comes to any issue I'm usually the type of person that looks for a solution as soon as a problem presents itself. I, "Olivia Pope it," before I even have a moment to be upset. Punch that issue right in the face! What I'm realizing is that my many, many, many years of toughness in the form of a brick wall is crumbling down. There is no more room to hold the frustration inside. The closet is full and housekeeping can't even get to the laundry room. I also think it has something to do with the fact that I'm approaching 30 too. 

So, why am I admitting all of this? There are plenty of articles out there about not crying at your desk or how people who cry at work are perceived. Crying can be viewed as weak and weak is what you do not want to be in the corporate world. The office vultures will chew you up and spit you out so fast. There is a huge risk with crying at the office in certain settings. You could be labeled as a cry baby and people's perception of you can change. It may even block you from great opportunities because your boss may not believe you can handle the stress. Women especially are judged for shedding a tear or two for this very reason.

Sadly, I used to be one of those people who judged coworkers who cried. Just being honest, so don't kill me. I'm not a naturally empathetic or sympathetic person so it can be hard to relate to those who are feeling down or sad. I truly did not understand until today. People handle things in different ways and if crying is the therapeutic release you need, then get your tear on! To be honest with you, I felt much better after it happened. I was able to move on with a clear head to tackle the frustration.

I can't change the perception people have of those who cry but just know that if you do cry it is NOT a sign of weakness. You are brave enough to show your true feelings and if you are feeling down about work issues its okay to show how much you care. If you didn't care you wouldn't give a damn or show any emotion at all. That's a person I would not want on my team. There is nothing you can do to make someone who isn't emotionally invested in their work care about their job. As a manager I want the person who is strong enough to show their feelings and there are many other people who feel like that!

I still punked out by crying alone and then telling my coworker that I had allergies. I'm trying here. TRYING! The truth is I envy those who can be emotional without feeling bad about it. Kudos to you! Hopefully, I can be like you one day and feel free to express my real feelings whether they are good are bad. 

Crying at work will happen at some point in your life even if you don't believe it will. Think about it... We spend most of our time there so how can we expect to be stiff as stone for that many hours in a day? Sometimes life issues clocks in with us and sometimes work comes home with us. Work and personal life lines are blurred all the time. Just remember to pull yourself back together and find a solution to the cause of your emotional moment. Sound good? Good!

Now, I want to hear from you. Have you ever cried at work? How did you handle it? Comment below and let me know. We are in this together!

See you at the top, 

The Young Professionalist


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