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Author Topic: Is there any time that it is "ok" to cry at work?  (Read 2444 times)
susans
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« on: January 21, 2008, 08:35:23 am »

Is there any time that it is "ok" to cry at work?  

Personally, I don't think there is but there maybe at times it can't be helped.   How would you handle a situation like this?

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gee4
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2008, 09:21:28 am »

If you need to cry, cry!  Stuff what other people think.  Regardless of whether something has happened in work or in your personal life, your body will react and need to do what it needs to do.

Is is ok to insult people or belittle them at work?  harrass or bully them?  I think not, so cry if you want to!  

One year on after the sudden death of my father, I get very emotional, sometimes for no reason other than a thought will enter my head or someone will say something.  I have of course got up from my desk and taken a few moments to compose myself or had a chat with a colleague, but no one has any right to question how you feel and certainly not your reactions.  

(Sorry if that sounds harsh, but it's reality).
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adminkate
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2008, 06:03:49 pm »

I think the vague sentence of "It all depends" is appropriate here.

I work for a small non-profit that does very specialized work that we are all somewhat emotionally involved in (I find that very few people who work in non-profits are there without some heart for the cause).  With that in mind, I think all my co-workers have shed tears at one time or another, and everyone understands.

On the other hand, I once worked in an on-site office for a construction company...you can bet that was a difficult environment to work in.  Mainly I had a hard time with the language used, and once when the foreman really lost it on another coworker I was so upset I just got up and walked out.  I walked around the block to cry/clear my head and when I came back he had clearly regretted acting in such a way and appologized.  But I think my move in leaving, versus staying and showing tears, etc. was much more appropriate in such an environment.

I think why you're crying and the environment you're in are very important factors.

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peaches2160
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2008, 01:57:56 am »

It depends on the situation and the news you may have just received.  Sometimes it is difficult to hold back the tears.  However, again it just depends.  If I have to shed tears, I am a private person and tend to do so in private when at all possible.  I learned of 9/11 while at work, and yes, I cried.  Again, I had moments after the death of my father.  Just hearing a song on the radio could set me off.  Generally, it is better to stand your ground and not cry in public over work issues.

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laurafmcdermott
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2008, 02:28:19 pm »

Depends on the reason and environment.  In my book, it is NEVER ok to cry over work issues where anyone can see you.  Go to the restroom, to your car, outside, wherever.  It is not professional to shed tears in the office over work issues.  However, personal reasons, deaths, illness in the family, etc. it is alright and more human to show your emotions, and most everyone in a workplace would understand this.

I was in a position of my job being eliminated.  I did not cry, it would not have been appropriate.  However, my supervisor literally sobbed as she was breaking the news.  Any respect I had left for her was gone in that moment.

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spitfire78
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2008, 04:05:53 pm »

I try never to cry over work issues while at work.  I think it is totally inappropriate.  I have shed tears over personal things.

When my boss with whom I worked very closely for many years told me that he was facing a second battle with cancer, I literally ran out of the office without even telling my coworkers.  I went outside and cried until I had control over myself, and then went back inside and apologized to everyone who was around at the time I flew out of the office. I merely explained that I had received very bad news and I needed to get away for a while.  Once the news was "officially" released, of course, they all knew what it was that set me off.  

A few months ago I was in my boss' office to ask for time off for personal reasons and filled up a bit but managed to keep from crying outright.  I apologized to her but she completely understood.

However, I would be absolutely mortified to be in her office crying over anything work-related.  That would be completely different and, I think, unacceptable.

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ozbound
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2008, 12:53:01 am »

I agree, that it all depends on context, and it certainly is understandable for someone to cry over a personal issue such as a death in the family. I've also seen people shed a few tears (though not outright crying) when someone they liked left a company after years of working there.
But yes, there are some times when it's less than professional, especially when it relates to work issues. I had somone call me once from a company I had asked to do something for me, get rather emotional about the fact that they were unable to help me (not quite crying but almost, I could tell!). That really didn't help my feelings about it any. I would have preferred it if she had maintained some composure--but then, I also understand if someone's having a bad day!

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