Crying at Work
It's ugly. It lingers. It causes all kinds of uncomfortableness. It gets puffy and snuffly and totally wrecks your speaking ability. It's 1,000 times worse when people apologize or ask if you're OK. #NoI'mDefinitelyNotSoPleaseJustIgnoreMeWhileIPretendtoTextWhileBlinkingRapidly
But crying at work has happened to me. More than once. And it's never for what you'd think it would be for. No one put me in a submission hold. That's home stuff. No one belittled my children. No one beaned me in the head with anything. No one attacked me with a tear gas canister/microphone/sneaker at an Oscar Grant rally.
The two times I can distinctly remember crying at work were both the result of extreme frustration. Of feeling like I was speaking reasonably, making a sound argument, basing my decision on both an emotional and intellectual investment in something I cared about. And trust me, care is not a word I use often in the way most people do. Work is business. It's fun, it's creative, it's important but it's not often an emotional thing. It's usually very straightforward, rewarding, satisfying. But I try not to let it define me or dictate my life life. It's my work life.
So for me to reach the level where I get into a disagreement with someone or have to resolve something that seems so straightforward and obvious to me, with people I respect and like, becomes frustrating to the nth. Particularly when I agree with every point the other side has made.
Yes, I would like more time. I would like more information. I would like a thousand victims to come forward in a pegasus powered chariot with a penchant for dramatic television. I would like to live up to the brand. I would like it not to be suggested that I'm not. I would like to not work through my weekend to make sure I get a script done in the most efficient way possible given the constraints of the situation.
I would like to not let anyone down. I would like to move forward with a defined plan that doesn't come with a 'but' in the middle of it. I would like to rally. I would like to just get a story on the air that has enough check marks to inform people. I would like this not to be a monumental epic be all end all. I would like to know, is this story really that horrible and not worthwhile? Because it feels like it. I would like to stick to my guns but not shoot anyone.
I would like to live up to every expectation ever bestowed upon me. I would like to be trusted. I would like to be understood. I would like to hear a solution that would work in the here and now. I would like to be told, "I think this is bunk and if we can't get x, y, and z, I don't want to be part of it so thanks but no thanks." That might create tears too but I'd rather cry mad tears than frustration tears.
I would like to be given a small bit of credit for my judgment on how to make the most of a bad situation. I would like to show you what I can put together before it gets nullified. I would that opportunity. I would like to be judged and not pre-judged. I would like to allow the chicken to come after the egg since I can't produce that full fledged hen right this moment. Sometimes you have to do a small story to get into a bigger story. I would like a magic wand. And a time machine.
I came from general assignment reporting. I know things aren't always the tippy tippy best in the world but sometimes your hand is forced. I would like to not have to argue for a story that seems like it has decent elements.
My tears came from feeling like, "People. People who I like. I hear what you're saying. I WANT THAT TOO. TOTALLY. But given what we know, and what we have, can we do the best we can in this moment?"
But according to this article, "Tears are kinda like the check engine light on your car dashboard...When you feel yourself about to cry, it's telling you something: You're frustrated, you're overworked, you're feeling undervalued, you don't have enough resources. It's a real tool for analysis. It can actually help you perform your work more successfully."
Have you ever gone all teary eyed at work? Do tell.