I've cried at work. Twice.
The first time, I was a temp in my very first HR job. The position was supposed to be temp to perm (a term I now despise), and I was doing what I thought was a great job. But, the company eliminated a senior administrative assistant's role, and rather than fire her, they got rid of the temp.
This was right and fair and exactly what they should have done.
But, when my boss told me, I cried. I needed the job. I was six months out of graduate school, and finding a professional job had been difficult. My boss helped me get the next position, and it turned out to be an excellent path for me. But, at the moment, I went into the bathroom and cried.
The second time I cried at work, I was pregnant with my monster-sized baby (10 lbs 8 oz, 23 inches, thank you very much), and he decided he would like to hang out on my sciatic nerve. If you've been through this, you know that walking can be quite painful.
Our building was huge, and the parking situation a disaster. If you didn't get there at 7:00 am, you didn't get a decent parking spot--unless you had a coveted parking pass reserved for executives and people with health issues. I couldn't get there at 7:00 am because I had another child that needed to get to daycare.
My doctor wrote a note, saying I needed a close parking space--although I didn't qualify for a handicapped spot.
I faxed the note to the company's nurse's office--I needed her stamp of approval for a parking spot. She called me up and said, "Pregnant women need to walk." No amount of pleading would make her budge. She had never met me, never examined me, but decided in her infinite wisdom that my doctor was wrong, and walking would be just the trick!
I sat in my office and sobbed--in pain, and flooded in pregnancy hormones.
Fortunately, for me, but not for the office nurse, I was a labor and employment law consultant at the moment. My boss's boss--the head of HR legal, heard me sobbing, called the nurse's boss, and explained that just ignoring an employee's doctor's recommendation was not wise. I got my parking pass.
Why do I share these stories?
Because so many people think they need to be superhuman and not get upset or be hurt or just plain sad at work. Would I prefer it if I hadn't sobbed when I lost my job? You bet. Am I glad that I cried when the nurse denied my parking pass? You bet. Do I feel bad for other pregnant women to whom the nurse refused parking who didn't work in employment law? Yes.
So when this tweet appeared in my feed, I did as instructed it, and retweeted:
if y'all have ever cried at your job or school in the bathroom can you retweet this?-- ya dig? (@ezzygarciaa) February 19, 2020
i wanna see something
So many people have cried at work. As of this instant, 68.9 thousand people have retweeted. And while Twitter should never be taken as scientific proof of anything, it does indicate that if you've cried at work, you're in excellent company.
This response, in particular, made me want to cry at work today.
Working at a high school? Ya, sometimes things are just too heavy. Like seeing a school shooting reported on cnn two minutes before 30 kids walk in your class and you need to pretend Precalculus is important-- John Rooney (@JWRooney6) February 20, 2020
While this is all anecdotes, a recent survey found that 83 percent of us have cried at work. So if you need to cry, go ahead. It can be a bit embarrassing, but chances are most of the people in the room have done so before and will do so again.