If you cry at work, pretend it's because you're very passionate about your job

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/03/09/crying-at-your-desk.html

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Is there an article about how not get so frustrated at work that you throw an unopened can of soda at the wall? If there is, it’s 10 years too late. How I didn’t get fired after that or at least reprimanded remains a mystery.


Why? How about if management, who are supposedly motivated by “the bottom line”, be consistent in what metrics they use to evaluate work performance? They simply are not paying people to have a specific emotional state while on the job, so it is they who are being unprofessional in dwelling upon such things.

Maybe I can see it for jobs which directly intersect with outsiders, such as salespeople or waitstaff. But for most jobs this sort of thing has no bearing upon productivity or performance.


Especially if you work or went to university at the Sizzler.


Worked for Glenn Beck.


I’m crying right now.


A manager who had been there in the past.

My first manager at Boeing kept a 40lb sledge in his cubicle and were we all welcome to come in and pick that up and stare off into space for a bit.


Yeah management there was a revolving door of sorts … I had to think about who my manager was at the time. This one at the time was a cool dude. Also helping me:

  1. Didn’t hit a stud – perfectly can shaped hole in drywall hidden by garbage pail
  2. Only one person saw it happen. We were not friends, but he was not well regarded in the office – a reputation for blowing things out of proportion – so his story was likely seen as one involving some exaggeration.
  3. Company was in the process of getting bought out at the time (which I didn’t find out till much later) … so they all had much bigger fish to fry

This is exactly what is happening. In many organizations people are hired and promoted more based on their ability to self-aggrandize than on their ability to do whatever job it is they are supposed to be doing. A lot of organizations are actually paying people to fill seats, to portray certain emotional states, etc. They just don’t know that’s why they are hiring people because they themselves were hired for their ability to self-aggrandize, not for their competence as managers.


One of my direct reports broke down twice the other day (not to me, to my colleague who I report to). To be blunt, it’s because they were not able to take some basic feedback, which was not at all aimed just at them. And the team had dropped the ball. I do associate this with the “Millenial” thing, frankly. Now, this person who broke down has “manager” in the title, and by responding in this way, made it somewhat clear that is purely an honorific at this point, and something that a lot more needs to happen for them to truly grow into the title. Not sure they’re capable, we shall see, and this person has plenty of support. This is a very small company btw, and yes, in our business development team.


I feel like I need to congratulate anyone who has managed to make it to adulthood while retaining their capacity to cry over more than the most deeply upsetting personal tragedies. I had that burned out of me by societal and peer pressure before I hit high school.

Basically what I’m saying is, “stop crying” is a very healthy approach to dealing with people having emotional responses with no lasting psychological impact whatsoever.


My own rule of thumb tends to be: if your job is making you regularly cry in distress either at work or upon leaving work, either due to an inability to handle the stress or the stress being too overwhelming to handle, then it’s time to switch jobs. No one should be working someplace that causes them to reasonably or unreasonably cry out of misery.


I’ve worked with (almost) all women in an early childhood non-profit for almost 10 years now, and over the years I’ve cried in front of quite a few of them, and a lot of them have cried in front of me, for professional and personal reasons. It’s fucking amazing. I wish I could grab all the people hypothetically referenced by @RigeIT and bring them to my office. I’m not spouting some “women are hysterical” bullshit here, every time they cried, it was the exact right response to the pressure they were under, the way they had been treated, or the life event they were experiencing. It’s just great that when the need arose, they opened those gates, and I do think that has to do with this being a female-run organization. Oh, and we get shit done for the children of New York in a big way.


40#! That’s insane. I’ve swung a 16# mining sledge and that is an exercise in “I’m not strong enough to use this safely.”


Well we just picked it up… and kinda smiled to ourselves and put it back down. It was heavy.
The unofficial name given by one of the group was the CLT Tool. Castrate, Lobotomize, Terminate.


Lachrymose Stage Capitalism.



“… (though if spotted, you could try to pawn it off on the job).”

It’s “palm it off,” not “pawn it off.”

Please don’t cry. Just try to remember.

At one of my old jobs we had a LART (luser attitude readjustment tool). It was of my own design. 10 or so 18" long BNC cables. One end was made into a handle by wrapping it with thin steel wire.

If you hit something with that, you would seriously fuck it up. It was satisfying just carrying it around and hearing the jingling of the cable ends knowing of its destructive power. As far as I know it was never actually used on anything.