Fergie is Wrong

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion.  I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.  ~Kurt Vonnegut

“I need some shelter of my own protection baby…”

I want to tell Fergie that Big Girls Do Cry.

Continuing on my crying theme, I must add that I do cry -  a lot. Daily.  Today I cried on the phone to my mother when she told me her idea for her 45 anniversary celebration (good cry). I cried when my ex husband got me upset during an email exchange (bad cry). I cried when I got an email from a friend that made me feel warm and loved (good cry).

People don’t often see me cry and most that know me would probably be very surprised to know I cry so much. I believe I have this reputation of being an ice queen or desensitized (exactly what I don’t want to be).

Reality is that everything, nearly everything, makes me cry. Good, bad, green, yellow, black, smelly, loud, you name it. I cry. I may not break down sobbing but I do shed tears and have to choke back sobs and suffer from that ache that happens to your peepers when you are holding back a torrent of tears.

I generally cry alone. (Who shares tears?)

Today I cried at work. (Alone, of course, for dear god, a female openly crying in a corporate environment can be a career ending move for sure or at a minimum trigger the appearance of men in white jackets ready to take you for a ride.)

I am overwhelmed.

I am essentially doing two full time jobs with very little help.  Like most companies today, particularly those in the financial services industry like mine, we are nervous.  We are doing more with lots less and expecting it to get worse, not better. We are waiting anxiously for massive layoffs all the while trying to scramble and keep afloat and jockey for position on the “not to be layed off list”. Coworkers are snappish, backstabbing and irritable due to lack of sleep or in my case, swollen glands and a sore throat, and oh yeah, too much work too do.

In addition to my full time “real job” of internal communicator for a 1K person IT organization, I am on loan to a large scale project implementation.   I am scripting, writing, developing, designing, coordinating, converting, editing, and stressing over a series of events related to managing the introduction of this change into our environment.

Yesterday, early in the morning, the first of a series of demos blew up in front of me. I mean that figuratively of course.  While I did not have cathode ray tubes and mice and leather chair fragments on me, it sure felt that way.

There I sat in a very high end presentation room with state of the art audio and visual equipment, a very attractive male presenter, 70 people in the room and nearly 300 on the phone and emeeting and it all falls apart. Kaplooey.  In less than ten minutes I was able to create nearly 400 very unhappy people.

We completely underestimated how many people would join an overview of the application. We maxxed out our audio conference line, hundreds of people had difficulty with the emeeting. I had at least one hundred people all looking at me for help and all I wanted to do was run away back to those gorgeous Colorado Rockies and oh yeah, cry.

I held it together until one particularly nasty person said to me “I think you have a problem here.”

My response?

“Really? Ya think?!”

I despise when people state the obvious.  As my ex husband would say with a snarled tone “Jackass, I know we have a problem”.

Today we discussed the incident with an After Action Review of what happened, why and what I proposed to do to correct it going forward.

Again, weakened with a sore neck due to a swollen gland, I find myself snappish. This time I am in control of it and when I am “in control” I become cool and short and distant. I suppose that is still snappish. The alternative is to reach for a blankie and wail like an infant.

Where does this long winding trail lead?

To me getting into a elevator nearly 20 floors up and bursting into tears.

Crack much?

Yeah baby.  Why yes, yes, I do.

 

 

4 Thoughts.

  1. I hope you are feeling better. It sounds pretty traumatic.
    I was had a fairly senior management person (female) yell at me – I mean yell and scream about something over which I had no control. I said “I work too hard here to be treated like this and she apologized and actually showed a more human side of herself but after she left my office I went for a good cry.
    I have heard rumours of some workplaces where you could not walk into the woman’s washroom without finding someone in tears.
    When things are really bad or frightening I say to myself sometimes is this worse than giving my son up for adoption. It never is.

  2. UM – I agree.I have found nothing in life that is worse than losing your child to adoption. Even my divorce was “easy” comparitively. Nothing equals the level of pain and agony caused by adoption trauma. At least not for me.

  3. Oh, Suz, I’m sorry about this. I know how talented you are, and how seriously you take the work you do.
    After 35+ years in several workplaces, I’ve come to the conclusion that large corporate environments simply have no souls. What drives the cultures of large companies is money, and money makes people very unfeeling. I’ve finally given up trying to change it; instead, I suppress my normal personality and feelings at work to get the job done, and suppress the job when I’m not at work. It’s the only thing that works for me.
    (((((((big hugs))))))) And hang in there.

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