I cried at work

Pop culture shouldn’t be a reference for every major life event, but there was one episode of “Sex and the City” that rang so true.  Charlotte, the meek and buttoned-up sex kitten, remembered crying at work once, ONCE! which made her The Girl Who Cried At Work.  After that, it was “oh, watch what you say, Charlotte might cry.”  She’s probably not the only woman who’s ever felt that way.  There are so few moments where professionalism and emotion work together.

And yet crying, sometimes it just happens, and I’m sorry to say that it seems to happen to women more than men.  Some say that’s why we live longer.  We take the moment to get out our emotions, rather than bottling them up for later.  Of course, this is no universal truism, I can only speak from my experience as a woman.  A woman who has cried at almost every job I’ve ever had.

And just the other day, I cried at my job.  While meeting with the district manager.  Again.

The gist?  I’m good at parts of my job, and there are other parts that I just don’t get.  And furthermore, I don’t care.  The parts of my job that don’t make me any money are the parts I love, and I’m indifferent about the things that are going to pay to keep me in the lifestyle to which I’m accustomed.  While the district manager was trying to explain a piece of financial finagling that I was trying to grasp, I just welled up.  He looked at me and I blurted out, “I’m in the wrong job.”  Then I lost it.

It didn’t come out of nowhere.  I’ve been putting a lot of thought into what I’m good at, what pays, and what I love, and what job it is that lies in the Venn Diagram where those things intersect.  I’m sorry to say that I still can’t make out what job it is that sits there.  Right now I’m stuck in a place that fits neither of those, with the occasional glimpse into “what pays.” And I’ve put a lot into it, trying to make it fit.

But you know what I’m good at and what I love?  This blog.  So I’m writing blogging back into my schedule.  And I’m going balls-to-the wall.  I’ve got a bunch of shit that I’ve held back on for a long time.  My real name, my work, my religion, depression, and my fears.  I’m giving myself 30 minutes a day to get it out so that I can finish what I started with this job and figure out where I really should be.  Who knows, it might turn out to be right where I am.


18 responses to this post.

  1. Crying at work…Been there, done that. I have the pleasure of working with all men, so they generally pretend they didn’t notice my eyes well up when I’m able to hold the waterfall back until they walk away. When I’m not able to hold it back…Weird things happen, like I get called into my bosses office to get asked if I’m pregnant (I wasn’t – I was sad about a sick pet).

    Hope you figure out what you’re looking for, and welcome back to blogging.

    You”ve been holding back? I think the real name and religion stuff has already been out there…Or maybe I’ve just been reading too long! 😉

    I think I have some things to say about those things that I haven’t said… I know that because my mother still takes my calls.

  2. Yay, you’re back! I’m sorry your job is not turning out to be what you hoped for. I have total faith that you will figure out what works for you financially and what you love, and find a job that lets you have both.

    Somewhere, out there, it’s there for me.

  3. Posted by EvilKate on August 11, 2009 at 11:46 am

    A. yay you’re back!!!
    B. I’m proud of you. not many people come to this conclusion until too late and even fewer are willing to admit it.
    C. I cried at work once and it nearly killed me. But I’m the only one who ever remembered it.

    Only once! I’m so jealous.

  4. i feel exactly the same way about not knowing what job will be in the center of that Venn Diagram, and will probably take some job just to pay the bills soon. but i hope we both figure out where we need to be.

    glad to see you back.

    If you find it, let me know.

  5. YAY! You’re back! I look forward to resuming my daily reading of the Daily Tannenbaum! 🙂

    I started a new blog with different goals…but I haven’t gotten very far…

    I feel you on the crying at work. And the trying to figure out what it is you should be doing in life. I’m there too.

    But anyway, glad you’re back man, glad you’re back.

    I hope for good things for you and your blog. And congrats on the baby!

  6. I have mixed feelings — so sorry you’re not happy in your job and that you cried at work, but SO HAPPY you’re coming back to blogging!

    I don’t think there’s any way to win when you need to cry at work. Sometimes you just need to let it out, and I hate that women have to pay such a price for it.

    Finding a good balance between what pays and what you love is SO SO SO HARD. I’m still searching for it too.

    We’re two sassy modern women who deserve the best.

  7. Ugh. I’ve cried at every job. The ONLY reason I haven’t cried IN FRONT of my current boss is because she’s in Philadelphia and I’m in Chicago. I’ve cried AT WORK because of her, but thankfully no one has seen.

    I too am trying to figure out what I love to do and find that perfect job. The things I enjoy at my current job are helping the sales team, helping them format documents and doing very administrative tasks. And then I think “did I go to college to be an administrative assistant?” But it’s what I enjoy! And who cares what people think? I NEED to be happy, right?

    OMG, I’ve totally caught myself digging administration and feeling guilty about it.

    Glad you’re going to be blogging more! I’ve missed you!

  8. WELCOME BACK! We’ve all missed you.

    It sort of sounds like you are going through a 1/3 of Life Crisis. Doesn’t have the same ring to it as quarterlife crisis though.

    You saying I’m only living until 90? I’m not having a life crisis, just a career introspection moment.

  9. I have come to the decision that jobs suck.

    Yay, you’re back!

    I keep meaning to come over and visit you, too. I miss you!

  10. Hooray! Welcome back! Looking forward to your upcoming posts …

    Thanks. All I have to do is write them.

  11. Yesssssss!

    Also–I love that SATC episode–we’ve all been there.


    I related to that so much. Until I cried at work again…

  12. I used to cry at work A LOT. Frankly, I miss caring that much about it! So it goes!

    I’m glad you’re back. And it’s funny that you say you’ve been holding back, because that’s been on my mind a lot, too. The whole name-on-the-blog issue is something I’ve been wrestling with for a while.

    I’ve been wanting to write about the history of my real name, which I could never do without revealing it. So I’m full steam ahead, when I get to that post.

  13. I genuinely believe it is ok to not understand and not care about parts of your job. 🙂 (Makes you have more betterness for the parts you care about!)

    I agree, but the part I don’t care about is the part where I actually sell things. That’s a problem.

  14. Posted by jason on August 12, 2009 at 9:52 am

    i have a friend who’s a freelance blogger/writer. (i think you have friends who do that too). you should look into that as side work if you have free time, and then try to spin it into a full-time thing. you’re good at writing, that’s for sure.

  15. You’re way to smart for this job. This must be a mere stepping stone. be patient and keep your ears open. i desparately(?sp.) wanted to quit my job yesterday. I’d post about it but with my luck the evil ceo would find out.

  16. Hurrah and good for you! On that last paragraph, I mean. Not on the work cry. Oh, man, do I hate the work cry. Been there. I hear you.

  17. So sorry to hear about your employment blues! Crying at work…I’ve been there, count, 1, 2, 3 times. I firmly believe that corporate employment = crying on the job. I’m so glad you’re back on your blog, however, as it truly is one of my favorites!

  18. I’m so glad you’re back! Although, really sorry you’re feeling that way at work. I know that feeling. It sucks.

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