So this last weekend I went back home to say goodbye to my youngest brother Matt, who is leaving the nest with his pregnant wife to take a job in Dallas. It was an emotional time for everyone, partially because everyone’s worried that Matt will turn into a Cowboys fan but mostly because they are leaving. For the most part everyone was calm and well-behaved, but there was definitely some ugly crying.
And it occurred to me that there are times at work when emotions run similarly high. When they do, a rational professional would encourage you to remain as calm and collected as possible while you sort things out. Me, on the other hand…well, let’s just say I’m amused by ugly criers. So here are a few things you can do at work to turn an emotional moment into a catastrophic one.
Cry Uncontrollably! This is pretty much the only way you can become an ugly crier. All of us tear up from time to time, and occasionally we even need to excuse ourselves to the restroom to have a good old-fashioned ugly cry, sob it out, and then compose ourselves in the mirror before we show ourselves in public again. But that would deprive all of your colleagues of the hideous awkwardness that can only happen when a nearby adult is crying and just won’t stop. Ooh – and add some wrenching sobs in there too! The only problem with wrenching sobs is that the people at the end of the hall might not hear them…
Scream at the Top of Your Lungs With Your Door Wide Open! …but fortunately, as always, I have a solution. People might not hear your painful, racking sobs, but they’ll definitely hear you shrieking at whoever you’re angry at once you push yourself past the point of caring who hears you. Most offices are dull, bland, oppressively quiet places – which will make the unexpected staccato of your raving tirade that much more special! Besides, people need something to gossip about. Is she mad because she didn’t get a raise? Is he screaming like that because he’s off his psychotropic meds? I don’t know what direction the gossip will take, but it’ll be fun to see where it ends up!
Walk Out If You Don’t Get Your Way! It worked like a charm when we were 11, and it’ll work like a charm now. Storming out in a huffy huff is the trademark quality of spoiled children, telenovela actresses, and anyone being broken up with in a public place – and those are exactly the kinds of people we should all be lucky enough to be. If the conversation can’t continue because you are physically not around to help continue it, then chances are everyone else will probably decide you were right and eventually find you so they can apologize for being such jerkfaces. You know, the same way it worked when you were 11.
I hope that’s helpful. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go barge into my neighbor’s house and scream uncontrollably at him. Some of the leaves from his tree are falling in my yard, and he hasn’t apologized. And I’ve seen him twice in the last week. He deserves what he’s about to get.
How do you deal with emotions at work?