Whatever you do ladies, don’t cry at work.
That’s the advice that’s passed down from woman to woman in the workplace for ages.
Question is, if you don’t have your own office where you can close the door, is the bathroom a judgement-free zone?
I’ve written about uncomfortable goings on in the workplace bathroom before, but this one had me feeling some kind of way.
I was handling my business and a group of women were leaving, and I guess someone brushed against the light switch on the way out. I was mid-tinkle so, there was nothing I could do.
Four stalls down, I hear a frantic, “What the hell? (Sniff, sniff.) Like are you serious? (Sniff.) Why would you turn off the fucking lights? (More sniffing.)”
Now, in the squat pose (great for your thighs and core), with slacks down to my ankles, I’m thinking, we know where our parts are, let’s finish up and keep it moving.
I walk out of the stall, and she hears my heels against the tile.
“If you’re walking in, turn on the light,” she barks.
To which I reply, “I’m walking out of the stall.”
“Just turn on the light!” More sniffing. Keep in mind there were two smaller lights on, just not all of them.
I really want to unload on this chick for her attitude, but I realize there is obviously something deeper going on here, so I turn on the light and wash my hands.
That encounter made me think. This heifer must be having a really, really bad day. She knew the rule not to cry at her desk or in public, so she went to seek the safety and anonymity of the bathroom stall to emotionally respond and cleanse from whatever is going on.
But my question is, in an office full of women, is the bathroom a free cry zone?
When women are warned not to cry, usually it’s to not appear weak in front of male colleagues or superiors.
Interestingly enough, men don’t cry, but they can get loud, or bang on something when they are frustrated out in the open. The men in our IT department can get crunk with one another real quick. But people write that off as men being men.
So what’s the difference? An outburst is an outburst isn’t it? And whether it’s reacting by crying or by yelling at someone, we all have to keep that stuff in check, walk away and calm ourselves down.
Me, I don’t want to appear weak to anyone– male or female. I usually go for a walk or abruptly take a break outside and sometimes go off site in my car to clear my head (this may involve McDonald’s, ice cream or a trip to Marshalls).
But what if you are in an office full of women colleagues and superiors? Do you think women give other women slack in this regard?
I actually do think women cut other women a break when they cry at work. They may even cry with you and give you a hug. But is it still professional? Or are should we be emotionless droids from 9-5?
As a woman, I walked out and said a little prayer for homegirl. She has to be having a crappy day. Having your cry and your moment is fine. I just didn’t like her dramatic and snippy attitude in response to a couple of lights going out while she was on the porcelain throne. You obviously have bigger problems right now, boo.
Here is an awesome example of men yelling AND women crying at work. From “A League of Their Own.” (No copyright infringements intended. I’m not using this blog commercially…yet. :))