Let’s Discuss: How Often You Cry at Work

And we don’t mean crying tears of joy after you put in your two weeks at [INSERT NAME OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM HERE] because you accepted a job in industry.

More than 8 in 10 workers admit to crying at work, with almost half of those saying they were driven to tears because of their bosses or colleagues, according to a new survey from career site Monster.com.

More than 45% of respondents who said they cry at work blamed bosses or colleagues, Monster found.

Personal issues were a distant second, with about 19% of workplace weepers blaming problems at home or in their non-workplace lives for following them through the office door.

Another 16% said their workloads had caused them to cry, suggesting many people may feel overwhelmed at work.

Another 13% blamed bullying at work, the survey found. The other causes were a client or an error at work, the survey said.

Have any of these reasons caused you to cry at your desk? I’ll admit that the first two reasons cited in the survey have caused me to cry at work.

I worked at an organization under an editor who had never managed anyone before—and I was her only employee. While I greatly admired her as a writer, I thought she was a horrible manager. And I had worked under abrasive, old-school editors before—both men and women—and I understood why they were trying to light a fire under my ass. They made me a better journalist because of it, one of whom I still consider my mentor to this day.

Not this woman.

She was always too busy to answer any questions I had. She shot down every article idea that I’d give her. She belittled my writing in front of my peers, which caused me to lose all the confidence I had as a writer. And she was mean. One time she called me a “liar” at my desk, for all the office to hear, when she didn’t believe that I had called a source for an article I was writing when I actually had.

I had never been so depressed. There were times when I’d sit in my cube, with tears in my eyes, wondering if I really sucked this bad. And being scared that I was going to be fired, which I eventually was. She was the worst.

At another organization, I broke down in my editor’s office when I told her my parents were getting a divorce. It didn’t matter that I was 26 at the time, it really hit me hard. I had pent-up emotions, and it just all came out that day.

A lot has been written through the years on this site about accounting professionals suffering from depression and mental illness because of their jobs. If you don’t think it’s a real problem, go on r/accounting or Fishbowl. If I had to guess, I’d say that at least eight out of every 10 accountants who work in public accounting have cried at work because of their workload (especially during busy season), their significant others have left them because of said workload/long hours, their firm’s partners are miserable human beings, their clients are awful, and/or they work at a firm with a toxic culture.

So just admit it: You’re among the 80% of workers who have cried at work. What drove you to tears? Don’t be ashamed to share it with the class. We’re a lot cheaper than going to therapy.

Crying on the job? You’re not alone, with 8 in 10 workers shedding tears [CBS News]

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