Have you ever had one of those days at work where you have to have a conversation with someone (even though you don’t want to have the conversation) and you tell yourself you’re not going to cry? You repeat in your head over and over and over again “Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don't cry”. And then what do you do? CRY.
It’s like the words swimming around in your head have totally confused the tear ducts of your eyes because before you can stop yourself, the tears (and mascara) just start streaming down your face.
That was me. This morning. In my boss’s office.
There was no need for it. Really, there wasn’t. My boss was simply having a conversation with me about what to expect next week at our international convention. He was checking in with me to see how things were coming, to make sure I understood what the expectations were for our area, to see if I had held my meeting with the team I am managing, and overall, to see if I had any questions for him. All is good with convention. I’m ready to roll, my team is ready to roll, and I feel confident about it.
So why did I cry you’re asking?
Because then my boss said “So.... how is everything else?”
I don't know if it was the dramatic pause that did me in or what, but Oh God. I so didn't want to answer that question. I didn't want to answer that because everything else is NOT fine. Everything else is a mess. Everything else has driven me to the point of questioning why I took this job in the first place. More money does NOT mean you're always happy, people. Just remember that the next time you're wondering what you're getting yourself into.
My boss is a nice guy. A non confrontational guy. A great guy in fact. But he’s also a very unavailable guy. Which means when I have issues, problems at work, questions, confusions, etc... he’s usually not around to guide me. He really hasn't been since I started. And boy when I started was it ever "baptisim by fire". And the person who is here to help me when I feel like I don't know what the hell is going on, only works until 1:30. This makes life difficult at times, and I’m often leaving work with an overwhelming sense of confusion, frustration and lack of confidence in myself because I have so many questions about what I'm doing and why I'm doing it.
Oh, did I mention that I have kinda sorta been reporting to three different people? No? I haven’t mentioned that? Well, that's because I never talk about work on my blog (number one rule). Well, now I’m mentioning it. I’ve been working with three different, yet equally important, VP’s since I started here. And what makes this so much fun is that they don’t all see things the same way, and often times, one VP will disagree with another VP on a project that I’m working on. This makes things very complicated for me to prioritize and also complete tasks. I'm trying to please everyone (stupid on my part) and It’s amazing I’m not bald yet.
So, when the boss says “So... How is everything else?”, I began telling him. In a calm, rational, water-works free conversation. I tell him about several of my frustrations. But as we began to discuss these certain issues, situations, and frustrations I was having , I started to get upset. I was working myself in to a frenzy. Maybe it’s because convention is next week and stress levels are high. Maybe its because I feel like I'm letting him, my team, and myself down. Maybe it's because I didn't get any sleep last night. Or, mabye it's because last week I finally decided to ditch my anxiety medication (yeah wasn’t that wise of me to do so, a week before convention? Brilliant, I know).
I felt my heart starting to beat faster, my body temperature started to go up, and the only way my physical being could deal with everything I was feeling all in that moment was to let the tears flow freely. I tried to stop this when I noticed it was starting, but as soon as my voice choked up mid conversation, I knew I was done. There they were. Tears. Falling down my face, splashing on my boss's desk.
I felt like Alice in Wonderland in that scene where she’s trying to get through the talking door to follow the white rabbit, but it’s locked so she eats a cookie that makes her smaller, only to find out that when she’s finally the right size to fit through the door, she has left the key upon the table which she can no longer reach. So she drinks something and grows outrageously huge, gets the key, but then realizes even though she has the key, she's now too big to fit through the door. She's so frustrated that she starts crying tears. Tears so big that they form an ocean… yeah. That was me about 9:20. Big, Small, Frustrated, and crying huge tears.
Anyway, I let it out. ALL of it. Might as well right? I mean I’ve already turned on the tears so there’s no stopping now. It was a good talk/cry. My boss is awesome. And I appreciate him so much. I just wish I wouldn’t have had the break down that I did. And then there’s the agony of walking back to your desk while trying to hide your face so the entire office doesn’t know you just had a total break down in the VP of marketing's office with the door shut. (I hate meetings where the door is shut because it is usually isn't good. Usually as in NEVER).
He kept saying “Take a few minutes, hang out in here. I don’t want you to walk out of here and have people think I beat you up.” (My boss really is a funny-sweet guy). Anyway, I left his office at 10-something, and I’m still fighting the water works. Part of it is because I’m still upset (if you know me, you know I’ll go over this conversation in my head a few more times before I’m settled) and the other part of it is I’m embarrassed and mad at myself. I mean, I’m 29. I’m a professional, and I shouldn’t be crying at work.
All I can say is thank GOD today is Friday. And thank GOD I have two days away from this office. And thank GOD I don’t have raccoon eyes with mascara all over me.
I need to go home. Or to bed. Or to North Carolina on a deserted beach, or the moon. The moon would be good right about now. Just anywhere but here.