Sunday, March 25, 2007

Crying at work sucks

Unfortunately, I'm no stranger to crying at work. I thought those days were over, but last week I was once again reminded about how much crying at work sucks.

I cried every week at my first job in New York. Every day I would drag myself to a gray, institutional office; sit at my gray, plastic desk and stare at my computer screen, wondering if this boring, dull, thoughtless torture would be my life. Sometimes I would make it to the bathroom to cry; most days I wouldn't. I'd have to navigate around the other desks pressed close to mine, my head bowed, my chest heaving, praying that I could stave off the real tears for the bathroom stall. Drinking and dancing were a temporary help--switching jobs and taking anti-depressents worked better.

In the past when I've cried at work, it's been because of boring, wasted nature of my jobs. Why was I spending my days at such a shit job at a shit company? Didn't they know I was brilliant/fantastic/ready to conquer the world? Apparently not.

Last week I learned that crying for a reason was far worse than crying about wasted talents and boring, endless days.

I'm working on a Top! Secret! project being released at 9:30!am!EST!Wednesday!March!28th! No one can know about the findings from this project until then. When I secured my first big interview for the story (CBS Evening News), I didn't even tell my mom what it's going to be about.

The problem with this project isn't that we can't get press coverage--in fact, we have journalists clamoring to cover this story. The problem is that the client is afraid that we'll get coverage too soon, that the results will be leaked. The client is so worried about this that they have been up my ass (I'm the Project Manager) and up my boss's ass (who, in turn, has been up my ass) from the get-go. And, somehow, in the midst of the anxiety over not-enough-coverage and too-much-coverage and leaking info to the press, my client has decided that I am utterly incompetent. I'm not. For the first two weeks I worked on this, I did everything right. And well! I wanted to do a good job at my new job--I really worked hard. And my client hated me. And began to refuse to work with me. And just when I got really, really angry about all this, I did something wrong. Not something major, not something unfixable or dreadful, but something wrong. And as soon as it was pointed out to me, I broke and started crying in front of both my manager and my boss.

Crying at work sucks. Especially when you actually care about projects.

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