Streams

Working Through the Tears

Monday, April 04, 2011

Anne Kreamer, former executive at Nickelodeon, part of the founding team of SPY magazine, author of Going Gray: What I Learned about Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity and Everything Else that Really Matters and her new book It's Always Personal: Emotion in the New Workplacewrites about crying and other emotional expression at work in her new book.

Guests:

Anne Kreamer

Comments [20]

VTB from NYC

For the past five years I have worked at a jewerly school where the staff is almost entirely female, and I have NEVER ONCE seen a staff member cry -- regardless of work or personal stress level. Our school is a business and there is stress -- I just can't imagine anyone handling it with an emotional outburst. I don't know where our prolactin went, but tears just aren't the response when things get tense/frustrating in our nearly all-female work environment.

Apr. 04 2011 01:23 PM
Zaftig from BK

Great segment, thanks!

Apr. 04 2011 12:29 PM
Lee

A month ago, I cried at my job. I am a teaching assistant in a public school after school program, and one day was particularly chaotic that a fight broke out between two students, resulting in me physically having to hold back a kid from hitting his classmate. When the kids finally were almed down by the teacher, I could not face them because I didn't want them to see my weakness.

Apr. 04 2011 12:20 PM
The Truth "shark" from Becky

AV is spot on!

Apr. 04 2011 12:11 PM
Maude from Park Slope

I have cried a few times at work. I just wanted to say that unfortunately, as the guest has said, I can't seem to help it, once I'm triggered. It's really annoying for me, and I wish it didn't happen. In fact, it actually seems to get worse when I try to stop the tears. It would be lovely if tears could be viewed as communication, but I think most people do view it as manipulative. Luckily for me, all of my bosses have been understanding, and don't seem to feel like it's manipulative, although then they seem to treat me like a child during and right afterwards. (so irritating, although I understand and would probably do the same thing) It's only happened to me about once a year and consistently over the past 14 years I've been in the workplace.

Apr. 04 2011 12:05 PM
Emily

Regarding frustration in the workplace, I have felt the most frustrated when I have had a boss or supervisor who I think is incompetent. Currently, my boss is disorganized, incommunicative, inefficient and condescending. This leads to a general air of frustration and anger, mainly because we do not receive the leadership we need to perform our work well. It's very frustrating never to have the proper tools we need to do our jobs.

Apr. 04 2011 11:58 AM
Estelle from Austin

Crying absolutely can be manipulative---it doesn't mean it is fake or "crocodile tears." In a work situation, the person is crying instead of actually dealing with the situation.
I can say this because I used to do this myself, and I was totally unconscious of what I was doing; I learned it from my mother.

Apr. 04 2011 11:58 AM
sally

Biggest crybaby EVER is a man: Speaker of the House John Boehner

Apr. 04 2011 11:56 AM
reuven

How does a manager approach someone who is partially disabled with emotional problems?

Apr. 04 2011 11:55 AM
AV from brooklyn

Crying at work, especially where you may have enemies, is like bleeding in a pool full of sharks. If you do it, they will eat you alive.

If you need to cry, excuse yourself and go to the bathroom and do it and come back with your game-face on.

Apr. 04 2011 11:55 AM
CL from New York

Why does the BL show insist on flogging junk books such as this one (aside: adverting to the difference between male and female tear ducts should send everyone to the exits)? Who really cares about this nonsense? Could it be-- heaven forfend the sexist thought!-- that she is the wife of Kurt Andersen? No, not really. Crap books must be advertised, and that's one of the functions of WNYC, isn't it?

BTW, could crying at "the office" have something to do with the vile, demoralizing, false-consciousness-promoting nature of the place? Just wait (a couple of eons) and someone on the BL show will think to raise this point. Or maybe not.

Apr. 04 2011 11:54 AM

I cried at my job in a famous restaurant in NYC. Worked as a busboy for the summer (late 70's) in the restaurant's garden. It was my first day and it was at the end of a double shift. I was changing into my street clothes in the locker room and the tears just flowed. I was 19. After that, never again.

Apr. 04 2011 11:53 AM
Anon from Brooklyn

This could not come at a more timely moment for me! I witnessed a heinous meeting last week in which my boss and another manager escalated a conversation with raised voices. Especially in front of employees, such displays of anger are unprofessional and embarrassing for everyone involved!

Apr. 04 2011 11:52 AM
Mack from Manhattan

When it comes to work and equality, won't it anger feminists to make claims that women are different than men? It seems that claims of being equal and being different change based on what is convenient or advantageous for women.

Apr. 04 2011 11:52 AM
Estelle from Austin

I guess I could be convinced otherwise, but I can't think of any situation in which yelling *or* crying is appropriate in the workplace. Instead, *talk* about how you are feeling; the feelings are legitimate reactions to real circumstances that likely should be changed.

Apr. 04 2011 11:50 AM
Inquisigal from Brooklyn

People yelling in the workplace is not new; men have historically been guilty of yelling or throwing fits in the workplace. It reflects less on women's reaction, and more on certain men's opinions that behaving this way has been appropriate.

Apr. 04 2011 11:49 AM
Brook from New York

I work with a woman who cries regularly at work, particularly in meetings when she's asked questions she can't answer. No matter how carefully the questions are posed, the response is ALWAYS the quivering lip, tears, and sometimes (about once every six months) she leaves the meeting while crying.

She thinks that doing this, "honoring her feelings," makes her a good feminist. I experience this as behavior designed to protect her from accountability.

Apr. 04 2011 11:48 AM
Jeff from Newark, NJ

I lost it at a public school in NJ. I was a middle school teacher and the kids got to me. I said a few things to a few kids that I regret. While I didn't break down in front of the kids I stealthily slid into the men's room and wept. Topic for future show: the abuse that teachers take from kids on the job...real verbal abuse with little or no consequences, depending on the school culture.

Apr. 04 2011 11:47 AM
Debbie from nyc

Maybe you will answer this in the course of the segment, but I have a question: Is there an age factor? When I was in my 20s, I was much more emotional. Now, in my mid 30s, I do not think there should be emotion/tears in the workplace.

Apr. 04 2011 11:45 AM
joelle from NYC

It's NEVER ok to in an office situation. It's unprofessional, unnecessary and counter productive and agressive. As humans we can all be moved to tears from time to time. Should be kept to a minimum and never be manipulative.

Apr. 04 2011 11:37 AM

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