Reporter's Notebook

Is It Okay to Cry at Work?
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Readers debate the question and share their own stories. Let loose via hello@theatlantic.com.

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But Is It Okay to Yell at Work Either?

In our growing discussion about crying at work, a female reader references a previous one:

Only someone severely unstable or dramatic would cry over their perfume being mistaken for pesticide. Really? I wish I had so little to cry about.

The only time I cried at work: My boss had just told me that the company was going under and none of my coworkers knew. I was going to lose the only job I’d had for the past 11 years, a job I loved. I went AWOL for the worst of it, but my coworkers weren’t stupid; I disappeared and then came back an hour later with a puffy face and red eyes, in a sullen mood. If you can’t take the whole day off, you don’t really have a choice but to cry—if not at work, then near work, and to trust your coworkers not to intrude or think you unprofessional, especially if it is something really upsetting.

This reader’s comment was the most up-voted one from Olga’s piece:

One thing that always confuses me about articles like this: Where do people get this idea that angry men are rewarded in the workplace?

A reader complicates the discussion:

I’m a woman, and I’ve cried at work at least on three different occasions. Here’s the thing, though: I have severe mental illness that often makes the stress of a full-time job unbearable. Sometimes I have been so miserable that I was fantasizing about driving my car off the road on the way to work, but I still had to go, because 1) most of the jobs I’ve held thus far did not offer paid sick/vacation time, and 2) I could not seek ADA accommodations because I know how often mentally ill people are stigmatized or punished for asking for them. It’s ludicrous that so many companies actively block their female employees’ ability to address their personal, emotional, and professional challenges and then punish them when they crack under the pressure.

Another reader provides a link that could benefit readers who struggle with crying at the office: