Coping With Personal Tragedy at Work
Sooner or later illness, random disaster and unfathomable heartache visits us or the people we love, and functioning as normal becomes an impossible challenge. Something has delivered catastrophic changes, but you're still expected to arrive at work on time, respond to those emails about something you can't recall and smile at your boss and ask him about his golf game. But, deep down, all you really want to do is scream and cry uncontrollably. Sometimes the most difficult part of being an office professional isn't showing up to work on time or giving presentations, but simply existing on the clock. Take the case of Cecelia Ingraham in this article about a working mother who lost her child to leukemia:
“Ingraham displayed her daughter's photos and ballet slippers in her cubicle. After a year-and-a-half, her boss, Carl DeStefanis told her to take them down, according to her complaint… He allegedly told her that several of her co-workers had complained about her tendency to talk about her daughter's death, which made them uncomfortable.”
Sadly, we all must learn to deal with tragedy in our lives. Most companies offer support for employees struggling with misfortune. If that’s you, consult with your HR department and take advantage of these resources. Reach out to your colleagues for support. They, being human themselves, will surprise you with how compassionate they can be. Take the personal time you need to recover as best as you can. You can still be a complete human within the confines of corporate regulations. In fact, when the world is falling apart around you, your job just may provide the stability you need to weather the storm.
What advice do you have for office professionals grieving at work? Let us know in the comments.
Image courtesy of daftlikelex