(Closed) I cried at work today…and I am humiliated.

posted 7 years ago in Career
Post # 17
6382 posts
Bee Keeper

@Bostongrl25:  Completely different situation (I’m just a lowly supermarket cashier lol), but yeah, I have.

I’d been experiencing constant, debilitating pain for around 3 months. I was taking 16 painkillers a day with little effect, and facing another operation (I’d had one just 13 months before). I was also suffering with chronic fatigue, and was juggling my part-time job with my final year at university, so, my working week was around 70-80 hours. Basically, I was mentally and physically exhausted, on the verge of becoming depressed, and I was in a lot of pain; and, because my job is physical, this only made it worse (basically, my ovaries and fallopian tubes were stuck to my uterus, so certain movements made everything ‘pull’; not pleasant).

I was working one evening in the tobacco kiosk, where we also have sweets/candy/gum etc. This customer started shouting at me because we didn’t have the chewing gum she wanted in the specific sized packet she wanted. I apologised to her, but she just went on and on.

I broke down. I was upset, but also angry and frustrated. I felt that if us not having the specific make and flavour of chewing gum in the specific size of packet she wanted was the height of her concerns, then, frankly, she could fuck off.

It was extremely awkward because I was on my own, and we’re not allowed to leave due to the high-value items we stock there. It was very busy, and I couldn’t see a supervisor. So, I was trying to hold it together and serve customers while crying like a crazy person. Thankfully a regular customer saw what happened and went and got someone, but it was so humiliating, especially as essentially it must have looked like I was crying because someone had a go at me (which is so not like me; I’m a very tough person and any other say would have given as good as I got).

My point? We’re all human. Sometimes, things get too much, and it gets the better of us; it’s nothing to be ashamed of. You calmed down and apologised, so don’t worry about it; I’m sure he will understand.

Post # 18
889 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

View original reply
@Bostongrl25:  🙁 I’m sorry you’re so stressed! I cried a couple of months ago because of a misunderstanding at work; my boss (who works in another state) had given me a reporting procedure to follow, and I’d followed it. However, she’d forgotten what she told me, and so when I submitted this particular report, she thought it was wrong. She got upset with me over it, and so I not only had to deal with being upset that I had done my job and was still “in trouble,” but I also had to tactfully talk through the situation without straight up saying, “Hey you’re wrong! I did what you said!” I held it together on the phone with her but then I boo-hoo’d for 10 minutes after. 

No one even remembers. I’d just try to let it go, and continue being awesome at your job. 🙂 It’ll get better. And hey, we’re halfway to Friday!

Post # 19
2977 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Seems like a lot of us have been there, OP, truly, do not beat yourself up over it. It may seem mortifying now, but I promise, it will be forgotten. I’ve cried in front of many a co-worker/boss. They’re cried in front of me. Work is stressful and sometimes it reaches a point where you’re just forced to “let go”. It’s miserable, but it happens to the best of us.

Post # 20
10 posts
  • Wedding: July 2014

Anyone who is judging you for crying is a jerk. I don’t know your boss, but in general men seem to feel more uncomfortable about women crying than “why can’t she just hold it together!” (unless it’s an ongoing thing). He probably was surprised and felt really bad about it. Sorry you had a bad day 🙁

Post # 21
131 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I had my emotions under control for a long time before I finally broke down at work.  It’s happened a couple of times now.  I work at a public library, and the first time it happened, I’d gotten hit with a $300 gas bill that I couldn’t pay the day before because my apartment was old and had horrible windows, and the snow had caused part of the roof to collapse and water was pouring in through the ceiling.  I had been up all night dealing with that emergency and the moment I walked in the door, I was told that someone had called in sick and that I needed to do her public performances and take on her work for the day in addition to my own.  I just lost it.


The second time was earlier this year.  I started crying at 9 a.m. for seemingly no reason and had to go home because I couldn’t stop.  I didn’t stop crying until I went to bed that night.  It was awful!  I work full-time, I’m in graduate school, and I’m also planning my wedding.  I was barely sleeping at the time and completely exhausted.

Post # 22
2015 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

i have cried at work on numerous occassions. Yes it is highly embarassing but like every other person has stated its completely natural and most likely hormonal. At least us females can use that excuse huh!!

Whist i was at the store yesterday evening i saw one of the workers in floods of tears with a managers arms around her heading out the back. I felt so bad for her, she looked so upset. 

Post # 23
661 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Don’t feel bad. Not only have I cried at work, I have FULL-ON SOBBED at work on Wall Street, which is male-dominated and very anti-crying. But as PP’s have pointed out, it happens to most of us at some point or another, and it blows over! Just go about your business like it never happened. Everything is cool.

Post # 24
2297 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

the best way to get over it yourself and to have other people forget and move on is to act like it never happened. either apologize briefly one more time to that colleague, or don’t, and just keep on trucking. they will forget so quickly, i promise! 

as for it being seen as weakness, i get that, but if they see you moping around with your head down looking embarrassed, that’s bad. when/if they hear and see you with your head held high getting shit done, they won’t think twice. 

outside of work though – give yourself a little break! this is the week to buy a bottle of wine/get a pedicure/sleep in on the weekend/call a cleaning lady – find a way to give yourself a break! xo

Post # 25
1998 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

View original reply
@Bostongrl25:  Don’t worry! I know you’re embarrassed now but since you work with men, they’re probably thinking something along the lines of “hmmm, I wonder if it’s that time of the month?” If you cried all the time they might think you’re being weak or manipulative but it only happened once so it probably confused the hell out of them. And in my experience men tend to not dwell on things they don’t get (like why women cry) – you’ll be fine! 🙂 

I have cried at work before too. It was quite silly. My then-boss caught me in the hallway and proceeded to tell me something I wrote wasn’t that great and needed revising. A coworker came by and my boss stopped him to give him a raving review of something that he wrote – and it was something that both my boss and I helped him write the day before. In contrast, my boss never gave me any directions or any help. She then continued to tell me how my piece wasn’t so good and how to correct it in my coworker’s presence. It was pretty unfair, I was humiliated and started to feel like I would cry so I pretty much excused myself and ran into the bathroom, locked myself into one of the stalls and had a good cry. I felt really stupid about it because nobody yelled at me or anything but I suppose we all get days when we can’t handle critique so well.

Post # 26
84 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Oh yes, I have cried. I work as a receptionist at a car dealership, and I do a variety of things. On one particular day I had 2 people berate me, things in the system kept going wrong and I was just totally stressed to the max! I cried. And of course, when I am done crying I still look like I have been crying for hours afterwards.


You know though- there is nothing wrong with crying. I think it would be worse to hold it in all the time for your mental health. It happened, and tomorrow no one will even care!

Post # 27
3696 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

View original reply
@Bostongrl25:  Not only have I cried in front of my Director (but it was ANGRY TEARS), but my two biggest burliest (male) mechanics have cried in front of me.  So – it happens, we’re all human and way too invested in what we do.  Get your shit together and move on. 

Post # 28
2890 posts
Sugar bee

@Bostongrl25:  I’ve cried in my professor’s office (thesis directors) multiple times and yeah, it feels humiliating each time. I can handle a reasonable amount of pressure/stress, but from time to time it explodes. This especially happens when there are stressful, personal events happening in my life. It becomes too much to bear. Ex.: when I had depression a few years ago ; when I broke up with my ex of 9 years, and probably soon when I’m having many people in my entourage dying ever since October 20th … and my grandmother slowly losing her battle against cancer. I don’t know how I’m going to feel in the next few months, but I see it coming, that I’ll eventually break down in my teacher’s office, and there’s nothing really I can do about it. 

Post # 29
738 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Odds are he felt worse for being the cause of some of those tears. I once developed slide film in regular film chemicals and the result was some pretty funky-instagram filter-esque photos from a client’s trip to Europe. I was still pretty new at my job, and it was an honest mistake. My manager kind of freaked out at first, which made me feel even worse. I just totally lost it.

I would just carry on. We all lose our composure sometimes.




Post # 30
12244 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

I’ve cried at work! My boss said I was “The lesser half of the worst teaching team she’s ever seen” (She was also being fired, and I was the “golden employee” of new management)

I’m a preschool teacher, so all my kids got upset and gave me hugs. And then THEY started crying. It was bad!

Post # 31
7643 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

@Bostongrl25:  Absolutely I have. When life gets stressful or upsetting sometimes all you need is a good cry. You are human and capable of emotions. Totally normal. I hope you feel better soon and can relax somewhat.

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