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How many of you have cried in front of clients? Or teams? Or partners? And how often does it happen

likeupliftingfunny
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I used to work with a client(partner) who was one of the least socially adept people I’ve ever met. Dude was a genuine asshole and had no idea, think on the spectrum...but malicious. We had a manager level BA lead misunderstand a question during a presentation, during an EXTREMELY stressful stretch, with some heavy shit going on at home, and he interrupted her response and just said “I can’t tell if you’re a fucking idiot or deliberately trying to waste my time”. That’s verbatim, and this is ~3 years later.

She immediately broke into tears and had to step out for a minute. We took over the presentation and our SM went out to make sure she was ok. Our partners got involved and his behavior was kind of the straw. He wasn’t getting results and was a POS, got let go. I, the client, and our leadership never thought less of her or brought it up again(besides the CTO apologizing personally). To my knowledge she is now a senior manager(left that firm).

I worked with her quite a bit after and never even saw a crack after that.

Not really an answer just an anecdote. Fuck that guy.

likeuplifting

I have cried in front of managers/partners 5ish times over 3 years - I am a frequent ‘frustration/exhaustion crier’ so I’ve also escaped a couple of times to the bathroom stall. I always know work is work but when I’m really tired or feeling like great work is getting steamrolled, my body just reacts with hot tears. In one instance I was going through a bad breakup and dealing with a pretty cruel manager who just pushed me harder; in one case my brother was going through a really abusive breakup and I was in a lot of pain for him; in other cases I’d done back to back all-nighters only to have meetings canceled or partners change the scope of the doc without a second thought, etc.

If anyone else experiences crying as a physiological response to stress, I HIGHLY recommend Propranolol (prescription). It’s used a lot for people who get really nervous/shaky public speaking, who sweat uncontrollably under stress, and who instinctively cry when frustrated. It’s amazing - totally tempers physical responses without sedating.

like

1) teams were generally really supportive, including a partner taking me aside to say he appreciated all of the hard work and reassure me it was recognized. I will wager most of them have experienced this before and are understanding of breaking points - and while it’s not an ideal way to let them know you’re at the brink, it can alert them that something in the scope, working norms, engagement, etc isn’t working. Exception was the aforementioned cruel manager who told me getting upset wasn’t productive. He didn’t last much longer at the firm, tho.

2) This I cant answer because it’s different for everyone. It has been great for me, but I’m also an anxious person who shows stress physically (shaking, sweating, blushing, crying). I also have a more diesel anxiety prescription for when I can’t sleep etc so I do know the difference in impact. Im just presenting it as an option to explore for anyone with similar ‘symptoms’. A psychiatrist of regular MD can advise better.

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Recent IconRecent

Never has this job made me cry, just go "are you fucking kidding me?" more times than I can count

likefunny

I had a melt down 100 days in my consulting career right out of undergrad and cried in front of my manager. I am a M fwiw. It hasn’t happened ever since then.

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He just listened to me which was incredibly nice. I was emotional after staying up all night for a deliverable and after a more senior manager told me basically that my work was unacceptable and quality was terrible. And I’ve definitely changed since then.

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I cry in the inside all the time

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Don’t we all??

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Happened to me once while in the car on our way to client site. I was a 2nd year and had just gotten a call from the SM on another project I was staffed on asking to postpone a client meeting. I had just spent an all nighter working on the deck for that meeting.
No sleep + busy season + plans getting cancelled = bawling your eyes out in front of the whole team.

First and last time.

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It damn sure is!

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🙋🏼‍♀️ I cried and don't feel bad

likeuplifting

A few times - in front of my manager, in front of a peer and in front of the founder of our company. All times of high stress and in all cases was treated with care and respect.

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It’s happened a few times for me - once because of a terrible break-up and once out of frustration after killing myself to get a project over the edge but still being skipped over for promotion. Both of those were in front of my managers at the time, and they were totally understanding. Have also cried because I found out about the loss of a loved one at work - including once in front of my client, who gave me a giant bear hug in response. Crying is natural so don’t feel bad! We spend so much time at work and sometimes you just have to let it out.

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Ok, since everybody seems to be confessing... I feel obligated. I did a few years ago, my beloved dog got eaten by a coyote in our backyard. The gruesomeness of the death is really what put me over the edge and the next day at work I was a mess. Not work related, still broke down in tears at work, so it counts!

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Oh my god! I am so sorry. I can only imagine how harrowing that image must have been along with the loss of a loved one - I think I would have needed the rest of the week off.

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I spent a decade in the army where I learned quickly to shut down emotion when needed.

So it was odd for me the first time someone cried in front of me. I did not know what to do other than offer a tissue and try to say something supportive which came out a bit awkward.

But having been in consulting for a while now, I would much rather have someone cry than to have them bottle it up and have those feelings come out in much less productive ways.

I also take it is a compliment that someone feels safe enough with me that they would step into my office and share their feelings - crying or no crying.

So if you are one of those posters above who is worried about having shown the stress, frustration or whatever - please don’t. You are human. This is part of life

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P2: thank you for saying that’s a compliment. I really appreciate that - I don’t cry a ton but when I do, I keep it to myself unless I’m comfortable enough with someone

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I got off a flight on my way to a client presentation to receive the call my ex-husband had died. meltdown in ORD. got to the client site. told my team I was going to be a off and asked for their help. in the meeting someone uttered a phrase my ex used to say and that was it. asked if we could take a break and spent the next 15 mins in the bathroom. before anyone goes there. Yes, he was an ex but we where still friendly. Besides just because you love someone doesn’t mean you can build a life with them

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Cried in front of my manager during my 1st year. Hasn't happened again since.

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Teared up in front of peers and manager a few times, especially on most recent high-stress project. Save the actual crying for the bathroom stall, which happens probably 2-3 times a week

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OMG! Cry in stall regularly? I'm really sorry to hear that! PM me if you ever want to talk. I can just listen or offer advice if you want.

I met the Partner on my team for a “chat” at a local restaurant and started crying as soon as we sat down

likeuplifting

Actually I just finished crying 😢

No, I’m just miserable on my project and the other partner I work with has sidelined my career

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I've cried in front of my teams a handful of times, and it's a sign of good team environment that I feel safe to do that. I've also cried in front of partners during a difficult time (professionally and personally). I've cried on the phone many times but tried to hide it. I've gone to cry in private many more times - frustration makes me cry, so I'm prone to that emotional outlet at this job.

Haven't cried in front of a client, and don't think I will soon - the rapport is different and I think it would hold me back.

Cried to my husband loads of times. Have had many teammates cry in front of me now that I'm a manager.

I don't think crying is that bad. If someone else crying is uncomfortable, I feel like there are some things to address there to increase empathy and tolerance of emotion. They're just tears!

likeuplifting

I am a crier and I don’t care what any one says. I apologize if it makes people uncomfortable but not for crying. Is it professional, no. Is it human, yes. I am 100% human.

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Injecting Positive Story: I recently cried because I was overwhelmed with gratefulness. It was the first time that I felt as though a colleague genuinely cared about me and my dreams (at work and beyond).

upliftinglike

So he totally wanted to sleep with you?

Cried because of an awful SM multiple times on a particular project. Have never cried before or after at work in all my years working. Some people just have a knack for ruining work for others...

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In an world full of fakers, this thread makes me really happy! 🙌🏼 appreciate everyone’s stories and authenticity here!!

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Our partner, who art unavailable
Hallowed be thy name
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Give us this day our billable hours
And forgive us our bench time
As we forgive those who take poorly timed PTO
And lead us not to industry
But deliver us to client site.
🙏

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