If you have never cried at work, in my opinion you are a robot. Everything makes me cry these days. The news? Come on. Gillette commercials? I’m wrecked. Onions? Forget about it! Climate change? Buh-bye, game over, I need to excuse myself from this brainstorm to go cry on the toilet, can someone please send me notes of what I miss?
It may be that I have over-productive tear ducts. Or maybe it’s just that I’m a woman. (Haven’t you heard? Women are emotional, and that is why there is a gender wage gap.) Either way, I’ve wept at work on more than one occasion, and as a result I’ve gotten good at navigating where to do it so that no one ever knows. Ne’er a mascara trail is left in sight. Take it from me, a gigantic crybaby: These are the foolproof places to cry at work when you don’t have an office door to close and all the walls are made of glass.
The coffee machine. Nothing like tears to cut the bitterness of bad office coffee. Let’s say you’ve had a rough morning and you reach a breaking point while waiting for your K-Cup to brew. If someone walks by and asks why you’re crying into your cup, just say “for the skin- and hair-boosting properties — it’s the new collagen.” Or if it’s a Monday morning, deflect the question by asking how her weekend was. She will say: “It was pretty chill. My husband and I took the kids up to see my in-laws and they drove me crazy, but that’s nothing new. Weather was nice, though — a lot better than staying in the city for the weekend, haha. Okay, better slog through some emails, booooo. See ya.”
The cold brew/kombucha/beer tap in your startup’s kitchen. Sure, you’ll probably run into a well-meaning feminist bro who says he doesn’t identify with the patriarchy (yeah, okay) and whose shoulder you can most definitely cry on should you choose to accept the support. Few things stress men out more than a woman in tears — use that to your advantage.
A bathroom on a different floor. Just like you have a poop bathroom on another floor, you can also have a cry bathroom. Get comfy in one of the stalls without the fear of someone recognizing your shoes. (If you don’t have a separate poop floor, you are so brave.)
Under your desk. Maybe you just happened to check your phone while you were drafting a work email, and maybe you got a text from your hookup along the lines of: “I don’t want to be presumptuous, but it feels like you want something more serious than I do, and I’m not in a place right now where I can commit to anything but would be down to keep hanging as friends, though.” Go under your desk and rock back and forth. Intentionally bump your head when you finally come back up so you have an alibi if someone asks why you’re crying. You were down there to plug in your charger, and bam! Also, you did want something more serious than he did, but that is not the point, and he should know that.
In your boss’s office when she’s not there. Test out her pens, take a mint or lozenge from the candy bowl, spin around in her swivel chair, poke around in her Post-it notes where she has left breadcrumbs of an ongoing legal battle with her estranged husband, and weep (for yourself, for her). Blow your nose, wipe away the mascara streaks, and be on your way before she returns from her tenth meeting of the day. (But do not dispose of the tissue in her trash can — pocket until you leave, and then choose a different trash can.)
On the roof of your office building. Only far above the city can you really be free with your emotions. Ball your hands into fists and shake them at the sky while you scream, “I rue the day you were born!” about whoever has dared to cross you.
In the bodega on the ground floor of your office building. Perfect for when you are both hungry and sad. You know those little square napkins that all bodegas have that are thinner than tissues and not really equipped to sop up any liquid? They are actually perfect for absorbing tears. So cry it out in the freezer section, treat yourself to a delicious snack, and take a stack of napkins to go.
In the stairwell. Stairwells are for mom-calling, nose-blowing, rage-texting, Juul-smoking, illicit work affairs, and ugly-crying. Just make sure that you go three or four stories above or below the floor you work on.
Trash room. No one will walk into the trash room while you’re there, and if they do, they must have something to hide and therefore will not call you out for your tear-stained face. You don’t just meander into the trash room.
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?