Have you ever felt like some people at work weren’t hugged enough as children?
Like the time I called in sick ahead of a Saturday 6 am shift and a total harpy picked up the phone. I had a fever, I hadn’t slept and I was super nervous about talking on the phone with a stranger.
On the verge of tears and hands shaking, I piped up, “I’m sick and I can’t make it to work today”.
The crone on the other end said: “You don’t sound sick.”
I fought to keep my voice even as my eyes filled with tears and a rage-mixed-panic was rising up in me. I mean, would it really take that much from you to bring a little empathy to work?!
I was the one who was losing pay for the shifts I was going to miss and her implying that I was just skipping work because I partied too hard the night before – if you call reading a book in a blanket cave partying hard – was just downright offensive.
Ever since then, I’ve wondered what would it look like if we were allowed to have our feelings. At work. In the world. In life.
I mean, what if no matter where you went, you felt seen and heard? Felt like your distress was recognised? Felt like what you’ve endured was acknowledged?
It’s that lack of empathy, that “Well, at least you bothered to call in and tell us you’re not coming to work,” way of treating each other that drives disconnection.
We need so much more empathy because that’s our way back to each other, our gateway to healing as a group, a community, a nation and a people.
But in order to wield your empathy wisely, you need to train yourself to better recognise and manage emotions – yours and other people’s.
Only when you add more tools to your emotional toolkit can you guide others and help them see that pain is temporary. That they’re not stuck in that difficult situation forever. That they’re not alone and that they have the power to take action.
After all, how much do a few kind words really cost you?
If I had to do that phone call all over again, I’d dress that bitch down.
But not in a nasty way, just point out that her behaviour isn’t acceptable for a superior at work and that she needs to reconsider her vocabulary.
Even if you’re not a boss, you can still be the hero that brought empathy to work. 💪
Let’s start a kind and compassionate revolution to eradicate all harpies from work. Cuz we all got shit 💩 to deal with and we don’t need to jump through hoops on top of that.