Coming to work in a crappy mood

How do you handle coming into work when you’re pissed off or depressed about something? Do you try to hide it and just hope nobody notices, or do you let it show in spite of your best efforts not to? How do you deal with coworkers who sense you’re in a foul mood and ask you what’s wrong? Do you spill your guts and give them all the sordid details, hoping they’ll at least pretend to care and offer sympathy and listen, or do you politely brush them off and tell them you don’t want to talk about it, or just flat out tell them to mind their own damn business? I realize this will depend on your relationship and level of acquaintence to the other person as well as the severity of and the cirCumstances surrounding the problem itself, particularly if the problem is work-related or personal.

Conversely, how do you deal with co-workers you can sense are feeling sour? If you know the person and care enough about them do you try to cheer them up and get them to talk about the problem, or figure it’s their problem, not yours, and the workplace isn’t the place to talk about one’s personal problems?

If you have specific stories about crappy-mood co-workers (including yourself) and your dealings with them and their reactions, please share.

The reason I am asking this is because I’m the one who’s in a shitty mood today and I’m sure that sooner or later someone who’s just beaming with sunshine will tiptoe along and ask me what’s gnawing at me and try (futilely) to cheer me up. If it matters to anyone, the reason I’m feeling bitter today is that yesterday I received a notice indicating that my state is now going to be dicking me out of nearly half my pay because of overpaid unemployment benefits (which I cannot afford, but I’m not in the Pit, so I’ll write that rant at some other time if I have the energy).

I take it out on my students. That’s what they’re there for! :smiley:

I seldom try to hide a bad mood. Students are pretty perceptive and can pick up on things like that. They can usually get me out of the mood fairly quickly.

I show it, only because I hate ‘faking it’ although I have to be civil around customers. A fake Luna is not a pretty sight! My coworkers sense it right away as I’m usually pretty happy. They’ll ask but I ususally shut them down because I don’t bring personal problems to work. I have a hard time showing weakness in areas I think I can handle, and if something gets me in a bad mood, it’s usually my own failings. I hate sharing these, and usually make something else up if someone insists on an explanation. I get my point across very bluntly, simply saying, “I’m just having a bad morning” and turn away. Probably not the smartest thing to do in the business world, but one of the worst things for me is be all chipper and cheery when I don’t feel that way. I’m aware that no one has a good day every day, and if another coworker is feeling blue, depending on how much I want to know, and how close we are, I’ll ask what’s wrong and see what I can do to help.

We have an unofficial rule stating that “what happens outside of work stays outside of work”. The big boss dislikes public displays of over-the-top emotion; we also have a lot of drama royalty employees [sub] most of whom are in my department but since this isn’t the Pit I won’t rant[/sub]. If you need to cry or vent or whatever, you do it away from the selling floor.

However, this tatic doesn’t always work. I tend to get teary-eyed every so often; when I do, I either go to the ladies’ and let it all out or I lose myself in the task at hand. I try to do the latter – if you concentrate on whatever it is you’re doing, you enter that Zen-like space where nobody can reach you. That interlude is usually enough to snap me out of whatever put me in “teary mode” in the first place.

I think my coworkers can tell if I’m in a bad mood even without the tears. I’m the happy-go-lucky one, the one who’ll chirp “Good morning!” (and probably the one a lot of people would like to slap because I’m perky in the morning). If I’m not chirpy, they know something’s up. I’ll usually give a brief reason without being overly personal, and that’s it.

Don’t get me started on my coworkers’ moods. Sometimes the angst is so thick that I steer clear of them until everything blows over.

I don’t think I could physically fake not being in a bad mood. Its pretty obvious when I’m in one since I don’t talk much, don’t encourage conversation, and generally try to avoid everyone.

I’m pretty proficient at putting on a happy face. Shit, if I showed my true inner feelings I’d have been put away a long time ago. If my mood is so foul that people can detect it enough to comment, I’ll admit that I’m having a bad day and apologize, suggesting that they just ignore me. I really make an effort not to take my personal problems and bad moods out on other people. We all do it from time to time, but there really isn’t any justification for projecting your negativity onto others.

If I sense someone else is having a bad day I’ll either give them space and try not make them communicate unnecessarily with me or if I’m somewhat close with them I’ll simply say “you okay today?” in a way that isn’t prying but hopefully sincere enough that they *can * tell me about it if *they * want.

And lest you think I’m trying to make myself sound like Mother Teresa, basically what I’m saying is that I’m pretty much acting all the time. Many days I don’t know if I’m more suicidal or homicidal, only that there are some pretty unsavory thoughts going through my mind and I feel it behooves me to keep them to myself.

Working with people is a big part of my job. I remind myself that my bad mood is not their problem and do my best to suck it up. Why should I be crabby or brusque to a student because I had a fight with my husband that morning?

In general, I don’t discuss my personal problems at work. I like my co-workers a lot, but they’re not my friends.

I don’t chit chat at work much when I am in a good mood, so most people can’t tell the difference if I’m in a good mood or not until they speak to me. In a good mood, I’m up for a little small talk, but when I’m in a bad mood, I’ll just be curt and answer questions and queries directly. Most can tell I’m not up for talking and just leave me alone, which I prefer over someone pretending to care and then pat me on the back and tell me to “hang in there!” I stew in my bad mood for a bit, try not to take it out on others unless they really persist and bother me, then by the end of the day (or the next day), I’m usually less upset because I’ve immersed myself into work the whole day and it’s distracted me from whatever it was that made me upset.

I come to work in a bad mood all the time. It used to be mostly for personal reasons, and I was able to keep that from making me into a royal bitch to everyone I work with…I’d just tell them that mr.stretch was having a bad time and that I was stressed and pre-occupied and in a crappy mood.

Now, however, I have a lot of work-related stress and anger; it’s much harder for me to put on a good face when I’m being screwed at work. But I’ve worked most of these people for a long time and they don’t take it personally; they know they aren’t the problem and they sympathize with my situation.

When other people show up in a bad mood, I steer clear of them. I try to give people what I would like in that situation, which is to be left alone. There is one guy I will work on cheering up, because our stresses have similar causes and we can vent to each other. Other than that, if someone wants to vent I’m here and I’ll listen, but I don’t seek out unhappy people to have them yell at me.


Hmmm . . . I’ve been doing that every day for the past 30-some years, so it’s kinda become easier over time.

I always try and pretend that things are OK. I hate it more when people know my business. I just say, “I can’t talk - I’m REALLY busy right now.” I work with so many needy people (Professors! Students!) that I really need to do this, anyway. It would not be appropriate for me to be all “I’m SAD…that I’m Flying…” at work. (That was a reference to SadStrong, HomeStarRunner, for those not in the know.)
When I start working, and I really AM busy, I forget what’s bothering me for awhile.

Sometimes, if things are really bad, I tell a certain work friend. I work in a small department, and I know who I can trust.

I’m fortunate that at my current job, there isn’t much of a perkiness patrol. I have a nasty drive to work and I usually don’t arrive in the best of moods. Most of my current coworkers are there for the same reason, they want to earn their check and go home. Most are young and have lives outside of work.

I don’t take it out on clients. Thankfully, most of the clients who call during market hours are at work themselves and not in the mood for chit chat.

I try to forget about it and leave it “outside” as it were. It doesn’t always work.

What I prefer for myself (and do for others when applicable) is just listen. If there is an objective problem with an objective solution (co-worker doesn’t know how to get his driver’s license by mail and I did it a couple months back), then I give it… otherwise, I have a lot of practice humming and hemming. And heck, it’s a lot easier to get it right when I’m doing it for someone with a good reason to feel bad (say, that classmate whose bf got run over by a truck) than for my grandmother when she answers “how are you feeling?” with “your grandfather’s shit stinks!” “really? must be the only one, grandma…”

Going all sunshiny on someone whose life sucks is not going to help, for sure.

Usually just doing my work and/or talking to someone for a few minutes improves my mood to the point where I’m not excessively annoyed. I can usually keep a bad mood to myself, unless something goes really wrong and cranks up my anxiety; then everybody knows where my head’s at.

I’ve never gotten called out for getting pissed; people here are pretty accepting, they know I’ve got a bit of a temper (and that I’m not the only one who does).

Well, I never come to work in a bad mood per se, I’m not really a bad mood sort of gal. However, when I’m stressed it’s pretty obvious and if people ask I’ll tell them whats up (briefly).

However, sometimes things at work put me in a bad mood, and that’s actually a good thing for my job. I have a much better time getting situations resolved to my satisfaction if I’m totally frikin’ pissed off. People will actually come into my office to listen to me on the phone if someone has pissed me off. Apparently it’s kinda entertaining. :smiley:

If I’m in a bad mood or something’s not right, I tell my colleagues directly and they generally keep things away from me; when I’m dealing with clients, I push it all to one side.