Suffice it to say that something happened; the news media picked it up; and therefore everyone at my work totally freaked out. Fortunately, I happened to have taken this past week off as vacation before the news hit. Unfortunately, I ended up having to do some work from home. Fortunately, this helped to address the problem without my having to be in the currently horribly tense atmosphere of the office. Unfortunately, I am heading back to work on Monday. Fortunately, I still have a job. Unfortunately, some people are saying that this problem may put us all out of work in short order. Fortunately, I believe that the negative attention will blow over pretty soon and we'll all be fine. Memories are short, right?
Often I find that the worst part of many small-to-medium sized problems is the collective emotional reactions of the people around me. I often have to do as much or more work dealing with peoples' moods as I do solving the actual problem. It seems like people feel a moral imperative to ensure that everyone around them feels as bad as they do. If you're not worried, they'll blast you with their fears until you start to show signs of anxiety. I guess misery loves company?
The options available to someone who doesn't want to be swayed into the worry camp are limited. Ignoring the worriers often results in them redoubling their inflammatory efforts. They need you to agree with them so that if they can't feel secure, they can at least feel right. Often it comes down to a choice between ignoring them to the point of rudeness OR telling them to zip it OR spending your own already taxed emotional resources reassuring them. It's frustrating.
I may not have been at the office, but remember, I work for a family business. I can only escape a certain amount of the madness by going on vacation. The rest follows me around wherever I go.
Oh well. At least I got enough quality me-time to get my head together about this particular problem. I'm ready to go in tomorrow and deal with whatever comes my way. We might go out of business? Okay, that's not ideal, but I can get another job. Other bad stuff might happen? Sure. Maybe there's a dormant volcano under the building and it's about to blow up. Whatevs. We'll burn that bridge when we get to it. Want to try to freak me out? Go ahead. But be prepared for me to tell you to zip it. If you don't have something supportive to say, don't say anything at all.