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"What do you care if I can pay my mortgage?!"

Updated: Jan 10, 2021

Like many HR professionals, the economic impact of 2020 has meant rightsizing of workforces and the challenge of devastating colleagues with the threat of redundancy.

Sadly, it's not been the first time I've been leading this type of process; closing locations, reducing the size of teams and generally feeling like the grim reaper.

I'm not going to pretend it's harder for me than it is for the colleagues impacted and losing their livelihoods. What I am doing though, is reflected on how it impacts.

You're there supporting managers who are equally struggling with the task they need to carry out and knowing that your role is to keep everyone calm, informed and supported. And then comes the comment:

"What do you care?"

When all said and done? I'm human. Of course I can understand and empathise. In truth? It's probably one of my biggest fears realised which is why I want to get things right for the people I'm sitting in front of. Is that type of comment fair? Does it matter when someone is understandably worried and reacting from a place of fear?

My response was one of silence and endeavouring to be inscrutable. I strive to do my best for work; I'm a recovering perfectionist and workaholic so effective boundaries are things I still have to work hard for! Feeling as though I'm not doing a great job? Does impact.

Should it though? Whilst I can understand the outburst and the emotions driving it, can I say that I'm emotionally prepared enough at this point in my life for it not to impact my self esteem and self worth? On reflection, I am handling things differently and I perceive, better?

I recognise now that I can process emotion through rather than numbing and not feeling anything. I have techniques to help me manage the situation and the emotion that I'm feeling. I understand whether or not it is mine or whether it is something I've absorbed from someone else.

Does it make me question myself? Yes. And that says I still have work to do.

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