New Brunswick — As life becomes increasingly shitty, more workplaces have designated specific areas where employees can have a breakdown at a scheduled point during the day.
“It’s February, it’s cold out, we’re in orange, which is basically red but no one really knows or cares how that works, we could go into total lockdown, we might not — who gives a flying fuck anymore?” said Kelli Anderson, 41. “And that’s not to mention all the stresses of having to work at the office during COVID while praying you don’t catch it. I don’t think I can even cry; I just feel dead inside.
“But my office has a crying room now so I often go in, shut the door, and stare at the wall for 15 minutes. It’s practically a tropical vacation…and who knows when anyone will be able to go on vacation again.”
“This is a state-of-the-art mental breakdown facility,” bragged local boss Jeremy Smith, gesturing toward a small room containing a rickety table, a folding chair, a box of Kleenex, and a single flickering fluorescent bulb. “I know there’s a lot of talk about mental and physical health these days, or ‘work-life balance,’ but we can’t let people work from home or take time off. We’re just too swamped. So I think this is the best solution for everyone.”
Employees say most New Brunswick workplaces provide plenty of reasons to cry.
“There’s sexism, ageism, favouritism, nepotism, bullying, no job security, unfair wage gaps, everyone is in a competition to prove how busy they are, and you have to pretend to have a positive attitude all the time,” said Dana Quinn, 32. “But, not in the crying room. I go in there and let loose. Sometimes I scream and yell and punch the drywall. Other times I just look at my phone. I live in New Brunswick so I can’t afford therapy, and this is as good as it gets.”
Some of the workplaces that are getting in on the crying room trend include:
-Customer contact centres
-Marketing and advertising firms
-Real estate agencies
-Literally every other workplace
New Brunswick Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Trevor Holder said that in this economic climate, crying rooms are a viable alternative to treating employees well.
“It’s neat, you know, that employers are seeing a need and addressing it. People are frustrated, fed up and scared. They need to cry and let out that frustration before it turns into sick leave, stress leave or the formation of unions.
“Now, if you’ll excuse me,” he said, tearing up, “I have some crying of my own to do.”