When Facebook was floated on the stock market, the company founders and bosses became instant gazillionaires. Well done them. Yet just because they are fantastically wealthy and important young people doing something that millions enjoy does not mean that everyone has to turn to them for advice on everything from party snacks to getting promoted at work.
Take founder Mark Zuckerberg. He may be the richest geekoid in the cyber cosmos; he may be a very nice person, but he does occasionally come across as someone for whom the niceties of a well-ordered life and an ironed shirt might come as a shock.
Following the group’s stock floatation, Zuckerberg was in Italy on honeymoon with new wife, Priscilla Chan, wandering around the streets of Rome dressed as if they have just turned up for the early breakfast at a budget yoga retreat. He’s wearing plastic slip-on sandals. She’s in trainers with a floaty skirt. Smarten up, kids!
In Zuckerberg’s absence, his colleague and Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg has been doling out career advice to young women hoping to succeed in the workplace.
Her status-boosting secret? Tears and tantrums, lady people. As torrential and thick as you can lay it on, sister.
Incredibly, Sheryl claims that crying at work and in public helps you to become a better leader.
The 42-year-old entrepreneur told graduating female students at Harvard Business School to have no fears for tears. And not only can tears help women succeed at work, she also insisted that crying was actually a big part of her own success. “I’ve cried at work. I’ve told people I’ve cried at work... I try to be myself, to bring my whole self to the workplace,”she said, passing around a box of soggy Kleenex.
Oh God. I have worked with women like Sheryl before. I suspect we all have. Someone who wants to “share” when you’re trying to do something important, such as expenses or online shoe shopping.
I suspect that Sheryl is one of those drama queens who sees the office as an extension of herself, and her co-workers as an audience more than anything else. An audience who just happen to be as fascinated as she is with her personal life.
She certainly admits to being the kind of working mother who uses a breast pump during conference calls and who leaves the office at 5.30pm every day to be with her family.
The kind of highly successful female boss who got where she is today through her own talents – but also because there were so many workmates around to pick up the slack.
Is that unfair? Well, I certainly cannot respect any executive, from within or without the geek sphere, who advises young women that crying in the workplace is a good thing. In fact, it’s the most irresponsible bit of career advice a woman could hear.
Boo-hooing and blubbing might be acceptable in an environment where everyone is wearing sandals, a hoodie and sucking on a frozen yoghurt – but it just won’t wash in the real world.
The Facebook COO says that in California today turning on the workplace waterworks is no big deal because attitudes towards an office blub have changed.
Well, maybe they have at Facebook, but I doubt that is the case anywhere else.
Back here on Planet Normal, office tears are seen as professional suicide. Big girls don’t cry – they just get on with it. They do not accept that sobbing when things don’t go your way can be a battle cry to be used strategically against other colleagues.
That’s just pathetic, Facebook people. Grow up. And understand that any woman crying at work lets all women down.
For office tears just reinforce the male belief that we are all unstable, hormonal and difficult. And there is nothing empowering about that. – Daily Mail