A guy in our office is going through a divorce

Man-alone-in-office-007
He is distracted and depressed and hardly focused. He is constantly complaining, skipping on office work and missing deadlines. And to top it all off, he is forgetful and takes forever to do a simple task.

Last week after seeing all the backed up work and more that needed to get done, I barged in my boss’s office, enraged and frustrated by what seemed to me, my colleague’s slacking, to complain about it all, ready to have the guy fired!

To calm me down, I was brought up to date to the divorce situation by my coworkers, whom explained about the fact that this guy is going through and having to deal with a lot in his life, and all the backed up work, is due to his mental state at this point in his life.

After I found out about it, I tried to be more understanding and patient with him. Days passed and it was all the same. One day, I even stayed after hours to help him with his backed up work.

I remember that day, after working twelve hours straight, and picking up his share of the work, I was so tired and ready to leave and get home, to my shower and comfy bed. But then for a second, I looked at him, his eyes, and saw the depressed, tired look in his face, as if he was asking me: ” cut me some slack, I am going through a lot in my personal life right now. Please try to understand and respect me enough to be patient with me. ”

And it just hit me: Isn’t that what being part of a healthy society, is all about? To understand and help each other out through the rough times? To be patient and to allow for not-so-good-days and to ask for some patience and understanding, without the fear of being judged? Or facing interference in our private life?

Yes I was tired, but I stayed to help my troubled coworker, to make up for acting so irrational and jumping to a judgmental conclusion the previous week; almost jeopardizing the future of his career.

Never judge a book by its cover; that I need to remind myself of. And yes, who cares if I was so tired that I wished the people upstairs’ kids would stop running around so I could get some rest without their footsteps banging in my head. Oh well… I will get there some day too; when I will run upstairs and ask my neighbors’ kids not to run around, ’cause I spent twelve hours working and need some rest. And they will understand.

We all will get there, when we will frankly look at each other’s face and kindly ask for some understanding and patience because we are ” going through hard times, and need patience and understanding to help us get through it all.”

Translated from a short story by Alma Tavakol
Published by Marderooz magazine