Helping the Chronically Overworked Find Life Balance

Why Was the Vice President Crying Every Morning?

Chapter 6: The Role Of Circumstance Part 7

She was in the midst of a successful career. She was the rock holding everyone together at work.  She’d moved up through the ranks to Vice President.  And she was crying every morning, and sneaking off to the ladies room during the day to nurse horrible migraines.

It wasn’t always that way.  “Sue” arrived at the company as a senior product manager.  “It was hard but fun.  Everyone was working towards the same goals, and to this day the core group [of us] remain friends.  We made some kick-ass software.”  For five years, the company did well,  and her career prospered.  But then things changed.

“The management team fell apart, the strategy started to shift and the company wasn’t doing as well.  There was a big panic. A lot of us wanted it to be like it was.  I wanted to be the one to bring it back.  There was a nagging voice in back of the head telling me it was too far gone.  I kick myself for working myself to death, giving up my free time on weekends, perusing my hobbies, [not] spending time with my spouse.”

I asked Sue if she would have stayed if there had not been the good times first.  She laughed.  “No, I would have bailed.  [In hindsight,] I had an obligation to do a good job, but I did not have an obligation to give up all of my free time to the company.”

In Chapter 8: Build Your Community, we will visit Sue again to see how she remained in the corporate world and rebalanced her life. Read it here.

Today, a big buzzword I see is employee engagement. Was Sue an engaged employee?

<<Previous  Next>>


  1. Greg Marcus says

    I never threw up, but stress led me to eat poorly and gain weight. I wish I had understood earlier in my career what I could control and what I couldn’t.

  2. Greg Marcus says

    If this post made you think, please share it by email by sending the link:


  1. […] <<Previous  Next>> Please ShareLinkedInFacebookTwitterStumbleUponPrintMoreDiggRedditEmail Filed Under: Busting Your Corporate Idol, Chapter 5: Pivotal Role Of Circumstance, Featured Tagged With: abusive relationship, battered wife, Busting Your Corporate Idol, compensation […]

  2. […] Remember Sue from Chapter 6, the successful VP who was secretly throwing up every morning, crying and not wanting to go to work?  Of course it didn’t start that way. […]

  3. […] find.  This is the position Sue found herself in, when she worked herself until she was sick. (See this post in Chapter […]

  4. […] a quiet voice in your head saying that things are not ok?  Remember Sue, the VP who was secretly crying and throwing up every day?  She ignored a “nagging voice telling me it had gone too far,” and she ended up […]