I, like most guys, can become very awkward when a girl is crying in front of us and especially if the girl in question is not one we know very well. It’s one of the hardest things really. I get all confused, don’t know what to say, not sure if I am supposed to pat the girl and console her or wait for backup (of the female variety). I also start sweating profusely even if it is quite cool in an ac environment.
The latest such incident happened to me a couple of days ago. One of the trainers who report to me, brought a trainee to me and said that the girl’s grandfather’s (who raised this girl from the age of 8 along with the girl’s grandmother) health had taken a turn for the worse and was not expected to make it past the evening. A guy who claimed to be her cousin had called up and said to return to her grandfather’s home immediately, which was 4 hours away from our office. The girl was emotionally wrecked and she asked us for leave and I said ok.
Turns out that it was a fake call. Someone was playing a nasty trick on her. What happened was that the trainer told her to just check back to the number from which she had got the call. It turned out to be a phone booth. So she dialled home and spoke to her grandmother. Yes her grandad was ill and was taken to the hospital….but he was now back home and watching a movie while having lunch! She came back and informed her that she had been tricked and she said that she was happy that he was ok but that she didn’t know who would play such a trick on her. Then the waterworks started.
Ofcourse I was immediately looking like a fool, stammering a few words and trying to console her, looking around helplessly for a lady colleague who could handle the situation better. I patted her akwardly on the hand and almost screamed help when one of my lady trainers came by. I moved the girl towards this trainer and I said “handle it, please”.
Later my team members were teasing me about the situation I was in. They can laugh; it was scary for me.