Dealing with personal issues isn’t easy. Dealing with personal issues at work is a whole other level. There are three different types of baggage, the handbag (or satchel), the rucksack and the suitcase. The size of each bag isn’t related to how much or how serious someone’s issues are, is simply related to how you deal with them.

The handbag or satchel carrier is someone who is unable to separate their personal life from their work life. This person takes all their problems into work with them and struggles to concentrate. They still get work done but they can be up and down emotionally. Just like a handbag or satchel its something you carry around with you.

The rucksack carrier still takes their problems into work but they manage to cope for a period of time without needing to go into their bag. When they do they just need a little time to recuperate and re focus on the job at hand. Similar to the rucksack your conscious of your problems but you put it behind you and only take things out occasionally.

The suitcase puller (because why would you buy a suitcase without wheels these days) is someone who is able to leave their baggage at the door. These people go about their daily work without letting their personal issues get in the way. Suitcases are usually left in storage or in a cupboard meaning you only really unpack them when you get home.

None of these are right or wrong but the best way to deal with it is to have someone to listen and to understand. A good manager will be able to read the signs and will understand you enough to be able to help you through tough times. This isn’t about how to deal with personal issues it’s about how we help people with personal issues. Having someone at work who understands you makes the lows slightly easier and the highs even higher.

At the end of the day if you have a friend that’s struggling to carry something then you offer to help. So what type of bag do you carry? And do you know your colleagues well enough to know which one they carry?

Matthew Jenkins