Personal problems, professional consequence

I'm going through an ­unexpected romantic breakup, and it's affecting my veterinary work. Several of my co-workers have noticed my distraction and made comments. I'm trying to stay more focused, but I don't want to talk about my personal life—our practice manager tends to gossip. I don't want to lose my job over this. What should I do?—Broken Heart
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Dec 01, 2012

DEAR HEARTBROKEN:

I'm sorry to hear that love and work have intersected, but kudos to you for recognizing that you need to do something to deal with it. Walk as fast as you can to the nearest computer and look for a great counselor to talk to. If your practice offers insurance coverage, check your plan. If not, local colleges often offer resources for those of us on a budget.

When life starts spilling out at work, it's a warning sign that we're in emotional overload. Talking about it will help you handle that overload. You would feel a lot better if you told your boss, but you would feel better and could maintain your privacy if you told a counselor.

Finally, remember you're not crazy, you're human. Don't sabotage your job over something that will get better and that you can manage if you take care of yourself.

—SHAWN

Shawn McVey, MA, MSW, is a member of the Firstline and Veterinary Economics editorial advisory boards and is CEO of McVey Management Solutions in Chicago. For videos and articles containing more of McVey's tips and tricks on issues relating to veterinary personnel management, conflict, and communication, visit http://dvm360.com/mcvey.