Coworker's kid: Keep my mouth shut?

<p>In my workplace, we would discuss it and be supportive. That's just the way we are. I would just say, "Hey- sorry about what you are going through. If you want to talk, I'm here."</p>

<p>^^^ Exactly.</p>

<p>We had a similar situation in our office several years ago, where a co-worker was caught and arrested, his very scary mugshot put in the paper, etc. He did not get fired as his offense had nothing to do with his ability to do his work, but he called all of us in the dept. together to apologize for how his actions may reflect on us. I thought he and the company handled it beautifully.</p>

<p>I am thinking of the coworker, dealing with an awful situation that is public, and having everyone ignore it. She or he might assume that people are not supportive. Not that what people are thinking is likely to be uppermost in his/her mind at the moment, but words of support can mean a great deal at a time like this.</p>

<p>I'm thinking of being the coworker and having to face everyone in the office every day. Pretending that you know nothing for as long as possible is, in my opinion, the kindest thing if you are not personal friends. But it really depends on your relationship.</p>

<p>To the OP: you have no idea if it's even true. Your kids are talking about it among themselves. If you're not going to discuss this possible rumour with the co-worker, at least tell your kids to keep THEIR mouths quiet as well.</p>

<p>As was noted in post #16, dmd77, the arrest has now been reported by the media.</p>

<p>If it's been in the press and you're in an area where most would have seen it, I would say something like:"how are you holding up" and see if she picks up on it.</p>

<p>Thank you whatever, I'd missed that it was in the news. If that's the case, I would say something supportive.</p>



<p>Perfect, hmom5. You don't have to discuss the underlying issue unless co-worker wants to and you show support.</p>

<p>I would leave a note on my co-workers desk. Supportive, brief and an offer to help if needed. The I would leave it up to my co-worker.</p>

<p>I wouldn't leave the note on the co-worker's desk - better to mail it to the home. When someone is going through a difficult time, and trying to hold things together, and keep a stiff upper lip, kind words sometimes move the person to tears. Better that this should happen in privacy.</p>

<p>Mailing it to the home is better idea. I'll remember that for the future.</p>

<p>I would never mail this to somebody - quite honestly it isn't anybody's business.</p>

<p>I'd send a supportive note to the person's house.</p>

<p>"What I'm asking is, would a parent dealing with a heartbreak like this rather have friends pretend nothing is going on, or have them express friendship and empathy?" As a parent with heartbreak like this, it isn't something I would want to discuss with others - especially coworkers. This isn't a topic that many immediately feel comfortable discussing.</p>

<p>There is also the possibility that they will be angry if you seem to indicate that they should be ashamed of their kid.</p>

<p>"There is also the possibility that they will be angry if you seem to indicate that they should be ashamed of their kid." - and you think they're not. This isn't using, its dealing - a whole different ballgame.</p>

<p>I as the coworker would be upset that people where I work even know and since office gossip usually occurs especially about nice juicy things like this, would be upset if it were even brought up. Unless, they approach you, it is better to mind your own business.</p>

<p>Many workplaces are like family. You spend a lot of time with these people. I know in my department we have helped each other through kid-issues, divorces, medical issues etc. It is a good support system. As a parent who has faced "issues" with kids in the past, I chose not to hide what was going on and I relied on the support of friends and co-workers.</p>

<p>You chose is the operative phrase - not your coworker.</p>

I as the coworker would be upset that people where I work even know


<p>It's been in the media. It's very upsetting to some people when others make no acknowledgement of their crisis, it's upsetting to some people when others do acknowledge it. </p>

<p>The fact is that none of us can read minds. I would err on the side of making brief, supportive contact via written contact in the most discrete way possible. Others would make a different choice.</p>