This is Sarah. Sarah dropped the kids off at school and ran back to her car, rain tipping down this morning and the traffic was slow, she knew she was pushing it to get to work on time and that would be another black mark against her name – she just couldn’t seem to get her stuff together at the moment – errors in her work, forgetting to do things, she knew she was walking a fine line with her Team Leader and that just made her even more anxious.

Ever since her husband had left she had found it hard to keep on top of things and having to do the school run, get to work and make sure she wasn’t late leaving to meet the kids coming out again at 3pm meant her day was pressurised. Then there were all the jobs that needed doing at home – he had taken care of all of that, she had never had to learn how to unblock the sink or fire up the boiler when the pilot light went out and she didn’t have any spare cash to pay someone to come in.

This weekend had been hard as the kids had gone to spent it with their Dad and when they came back they told her all about his new home and his new girlfriend and how much they had enjoyed being with them and the fun things they had done. That hurt, that really hurt.

Her eldest was even talking about going to live with Dad as it was closer to his friends and school – she felt so useless and unloved and alone and in need of help – but here she was at work now, straighten your face, don’t let them see you have been crying as she pulled into the car park …

What if Sarah was a member of your team? Do you think she would feel able to come to talk to you honestly about her situation?

Does your organisation have the conditions for honesty present? If she did ask for help – would you have someone sufficiently trained and able to help her find a way forward?