I wish that were me, Nancy. I've had 2 episodes of a total meltdown at work. Once it was after a mandatory three-hour "team building" presentation. The presenter was talking about how we should all be continually learning and reading ... but not Grisham. He said we should be reading every business and managerial book that's written, and save the "lite" reading for vacation. He was rather condescending about the whole thing. And it wasn't just me; many others felt the same way.
So, that got me on edge. Right after that I had a meeting with my boss (a VP; we get along famously, by the way, and have a mutual respect for each other). I'm not even sure how it happened, but I could feel my throat tighten, my voice cracking, and tears welling. He could see it and finally asked what was wrong. That's all it took. I started crying uncontrollably, and couldn't for the life of me tell him what was wrong, because I didn't know.
From there I had to go in to another meeting, this one was a lunch meeting where they had pizza. I had gotten control of myself before walking into the room, but was still feeling a bit fragile. The meeting was led by an AVP, and he was getting himself a slice of pizza when he looked over to me and asked if I wanted a piece. Well, that did it. The tears just gushed again and I ran out of the room, saying I needed a minute. He came running after me, and as we passed his office, he took me by the arm and led me in and closed the door. He and I also get along really well, and he knows some of my history and was concerned. He sat with me there until I calmed down and got control again.
Then I went home, mid-afternoon. By the time I got home, a good female friend of mine who knew what happened called me, and again I broke down and my husband overheard the conversation. So then he gets down on me saying things like you can't cry at work, it's unprofessional, blah, blah, blah ... like I could have helped it. I was so mad by that point I ran upstairs and into the bedroom to calm down. When I did, I went back downstairs and in a very level, calm voice I told him that I couldn't help myself that I cried, to which he said "BS!" That's when I REALLY got mad. I asked him, "Do you think I LIKE losing control at work? Do you think I"m not totally embarrassed by what happened? It was just an uncontrollable emotion, like when men yell and swear, which I pointed out he has done before. No difference. I also pointed out that it's a well-documented symptom of menopause; I can't control these meltdowns any more than I can stop hot flashes and night sweats. It is what it is.
At times, being female sucks, especially when hormones are flaring.