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My personal life/family issue has interfered with my work


wvfrm
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I was recently struggling to support my homeless mother. So she lived with me and my partner for 1.5 years. This was an agreement my partner and I had. It ended up being a huge burden. My girlfriend of 8 years out of the blue decided to leave me just when I finally found a home for my mother. Yes, my girlfriend left me because it was too stressful to be around and she is aware my mother moved out hundreds of miles away.

 

So this happened right before I started work for the semester. I am an adjunct professor.

 

Within weeks I was in my empty home. My point is that it was emotionally stressful and it impacted my ability to concentrate at work. As an adjunct I am responsible for filling out forms, grading, lecturing, etc. I just dropped the ball.

 

The fact that I got out of bed to go to work was the most I could do at times.

 

So ultimately this semester was a mess. It was disorganized. I have probably annoyed my higher-ups. I want to communicate to them the family matters I recently went through in order to explain my poor performance.

 

Is there an appropriate way to do this?

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Yes, I think there is. I would let them know that you are aware your performance has been lacking this semester. Let them know that you were dealing with some extremely stressful personal and financial family issues, but that it is resolved now and moving forward, you will do x, y, and z to make sure it doesn't happen again or that you will stay on top of everything. Make sure you explain what you learned from the scenario/your plan to make sure it changes going forward. Let them know you are always open to feedback as well. Good luck!

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Absolutely, positively do not mention your personal life at work.

 

Instead, come up with a written, formal, plan of action for yourself to improve next semester, and present this plan to your higher-ups. If anyone asks, simply state that you are aware of your own shortcomings/issues/failures last semester, but that you have determined a course of action for yourself for improvement, and ask for them to review it and give feedback.

 

The reason I wouldn't mention anything personal is because it will be considered superfluous. It's "just" a breakup (in their minds), not say, for example, a severe illness of your child (in which case, yes, I'd bring it up). You will be looked upon as flakey, I'm sorry to say.

 

A similar situation happened to me several years ago, and that was exactly how I handled it. It was very well received.

 

I am sorry for your situation with your girlfriend.

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Absolutely, positively do not mention your personal life at work.

 

Instead, come up with a written, formal, plan of action for yourself to improve next semester, and present this plan to your higher-ups. If anyone asks, simply state that you are aware of your own shortcomings/issues/failures last semester, but that you have determined a course of action for yourself for improvement, and ask for them to review it and give feedback.

 

The reason I wouldn't mention anything personal is because it will be considered superfluous. It's "just" a breakup (in their minds), not say, for example, a severe illness of your child (in which case, yes, I'd bring it up). You will be looked upon as flakey, I'm sorry to say.

 

A similar situation happened to me several years ago, and that was exactly how I handled it. It was very well received.

 

I am sorry for your situation with your girlfriend.

 

Yeah, I've assumed they wouldn't take the breakup seriously (although it was more like a divorce) however it coincided with dealing with my homeless mother. However I understand your point and agree.

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Have you been in a situation like this before?

 

No but my coworkers have. One guy had dropped the ball on something and we were a little annoyed. My boss stepped in and said “he’s going through a divorce - he’s totally wrecked” and after that we had more sympathy for him and tried to line up folks to support him.

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