Do you consider your job stressful? I’ve always felt like my job has its stressful moments; it revolves around deadlines and interpreting briefs and keeping clients happy, all of which can occasionally combine in chaotic ways to raise my blood pressure.
But it’s all relative, isn’t it? My job may be busy and occasionally demanding, but there’s no emotional toll involved in what I do.
One of my relatives is a police officer, working in the particularly gruesome niche area of child sex crimes. I have witnessed the impact that type of job has on a person.
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When news broke last month of the tragic, unimaginable death of an innocent six-week-old baby girl in Sydney, who was murdered (we can only pray, while she was asleep), it made me consider for a moment what a truly stressful job is.
My first thought, obviously, was: that poor helpless baby. Her poor family. Her poor, heartbroken father and siblings, who have lost their precious daughter and baby sister. And what of her mother, who has since been charged with the little girl’s murder… It’s impossible to imagine what was (and still is) going through her mind.
When I read the details surrounding the incident, I felt punched in the stomach.
Then I thought about those poor emergency workers who were the first responders to the scene.
I can’t even imagine how those police and ambulance workers process that day. Surely, there would be few things more distressing to encounter than the scene they walked into.
And they do this kind of work day-in, day-out. Domestic violence disputes, car accidents, street brawls… they’re all part and parcel of daily life for emergency responders.
It’s little wonder that new research has shown exceptionally high suicide rates amongst emergency workers, with correlating high levels of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Next time I think I’m having a stressful day at work, I’ll try to remember that I’ve got it good.
Because when it comes down to it, I don’t even know what a stressful job really looks like.