For six years I worked with the province's Child Protection department. I remember hearing one of the co-workers talk about how difficult the work can be but if someone stayed for six years, they would like make a very long career out of the job. Her reasoning for this was that some people become addicted to the adrenalin rush that accompanies working in crisis situations.
There are many careers and professions that place workers in daily crisis environments. Immigration officers, emergency room staff, firefighters, police officers all are thrown into situations that hold both risk and danger. They are required to spring into action and help solve the issues that are raising the stakes. Their bodies and minds all are thrown into a hyper mode and may remain there for hours at a time. In fact, they usually do what needs to be done without considering their own needs and then, when things calm down, find themselves exhausted, or even shaky and weepy from the drain.
Many clients live in a state of crisis. They tend to surround themselves with situations and people who make decisions that lead to a heightened state for themselves and those around them. Over time, they may actually become used to it and crave this when life calms down, They may even initiate trouble just to break the silence and calm. The whole key for you, as a business person and professional, is to not let their crisis become your crisis!
Years ago, I learned not to take calls or phone messages on Friday afternoons. The reason was based on calls that clients might leave stating that they "couldn't go on" or "am thinking about ending it". I would invest time on my weekend trying to contact the individual without success. The following week, I would get a call where the client explained that they had gone on holiday for a few days. They had dumped the problem on me and I was foolish enough to take it on.
So, when someone is in crisis, you need to really consider if and how you can help. If you have not received the message, the chances are that they will find a way to resolve the issue. If you do get the call, you might refer to crisis services or set a time to see them that fits into your own business schedule. You see, their crisis is NOT your crisis and you need to be very careful that you do not take it on as yours!