Every day I encounter employees who struggle with this. Indeed, I myself struggle as well. We have personal problems at home and then are expected to come to work with a smile. When our life is in balance, it seems we can deal with anything. But with even a little tilt in the scale, our ability seems to waiver.
I have had numerous employees explode over a scheduling issue and in the end I find out that it really had little to do with the schedule, but was a reaction to something in their person life. In my experiences when dealing with an employee showing signs of being overwhelmed or stressed, if I speak with them in private and inquire about their life, I often find that they are dealing with stress at home. This stress often spills over into their work life.
As supervisors, we must be sensitive to imbalances in our staff members lives and intercede as needed. If we pay attention to body language and communication by our staff, we may be able to head off a crisis in our facility—before it is too late!