Minding the Shop

My workplace is an alternate universe, where apparently I am a highly productive, level-headed, and responsible employee?

I work hard to maintain a studiously neutral expression whenever my colleagues inform me of this, before asking me to weigh in on some intra-office point of contention or scan an outgoing e-mail to double-check it for tone. (My family wouldn’t even try; they’d just laugh themselves sick at the mere thought of me being the sensible one for ANYTHING.)

It’s as if coworkers don’t know me at all — which, to be fair, they sort of don’t.

Basically, all anyone needs to know is that I’m a good worker and an awful person. If I seem “easygoing” (o_O) it’s because what I’m being asked to do — namely, work — is easy going, at least compared to making an emotional commitment to an organization. I can produce a high volume of quality content when up against tight deadlines; I cannot handle our annual holiday party.

Anyway, this has been on my mind lately because my immediate supervisor is on vacation, making me the de facto head of my sub-department. Which is like four people, one of whom is part-time, but nevertheless…I am in charge.

The arrangement works not so much because I am bossy or because I strive to minimize time-wasting inefficiencies (tho’ I am and I do) but because our team essentially runs itself.

So I’m left to ponder, in the relative quiet of the captain’s chair, the stark divide between my work and home lives.

I’ve concluded that one of the things I like most about my job is that I’m allowed to just do it — i.e. without having to be “pleasant.”

It’s what I imagine men must experience all the time. Unlike women, who have to radiate ambient good cheer, in almost decorative fashion, men only have to be pleasant when they want something — and even then, they have implicit permission to be horrible if someone refuses to grant them their desire.
God, how I want that.

I’m not unpleasant, per se. I just like to sit quietly, thoughtfully at my workstation and concentrate on doing the thing I’m paid to do. Why else would you employ someone, if not for that very quality? 

So I’m grateful that no one stops by my desk telling me to “Smile!” Nor do people prescribe me “attitude adjustments” or suggest that I “work on my personality” or at the very least wonder whether I have “a case of the Mondays.”

Then again, there’s this $#!+



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