My coworker called in sick last week so she could be at the birth of her 4th grandchild. This may sound heartwarming and sweet for a mother to be there for her daughter as she gives birth for the 3rd time. Except I know all the garbage and lies that lead up to her taking time off (for those that are good at math her 4th grandchild came from her son). This is the same coworker I wrote about in my post Niceties and Other BS. She is the type of person I would have nothing to do with if we were not forced together through our jobs.
When I got to work this morning I did not ask about the birth etc. I just came in and started working. She took it upon herself to come over and share. She cleaned and she cared for the other kids. She bought food and prepared meals, blah blah blah. I nodded politely, and eventually said, “Ok, I get it, you helped your daughter and grandchildren. You are mother/ grandmother of the year.” She laughed because I’m so silly. She has a hard time distinguishing between silly and sarcasm.
This leads me to my point. I suck at faking interest and going above and beyond unless is for a cherished loved one. I can be polite and I can be professional. But I am not a schmoozer or people pleaser. I cannot fake enthusiasm. This is a horrible trait and I wish I was able to plaster on the smile and gush out the BS.
Faking niceness shouldn’t be difficult, but I can never get the tone of distain or look of boredom to fully go away. Lacking that ability has caused me to remain stagnant in the position I’m in. I know this because a former coworker and I shared the same job title at one point. She was the master of butt kissing. You would think she worshiped our director and there was nothing she wouldn’t do for him. In private she would acknowledge he was an egotistical, narcissistic jerk. But to his face she could morph into whatever he wanted and look pleased as punch doing it. It was amazing and a bit horrifying.
She ended up getting promoted twice. I was transferred to a different location in the same position I started in. It kills me to know that all I had to do was put on an act. All I had to do was not be myself for a little while and I could be reaping the benefits right now.
There are so many self-help guides and lessons about remaining true to who you are and knowing yourself. This in no way applies to your job. Apparently, it’s all about denying your true feelings and becoming whatever they want or need you to be (barring anything illegal or immoral of course). I can see now that if I don’t practice with my coworkers I may never develop the necessary ‘brown nosing’ skills I need to get ahead. This late in the game I need all the practice I can get. Now if I could just get that snarky side of me under control. 😛