It took them long enough.

by M. Lizabeth Currain

You know what I love most about working? The day when someone finally comes and asks me if I’m okay because they’ve noticed my “poor attitude”. It is my absolute favorite.

Today was that day. It only took 4 and a half months! That might be a new record. Apparently myself and one of the other ladies that I work with are a cause for concern among our superiors. Something about how we’re unresponsive and we should smile more. What is it with the smiling?! Also, what are we supposed to be responding to? We sit in a room entering stuff into a database all day and whenever one of them comes in, they don’t say ‘hi’ to us. Or am I supposed to be responding to the countless emails that I am cc’d on that have absolutely nothing to do with me or my job?

Frankly, I get the work done. Whether I get it done with a smile on my face or not, shouldn’t really matter. Honestly, this is my face and my general disposition. I’m not going to do jazz hands every time I have to send something out UPS or enter something into the database. And why should I? It’s not like it’s super exciting. It’s not even that bad of a job, it’s just that this is how I am. I’m naturally unenthusiastic about menial, repetitive work.

Sometimes I wish I could carry around a list of references of past employers or professors that have confronted me on my attitude, but then finally figure out that this is just who I am and doesn’t it doesn’t affect my work. Generally it all boils down to the whole smiling thing. During one work review at my last full-time job (retail! Ugh!) my boss (who hated me…mainly because I had a vagina) told me that I could easily be a manager, that my customer service was great, that I get all the work done, and do more than most of the people in the store, but…that my attitude sucked. What?! How does any of that even make any sense. Basically he wanted me to come to work every day with Lisa Frank rainbows shooting out of my ass. Not going to happen. I do the work, it gets done! In fact, I do other peoples work too! Maybe that’s why I’m not fucking smiling all the time.

While I was in college I was having a meeting with a professor of mine and she asked, “In my class, are you bored or is that just your face?” So said, “Well, sometimes when other students are talking, I’m bored, but for the most part, it’s just my face.” It’s true! It’s just my face. I can’t help it if I look disinterested 95% of the time. I’m thinking about a lot of stuff…mainly how uninteresting everyone is.

In high school my English teacher brought me outside of the class one day to talk to me about my attitude. She even got a little teary-eyed. I did actually feel bad about that. She was nice and was trying. It wasn’t her fault that she had to dumb down the curriculum because the class was full of morons. She said that I always had a snide remark or rolled my eyes every time she gave an assignment out. I used the age old, “I’m just not being challenged enough” to get her off my back. It worked and in the end I think she ended up feeling sorry for me that she couldn’t provide a higher level of assignments for the class. In hindsight, I was pretty much a bitch and do kind of regret making her feel that way about her teaching.

What I am trying to say is…this is just who I am! Why can’t society accept that some people are just not always sunshine and rainbows? Just because I’m not smiling like a idiot all day, doesn’t mean that I’m not content or getting my work done.

Maybe I’ll try a different plan of action. Instead of working hard and not smiling…I’ll smile all the god damn time and work very little. How does that sound to everyone?

I’ll let you know if I get fired.