The High Cost of Acting Happy

Comments Off on The High Cost of Acting Happy







“Surface acting is when front line service employees, the ones who interact directly with customers, have to appear cheerful and happy even when they’re not feeling it. This kind of faking is hard work—sociologists call it “emotional labor”—and research shows that it’s often experienced as stressful. It’s psychologically and even physically draining; it can lead to lowered motivation and engagement with work, and ultimately to job burnout.”


Welcome to mah realm

This is also true for customer service people.  So BE KIND. If kindness is too hard, at least don’t be an asshole.  If not being an asshole is too hard, use email so you don’t have to interact with anyone directly. 

This explains why I always felt so fucking drained when I came home from Target, even when I’d had a pretty good day and not stood up for all that long. Huh.

This also impacts people with disabilities, be they physical or mental, and people who are “performing” for a crowd.  By the end of a four-day con, I am so emotionally exhausted that I walk in a ring of handlers, because otherwise improper poking could lead to endless tears.

…while I joke about it with me, it also takes a serious toll on medical staff.

Watch doctors and nurses who’ve just cared for someone dying. Then watch them smile, laugh and joke with the sick child, the scared terminally ill person, watch them burn up their soul to make sure other patients don’t feel their pain.

It’s bloody hard work, and sometimes you just want to curl up in a ball, but there’s always someone who needs help, and you pledged to give it.

It’s why I work at making even the most stressful shifts as non-awful as I can for the team I work with; because they’re sacrificing so much for the privilege of looking after people, and often people forget that as they demand professionalism and smiling staff.