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Workplace Grimaces

What strange animals, we people are. We're basically pack/troop creatures by nature, and thus we socialize. When we're cooped up with people who are not naturally part of our group, though - like at work- the socialization gets weird. Strained.

When walking by co-workers, I can't, like a solitary hunter, ignore their presence, or make a threat display. Though that would be pretty great, establishing dominance in hallway exchanges on the way to the can. "Hi, David." "GRRRRR!" (baring of fangs, lesser nerd shows soft white underbelly.)

But no, what happens is a strange tightening of the mouth. It's like a smile, but no teeth are shown, and it's mirthless and unfriendly. It's a simple acknowledgment of the actual presence of another person, but without any sort of actual communication occurring other than that. It's like a "Oh, look, you are there and I can't ignore you" grimace.

Why do we do this? We're such weird animals.


Jan. 4th, 2011 10:18 pm (UTC)
There is a woman at my work whom I just love. I don't know her name or where she works, but when I pass her in the hall on the way to the lab or the cafeteria, she smiles at me (and, I am sure, everybody else)like I was the exact person she was hoping to see.

I decided a while ago that I would be like her- and can I just tell you how positive the impact has been on my job?
Jan. 4th, 2011 10:21 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I know. That was my whole resolution last year - be friendlier. See how that worked out for me. :)

I remember when I went to Disneyland last time, and the guy at the entrance wanted to check in my bag - he said, "Oh good, we were so hoping you'd show up today!" Even though I knew it was pure schmaltz, he said it so warmly, I didn't care. I just giggled.

i wish I had that talent.


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