Self-deprecation is worth its weight in smoldering phoenix-ashes and baby unicorn tears.
or; the masks we wear
Published on August 24, 2006 By SanChonino In Work
Yesterday was a long day at work. (Now, I know that lots of you work a lot harder than me, and I'm not asking for sympathy, it's just part of the story.) I really didn't want to be there, other than the fact that I really needed the cash. As I sat in my teller booth in the unfamiliar branch (I was working for another teller who was sick in the main branch) I floundered. I'm usually an upbeat person, but I was just feeling grouchy.

Now, that's not very conducive to the world of banking.

I sat, looking at the tacky phrases and pictures stuck to the side of the sick girl's computer screen, and mostly just wanted to rip the thing out of the back of the computer, chuck it across the entire lobby, and walk out.

That's just about the time that the customer walked up to my window.

So what did I do? I put on my best smile, greeted them with a “Well hi, how are you doing this wonderful morning?” and waited for their reply. The old man was surly, but I kept my game face on, and proceeded to help him with his transaction, smiling and joking with him the whole time, eventually garnering a smile from the crotchety senior citizen.

He walked away, and my smile melted away. I was in grouchy-ville again. Simple as that – no-one could tell, but I hid my true feelings wonderfully.

That got me to thinking – how often do we walk through our days, or worse, our entire lives, with an artificial smile in place? How often do we cover our true selves and let the mask shine forth in false cheeriness?

Like I said, usually I'm quite cheerful, and thankfully, I'm feeling fine and dandy today, and when I go into work, the smile won't be artificial today. But how could anyone ever tell the difference?

Fun times with a fake smile.

Comments (Page 1)
on Aug 24, 2006

You know what would have gotten you out of the funk?  A nice person who came up and was oh so nice to you.  We all meet them, and even on our worst days, they can make us smile.  Because we like to be around people who are happy and smiling, and avoid those that are grumpy.  It is human nature.

So, yes, even on my grumpiest days, I wear a smile.  Why?  Because I might run into someone that will make my day so much brighter and get me out of the funk.  Whereas the frown will probably keep them away.

on Aug 24, 2006
So, yes, even on my grumpiest days, I wear a smile. Why? Because I might run into someone that will make my day so much brighter and get me out of the funk. Whereas the frown will probably keep them away.


I think I'm the same way. Plus, if you're wearing your artificial smile, maybe you'll be the one to brighten up someone else's day, even if you're in a funk. No-one ever has to know but the pillow you cry into at night . . .
on Aug 24, 2006
.
on Aug 24, 2006
When I am grumpy the whole world knows it! *slaps herself about the head*


Well, now you've a goal, dont'cha?
on Aug 24, 2006
Whereas the frown will probably keep them away.


Sometimes that's the desired result. Most of the time, I will do like you and put on an articial smile. Walking around the streets of Manahattan on my way to work, or to lunch though, I'd often prefer to not be confronted, particularly by people handing out leaflets on every corner, or people trying to sign me up for this or that.

So rather than my usual happy disposition, I get a very stern look on my face. On days when I really am feeling that way though, it can get a little overboard, and before long I'll realize that my neck and shoulders are all tense from the combination of trying to look pissed off and actually being pissed off.
on Aug 24, 2006
Y'all are gonna hate me for the rest of the day, maybe the week, maybe the month. But, you must remember I have four girls, so I MUST insert the following lyrics, which should need no introduction to most of you (san, it's yer own fault for leaving comments open):

(HEALY)
(spoke)] This is Bert Healy saying ...
(singing now) Hey, hobo man
Hey, Dapper Dan
You've both got your style
But Brother,
You're never fully dressed
Without a smile!

Your clothes may be Beau Brummelly
They stand out a mile --
But Brother,
You're never fully dressed
Without a smile!

Who cares what they're wearing
On Main Street,
Or Saville Row,
It's what you wear from ear to ear
And not from head to toe
(That matters)

So, Senator,
So, Janitor,
So long for a while
Remember,
You're never fully dressed
Without a smile!

(BOYLAN SISTER)
Ready or not, here he goes
Listen to Bert
Tap his smilin' toes

(HEALY)
(spoken) Ah, the lovely Boylan Sisters

(BOYLAN SISTERS)
Doo doodle-oo doo
Doo doodle-oo doo
Doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo
Your clothes may be Beau Brummelly
They stand out a mile
But, bother
You're never fully dressed
You're never dressed
Without an

(CONNIE BOYLAN)
S-

(BONNIE BOYLAN)
M-

(RONNIE BOYLAN)
I-

(CONNIE BOYLAN)
L-

(ALL THREE)
E.
Smile darn ya smile.

(ALL)
That matters
So Senator
So Janitor
So long for a while
on Aug 24, 2006
which should need no introduction to most of you


I can honestly say I have no idea what the heck this is from. Enlighten a young, ignorant genious, please.
on Aug 24, 2006

Aren't you just the "Mr Cheerful " do you do breakfast cereal ads ROFL JK..
takes control to do that, I can't!

Actually, it is called experience.  As in I was not always this way, but found it a better way to live your life.

on Aug 24, 2006

Sometimes that's the desired result. Most of the time, I will do like you and put on an articial smile. Walking around the streets of Manahattan on my way to work, or to lunch though, I'd often prefer to not be confronted, particularly by people handing out leaflets on every corner, or people trying to sign me up for this or that.

Exception noted and agreed to.  WHen I said I wear a smile, that is going about normal activities.  Hari Krishnas are not part of what I would call a normal activity.

on Aug 24, 2006
WHen I said I wear a smile, that is going about normal activities. Hari Krishnas are not part of what I would call a normal activity.


They should be, Guy, they should be. Besides, those tracts can be a lot of fun to read sometimes.
on Aug 24, 2006
which should need no introduction to most of you


I can honestly say I have no idea what the heck this is from. Enlighten a young, ignorant genious, please.


That song is from the production of "Annie" it's a song that gets sung on a radio show in the movie.

"when I go into work, the smile won't be artificial today. But how could anyone ever tell the difference?"

Most people can tell the difference because a true smile involves the eyes, they tend to "crinkle up" with delight when someone smiles from the heart

go in the bathroom and watch yourself as you smile, try it!
on Aug 24, 2006
Most people can tell the difference because a true smile involves the eyes, they tend to "crinkle up" with delight when someone smiles from the heart


That is true of most, but I am not like that. I can fake it and you'd never know . . . I promise.
on Aug 25, 2006
I can fake it too, whenever necessary. I have to have the game face on and also the game voice as well. When I'm not at my best, if you really know me, you can tell. But I have to greet the world with a smile, cause just like you, that's my job.



I'd often prefer to not be confronted, particularly by people handing out leaflets on every corner, or people trying to sign me up for this or that.


I don't miss this at all!






So rather than my usual happy disposition, I get a very stern look on my face. On days when I really am feeling that way though, it can get a little overboard, and before long I'll realize that my neck and shoulders are all tense from the combination of trying to look pissed off and actually being pissed off.


I find this funny! Sorry Brenden, but it is!
on Aug 26, 2006
---So rather than my usual happy disposition, I get a very stern look on my face. On days when I really am feeling that way though, it can get a little overboard, and before long I'll realize that my neck and shoulders are all tense from the combination of trying to look pissed off and actually being pissed off.


I find this funny! Sorry Brenden, but it is!---


There was this woman who I worked with who would look pissed off all day (and we worked 12 hour days). I would call her Penitentiary Face. I asked her, "How in the Hell do you keep a mean face all day? Don't your face hurt after awhile?" She just laughed and thanked me for making her day. From that day on she talked and joked with me. I never did learn the secret how her mad face never hurt her muscles.
on Aug 26, 2006
Interesting article, San.