Monday, August 14, 2006

I need to control my face (at work at least)

When I think about workplace-me (which differs from non-workplace-me), I think of myself as stone-faced. I am stoically unemotional and while I may be feeling stressed or pissed off or what have you, my countenance will never relay that. I am even often referred to as "even-keeled".

Um yeah.

I'm beginning to realize that I am mistaken. Earlier today, a large order of food came in from our catering service, and was all wrapped up in plastic and perfectly stacked, ready for someone to take it into the conference room. I was busy with something and when a coworker came by she casusally said to me "Can you go ahead and get these unwrapped?". For a moment I was like "WTF I am clearly busy, and they are YOUR sandwiches." But being my even-keeled self I went ahead and unwrapped them. "You can take a cookie if you want!" she then said. Of course since Rebecca's Cafe has bombass cookies I took one.

She breathed a loud sigh of relief.

When I looked at her quizzically she told me "Are you aware you just gave me the dirtiest look ever!?". I said no and she continued "Seriously, I felt in that split second that you hated me! I figured maybe if I offered you a cookie you would like me again".

She was right on both counts. I DID hate her for a second, and I DID like her again when she offered me a cookie. (Hello, 6 years old much?). But I didn't expect her to notice that.

It got me thinking.

Maybe there is a reason that the guy who copies our plans doesn't look directly at me on days when he messed up the order.

Maybe when my coworker Don asks me to help him change the toner and then immediately changes his mind, it's not because he realized he could do it on his own, but because I shot him a look that told him that if there are three things i'm good at, typing, collating and kicking ass and iId already typed and collated today so what's it gonna be?

So I think to add to my professional goals for the year, maybe there could be

Less of this

and more of this

Unless it's a Monday of course. I mean let's not be unrealistic.


ka-rista said...

ohhh yup. I have "the face" sometimes my boss walks in, looks at me (and my punk face), then leaves without word.

Sarah said...

hey i think it's efficient! what some people accomplish with a tirade, i accomplish with a look :-P

rooroo said...

i have a rolly eye bitch face that has warned many a co-worker to back off, and even prompted one of them to send me a birthday card that said, "I hope you have a great day and I will try not to give you anything to do. A [Me]-free day!" turns out all of them are afraid to ask me to do things for them because i bitch them out about it (facially). whoops!

Sarah said...

i love the phrase "bitch them out (facially)". it's perfect!

Nora said...

I have the same problem at work. The word 'unapproachable' seems to keep coming up during my performance reviews, even though I've been trying SO hard to be more approachable, and doing SO much better. Honestly though, I hate hate hate being interrupted when I'm busy, and I'm sure 'sometimes' I can get bitchy when I'm bugged. Unless the building is on fire, leave me alone ;)

Nicky said...

I totally empathize! I learned in college that I had zero poker face. My friend Jen used to crack up that I made an "Elvis Face" when I was painting. It was a combo of the fact that I was concentrating real hard and making a giant mess in stinky oil paint. (Ick). My teachers mostly mistook my "concentration" face for being either really pissed off - one teacher quipped "I can see Nicole hates this project!" or completely confused - "Do you have a question, Nicole?". I'm also working on ridding myself of my slack-jaw-agape face when I'm looking at something incredible. Like when I was in Rome. Not so cute. Close the trap.

Sarah said...

haha!!! i love it. i forgot completely about how in school teachers would be like "Is there a problem, Sarah?" meanwhile i thought i was hiding the fact that I was in Hate with whatever project we were working on QUITE well. :-)