There have been more work moments than not lately when I feel as if I must remain in a constant state of hostessness - ever having to be the smiling, nodding diplomat immersed in a sea of sharp-toothed suits.
For instance, here I am from 9am-2pm on an average weekday:
That's right, my professional life IS THE STUFF OF CLIP ART. And beyond the horrifying turquoise blazer I'm obliged to wear, it's all about the handshakes and tightlipped business smile. (Why does everyone else get to wear gray? And I don't even like bangs!)
While most of my adult life I've acknowledged that my natural "peacemaker" tendencies have been a boon, sometimes the constant exercising of this one aspect of my personality GETS OLD. As in: Why don't I ever get to be the bad guy? The bitch? The hard-liner? The slacker?
Is it all my fault because I am simply too lazy to try out any new role? Do I fall into the easiest or most comfortable position just like that? How do I make use of any other unknown facilities or talents I may have when I subvert myself thusly?
Back in graduate school, a colleague once gave me a piece of frank advice: he told me I ought to pursue becoming a dominatrix. At least as a side-career, he said. Whatever character assessment he made to come to that conclusion, he never shared. But now I am wondering if I should have acted on that advice a long time ago. Because honestly I feel stuck in this place where I am a kindly and pandering middle manager.