It will be expected that once I return I will be back in the robotic frame of mind that work requires. For that is what we do at work…we become automatons.
Sigh! Can you tell that putting on a mask and pretending to actually be concerned with factors that are more closely connected with remuneration than patient care is not something I relish?
Masks are a funny old thing. I find there are times when I feel safer behind the mask. There are other times when the mask is suffocating. The pretense becomes maddeningly abstruse. Why am I expected to conform to the mold of the mask?
Essentially because we are professionals! We have become experts within our field. Like a disciplined ballerina, trained to perfection, able to perform with exquisite grace and finesse, we have acquired a certain expertise in perfunctoriness, choreographed to enchant our audience. We know how to traverse and travail with grace. We woo, we flatter, we secure pledges and payments, send you away with services and products you had no idea existed, or were relevant to you.
You will never know what we really think, our poker face is too well rehearsed. We are the masters of pretense. Our clients and customers see what we want them to see. Our managers only hear yes. We tick all the boxes, we follow standard operating procedures and report all discrepancies.
You may never be permitted a glimpse, but behind the mask is a fragile human. You want her to process your enquiry immediately. You have no idea she is gripped by the effects of trauma. You analyse her through your lenses, knocking off points for poor customer service if she does not give you the answer you want within moments.
She…she is a bird that was torn apart by wolves. She survived an attack that was supposed to destroy her. However, although her heart beats, her wings will never beat again.
You see her as a professional. Her manager sees you as a walking wallet. She sees you as an antagonist, an aggressor. Behind that mask, those muscles are exerting great strain to snivel and simper for the likes of you – demanding, rude, entitled…but oh, we are professionals – our mask never falls…
“Yes Sir, how can I help you?”