Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Life is a Stage

This whole "working" thing is kind of getting on my nerves. For the past nine months, I would wake up around 10, fall out of bed (often quite literally), partake in something closely resembling hygiene, and stumble out the door to give a three to four hour lecture to a group of wide eyed tourists. Ask names... forget names. Schmooze. Booze. That was it. Done. (With notable exceptions).

But now I am working nearly every day this week. What's up with that? And to top it off, I am in one place, wearing a uniform (dirty green embroidered aprons are so hot right now), doing the same thing, and saying the same thing to everybody: "Hey, how's it going? What can I do for you today?"

It reminds me of an interview I saw once with Marlon Brando (I spend an unhealthy amount of time on YouTube, browsing for old music clips or interviews). In it, Brando, looking rather Jabba the Hutt-ish, philosophizes on how we are all actors. Everybody acts throughout the course of their day. It's natural. And you know what? He's right.

As a tour guide, sure, I acted. That's part of the job. It needs to seem fresh and exciting every time. I mean, come on, I'm working for tips. But even here at the healthy deli, I have to act like every new person who walks through the door could be the second incarnation of Christ. But that's "customer service". There's nothing wrong with it. It's just interesting to think about. I mean, if this did not exist, the whole service industry would be a suicide-worthy experience.

How natural is it to be "fake" to a degree? Is that instinctual? Thinking about it, I can't imagine another time in history where that would have been necessary. Maybe when greeting a King or Queen, but often times they were basically supposed to be the next incarnation of Christ (or at least a demi-god)! Acting in life seems to be a modern phenomena (at least according to my forty seconds of analysis).

When you are at work today, count how many times you "act". Pass the same person twice in the hallway? Make it seem like you're excited to see them! Again! So much better than the first time.

-Matt

1 comment:

houli said...

you could also just act like you're french and not care at all!