This is just a snippet of today’s wonderful Jon Carroll column:
… I was thinking about the masks we all wear when we go to work. The masks correspond to the roles we are asked to play, and also to the ambitions we may have for eventual advancement. For some people, their mask is heavy because there is a chasm between what they do and who they are. They are not actually smiling and subservient, and they do not believe that the customer is always right, and they do not believe that the person above them is by definition more competent than they are, but they pretend. They play the role. If they want a check at the end of the week, they have to play the role.
If you’ve been playing the role for a long time, you are a “professional.” “She’s a real pro,” people will say, meaning: She acts the way I expect her to act, and she knows how to do her job. Being a “real pro” means squelching the urge to scream. Real pros have a lot of revenge fantasies… .