January 24, 2012

The Dichotomy Between Work Self and Non-Work Self

I think it’s true that many of us have two sides to us.  In my professional work life, I know that my colleagues perceive me as a super serious goodie goodie who colors in the lines and plays well with others, and well, yes, that’s mostly true.  I kid you not when a few months ago, while trying to figure out a glitch in a Word document that was causing frustration for an administrative assistant and me, I said the word, “Shit.”  Yes, a cuss word, at work.  She looked at me, grinning with raised eyebrows and marveled, “You just said shit!”  I nodded and laughed, “Yeah, I swear sometimes.”  She loved it.  Of course she loved it!  Everyone loves someone who’s fun and a little crazy and free.  Though I sometimes wish it were, that’s just not the persona I am comfortable projecting at work. 

For the most part, I don’t mix business with pleasure.  For example, when I’m traveling for business, I seldom drink with the client, I wake up early so I can work out at the hotel gym, and I take vicious notes at meetings only to transcribe them later in my hotel room.  It’s not that I want to be so serious – I just figure if I’m getting paid to work, I should be working, not having fun, even if I want to be. 

While outside of work I am not a completely different person – don’t get it twisted – I’m still the girl at the grocery store at 7:30 a.m. on a Sunday armed with coupons, I am vehemently opposed to drugs, and I am not a weekly drinker (although I do enjoy a vodka and seltzer on occasion), a much less straight-laced persona shines through.  I enjoy listening to music at a high decibel, including hip hop laced with expletives or soul music with nasty lyrics.  I’ve been known to have a bit of a lead foot; I can do dangerous things at intersections.  And, believe it or not, I am kind of the ham in my family.

My best friend jokingly called me “Saucy Bear” the other day when I suggested she take a shortcut by taking an entrance into a posted exit.  I retorted, calling her “Cautious Bear."  Let’s also not forget that I have a degree in English – with a concentration in Creative Writing – one of the most impractical and joked about college majors in NPR history.  My favorite three movies are pretty bad ass: Eyes Wide Shut, Scarface, and American Psycho.  And well, there are other things, but they’re not really appropriate for this blog.  Yes, this shy girl does have a bit of a wild streak. 

So while I even find myself to be a bit of a bore at work, what I find really boring is someone who is flat, predictable, black and white, and has the same depth no matter where you prick them.  While many people aren’t that way once you peel back the layers, I think it’s the quiet, serious, or seemingly conservative ones who get an especially bad rap, because their spiciness is undoubtedly there, you just have to dig a little deeper to find it. 

Photo Credit: Pinterest


Cheri said...

What a great blog! While I have memories of the "Serious Sarah" be super studious at school, I also have memories of that "Saucy Bear" coming out to play. :)

Sarah said...

Thanks, Cheri! I think you pegged it just right. That's kind of me in a nutshell. I'm loving your blog too! Keep it up!

Sarah said...

and when you're the quiet and conservative person at work, you can really shock people occasionally.

Sarah said...

Yes, that is true, which can sometimes be a slight source of anxiety. It's like, "Yeah, that's really me!"