This massive, wonderful thread at Metafilter on emotional labor has made me think a lot more about the emotional labor I am putting forth in various areas of my life, and whether I can regain some spoons by cutting down on it.
I’ve worked part time as a contract employee in an office of a very large company as a support person for a group of engineers (all male) for almost a year. (My boss, the lone woman, is a program manager rather than an engineer.)
Last week, this department flew in the three engineers who live elsewhere for the week so they could (have meetings? do team building? As a contractor I don’t get included in meetings so hell if I know). I’ve worked with all three of these folks, and with one extensively.
And those three engineers were physically in the office with me for three entire days, and not one of them came over and said hi. My desk is in an open space at the end of the hallway that also leads to the rest of the department’s cubicles, so there’s no way these men could have not seen me sitting there. But zero out of three could be bothered to walk the extra ten steps to my desk, or smile and wave, or message me that they were around if I wanted to come say hi.
Now, generally this is emotional labor I would take on, whether I liked those particular people or not. I’d hunt them down and make five minutes of obligatory-yet-awkward small talk with each person in the interests of furthering my career/staying on good terms/maintaining my reputation.
But this time I was all, “….nope.”
And it’s fine because I’m just a contractor and contractors get no respect anyhow, but if I were a permanent employee I would have had to do that emotional labor in the interests of reputation, etc. etc. or risk various consequences that I’m not going to go into here because they’re laid out so beautifully in the thread linked above.
But you know what? If you’re going to be a jackass, it’s not my problem this time.