Doesn’t it feel like we always have to prove something to somebody to get anywhere? When we work for others, our boss. When we work for ourselves, our clientele/fan base. And all of it is typically for one thing: money, the item through which we sustain a living.
Now being a rather introverted individual, I often find the task of socializing with anybody to be rather exhausting. So then how might I go about making plenty of money when I hate probably the most important aspect of earning it? Building rapport, networking, and selling on my particular skillset/product seems like a lot of unnecessary stress.
Take my job for example. I currently work as a teller at a small local chain of banks.
My manager called me in the other day to tell me that I’m not building enough of a connection with the local clients.
Here’s how that conversation played out:
Her: “I’ve received a couple complaints from one of our customers saying that you come off as insincere.”
Me: “How do you mean?”
Her: “He just told me that you could do to be a little more approachable.”
Me: “Ok. I mean, I process his transactions and everything, so I’m not sure what the problem is. Was it just that one customer?”
Her: “Doesn’t matter if it was one customer or several, you need to start being more sociable with everyone who walks through that door.”
Me: “You mean like making small talk and being interested in what they have to say, right? Stuff like that?”
Her: “Exactly. Our customers could go to any bank in the area, but they choose us. Why do you think that is? Because we make it our mission to treat everyone who comes in here as a regular.”
I can’t help but feel a little smothered by such an expectation. Treating every customer as a regular? Making small talk? I just can’t cope with this job any more. The only reason I got it (I feel) was because I had to lie through my teeth to get it. I had to look at her in the eye during the interview and proclaim with mock sincerity that I was looking for a career in banking. And this has been the case with any job I’ve ever had (lying through my teeth just to get it.) I mean, god forbid I should be honest as to my real intentions about why I want the job, and that is for the money.
In short, I get the feeling that all life has in store for us is to just keep our heads down, grin and bear it, and prove to some asshole/set of assholes that we can meet their needs/demands. All in the hope of one day (maybe) furthering our station.
I don’t think I’ve ever wanted an out more now than anything, especially considering that I lost my job shortly after that meeting.