We’ve come to that time of the month again, the time when the Finance Department starts throwing around words like “forecast” and “month-end” and “free treats in the lunch room”.
Having recently become what is euphemistically called a “knowledge-based worker”, I’m working with people I’ve not worked with before on things I know little about. I find myself nodding whilst smiling knowingly more often than I used to. I don’t actually know what I’m smiling about, but the rest of the team seems to take comfort in the fact that the new gal seems to be catching on quickly.
Oh, and “knowledge-based worker”? That’s just a little something we call someone who caters information to specific tasks/projects. In other words, I listen carefully, nod, smile, and then frown in concentration until someone asks me if I’m feeling okay.
I am delightfully suited for the job if only for my superior frowning abilities.
It runs in the family, this frown. Like the heat that is sapped out of an area any time a ghost is said to be present or the drunk chick that stands on a bar stool just before closing time screaming “Whoooooooo!”, the wrinkle on the inside of my left brow, the one formed by years of thinking “what the???” acts as a warning system. Questions like “Can you get me the products this client has ordered over the past five years and sort the data by shipping weight?” or “Remember the records you deleted last week when I asked you to? Could you put those back?” are likely to set off the WTF look, immediately followed by me trying to re-arrange my face into something more corporate.
It's gotten easier, of course, over the years, and I've become rather adept at thinking bland, cow-like thoughts when called upon to do so. At 19, every emotion/thought I had was easily visible. At 48, I am master of my face and can, with effort, register neither emotions nor thought.
I’m not sure if that is an improvement, but it does seem to allow the higher-ups to breathe easier.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, it’s month-end. There are numbers to roll up, exchange rates being “impacted”, and reports to be run and posted.
And most importantly, there are treats in the lunch room.
Survey Responses from John, Elly, and Elaine
11 hours ago