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Thread: Emotional Labor

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    Yeah we talk about this quite a bit in PT school. You want to be empathetic and compassionate with the patient, put their emotions first (eg if you are having a bad day, not let it interfere with their treatment). And then, at the same time, you have to not become too involved with the empathy and compassion that you cannot let it go at the end of the day and the patient's problems begin to consume you.

    It seems like it is going to be difficult to strike that balance.

    Hopefully (and I believe this to be true) the work will be more fulfilling such that there is more genuine emotion and less having to put on a mask than something like taking orders at McDonalds.

    Although I am sure that happens as well.
    I am sure you will be fine. People can be a hassle to deal with. I find it pretty easy because I am pretty laid back and friendly in general. I tend to mirror people a lot though. Which is fine in general. But I will tend to match shortness with shortness as well.

    At the end of the day it is a job. You'll tend to like some more than others but as long as you treat everyone professionally it is all good.

  2. #22
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    Here we not longer do physical labour. All physical labour is now done by machines.

    And being unnecessary, physical labour has risen in status. So rather than labouring in the fields, we labour to sculpt our bodies in a high tech gymnasium.

    And as emotional labour becomes unnecessay, emotional labour will rise to the empathic and spontaneous. We will cease to become professionals and become lovers and artists.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    All of your examples showcase the fun part of a job with public interaction. What happens when you need to be the mouthpiece of your store's rules and policies, telling someone they are not allowed to return an item, or negotiate a lower price, or have a similar request? Whatever your personal opinion of the merits of their argument, you may not have the authority to deviate from the policy, and must expend emotional energy trying to get the customer to acquiesce without causing a scene.
    Yeah, there are rules that I can't spontaneously break, BUT I wouldn't say that makes this statement true: "we find there is no depth to their friendliness, nor is there any spontaneity." Maybe I'm just lucky, but I find I have a lot of flexibility in exception management, so it's rare that I have to really put my foot down on something. But even when I do, I don't see what the big deal is.

    I mean, just being a regular person interacting with people in a non-professional capacity, there are certain things I won't spontaneously allow. If someone started spitting chewing tobacco on the floor of my kitchen, I wouldn't be particularly flexible either. In a workplace setting, sure, there are probably more rules, and it's not always up to my better judgement to break them (some people will try to return items we don't even carry for a full-cash refund with no receipt), but I don't see how this makes my interaction with them essentially meaningless, as Mole has said.

    I agree that having to enforce rules/policies that displease customers (and maybe even displease me), is very draining, but that wasn't what I was disputing. And even then, I maintain that sometimes there are spontaneous ways to defuse tension in those situations. You don't have to fall back on the company script.

    For example, a lot of people hate giving me their personal information when they return something (I need their name, address, and phone number), and I can sense their impatience and irritation as I ask: name? Oh, how do you spell that? address? city? postal code? phone number? So then I usually make a dumb little joke after it's done like: Thank you for playing the Big Brother quiz bowl, here's what you've won! And then I give them their money back. Somehow, stuff like that makes most people laugh.

    Or sometimes I have to harass everyone who comes into the store about a deal we have on, so then I try to have fun with it. It's kind of hard to explain in words (I think my tone is very important), but a lot of my interactions look like this:

    Me: Good day, I trust you two are in high-spirits today?
    Customers: Uh...yes?
    Me: Excellent, then my trust is well-founded! Oh, just one thing before I let you go and enjoy your life. We have a deal on. You might want to sit down for this.
    Customers: Hm?
    Me: You see those books over there.
    Customers: Yeah.
    Me: Well the more of them you buy, the bigger the discount you'll get. If you buy 2, they're 20% off. If you buy 3, they're 30% off. If you buy 4, they're 40% off! If you buy 10...unfortunately they're not free. So don't try and get smart with me! The cap is 50% off.
    Customer A: You can't trust Gertie here, she's always trying to pull a fast one.
    Me: Oh I can tell, she has a mischievous gleam in her eye. I've got my eye on you, Gertie.
    Customers: *they chuckle, with any luck*

    Although some customers, that kind of approach just won't work. Sometimes I just get out as quick as possible, sometimes I emphasize different things. I have a lot of variations depending on my read of the person and depending how they reply each step of the way. The whole process happens very fast, so I'm not sure how it works exactly.

  4. #24
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    Default Servility and Its Discontents

    I think the problem is that there is an emotional cost to servility.

    And the emotional cost is made worse by being denied.

    And being denied, the emotional cost does not have to be reimbursed in wages.

    In economic language, the emotional cost is not borne internally by the business, rather it is borne externally by the employees.

    In other words, the employee is emotionally exploited.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    I think the problem is that there is an emotional cost to servility.

    And the emotional cost is made worse by being denied.

    And being denied, the emotional cost does not have to be reimbursed in wages.

    In economic language, the emotional cost is not borne internally by the business, rather it is borne externally by the employees.

    In other words, the employee is emotionally exploited.
    I agree with this in general, but find it worse when the employee must use an attitude of servility to influence or even compel the actions of an often unwilling "customer"/other. Compare for example with house servants, who can put on an act of servility to satify employers, but are ultimately responsible only for their own behavior. That takes alot of the pressure off.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I agree with this in general, but find it worse when the employee must use an attitude of servility to influence or even compel the actions of an often unwilling "customer"/other. Compare for example with house servants, who can put on an act of servility to satify employers, but are ultimately responsible only for their own behavior. That takes alot of the pressure off.
    Just as machines now do the manual labour in prosperous societies, in the not too distant future robots will do the emotional work.

    We have already seen how emotionally effective Marvin, the Depressed Robot, is at expressing emotion. So it is only a matter of time before we have cheerful happy robots serving us.

    And interestingly, that just as manual labour rose in status as it became unnecessary, via hi-tech gyms and highy paid professional athletes, so emotional labour will rise in status, as it becomes unnecessary due to emoting robots.

    Sex will move, for instance, from a simple release from tension, to satisfying artforms, like Trantric Sex.

    No one predicted the results of the digital revolution, and on one can predict the results of robots that do our emotional work.

  7. #27
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    Just as machines now do the manual labour in prosperous societies, in the not too distant future robots will do the emotional work.

    We have already seen how emotionally effective Marvin, the Depressed Robot, is at expressing emotion. So it is only a matter of time before we have cheerful happy robots serving us.

    And interestingly, that just as manual labour rose in status as it became unnecessary, via hi-tech gyms and highy paid professional athletes, so emotional labour will rise in status, as it becomes unnecessary due to emoting robots.

    Sex will move, for instance, from a simple release from tension, to satisfying artforms, like Trantric Sex.

    No one predicted the results of the digital revolution, and on one can predict the results of robots that do our emotional work.
    AI researchers have been trying for years to make robots more and more like humans, but it is proving more effective to make humans like robots, complete with the artificial emotion.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    Just as machines now do the manual labour in prosperous societies, in the not too distant future robots will do the emotional work.

    We have already seen how emotionally effective Marvin, the Depressed Robot, is at expressing emotion. So it is only a matter of time before we have cheerful happy robots serving us.

    And interestingly, that just as manual labour rose in status as it became unnecessary, via hi-tech gyms and highy paid professional athletes, so emotional labour will rise in status, as it becomes unnecessary due to emoting robots.

    Sex will move, for instance, from a simple release from tension, to satisfying artforms, like Trantric Sex.

    No one predicted the results of the digital revolution, and on one can predict the results of robots that do our emotional work.
    Lol. Orgy University-offering programs in positioning, blow jobs, and many other exciting fields. Be sure to check out our esteemed prostitution department! :P

    I can only imagine what opportunities exist for parody here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    AI researchers have been trying for years to make robots more and more like humans, but it is proving more effective to make humans like robots, complete with the artificial emotion.
    Indeed, Coriolis, this is the dark side, where robots don't become more like us, but we become more like robots.

    Yes, dystopia and utopia are two sides of the same coin.

    But don't you worry Coriolis, I will watch you closely, and if you show any signs of becoming robotic, I will shake you out of it - as gently as possible, for your own good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Qwan View Post
    Lol. Orgy University-offering programs in positioning, blow jobs, and many other exciting fields. Be sure to check out our esteemed prostitution department! :P

    I can only imagine what opportunities exist for parody here.
    Why not take the high road to Tantric Sex and leave the low road? Take the high road in Tennessee.

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