"On Claire's computer screen, a series of little squares indicates calls waiting, and tells her how long she has been on her current call. If a call has been difficult, there are only eight seconds in which to take a deep breath and compose her voice into the expected tone of friendliness. All the time she's managing her emotional demeanour, she's flicking through a wide range of information on the screen, which she uses to answer customer queries. The system is down for several hours that afternoon. What is striking is how on the one hand Claire is dealing with very rigid systems set down by company procedure and the vagaries of the computer system, while on the other she is expected to convey a sense of naturalness and her own personality."Have I said too much?
Work The Rules deny me the explanation I want to give at to why this article about Emotional Labour resonates. But it so perfectly tells the story for me, I'll quote the one pertinant paragraph which sums things up:
Posted on Sunday, June 13, 2004