Just a short story of my experience. I had a particular job, for a short time, that was a cult of positivity. Related to the customer service field. I was good, very good at this job, which I found to be difficult at this particular workplace, where previously it was relatively easy work for me, second nature.

There was no training manual. I was taught by someone who had worked there a while, and who never had a training manual themselves, and was quite offended at my asking if there were a training manual I could follow. After all, who am I to question the supreme authority of someone who worked there a long time and taught themselves the job. A job in a field where many different regulatory agencies monitored different functions, so knowing relevant law was kinda important to anyone with common sense. I’m weird I guess, thinking that an informed workplace kept up to date with a written policies and procedures they can refer to might be beneficial for a company regulated federally and by the states.

I shit you not, the only written reference we had to refer to were less than a hundred separate documents in different drives. If you wanted to research something, you have to know which drive and which document to do a Control F. And what you got was a document that was a series of notes written by different people and not reviewed by legal for accuracy, nor dated to check for redundancy to know which note superseded the other, nor often noted by who went in and wrote that shit in the first place. I am not being hyperbolic when I say my personal document files on this computer are far superior to ANY training materials available at that job. Both in organization and reliability of content.

This job was also made more difficult by the lack of continuing training as conditions altered. Training was done after a crisis or emergency, which meant time off the core job for training was limited. My previous job in a related field was heavily regulated; thank the gods for that previous experience. My new job definitely did not appreciate any suggestions I made to increase quality and regulatory compliance. It was one of those horrible workplaces where everyone was “family” and a “rock star”. I am meticulous when it comes to regulations (hello veteran habits), I take those very seriously. Policy and procedure matter, especially when one could cause the business large fines and PR issues with some mistakes. What an affront to coworkers and management that I cared.

This job also paid below the market average for the area, because they offered what they believed to be a superior pension plan.

And worst of all, for an introvert like myself, who works for money to pay bills, there was a requirement to be specifically social. Some social behavior was bad. Talking with the people nearby…oh HELL naw. I actually enjoyed trying to get to know some of the people I worked with between projects. Chatting with people nearby between calls and other work was severely frowned upon and actively discouraged. Heaven forbid if you stood up and asked a quiet question over a cubicle wall to an available person.

Lunchtime? You better be eating with your co-workers in the breakroom. After work? You better meet co-workers for drinks. Skipping a holiday party? Nope, your “family” needs you to attend. When we did have a monthly meeting for training, half of it was the extroverts putting on literal shows, dancing, costumes and other rah-rah bullshit with no relation to learning the actual job. The social rules were specific, observed and reported upon for non-compliance. Regulatory compliance? The kind you get fined tens of thousands of dollars for? Fuck alla that.

Lord did I hate that bullshit. But the worst? The requirement to always be happy. All smiles, all the time. Someone walks by your desk? Even if you are working, you better acknowledge the passer-by. Even if on a call. Every morning we would get an email from a supervisor with bullshit quotes letting us know that our happiness at our job was 100% an attitude issue. That workplace morale was tied to smiles.

Not low pay…not shit training…not abusive customers or agents. If an employee wasn’t happy, it would the fault of the employee for not having a positive attitude at all times. Every morning getting another dumb little quote, I felt a little Milton.

Two Things You Are In Total Control Of In Your Life Are Your Attitude And Your Effort.

Actually work “family”, I can control the job I have too. Bye Bye.

P.S. Fuck You, Amanda.