Thursday, April 28, 2011

Maybe I should try stimulants?

I was just told I didn't get the internship I applied for because I came across as "too reserved" for a fast-paced hospital setting. The faculty liaison noted that I came across the same way to her, and that I must try to be "higher energy" at my next interview (also at a fast-paced hospital setting). Apparently my efforts to appear calm rather than frantic with interview jitters backfired.

It frustrates me that peppiness is considered necessary for so many jobs that don't actually need it. After the first week of one of my cooking jobs, my boss took me aside and asked if I was all right. She thought I seemed sad, and she really wanted me to be happy. So although I was already happy in the job, I now had the burden of acting happier so as not to worry my boss.

My mother, a veteran preschool teacher, has noted that people judge her the same way. People who work with children, it seems, must have wide eyes and high-pitched voices. Children don't flock to her in the first minute, the way they do to some people. But in the long term she's an excellent teacher - patient, inventive, and affectionate.

If I were a patient in a psychiatric hospital, I'm not sure I would want my social workers to be so very peppy. But now I have to figure out how to act like it for my next interview. I feel like freakin' Jane Fairfax.

"Jane Fairfax has feeling," said Mr. Knightley -- "I do not accuse her of want of feeling. Her sensibilities, I suspect, are strong -- and her temper excellent in its power of forbearance, patience, self-control; but it wants openness. She is reserved, more reserved, I think, than she used to be -- And I love an open temper."

- Jane Austen, Emma

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