I often wonder what people think of me when they see me on a day like today. I find it hard to believe that nobody notices the sheer turmoil in my head. It’s tattooed on me by way of furrowed brows, downward glances, half smiles and pathetic attempts at masking it all with humor.
Yesterday was a roller coaster ride of a day with stratospheric highs and subterranean lows. Nothing really happened yesterday that will matter in the grand scheme of things, but this strange brew of experiences could be downright nauseating in the way that a carnival ride gives you motion sickness. And yet the ride is so thrilling that you want to get back on it even though you know you will live to regret it later.
At this point it’s worth pointing out that I’ve never been good at games of make-believe. I’m fond of saying that I’ve seen windows that are less transparent than I am. It’s true.
So all day today I’ve been trying to immerse myself in work, trying to be friendly to customers while I am struggling to compute the events of the day before. Do they notice? Do they walk back to their cars and ask their spouses, “What was with THAT guy?”
My other job also involves being friendly to customers, but at least those customers are on the other end of a phone line. I have a feeling that what happened yesterday will continue to haunt me well into tomorrow. So will those people sense what’s really on my mind? Will my personal life distract me from working or will working distract me from my personal life?
Maybe I can ask the boss for one of those voice scramblers like they use in the witness protection program to conceal a source’s identity. (I sincerely doubt this will work as my boss probably does not have access to such a device. Even if she did that would probably freak out the customers even more than me being a little off-kilter.)
So here’s my question to you the reader…how do you draw psychological boundaries between your work life and your personal life?