I recall several visits I paid to my mom at work when I was a child. Her behavior there was strikingly different. I couldn’t figure out why. I knew she was at work and this was a different “world,” but still, I was dismayed by her seriousness and emotional sparseness compared to her home personality. She was different at work and this was my first exposure to the reality of life that one’s work life bears absolutely no resemblance to one’s home life, and the twain shall never meet, and in fact, shouldn’t ever meet. Over the years, after I had entered the work force, the ideology was propagated that one must leave work at work, and that one’s personal life was off limits to the quandaries of work. Of course this is a big fat lie. People bring work home all the time in the form of long-winded spiels of venting which the listener can only partially visualize or understand being that everything they hear about the speaker’s work place is entirely third hand. Everyone seems to bring their work home, and nowadays, workers, with the assistance of smart phones and work station internet access, seem to bring all their droll home life to work as well. The worlds are blurring, but in the old days it was different. Once you left home, your only connection was the phone, and even that was a means of communication strongly discouraged by many employers, or at least, its incessant abuse. If they could see the typical worker bee nowadays! Not to be “sexist,” but it seems the worst abusers of the personal hemorrhaging into the professional are women. They sit at their desk all day, texting, reading all the updated bullshit their girlfriends and cousins post from their jobs. It’s one big orgy of intrusions from the personal life into the work.
In this sense, many younger folks display work personalities that are more inline with their home personalities because the digital age has blurred the differentiation.
Most of the “older” people I know, those who were groomed and raised on the concept of separation of work from home, and persist in this practice, are the ones whose work personalities deviate most harshly from their home personalities. In eras past, we went to work where we were different and almost unrecognizable to our children or spouse. Nowadays, when people are at work, their personality is merely an extension of their personal identity.
I am one of those “old” people who was groomed on the idea of a separation between work and home, one which is further exacerbated by my reluctance, REFUSAL, to buy or use a smart phone. I leave home to go to work, to…go to work, and nothing else. What a concept. I have no need to cart my personal life around. Hence, my work personality is nothing like my home personality. I am the type who acts like a playful, happy clown on the job, but like a morose lump of coal at home. If I were to become enraptured with a smart phone, it’s entirely possible I would become a really unpleasant person at work as well.