Over the last few days i’ve been gently returning to some of my work things. One of the things i’ve been doing is checking my work email and trying to slowly dip my toes back into the working world.
One of the things which has really jumped out at me is “professional personas”. The extremely fake and performative masks that some people adopt for their work lives. I find it exceptionally uncomfortable to be around people who are “being professional”.
I used to be able to tolerate the language, social techniques etc, but these days my tolerance is basically zero. After 3 months away from being exposed to them everyday I just don’t want it in my life. Every time I see it I have the urge to call it out as bullshit.
I cannot form meaningful relationships with someone who isn’t being real with me. I need relationships to be based on trust, a “professional persona” is not trust, it’s playing stupid games.
It’s not possible to “get on with everyone” and perhaps the best way to navigate this issue is to walk away. See if I can shape my role to avoid this sort of thing, perhaps even leaving formal employment entirely and go back to freelancing where I can pick and choose who I work with and when.
I don’t think this is a new thing. Perhaps it will pass in time. I’m not sure. I’m going to be very honest and upfront about it with the people around me, and then see where we go.