More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Chameleons At Work

I read an article today that stated that a staggering 58% of people change their personality when they go to work. I have to admit that when I first started working, back during uni days to even last year, I did change my personality when I went to work. I guess its because you think the employers expect certain things from you, and you try to conform to that view so that you can keep your job. Its also about pleasing the boss so they will look upon you positively.

I had previously written a post that Being Fake Kills You Faster. Well, having to pretend 8 hours a day is hard work. I have since nearly totally given up trying to change myself at work. I'm just my normal self 99% of the time. Of course theere are still occasions when social etiquette or work reasons require me to change my personality slightly. I might hold back slightly from saying something, or agree with something just because its the easier way.

I think that certain people at work are very chameleon like. I see different aspects of their personalities during different moments. I think I'm a fairly observant person and I always try to observe as much about situations around me as possible. It gives me clues as to who I can trust or who I want to associate with.

I'm very lucky that I work in a situation where I actually enjoy the company of my immediate work group, so there doesn't need to be any changing of colours for me. I can freely say things to the group and know that the information will remain there and not be used against me later.

I think I have slowly but surely gravitated to all the genuine people at work. The mix of people I talk to genuinely is quite varied, young and old, different sociological and cultural backgrounds. I think others can also sense when you are being genuine to them and that they can trust you. You can feel that moment when a working relationship turns into real friendship. People will stop by your desk for a chat because they want to, rather than have to. I always love a chat, so if anyone from work is reading this, stop by anytime you want.

You sometimes can't pick immediately who you will get along with. As you learn more about people, you either become attracted to their personality more or you start to find faults. Recently, I've gotten to know Emmanuel (I said I would mention you in my blog Emmanuel) a lot more and I think that he has also started to think of me as a friend. I find him easy and relaxing to talk to. There's interesting exchange of information without constant arguments. I think I sometimes say things with a bit of an edge to the words, but he's a very relaxed person who just lets it all wash over him. Emmanuel, Jessie (of Are Asian Women Bad Drivers fame) and I have lots of long talks after work. At the beginning, for maybe a year, I didn't even know anything about Emmanuel except his name. It was more to do with just the geography of where we worked but I thought he was a really cool customer who didn't talk much. As I've gotten to know him more, I have found that he is the opposite. He's actually very talkative and has lots to say about a lot of things.

For me personally, if I had to put on a face for most of the day at work, I think I would be a very stressed out person. Things would not be fun at all and I would probably look to change that situation. Of course its easier said than done sometimes. I guess you sometimes its impossible not to be a chameleon at work. Thats ok too, as long as it doesn't change who you are out of work and how you deal with your friends.


Blogger Jiggles said...

I think I am the real me in work, probably worse if anything but what you see is what you get if people don't like me then so be it. I am not looking to move up the ladder so therefore no need to impress anyone.

To be honest I don't even think Stan saw the real me a was a chameleon to him as he would probably have been dead embarassed I am very loud and I love a good laugh. I will give out and I can take it back

7/20/2006 7:10 AM  
Blogger afrobev said...

I think you have a point.When i was working I think I was an over the top version of myself. It was like I was me but with the volume turned way up. I suppose with work you have different politics to deal with and in whatever you do there is always someone willing to stab you in the back. So you have to change your personality slightly as a defence mechanism, like a form of survival.

I used to have a saying in work "I scratch your back and you stick a knife in my mine!"

7/20/2006 9:49 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Karen, I agree with you that people who don't have aspirations to climb the working ladder tend to be more real.

James, office politics does play a huge role in how people act. People that want to move up have to suck up to an extent to the right people. There will always still be those ready to put a knife in your back. Their probably the ones who see you as a threat to their job or potential to move up. In turn you do have to modify your personality. Actually yesterday a work mate commented that I'm a very competitive person and get on the offensive quite often. I never thought about it but then I said it is sort of true. I do mainly as a defensive mechanism. As you may have already read, I previously wrote an article about being a "carpet mat" and letting people step over me. That wasn't a nice feeling so I may have over compensated and tried to avoid that by taking the first offensive move.

7/21/2006 12:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i didn't know you too before you formerly joined the company, so i hardly talked to you before because you look like chinese but english is prety good. i am happy i can talk to you freely now for two reasons too familiar with you i don't care you will laugh at my bad english and my english is improved a lot :-)

7/28/2006 4:44 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

I'm glad you can talk to me Jessie. When I'm laughing, I'm not laughing at you, but with you. You know you can say whatever you want and I will try to help you correct your English so that it will improve.

7/28/2006 8:04 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home