Emotional Labor As A Workplace

Decent Essays

While labor can and is often seen as work that is done physically, it is also seen as an act which necessitates using mind and soul. Depending on the area in which an individual works, it can lean towards using all three – body, mind, and soul – to be successful. It is at this point that Emotional Labor (Hochschild, 1983) begins to take its place in the work environment. Emotional Labor is using self to perform work where an employee creates a pleasant atmosphere by giving good customer service. The ability to use self as a means to perform better on the job may have larger implications than we know of. This paper will look at different ideas which contribute to Emotional Labor as a workplace construct and the effects it has on the …show more content…

For instance, Jason Felix, a Human Resources Technician with College of the Desert describes his thought after having dealt with a rude applicant over the phone, “while physical labor is no walk in the park, dealing with people can leave you just as drained, if not more, and it can take longer to regain your emotional stability” (J. Felix, personal communication, January 30, 2017). After having been cut off, yelled at, and harangued, Jason had to still go about his day as if nothing happened. The use of good customer service in the face of disrespect is reminiscent Karl Marx writes, “the realization of labor appears as a loss of reality for the worker”. It is not the real person who is being polite but the person created for the work environment that is required to be polite. With this in mind, having to create an atmosphere of happiness when one isn’t feeling happy could result in the depersonalization of happiness with the self (Herpertz et al, 2016). The problem then turns into the employee not knowing whether they are actually happy or is only so used to being happy. How does the employee then adjust to the “real world” outside of the workplace? In A Managed Heart by Arlie Russell Hochschild, she speaks with airline attendants who must always create a positive space for passengers, their smiles being of most value to the company. One flight attendant interviewed is quoted saying, “Sometimes I

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