A Grin Can Turn to Blood When It’s Phony Enough

The greatest job skill you will ever have isn’t your education, training or “experience.” It is an ability to wear a perpetual grin on par with the Joker’s (Jack Nicholson’s not Heath Ledger’s). That’s right, what they fail to include in the job description of most ads placed in the gamut from Craig’s List to Glass Door is that a shit-eating grin will set you free by proving that you’re comfortably imprisoned.

No employer wants to be visually reminded of what they’re doing to you by having to make eyes at your slack-jawed countenance. They want to see smiles, symbols of the delusion they’ve risen to the top to help fortify–confirmation that this isn’t just a modern Soviet labor camp with illusory “conveniences” like a snack machine or wine available in the fridge on Fridays. For some of us, the grinning starts to hurt after a while, and we can’t even remember what our real and genuine faces look like anymore.

We do it so often that the pain of it becomes dull (and the reconciliation that we’re also incurring wrinkles for it that our salary can’t afford to take away must be made). The only time we notice that the veneer has become semi-permanent is when the blood begins to gush from our nose or cracked teeth, the chasm in our body suddenly speaking for our mind. But as long as your grin still looks semi-authentic through the sea of red, your boss won’t mind.