so professional

I’ve been called “professional” multiple times in my work life. I think the reason I get this a lot is because I appear calm under pressure. And the word seems to apply to how people conduct themselves — so when I’m told I’m “professional,” it’s also because when I’m around coworkers who are abusive or bullying or in some other way quite unpleasant, I can divorce myself from my feelings and respond as if they are communicating like a normal person.

I think that’s a really crappy definition of “professional” and it’s not necessarily a goal worth the time, but we all do it. There’s one person in power who acts out, and we all ignore it, even though it’s so bizarre and embarrassing and toxic and draining and hurtful too. So when I’m told I’m a professional, or behave so mega-professionally, I don’t necessarily take it as a compliment.

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