The Evolution Will Not Be Televised

I was in New York this week to tape a segment for ABC World News on the topic of the RenGen’s reaction to the flurry of product recalls. In haste, I schlepped from Chicago, was at the studio by 4AM, on the air for 2 minutes, done. Like most moments in life, the real lesson is in reconciling one’s expectations with reality.

It was not my first time on television, but it was my first time doing national news. The difference was the prep room–hair and make-up. Since I am a dedicated culture scout, I never overlook the opportunity to grill someone who encounters lots of personalities. This was no exception. I asked the make up artist and the hairdresser to describe the most challenging aspects of their work. They agreed immediately: working with people who are afraid to go on television but can’t admit it to themselves, so they seethe anxiety. I talked about the Emotional Labor research I have been privy to and they jumped in to explain that it is not their skill with faces or hair that keeps them employed. (Note, they were very good. They made me look fresh as a daisy despite the all nighter I pulled.) It’s their ability to absorb the emotional turbulence so that others can shine. This whole notion of emotional labor has me PINGING (Potential Inspiration for New Ground). It makes me wonder how many people see their true value in their emotional labor. And how many consumers of services are even aware that that’s what they’re really buying? Is the idea of Emotional Labor our next evolution as a knowledge/service economy? Comments welcomed.