I wonder how much of my eating out at restaurants is due to finding (exploiting) emotional labor?
In a work context, emotional labor refers to the expectation that a worker should manipulate either her actual feelings or the appearance of her feelings in order to satisfy the perceived requirements of her job. Emotional labor also covers the requirement that a worker should modulate her feelings in order to influence the positive experience of a client or a colleague.
I have noticed many of the servers have a smiling face when facing all their tables. But that face drops as soon as they are facing another direction.
Some become familiar enough with me they drop the pretense. Now that I think about it, my favorites usually stop pretending to be happy at some point. Hopefully they know I like them for them and not some act.
Then again, why do I need a girlfriend when I have a dozen or so pseudo-playing that role?