I started a new job today, so I was understandably nervous.
Fortunately, the professional development scheduled for the day was titled “Emotional Intelligence.”
Everyone was pleasant. Everyone greeted me with enthusiasm.
Emotional intelligence was obvious all around me….until the role playing exercise.
We had watched the following clip from the comedy Meet the Parents, and laughed about the lack of empathy shown by the stewardess towards the actor Ben Stiller.
The facilitator running the professional development then instructed us all to pair up and choose to play either the role of the stewardess or Ben Stiller. I turned to my new supervisor.
“I really don’t want to play this role,” I said quietly.
“You don’t have to,” she smiled back.
We “pretended” to play the roles, and then watched everyone else until the facilitator saw us.
He rushed over.
“You need to play the role,” he insisted, smiling tensely.
“No, I don’t,” I responded.
He was not exhibiting emotional intelligence at all.
He moved on.
Finally, as part of the concluding activity, each of us had to contribute a word as to how we felt:
“Satisfied,” said my supervisor.
Then it was my turn.
“Relieved,” I said.
Relieved I had survived the professional development.
Relieved to find such camaraderie on my first day.
Relieved to find support from my new supervisor.
All of which made me relieved I had found this particular new job.