As much as I extol the virtues of being an efficient low-level flunky, there are downsides too, such as squirming awkwardly as we go over personality types and things that would never work in the real world if you deal with jerky people who are in power over you and know how to bully using their credentials and ability to sweet talk to the people who do have the clout.
I've gotten to the point where it doesn't bother me what so-and-so thinks of me because my self-esteem is not tied up in my job. I don't expect to be respected because I don't have any money or power and don't choose to schmooze. I do my job without expecting anyone to notice if I'm doing a good one.
And some of this stuff sounds fake as hell... with all this talk of making oneself more likeable by "preparing interesting conversational vignettes."
This totally reminds me of Mr. Collins in 'Pride and Prejudice,' who thinks so highly of himself and his position, enthusiastically sucks up to the rich and powerful and is unsufferable to anyone with sense.
"They arise chiefly from what is passing of the time. And though I do sometimes amuse myself with arranging such little elegant compliments, I always wish to give them as unstudied an air as possible. "
I wonder what it'd be like if Jane Austen was sitting there. I could imagine her scribbling on the back page of her notes with snarky comments while still maintaining an air of utter decorum.
Maybe I should start working on a success journal instead of the Great American Novel.