I, as much as the next person, enjoy having a whinge about celebrities, how much they earn, how unnatural it is to look that good all the time, how shallow their existences are, etc etc.
But, there is one thing about these pampered freaks-of-nature that I have always admired. These people have to front up on TV week in week out, to present, promote or entertain. That means one thing: THEY ALWAYS HAVE TO BE NICE TO PEOPLE.
Not in the way we have all had to be nice when working in customer service, a quick exchange of pleasantries and perhaps a brief helping hand; or a phone call, or a meeting which, though hellish if we have a pounding headache or are simply in an inexplicably bad mood, do at least end.
People in the public eye have to be nice to people ALL THE TIME. Whether they are interviewers, interviewees, doing a round of promotions, or even on their day off, when they are recognised by everyone they meet – they constantly have to be pleasant and ready for a chat.
Otherwise, Joe Public can be merciless in judgement, and slow to forgive.
If they are surly, short of temper or just a bit quiet, word spreads, people talk and voila – they have a reputation as being unapproachable and mean. When, in reality, perhaps these people simply had simply had a bad morning: burnt toast, no milk and a stubbed toe, perhaps, enough to dampen even the brightest of spirits.
I am sure I am not the only one who wakes up sometimes and thinks, “Today, I am not in the mood for people. Today, I will avoid talking to people as much as possible.” (Aside from loved ones, of course.)
I am lucky, in that I can do that most days: a home office, plenty of computer based work, and flexible schedule mean there is plenty I can do which doesn’t involve speaking much – especially with blessed email the communication of choice for most people in business now.
Sometimes these days can be surprisingly productive: they are the days when I really get my head down and work, uninterrupted, occasionally checking the voice mail to make sure there are no urgent calls which need to be addressed.
So, I think that even though these people are pampered, preened, beautiful, blessed, and very, very rich indeed – I might just trade all that in for the liberation of having an Antisocial Moment without it affecting my reputation for months, or even years, to come.
Or, at least, that’s what I will tell myself as I examine a new wrinkle and wrestle with the ever-growing monthly bills.