Servers Who Fake-Smile Can't Hold Back After Work

It's especially hard for those with an impulsive personality
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2019 6:43 PM CDT
Servers Who Fake-Smile Can't Hold Back After Work
But is she smiling?   (Getty Images)

Those fake smiles and "thank yous" can really add up—especially if you're a spontaneous person. A new study finds that customer-service workers who force happy behavior on the job are more likely to over-drink after work, the Daily Mail reports. Researchers at the University of Buffalo and Penn State reached this conclusion after surveying interviews with 1,592 American workers, culling data on how often they suppress emotions on the job, how much autonomy they're given, how impulsive they are, and how many they knock back when work's done. "Faking and suppressing emotions with customers was related to drinking beyond the stress of the job or feeling negatively," says study co-author Alicia Grandey in a press release.

Earlier studies have shown that service workers tend to drink more—which this research confirms—but the new data goes deeper. "The relationship between surface acting and drinking after work was stronger for people who are impulsive or who lack personal control over behavior at work," says Grandey. "If you're impulsive or constantly told how to do your job, it may be harder to rein in your emotions all day, and when you get home, you don't have that self-control to stop after one drink." Published in Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, the study shows it's even harder for impulsive people who work in jobs with one-time customer encounters, like in a coffee shop, as opposed to relationship-building jobs in education or health care. (More drinking stories.)

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