Despite the fact that I generally try to avoid writing about work as much as possible, it’s gotten pretty bad, to the point where it unfortunately permeates into my time off the clock, and poisons my thoughts and emotions on a regular basis. And because nobody actually reads my bullshit in the first place, this is probably about as safe as a place to vomit all my thoughts and emotions without needing to burden my wife, friends, famiry or anyone else I give a shit about with talking about work.
But lately, I’ve decided to stare directly into the camera during certain meetings, like I were Robert De Niro in Heat. The scene where he’s doing some recon for Val Kilmer when they’re on a heist, and he just so happens to be looking directly at a night vision camera being actively monitored by Al Pacino. It looks like De Niro and Pacino are having a fierce stare down when in reality, they’re two guys in different locations who have no earthly idea that they’re looking right at one another.
Just like the virtual world of professional meetings, that we’re living a reality of these days.
It’s one of my favorite scenes in cinema, and captures the feeling of tension like few really can, and it’s what I think about whenever I stare directly into the green light of my computer, so that everyone else on these particular calls can feel like I’m staring directly at them, mostly when leadership is feeding me all sorts of bullshit lectures, attempting to emasculate me, tell me I suck at my job, or any other verbal act of trying to tear me down, which has become something of a sport to them, it really seems.
But I feel like staring at the camera which in turn makes it look like I’m staring directly at them, makes me feel a little empowered and I hope that I’m making them uncomfortable by looking like I’m staring directly at them. The irony of it all is that while I’m staring at the camera, I’m not looking at anything that’s actually particularly important, like whatever subject matter we might or might not be discussing if it’s instead how much I suck at my job, but I can also type without looking at the keyboard unlike some of my peers, so if I ever need to be typing something, I can maintain my steely stare directly at the camera.
Metaphorically, it’s my way of standing up to all the bullshit that’s constantly flung in my direction, and I will do my very best to not let it get to me and ruin my confidence as a worker. But really, I just hope it makes people uncomfortable being stared at so directly.