Professional versus Leisure

The two different situations I chose to observe myself for thirty minutes doing this week is a typical day at work and fishing on my day off. The front that I encounter at work is working behind a counter and selling/ providing customer service to customers who come into Green Top Sporting Goods. My personal front includes a well-dressed and groomed appearance, a hard working attitude, professional mannerisms, and casual dress with a work shirt. On the other hand, while I am fishing, this helps me to have time to myself and relax. I fish at my girlfriends cousins pond where I can fish off the dock or take a small boat out. For fishing, my personal front is a laid back and relaxed me where I can take time to reflect on my week and enjoy having some leisure time doing what I love to do. My style of dress for fishing is clothes that I am comfortable in and often times clothes that I can get wet. The region or setting affects my presentation completely differently between work and outside of work when I fish. At work, I have to be professional with the customers I help and deal with and be nice to all of them even though that is hard to do sometimes. My co-workers are awesome and I am good friends with a lot of them so outside of work we can be ourselves together and have a good time, but at work it is more of a business and getting our job done situation. When fishing, the region or setting affects my presentation of self because I am in an environment I love – the outdoors. I can always be myself here no matter if I am alone or fishing with other people because it is something I love to do.

At work my backstage activity or activities that prepare myself is driving to work and preparing myself for the day ahead of me and frontstage regions or activities that are performance include being on the job from the time I walk in to the time I walk out. While fishing, my backstage activities or the preparation stage includes getting all of my materials ready and together for fishing, loading them up in my truck and driving to the pond. Frontstage regions or activities of my performance is while I am fishing. My facial expressions, and body language vary between work and fishing because at work, I have to be more professional and convey appropriate body language and facial expressions at all times, whereas fishing, I can be more laid back and have whatever body language and facial expressions I want to. When working, the types of things that I say depends on what the customer is looking to buy or needs help with, but again, is always professional language. The types of things I say while fishing usually is not a whole lot because I am usually fishing by myself. I do verbalize when I catch a big fish though. I tailor what I say in each situation by being conservative and professional while on the job and when I am fishing it doesn’t normally matter but I do not usually talk about work.

Each situation varies. For me while I am at work I must be professional and polite, while during fishing and not on the job, I am able to be more relaxed and act like myself. I do believe that we all present slightly different versions of ourselves in every situation we encounter throughout life because we cannot act or be the same everywhere we go or in all activities we take a part in. As Goffman asked, I believe that we do have a changing self and not a basic, unchanging self because the needs and demands of ourselves change in each situation. When we bring different selves to different situations, it says that the idea of a true self does exist, and we can change based on the needs of the situation.

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