"Cailyn's self-deprecating sense of humor puts others at ease, and allows her to, almost instantaneously, strike the delicate balance between 'leader' and 'friend' without seeming overeager."
That's an actual sentence from a letter of recommendation. As it turns out, my "self-deprecating sense of humor" is something that comes up a lot when people are asked to write about my better qualities. I am great at putting myself down in endearing, colloquial ways!
Also, I almost never seem "overeager." I think this circles back to me being calm in a variety of situations, but it makes me feel a little like I'm not using enough exclamation points in my emails.
The term self-deprecation does make it seem a little like I'm in a constant cloud of depression. I swear I'm not. Self-deprecation is just the easiest way for me to deflect any anger that I would otherwise direct at punching people in the face over idiotic workplace comments and actions. Like, "But! You're a woman!"
I know it sounds like I might have some issues, but let's just go with it!
I honed this skill entirely at menial customer service jobs while trying to reassure people that they were not being "annoying" or "high maintenance."
The best thing about menial customer service jobs is that they translate very nicely into dealing-with-clients graphic design jobs. If I have to joke about my flaws to occasionally boost someone else's confidence about a project or idea, I'll do it. It's much easier to make people feel like you're on their side if you can get them to laugh a little.
It's never bothered me that my self-deprecation seems to be endearing to former employers; it's even a little nice that my sense of humor is hire-able. Maybe my next evaluation should read, "It was the delightful attitude you have while putting yourself down that got you this promotion." (Alternatively, "It was the delightful attitude you have while putting yourself down that got you this demotion.")
The thing is, I don't want to be a leader. I want to be in charge of my own time without being responsible for the workload of other humans. There's no reason I can't take my self-deprecating attitude right into full time telecommuting, guys! I'm on a computer all day, and, conveniently, I can do that from anywhere.
Most conveniently, I can do it from down the street, in my sweatpants, on a couch. This is the future, after all, and we're all working toward the same magical utopia in which we can just send our robot surrogates to the grocery store for cookies, right?
Or is that just me hoping that today ends with cookies?