JOBS AND EMOTIONAL LABOR
Between the extremes of flight attendant and bill collector lie many jobs that call for emotional labor. Jobs of this type have three characteristics in common. First, they require face-to-face or voice-to-voice contact with the public. Second, they require the worker to produce an emotional state in another person —gratitude or fear, for example. Third, they allow the employer, through training and supervision, to exercise a degree of control over the emotional activities of employees.
Within a given occupational category, these characteristics will be found in some jobs but not in others  For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts both “diplomat” and “mathematician” in the “professional” category, yet the emotional labor of a diplomat is crucial to his work whereas that of a mathematician is not. Within the category of “clerical workers” we find some who display their emotional dispositions as company emblems and do so by face-to-face contact, producing a desired emotional state in others in ways that superiors legitimately monitor. But we also find others whose only contact is with envelopes, letters, and manila folders. Certain waiters in certain restaurants perform emotional labor, but others do not. In some hospitals and some nursing homes, some nurses do emotional labor and some do not.
Many secretaries, of course, perform emotional labor, and even those who do not perform it understand very well that it is “job relevant.” A manual for the legal secretarial profession advised recruits in 1974: “You are pleasant even under strain. More executives hire secretaries for pleasant dispositions than for good looks. As one of them put it: ‘I need a secretary who can stay cheerful even when I get grouchy, work piles up, and everything else goes wrong.’”1 There is only one listing for “secretary” in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. But there are many different office atmospheres in which secretaries work, and some are more demanding of emotional labor than others. Even the same office workers, when placed under a new boss with a different philosophy of office management, can see changes in the amount of emotional labor required of them. Between the “what” and the “how” of typing a letter lies the line between technical and emotional labor.
Sometimes companies devise ways of making sure that workers do their emotional labor properly. A striking example was reported in the St. Petersburg Times of April 17, 1982, under the column head “A Grumpy Winn-Dixie Clerk Could Make You a Dollar Richer”: “The cashiers at six St. Petersburg and Pinellas Park Winn-Dixie stores are wearing dollar bills pinned to their uniforms these days. It’s all part of a company courtesy campaign. If the cashier doesn’t come up with a friendly greeting and a sincere thank you, the customer is supposed to get a dollar. And a cashier who gives away too many of the store’s dollars may wind up with a lecture from the boss.”
Winn-Dixie promised a free dollar to all cashiers who finished the two-week experiment with a perfect record and announced that recognition pins would be awarded to the most courteous cashier at each of its six stores. In addition, all Winn-Dixie stores gave customers leaflets bearing the following meassage: