Of course i cannot claim that my own small group of

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Unformatted text preview: for them as for female operators, was the arti®ciality, inauthenticity, and in some cases extreme subservience, of the persona imposed on them by scripts and styling rules.9 These informants seemed to orient more to the overt meaning of the preferred style ± `good service' ± than to its covertly gendered meaning. (Of course, I cannot claim that my own small group of male informants constitute a representative sample for the country as a whole.) In the U.S.A., on the other hand, although I did no systematic ®eldwork, I did meet men, and hear stories about men, who perceived the behaviour they were required to produce in customer service contexts (such as shops, restaurants and call centres) as `feminizing' and for that reason problematic. For instance, one woman told me a story about her son's experience working for a chain of Mexican restaurants. Employees were required to send diners on their way with a scripted farewell sequence that included a cheery wave. No one liked performing this embarrassingly phony routine, but the men found t...
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