40
NickyBones
133d

During an annual review process, my friend, who is a female dev (doesn't work with clients), got feedback that she needs to smile more.
I'd like to hear from the male devs here, how many of you were asked to smile more?

Comments
  • 20
    Never, what bullshit. Also never been told my heels are too low, my clothes are wrong, or asked if I am planning to have kids.
  • 8
    We simply didn't do this at all we're I worked
  • 7
    @nibor I actually heard people criticize how men dress too, but it was more like 'Do you ever change/wash your clothes?" comments.
  • 7
    @ScaryException I also find it stupid. I did it 3 or 4 times, and I never got technical or relevant feedback. It was usually just the manager trying to tame me...
  • 6
    Smiling can be beneficial even if just between coworkers but to take it up in review would probably violate some laws unless you work in sales, and there its should go for every one since its just good customer service.
  • 4
    What the fuck
  • 3
    Was that like official 'you should smile more or we'll deduct from paycheck'? Or a harmless suggestion? 🤔

    Cuz my boss boss does that all the time..and some coworkers.. I look like I'm gonna murder someone if something is majorly fucked up on the project and I'm thinking about how to solve it..but I've never taken offense, I know they mean no harm, just want to make me relax..
  • 2
    The only thing that some manager told me was that I'm quiet and I don't talk a lot, but they didn't say this as something negative or positive.
  • 2
    What is smiling?
  • 3
    I think the only reasonable thing they could do was to ask if it is everything okay with her since she doesn't smile, and that is it.
  • 1
    I've had that said to me a lot (I'm a neurodivergent guy) although usually outside of work.
  • 9
    I remember how Russian service staff was taught to smile during the world football championship when all the tourists came in. Russians don't smile. If you smile in Russia, they think you're either drunk or stupid. That's because there is nothing to smile about in this world.

    @nibor In conservative places, the male dress code is particularly bad in summer. While women can go almost half-naked, men are forced to wear suits with ties no matter how hot it is, especially bosses. In really fucked up places, even devs.
  • 3
    Hot take but maybe I wouldn't be opposed to normalize telling men to smile more too rather than to stop telling women to smile more. Maybe being happy could cultivate a nicer work environment for everyone.
  • 6
    @Fast-Nop can confirm as a native from former USSR. Smiling is weird in most situations. It's not a usual face expression for most people.
  • 7
    @AlgoRythm if you smile while not being happy or satisfied, you're probably acting or mental. Telling people to smile more is trying to fix the symptom without fixing the cause.
  • 1
    @iiii Lots of people feel happy without smiling because whatever reason. I think it's not only appropriate, but constructive to encourage people to express their happiness if they feel it. Don't just say hi to your coworker, start the morning off right and flash a smile. It costs nothing
  • 2
    @AlgoRythm if they don't smile, they are not happy enough 🤔
  • 3
    @sladuled I had similar comments directed to me, and I doubt the commenters cared about my well being (as some of them were complete strangers). At least where I am from, women are expected to smile to satisfy the (male) environment, based on the norm that women should be pretty and smiley. We're like decorations with academic education :)
  • 4
    @AlgoRythm They didn't inquire about her happiness, just told her to smile more. It means she is expected to fake it for their entertainment?
    I don't smile a lot because it give you wrinkles, and I have horrible squirrel front teeth :)
  • 4
    1) Reviews are bullshit. If your company is doing them, get your resume ready and get out ASAP.

    2) Telling someone they should smile more is (in my opinion) harassment, and completely unprofessional and inappropriate. It borderlines on sexism, though unfortunately I've been told similar things as a male ("you seem to have a cloud over your head all the time" "well do I insult, harass, bother or otherwise impede others from their work?" "no quite the opposite, just kind of serious and unapproachable" even though everyone tends to come to me for help, which I'm always happy to give).
  • 1
    @Berkmann18 I had to google neurodivergent, you learn something every day. You didn't feel it was patronizing?
  • 1
    @NickyBones aren't big cutter teeth cute? 🤔 I have larger front teeth as well (especially underlined by smaller 2nd teeth)
  • 2
    @junon Then I think most Big Tech companies will find themselves with no employees :)
  • 3
    That's such a weird ass thing to say.

    I never heard that being said to anyone, male or female, here in Germany...
  • 3
    @iiii Cute if you are in Looney Tunes. I have 2 huge squirrel teeth, then the neighboring ones are small, and then I have actual fangs as canines. Half of my family are dentists, and still...
  • 0
    @NickyBones Most people told me that had no (or a partial) idea of what I had nor what the resulting behaviour would be (like, staying in the same external mood rather than the visible ups and downs neurotypical people go through).

    It was rarely patronising but certainly annoying (especially coming from those who made my life worse).
  • 1
    @NickyBones wow. I have the same teeth structure.
  • 5
    I'm usually told I need to put my middle finger up less...
  • 5
    One good reply to the boss could be, how about you make me smile?

    Let's say by not rushing immature client requirements into unrealistic deadlines, distracting me with unimportant nonsense, not forcing me to abuse a game starter OS for productive work, and also handing over a pay check that would make me smile all over?
  • 3
    @NickyBones Wow.. well this sucks.. I'm not sure how others are treated here, but I've never had such problems/feelings.. I'm lucky to have a great work environment.. or maybe I'm just too ugly to bother.. :/
  • 2
    @Berkmann18 The audacity of people that bring you down telling you to smile is.....ugh.
  • 3
    @Fast-Nop So you actually want a professional, healthy work process? Fired!
  • 4
    @sladuled I think it can be radically different experience depending on your location and company. Here if you are not up to standards ("ugly"), you will have some kind souls letting you know you need to wear makeup or lose weight or some shit.
    I usually get the "you're too skinny" and "your hair is too short".
  • 1
    @NickyBones Yup, it sucks when some of them are sociopaths and relatives.
  • 0
    @junon whats wrong with reviews? I had lots of them and they gave good feedback. I felt great almost every time I had one
  • 4
    @NickyBones I remember a funny event when a particularly grumpy female co-worker in testing had a meltdown. That was when our PM tried to kindly push the project.

    "Hey, all I'm asking for is just being a bit positively committed to the project..." The explosion was heard several rooms further down the floor. Reason was that out of all project members, she was the only one with massive overtime, and he didn't know that.

    He didn't even dare to enter her room for two weeks and asked us devs what the status of testing was. ^^
  • 4
    @Fast-Nop We had something similar, where many people in the team actually worked during the nights to support demos in a conference in the west coast, in addition to sprint tasks. We did like 120% for 2-3 sprints, and then the big boss said something like "when was the last time you missed a meal to deliver what's required?"
    I lost my shit and told him in front of the whole department that this is not a Chinese sweatshop. WTF.
  • 2
    @NickyBones your friend needs more flare. we want her to express herself. You see Johnny over there? He’s wearing 37 pieces of flair
  • 2
    I have been told similar things, but not in such a sexist context. That is absolute bullshit and she should refute that shit with HR.

    I fucking hate that phrase as a whole "you should smile more", fucking WHY? As if women were there to make random ass mfkers feel better about shit.
  • 1
    @math-silva

    I remember my manager saying I talked too much..
  • 1
    @NickyBones lol after seeing me smile, your boss would’ve been told to smile LESS. My teeth are notoriously yellow. But I’m a guy and less at risk for sex discrimination like what you’re probably up against
  • 0
    I would laught at the guy who tells me to smile more.
  • 1
    @Fast-Nop ok doomer.
  • 5
    The best comment I had in a review was that my table is "overly clean" and that I need to bring personal stuff and to use a physical notebook .

    In my table, I only have my monitor (and laptop) and my nametag.

    Other guys have all kind of stuff (nerfs, piles of random papers, mugs, photos, drawings, random trash, lego and little toys (like those that came from kinder eggs)). I can't understand how some can work with all that stuff in their table.

    In my table, someone could fit comfortably with me to see some error or problem. In some tables, they need to open room for me and even then sometimes I don't have space to use a mouse.

    Why I need to decorate my table with useless stuff that will only hinder me?
    Notes? I write them in computer or whiteboard (and take a photo), everything organized by client, theme, date, etc
  • 5
    @pmso Wow, that's seriously stupid. Why would someone even care about your desk being too tidy?
  • 2
    @NickyBones Because it looks like a deserted workplace when you aren't at your desk. Or it looks like no work is being done. Digital tech, what's that?

    At my company, it's the other way around - whenever higher-ups threaten to visit, the boss tells everyone to tidy up the rooms. Nothing to do for me because my desk looks quite like @pmso's. ^^
  • 5
    @Fast-Nop Yes, we had the higher-up-visit cleaning routine as well...Also I was not allowed to wear my hamster suit.
  • 5
    I got asked when i plan to get my hair cut because It's gotten too "long".
  • 6
    I also got told to smile more when working with clients.

    Me: "I'll smile when there's a fucking reason to smile"
  • 3
    My CEO is also a woman so I’m thankful I don’t get these remarks. If my manager told me to smile more I’d tell him to fuck off. Knowing him he’d probably be like "yeah fair enough" anyways. Like, why do you care if anyone smiles or not? It’s nice to have a good mood within a team, but I’m not here to make friends, nor am I trying to fake who I am, so why would anyone want me to?
  • 0
    @NickyBones hamster suit?
  • 1
    @iiii Yupp, a hamster kigurumi and I occasionally wear it to work
  • 0
    @NickyBones no way! 😱
  • 4
    @NickyBones I've worked in places where I already got strange looks for my old army jacket.
  • 1
    Never been asked that. What a load of sexist bs.

    What they usually ask me is to rant less and if possible with lower deciBells.
  • 5
  • 2
    @NickyBones That's a cool suit. Are you the only one in the building/floor/company doing that?
  • 2
    @NickyBones what a cool office, I miss that :'(
  • 0
    @Berkmann18 Yeah, it was a very conservative company
  • 0
    @NickyBones dafuq 😄 but why?
    Also isn't it hot in such suit?
  • 1
    @iiii Super comfy for long days of debugging. Air conditioning in most offices is tuned for 70+ kg males, so I am always freezing anyway.
  • 1
    @NickyBones oh, I get you. I have a stable weight of 57 kg and prefer warm environment when everyone else is sweating. But kigurumi would be too much 😄
  • 4
    What the fuck. All day we just looking at the monitor. For whom I should smile? For my code? That is bs and if it has any impact I would just leave.
  • 0
    I definately notice some sexism in your workplace, but I don't think its where you think it is...
    I don't mean in anyway to offend, and hope you don't discount my comment as a personal attack, but It sounds like your workplace is somewhat flexible to your needs already by allowing you to express your personality with your costume etc.
    While I wont speculate as to the intent of the reviewers comment ( yes, I have been told to smile more, but it was service industry so not the same) It is somewhat interesting that your justification that you feel for not wanting to show fake an appearance, is because you are trying to hide your actual appearance. But by the WAY that you said it, It appears that you have already accepted this sexism you fight into the way you think; ie: that women should hide their "flaws". It sounds like you have accepted this into the way you think without question, while admonishing others for being victims of the same brainwashing making us undermind our own efforts.
  • 0
    @NickyBones Just to be clear, I was refering specifically to your mention of hiding wrinkles and your teeth: beauty is completely subjective so your assuming these traits arent considered attractive, and as a dev you should know how damaging blindly acting on assumptions can be. For instance I personally find makeup to be uglier than what it is covering ( clowns dont use it because it makes them stick out LESS) lol
  • 0
    @KiDoDa I agree with you about makeup. Some people cover so much that it seems that you are looking to plastic.

    But if you dont like one part of your body, I think you have the right to hide it if you want.

    I have a really deep philtrum (thing between your nose and lip). When I was able to grow a mustache, I grown to hide my deep philtrum.
  • 1
    @pmso I totally agree, but those choices possibly have concequences. For instance if you worked in food service in US you would be required to wear a hair restraining device (aka hairnet) for your mustache. In which case an assumtion that this rule must exist for sexist reasons, because they never ask any of the female employees to restrain their mustache; would be equally missguided.
  • 1
    @KiDoDa The post was about my friend, who got the "you should smile more" as an actual annual feedback. She doesn't wear Hamster suites to work.
    There are men in the open space that come in with shorts, flip-lops and t-shirt with food stains on it. So the flexible dress code is not especially for me. My onesie is at least clean.
    Beauty is subjective, and in my eyes smile lines and beaver teeth are unattractive. If other people find it charming, they can smile until their cheeks hurt.
  • 4
    No point smiling where I'm at, they'd know I was lying
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