In life I’ve been fortunate enough to be generally well-liked. There have been exceptions, of course, like mean little turds I had to endure in elementary school, and the occasional grown-up turd in my adult life, but such people have come up only on occasion. I worked hard and did well in school, becoming a favorite of some teachers and professors (or so it seemed). I even received the Unsung Hero award and a $500 scholarship at my high school just for being someone others could look up to (the words of one of the teachers who came up with the award, not mine).
I was able to continue stirring up this sort of positive sentiment in people even in college, but I have not met with much success in trying to do so in the working world. At every job I’ve ever had, I’ve gotten along well with my co-workers, and customers seem to at least not hate my guts, but my job performance seems only mediocre. I put much of the same effort into my job as I did my school work, but I’ve been getting unremarkable results.
Why is school so different from work, at least in my case? I’m sure this is one of the reasons people become professional students. School proved to be a good environment for me, I think because if I stuck with a particular group of students long enough, like when taking a foreign language class, a comfortable, stable atmosphere developed that never develops in a workplace where new people traipse in and out on a daily basis. This is probably why I took almost nine years worth of foreign language classes during my school career.