In my professional life I am working on a project with an airplane manufacturer. For the curious among you, it is NOT a company located in my home state of Washington.
The nature of the program is iterations. We provide a prototype, they test it and see how well it plays with other systems on the aircraft. Based on those activities, my company is asked to make changes and make them fast.
In my role I have the potentially conflicting objectives of providing realistic expectations to my customer, and keeping that customer happy.
The working environment at the customer's facilities is horrible. Yelling, bullying, petty politics are all alive and well there. Their managers get abused from their superiors and they take every opportunity to pass that grief along to suppliers such as my company.
I discovered that because I failed to complain or show any signs of being upset or miserable, they had concluded my company was not working hard. It seems my upbeat attitude and occasional jokes made those miserable souls I interact with even more miserable. Like I said above; misery may love company, but it just HATES happiness even more.
I consider myself fairly adept at relationship building and have been scratching my head as to how to deal with this situation. If I behave as if I'm miserable, it would demoralize my team here. If I stay happy, my customer will resent me even more.
Maybe I can fake it ?