Try to confront pretense and you’ll quickly find out just how much people love it. If we allowed you to call others out when they put on a show or otherwise waste our time, then who would collude with us when we try to hide our own elephants in the room?
Pretense requires cooperation; there is no show without the complicity of players, supporting players, stage hands, and spectators. The rhetoric of “sit down and shut up” awaits anyone and everyone who tries to put an end to show.
I think it’s unprofessional to expect folks to ignore pretense. But refuse to buy tickets to the show or request a refund for the ones you already hold and unprofessional is certainly one of the labels you’ll have to endure.
I can’t offer a cheesy five step list to close the curtains on pretense at work. Stop being pretentious, and stop smiling when you witness pretense in others.
This show is not a comedy, it’s a tragedy.