I’ve been having an issue lately, and it’s one I had in the past when I worked for the college and would have to talk to parents and students on the phone all day, about the same thing, over and over again. The problem is that once work is over, I really don’t want to talk anymore. I’m ‘talked out’.
Let me explain. I don’t have some job where I have free time, down time, time to check my email, think about things not related to students, or even talk to my coworkers. My schedule is: teach a 40-minute lesson, 5-minute break (in which you either type feedback or run to the toilet, but never both), repeat. For 10 hours, 5 days a week. And in those lessons, I cannot, under any circumstances, allow my mind to wander, look at anything other than the student or the book, or even look tired or bored. This means that I’m effectively ‘On’ all day at my job.
While I do care about my students and their progress, a lot of the time, I’m also concerned about the face I’m making, because a negative review could mean the end for me. There is NO down time, none at all. It’s a constant state of stress, unless I’m with a regular student, and then I can relax a little.
So my problem is that people want to talk to me sometimes when I’m not working. In the 5-minute break between lessons, at the end of the day, or when I get home.
Quite honestly, the ONLY person I want to talk to after a long day at work is my boyfriend, who is usually in the same state as me, since we work the same job. Everything else just seems like babysitting adults. He’s just as worn out and done as I am, so we can have a conversation laying in bed, staring at the ceiling, no problem.
It’s not that I don’t care about what my coworkers or anyone else has to say, I just can’t be bothered to act like I care, if I don’t. And most of the time, I just don’t care. I’m not interested. I work with a few narcissists, who don’t realize that I try to use my breaks as productive time to get shit accomplished. I also have a few people in my space who can’t seem to understand that I’m not interested and just want to strip and get into bed at the end of the day. I’m not sure that anything sounds interesting after a day at work these days.
I kind of feel bad for not being interested, but mostly, I don’t, because I really think that as I get older, I find a lot of things a lot less interesting.
Is this normal with age, or am I just turning into a curmudgeon quickly because of my high-stress job?
… In the same vein, I seem to have gotten much more direct with age. This might be due to the fact that I was already straightforward before moving to Germany, and then living in Germany for 5 years just solidified it. I’ve never been a fan of wasting my breath, so maybe I’ve just stopped mincing words. Either way, it seems to be related to how concerned I am about other people’s feelings, which is to say, ‘not as much as Gina 10 years ago was’.
So when this comes into contact with ‘I don’t have time to waste on listening to you’, it turns into ‘what do you need?! I’m typing notes right now!’, which actually just happened about 45 minutes ago. I have to go apologize to my coworker later for that one. When we have a 5-minute break, maybe?