It seems that a pall of negativity has taken up residence around here recently. No matter where I turn, someone is telling me how "horrible" their life has become. It seems to be stronger at work, thankfully, but even friends and family are focusing on the negative.
Now, as I've said before, I'm a big picture sort of guy. I don't fret about things I cannot control. But what do you say to people, especially co-workers, when they start up?
One guy's ex-wife is moving out of state, and taking their son with her. They had no real stipulations about this. He could have fought it, but the kid seems okay with it. So he is doing what he thinks is right for his son. But every day he works, he brings this up. Usually 2 or 3 times each day. And usually, I swing the conversation back to whatever task we have to do. In truth, I really do not care.
And that is I guess what is really bothering me. I find that I am really apathetic towards all my co-workers. Ironically, I am the one they come to first. Probably due in part to my position. Partly because I have never turned a deaf ear to anyone. Ever. And yet, I find my mind drifting away from the conversation and onto what tasks I can give them. And the longer I listen, the longer their task list becomes.
With family and friends, it's different. Maybe because I am more invested in the relationship. Maybe because I actually care what happens to them, since I am involved in some way? Maybe because I can give comfort and care to them.
Most of the time, co-workers are looking for a place to vent. At least that's what I tell myself. If someone asks for advice, I give it. But it's still sterile. Maybe clinical is a better choice of word. No matter how you slice it, I keep them at a distance.
Is this bad? Or evil? How do you handle work relationships? There are only two that I would even consider hanging out with. But my position could make things complicated in that they are subordinate at work, but not socially. It's lonely at the top.
Anyway, enough complaining. Right now it's midnight. Me and the blues.