What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. The damned darkness. It’s been said that it’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness. Still, all things considered, I’d rather be home before lighting the candles is necessary. I know it’s that fabulous time of year when the days are getting short and all, but I can’t help but think it would be awfully nice to get home in the afternoon before the photovoltaic sensors crank on the outdoor lights for the night. Plenty of daylight while I’m driving to the office in the morning is nice and all, but while I’m sitting in cubicle hell, it doesn’t make a lick of difference to me whether it’s blue skies and sunny or pitch black out there. Having an hour or two of daylight at the end of shift, though, would make all the difference in the world. You can keep Christmas. The winter holiday I’m most looking forward to at this point is the solstice.

2. Hand holding. Public displays of affection are fine, what makes me crazy are the allegedly professional members of society who need hand holding through every step of whatever it is they are supposed to be doing. I don’t have the time or the inclination to be your security blanket and dispense constant reassurance that you’re doing good work, or the right thing, or whatever other nonsensical prattle you need to hear multiple times a day to keep your little world from flying out of its orbit. Being a grown ass adult means you get to meet your own needs, not wander around looking for someone to meet them for you… because right now the only thing I can say you need for sure is a punch to the throat. That might not solve your problem, but it would sure as hell solve mine.

3. Everything else. I can’t quite put my finger on what’s causing it, but my general state of being could best be described as “annoyed” for most of the last week. While that may not sound surprising, the truth is actually do my best to ignore, or at least not engage with, most of what goes on around me. Observe it? Absolutely. Interact with it? Only when it’s unavoidable. I find that I’m much more at peace with the world and those in it when I hold the whole ball of wax at arm’s length. This week, though, I wake up pre-annoyed for some reason… although it saves me the trouble of needing to gin up a good level of rage later, it doesn’t exactly contribute to the smooth passage of the days. Sadly, that’s not a problem that can be fixed by the judicious application of more cowbell… unless you duct tape the cowbell to the person annoying you and then play it with a crowbar. That might actually help.

Wrong gear…

It’s the end of July. The part of me that spent two years checking off classes good for a teaching degree and then spent 28 months actually teaching still rebels this time of year. Some people go into teaching because they have a passion for their field. Some do it because they like kids and want to “touch the future.” That always seemed like a particularly pervy phrase to me, but I digress. The point is, I mostly went into teaching because it seemed like a great way to maximize time not working.

By now the average teacher is probably yelling at me about all the time they spend prepping, planning, grading, collaborating, talking to parents, and taking refreshed training after class, on weekends, and over the summer. My solution to that was to simply not do those things. I was usually in my room 30 minutes before the first bell only because that gave me time to eat whatever breakfast I picked up on my way in from the house and the busses barely cleared the parking lot before I was headed for the doors at the end of the day. As for grading on the weekends, at night, or at some other time when I wasn’t getting paid for it? Yeah. Forget about it. I guess someone people work for love, but I’ve always been more a “work for money” type of guy. Maybe that’s another reason the whole teaching career never took off, but again I digress.

What I seem to have at the moment is a distinct lack of motivation and the deep seated wish that all manner of jobs came with a 45-day chunk of free time right around the middle of summer. Sure, I’m making sure the paper shuffles from here to there, but in my head isn’t even in the same city as the ballpark where the game’s being played. That’s not a good long-term plan. Once the days start getting shorter and the nights cooler, I’ll snap back to reality. Right now I feel like a car running in the wrong gear – still moving forward, but doing it in a monumentally inefficient way… and you just can’t fix that shit with more cowbell.