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Wednesday, 15 October 2003

I don't do empathy after 7pm

Now Playing: David Brent reruns of The Office

One of my colleagues, Petite (I've named her that because she's one of those super neat immaculate types, the sort whom I can't visualise ever sneezing green gunk all over her shirt, like I do) asked me today if I ever find it difficult to talk to my partner on a weekday evening. I wondered for a minute about why she'd used the present tense, before deciding I can't be arsed dealing with that one yet.
I admitted that I never answer the phone after 6.30pm these days, which I always think make me more than a little spasticated.
I know what she means about failing to hold up my end of a conversation in the evenings, though. If you work dealing with the public all day, at the end of the day you develop a real weariness of being asked questions. Well, actually, pretty much a total interaction fatigue. Obviously, this could one day work out as a slightly destructive element in your life.
[I've been in my career for nearly nine years, so it's becoming interesting to work out what that sort of horror/stability in a job can do to change you.]
So you stop answering the phone, (and hope that your friends will understand the rather pathetic sounding explanation) but you can't not answer a partner. Petite finds the discussions difficult - sorting out a bill, or making some social arrangement. Not me. Pressed to discuss anything like some sort of normal human being at the end of a difficult day, I merely end up masculinising my answers. I provide a solution.
When, inevitably, this doesn't wash, and the problem is repeated (after all, I didn't discuss anything), I become snappy. I furnish an alternative solution. Snappishly. Didn't I just give you the answer?
On the third repetition of the very same problem, I will claim grounds to sulk. Even though I know what they want from me. They're not talking to a bloke, after all, and they don't want a brusque solution. They just want me to listen. It's what girls do.
Not me.
I don't do empathy after 7pm.

Sleepwatch: 11 hours.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 10:30 PM BST
Updated: Wednesday, 15 October 2003 10:35 PM BST
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