Thoughts by Richard Bleil
So here it is, Sunday, beautiful sunny day, warm, and here I am, sitting in an office on campus working. On a Catholic campus, no less.
Yes, I am a workaholic.
My life, quite honestly, leaves much to be desired. I have no wife, no kids, no girlfriend; heck, I don’t even really have a home. I’m living with a friend of mine who is allowing me to crash at his place while I try, in vain, to get my life back in order. I say “in vain” because, frankly, I’m ready to give up. I find it hard to believe I will ever again have a good job, a relationship, or basically anything that makes life worth living.
I have my work.
And it’s technically part-time work at that. I’m an adjunct professor. That means part-time and temporary. If I break $10,000 this year (yes, this year), it will be just barely, and only before taxes. It’s no wonder I won’t be able to find a place of my own with that kind of income, especially since it’s not even really guaranteed.
Thank God I’m a workaholic.
Part time temporary means that I should, in principle, show up to teach my classes, and leave. Sounds like heaven; work half a day, and take off. But Friday, I worked all afternoon even though I finished teaching at eleven in the morning. I worked yesterday, Saturday, all day. And I’m here working Sunday. I’ve been re-writing the various components of an upcoming exam (historically they have done take-home and in-class portions, splitting up the one exam into about five pieces). I shouldn’t. I should have used what they used last year, but, you know…
I’m a workaholic.
Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t been working on these exams non-stop. I’ve been on Facebook, playing games on my phone, and, yes, blogging. In fact, if you are confused by this blog (since the 28th is a Saturday, that’s because this blog will put me, quite literally, about a week ahead of schedule, as my goal has always been to publish one blog a day. So, I’m actually writing this on the 22nd, a Sunday, in the mid-afternoon. Instead of being outside, enjoying the day, driving or walking around, doing something fun, I’m…
Bowing to my workaholic nature.
I justify my habits as being for the greater good of my students. Let’s face it, and I actually do believe this, I sacrifice because my students deserve no less. Yes, I’m an educator, so underpaid and overworked is kind of the standard. I think that slowly, there is a cultural awakening to the fact that teachers are not treated fairly. They put in far more work than most people realize. No, when school is out, they don’t get to go home early (or if they do, they take plenty of work home with them). No, they really don’t get summers off; these are usually spent with training, re-accreditating their teaching certificates (which I don’t have to do, oddly enough, as a college professor), and preparing for the upcoming year. And no, they’re not even paid fairly. In fact, what little they ARE paid often goes back into their classroom buying materials and supplies for their classes since schools are often underfunded. Teachers work very hard. In fact, there’s a good chance that, as a general class of people…
My own proclivity towards being a workaholic is my depression. I find it hard to believe that people would want to spend time with me, and I’m guessing that people can sense that about me, and assume that their feeling means that I don’t want to spend time with them. In fact, I’m actually a very shy person, probably because I don’t see any particular appeal in my own person, which makes it very hard to socialize, meet new people, or visit with others. This means that I often…
hide in my workaholic nature.
Maybe you’re starting to see a common thread in this post. I don’t know what ever it could be. I will tell you this, though; I have turned to work in the past to cover up wounds. After my divorce, I buried myself in work harder than ever before. And to be honest, I’m not sure I’ve ever really come up. Just for fun, I agreed to participate in this dating aspect of my social media platform, not really expecting anything to come of it. I’ve had a few women (of my own age no less) actually reach out to me and “like” my profile. I should open up a chat with them. After all, they showed interest, right? It seems a good bet that they would like me to say hi, doesn’t it? But, why in the world would they want to talk with me. Well, they probably don’t. I look much better on paper than I am in person. On paper I have my doctorate, worked in a lot of interesting and prestigious places and positions, and seem like I might be interesting. In person, I’m depressed, lonely and have nothing to offer. No, they’re better off without me. I’ll just bury my head and get back to work because…
yes, I’m a workaholic.