Monday, September 4, 2006

work ennui

It's the end of Labor Day. Labor Day is a bit of a bizarre holiday, in that America takes the day off work - a day of leisure, if you will - to celebrate one's ability to work. The new bastion of information - Wikipedia - has this on Labor Day:
Labor Day is generally regarded simply as a day of rest and, unlike May Day, political demonstrations are rare. Forms of celebration include picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays, water activities, and public art events. Families with school-age children take it as the last chance to travel before the end of summer. Some teenagers and young adults view it as the last weekend for parties before returning to school. However, of late, schools have begun well before Labor Day, up to the 15th of August in many urban districts, including Nashville and Atlanta.

I feel a great sense of ennui with my work. I think this is an accurate word because my feelings go beyond mere boredom to a sense of dissatisfaction. The work in itself - meeting with people who are clinically depressed, suicidal, psychotic, or some combination - can't really be described as "boring" or "dull," and at times it can be classified as "exciting" (especially when meeting with psychotic people or someone in a manic phase).

I just feel weary of the work. I get tired of seeing people at a low point (probably the lowest) in their lives. Since I see people at the beginning of the process, whether they are going to be hospitalized or not, I don't get to see what progress they have made or how they are when they are discharged. I don't get to see results, as it were. I've often thought of doing other kind of work, perhaps in the hospitality field where I can still help people in some way but in a much more positive setting.

I don't know if this is a phase, or some early mid-life crisis thing, or what it might be. Have you ever felt this way? If you did, what did you do about it?

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