I’ve been burned out before. Back in ’02 I was so over my job that I started giving some serious thought to what else I might want to do for a living.
I knew it wasn’t nails, per se. I had a cluster of clients who were sucking the will to live out of me. Only one of them was a genuinely horrible person. Three or four others were nice enough but fraught with personal issues that permeated a 12-meter radius from their physical position and left a sticky residue in my soul for several days after I’d seen them.
You know people like that. We all do. The problem with doing nails — or any other sort of personal service that requires close interaction with your clients — is that you get the opportunity to know so many people like that. With very little chance to escape.
And the problem with having too many people like that in your life that you can’t escape from is that it’s contagious. Eventually you start to become a person like that. And once you become a person like that, nobody else wants to hang out with you. And the problem with making a living where you’re required to have close interaction with your clients is that it’s very easy for your clients to escape you.
What a crazy Catch 22.
Anyway. Back in ’02 I managed to get through the burn out. The bad seeds weeded themselves out on their own and before long I was in love with my career again.
Now I’m thinking it might be some sort of 10-year cycle. I’m not ready to say “burned out” yet. More like finding myself easily distracted from my job. I don’t have bad seeds right now — oh, I still have those obligatory two who are less fun than the rest, but even my two aren’t so much bad seeds as just people I don’t have much in common with. But right now I still want to go to work, I want to visit with my clients and the neighbors on my floor, I enjoy doing some nails... I just... hmmm... wouldn’t mind winning the lottery so I could go less often, visit fewer people in a day, and just do the nails I want to do.