Trouble and Pain

Why do so many people feel obligated to greet me with the words, “Isn’t it terrible...?”

From a rape/murder three counties over to a missing child report three states over, people mire themselves in misery and feel compelled to share it with me.

Seriously? You haven’t seen me in two weeks and the first thing you want to tell me is about something horrific that happened somewhere else to someone you don’t know?

Ugh. A day of conversations like this really takes a toll on me.

I learned a long time ago that the average person doesn’t have many adventures every two weeks. I understand if my clients haven’t been on a white-water rafting adventure, or toured the Vatican, met the president, gone spelunking, or rescued a kitten since the last time they saw me. But couldn’t they tell me about making cookies with their granddaughter? Or about the funny picture of a cat their sister posted online? Or maybe just share the latest book they’re reading.

Why is the first thing that comes to mind, more often than not, something absolutely traumatic?

And some days — like today— I have had the opportunity to listen to at least eight different schadenfreude-filled tales of pain and suffering as clients parade through my day.

By the time the last person has boarded the haunted elevator, I have not only lost all hope for humanity, but find myself seriously contemplating methods of preventing clients from actually conversing with me.

It is an observation of our culture that has long baffled me. But it seems to simply be true of the majority of people — all I can do is try to point out to people that they are bringing me negativity and why don’t we talk about something fun instead? (You would be utterly disgusted at how many people look at me like I’m nuts for not wanting to talk about this stuff.)

And at the end of the day I perform my quirky little cleansing rituals so I don’t take it home with me and so it’s not still here when I return in the morning.

Whatever drives people to need to bring such horrors to the doorsteps of others, I can only hope that I somehow help to swing their personal pendulums back to a brighter outlook.

I hope. Otherwise…Man! Am I ever mentally exhausted at the end of the day for no good reason.


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