When I took this job, I really didn’t know how much of it would be listening to people’s problems. Not that that is a bad thing, necessarily, I just didn’t think I’d have to listen to problems most people wouldn’t tell a stranger. Or at least things I wouldn’t tell a stranger – or a person in a store that I sorta know, but not really.
I mean, I can’t even sort out my own problems and strangers want to tell me theirs and ask for advice? Weird. Hell, I only give actual advice to friends that I know well – and only if they ask. Opinions, hell yes, I’ll give those to strangers, but advice? Nope.
I shouldn’t be surprised in this age of oversharing – I mean, yes, I do my own fair share of it here and on my Twitter (—> hell, I share that on here too, though it’s not all that exciting lately), but I do it semi-anonymously, at least. When I’m face to face with someone, unless they’re a friend, I feel really uncomfortable when they start telling me about their marital issues… or about their spouses (live or dead)… or about health issues… and lately, I’ve had tons of people come in and do just that. I’m beginning to think that there’s a sign somewhere in the DC area saying “hey, if you have a problem/issue, go to ____ and talk to _____. She’ll listen.”
Today’s woman came in around 1:30ish and stayed till I closed (and then some – since she was in the class I was teaching that night)… 6.5 hours… There were tears, there was oversharing, there were icky bare feet on a table (a pet peeve of mine, in public at least – I don’t care what you do at home, hell, I put my feet on my coffee table all the damn time, but in public?)…
Perhaps I should just hang a shingle out on the door and start advertising “PSYCHIATRIC HELP, $20. THE DOCTOR IS IN.” (I figure that with inflation, $20 is equivalent to Lucy’s 5¢, right?)