When you're working long hours in close quarters you learn things about your co-workers in the course of normal conversation and chit-chat. I enjoy these conversations for the most part, although I'm not much of a chatter because I generally can't do that and concentrate on what I'm doing. I don't mind if people want to share stuff with me but I've never been one of those people who shares every intimate detail of my life with the people I work with. I guess I just prefer to keep some separation there -- that's just me.
I've mentioned before how filling prescriptions gives you a bit of a 'window' into people's lives. It's happened to me several times --- I've been working with someone and am impressed (maybe even a little envious) of how 'together' they are --- attractive, smart, personable --- then, I have the occasion to check one of their prescription refills, and I'm looking at a whoppin' dose of Prozac along with a healthy helping of Xanax or lorazepam on the side. Don't get me wrong -- it doesn't change how I think of them and I would NEVER comment in any way on someone's prescription --- but it reminds me that life often isn't as smooth as it appears.
I guess where I'm going with this is that the lives of some of my co-workers seem to be imploding --- divorces, child custody and financial issues being the primary issues. I just read an article entitled "Growing Up is Taking Longer, Economically and Socially." I think it's true. When I hear of someone getting married in their early 20's, I know that the chances of that marriage lasting are not good at all. It particularly bothers me when there are young children involved -- I SO wish people wouldn't have kids when their lives are unstable; I wish they wouldn't think having a baby is like getting a puppy --- but I digress.
I just feel like I'm surrounded by stories of people behaving badly and irresponsibly. People who just don't have a mature foundation and who want to walk away from their responsibilities with no consequences. Everyone encounters some misfortune in their life, but these kinds of things are "eyes wide open" situations that I think could have been averted.
It just bothers me, I guess. I've got the advantage of a few years over them. I'm a pretty practical person to begin with. All I can really do is offer sympathy and listen. I come home from work unsettled, though. Kind of a squishy post here, but it's something I've been thinking about for awhile.