Every day at work I have to deal with other people’s energy. Whether it being my colleagues, the helpers/guides or the citizens who are getting tested. I both love and hate that part of the job. Most of the time I take on this “Always greet people with a smile and be helpful”-persona. I like it and I dislike it. It’s fake most of the time but not always. It just makes things a lot easier. But I also sincerely mean it when I tell people to have a nice day.
I find it draining because I need to either match the energy of other people or keep up the facade of being positive when someone bothers me. There are people I have a really hard time being around but I try not to let them know because conflicts make nothing easier. I just suck it up and keep my opinion to myself.
Matching the energy of others can be a challenge too, but I feel like the conditions under which I grew up has trained me to read people and do it well. That doesn’t mean it’s easy or requires nothing from me. Every interaction is usually less than 2 minutes and then it’s time for the next one.
I know some people thrive in an environment like that, and I do personally appreciate the opportunity to experience it, but I’m also glad this won’t be what I’ll do for the rest of my professional life.
It had been 2 years since the first lockdown happened after the new coronavirus had spread across the world. Many people had lost their lives and even more people had been infected. Every human being had been affected.
Dylan had not left his home, a large-ish apartment at the edge of the city, for a year and a half aside for two events. The first was to get vaccinated (first and second shot) and the second was his grandmother's funeral. Had there been no pandemic, he would have been declared in need of a professional to sort him out.
Sure, his behavior was a little odd, but with restrictions coming and going, chasing the increase in infected, it didn't seem too strange. Everything was already set up for it. Dylan had made a deal with his neighbor who took down his garbage twice a week and emptied his mailbox in exchange for technical support in the neighbor's small webshop. A deal they were both happy with. The rest of the world had gotten comfortable with video calls and ordering everything online.
Almost every day was the same and it also wasn't. Solid habits were the foundation of Dylan's schedule and he had tweaked and adjusted it for months and months.
In the before-times, this looked very much like a punishment sans the ankle monitor. What others thought of as depressing restraints, Dylan had made into a successful happy life.
His world was simultaneously small and everything. He was comfortable.