I have some great friends in my life and I love them all. Most of them know one thing for sure or figure it out fairly quickly, I don’t particularly like to talk on the phone. I don’t like calling people, because I always feel like I am intruding on whatever they are doing. Now if I am in the mood to talk on the phone it is one thing, if I am not, well I am more than happy to just sit and listen to you. I do love communicating with friends, don’t get me wrong. It is great to have someone to tell your trouble and your triumphs. A great friend, you can talk about nothing and everything all at once and have a great conversation. Other times, you can just sit quietly with each other content in the knowledge that you are together.
My best female friend is often one of these people. We get along very well and when times are good they are really good, but we can also get on each others nerves very much. She is like a sister to me, in fact, I am probably closer to her than I am to my own sister. However, sometimes I need to just complain about her. Most of you guys don’t really know me (other than through my blogs) and none of you know her, so you are the perfect people to complain about her to. Even if you don’t read all of this, I at least get to put my feelings out there.
This friend of mine has moved away from where we used to live in the same town, and I have also moved away, so we are even further apart. There are several main things that she does that get on my nerves. First of all, she has a job I would love to have, and though she says she loves her job, she constantly complains about it and hates doing all the extra administrative stuff that comes with the territory. She’s a teacher and believes that all she is supposed to do is teach. Anyone who has been in academia knows that you not only have to serve on committees, serve as advisors, perform certain community service activities, etc., you also have to teach. All of that is part of the job. I would love to be doing what she is doing. She only teaches two different classes (though she teaches 5 in all). I teach 7 different classes, all different preps. She has two. I have to serve on the same sorts of committees, actually a few more, go to teacher training conferences, which she has to do also, get paid less than she does, and have to mostly deal with high school students, when she deals with college students. I know the grass is generally greener on the other side, but while I struggle constantly to find a job that I want and feel is rewarding, along with finishing a dissertation, and all of the other stuff that goes along with life, she has a fairly stable job (she is on one year renewable contracts, that probably won’t end), she only has a master’s degree, and has no worries about tenure or scholarly publications. She just has to deal with students and administrators and I have to deal with students, administrators, and PARENTS. She doesn’t have that much to complain about in my opinion.
Furthermore, she is becoming more and more selfish in my opinion. She got angry with me for taking my current job as teaching because she wanted me to move in with her, work at Wal-Mart or some other such job, and help her pay her mortgage and bills. I love to teach; it is my passion. My job may not be the ideal situation, but don’t dismiss it or change the subject every time I bring it up, because you don’t see the joys of teaching, when you yourself are a teacher. She also wants me to drive the 7 hours to visit her, but will not come visit me, when she actually has more time to be able to do so. She always has an excuse. When she calls me now it is usually to complain about one of two things: general complaints about her job or people she knows or to complain to me about why I don’t call her more. I don’t call her more because she never wants to listen about my life, but to tell me all about hers, which is fine, but I think it is a two way street. I also don’t call because she is rarely at home. She goes out with friends or out drinking a lot (I tend to think she drinks too much and calls in sick with hangovers too much). She won’t see that she potentially has a problem, even though I have seen the same thing in many other people. They let the bars run their life. I admit, I love to go out and have a good time. I enjoy drinking and getting drunk on occasion, but I never do it if I have to teach the next day or have something else important that I have to do. I certainly would never go out drinking until 3 or 4 am when I have a 7:30 am class the next day, and I know that I would still be drunk when I got to class or would have to cancel it because my hangover was so bad. Yet, she still does this. She worries about her contract not being renewed, yet she doesn’t take initiative to do better about her job when she knows what the bare basic requirements are and only complains about them.
I started writing (ranting) this when I got of the phone with her. Hence the first part about my often dislike of talking on the phone. My feelings were already hurt by her this week. I had surgery on Monday, and not until I messaged her Happy Thanksgiving on Thursday and subtly reminded her that I had not spoken to her since my surgery, did she ask how I was doing. Then without waiting for a reply, she began another subject. (She also has forgotten my birthday, when I mentioned something about it last week, she asked when it was. It’s coming up in the next few days; I have never forgotten her birthday since she told me when it was.) She did ask today when she called how I was doing, but that was only after I mentioned not getting much sleep last night because I was having some pain. I had thought she had called to ask how I was doing, but the real reason she called was to tell me that her sister had been in a wreck (she’s ok, btw) and that she was really tired and sleepy and needed someone to talk to to keep her awake while she drove to see about her sister. I was more than happy to sit here and listen even though I am very tired and was getting ready to take a nap. (Part of the reason I am writing this is to get out the frustrations, so that it will be off my mind when I take a nap in a few minutes.) The problem is instead of talking amicably, she started to complain that she couldn’t hear me very well. I told her that her phone was breaking up, and I could barely hear her, but she never thinks it is her phone. Now does anyone have AT&T Wireless? I used to, and I know very well how crappy their service can be and how many times it would drop a call. I never have that problem with Verizon. But just to satisfy her I said for her to call me on my land line. So she said something, which I couldn’t understand, and hung up. Then she called my land line. I may have an independent rinky dink local telephone company, but I get damn good service, yet she began complaining again that she couldn’t hear me. When I said, “I think it is your phone.” She snapped back at me, “Nope, it’s only you. Everyone else I can hear fine.” I’ve heard her talk to other people on the phone, this conversation goes on with each of them too. I don’t understand why she can admit it. She has an iPhone, it doesn’t mean she has the greatest piece of telecommunications technology in the world. It’s AT&T Wireless. It sucks (BTW, I have major problems with AT&T, but that is a whole other story. So yes, I am biased against AT&T.) Then the conversation ended with her saying, “I’m going to just let you go. You obviously just need a nap.” Meaning that she thought I was in an ill mood. I had tried to be nice, but everything I had said she turned back on me. I hate it when you are trying to be nice to someone and all they can do is point out every little thing that is wrong with what you say. There is not pleasing them. Then she hung up. I can’t take a nap when I am mad, so I decided to calm down and get my frustrations out on this blog.
Sorry that this post is so much the opposite of my earlier post today, which was all about optimism. I try to keep my optimism, but sometimes we all need a good rant. Well, here was mine. Thanks for reading.
I love her, she is my best friend, but damn she can get on my last nerve like no other.