It's happened again.
At the beginning of this year, I made some "new semester resolutions" that included making sure I don't let school or work get the better of me. For a while, I stuck to them. I took weekends off, slept on a regular schedule, and had a happy laid-back relationship with my classmates. Then the assignments started, and the readings piled up, and the staff at my workplace got greedy for more and more features. I did manage to keep my exercise schedule tight, but by now I'm eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for at least one meal a day and spending my Saturdays glued to Microsoft Access 2007.
I can attribute my spiral back into workaholism to two insidious words: "Group Projects."
I hate group projects.
I don't hate my group members...most of the time. All but one of them this semester are darling people. But (a) darling does not necessarily mean hard-working, and (b) there's always that one. Last semester it was the president of the SLA student chapter, whose vocabulary did not include the word "compromise." This semester it's a dual masters candidate whose pride is more important to her than the quality of our product. So while I enjoyed working with these groups and think the projects we undertook were valuable (both for our clients and our resumes) these two bullet points boil down to me seizing 90% of the work and refraining from taking credit for it during the evaluations.
This shoots my stress level up in another two bullet points: (a) there's the stress of the actual work, which robs me of my youth, and (b) as a human being, I hate the social ramifications of taking charge. I don't like ignoring a person's feelings and obliterating her work so we can get a decent grade. I don't like eclipsing my group members' contributions, or watching them struggle to preserve the group dynamic and defer to me at the same time.
Sweetie says all this conflict is silly; just do the work and tell the professor you did. In other words, "Stop being such a girl." Apparently, working with people is less complicated if you're male. Men gain social status by boasting their accomplishments; women lose it and can earn a few choice nicknames too. If Sweetie wants to make friends, he lures people into his posse with bold leadership. If I want to keep friends, I have to flaunt my flaws and be as non-threatening as possible. Basically, it's like this:
Next week we will present our final projects and turn in our papers, and then I will begin an internship where most of my work will be solo. I'll have calm months where I won't have to step on many toes. Then it will be back to monopolizing class discussions and eating Pop Chips for dinner as I hack at portions of a paper that were assigned to other people.