Recently, I was discussing with my sis about nothing and everything, and we ended up talking about people who don’t have a social life. A recent incident with B. reminded me that he also falls into this sad category. My boss, who has known him for years, told me that he probably lost his mind, because he’s never seen him like that before. B., basically, spent his time chatting on the phone with every journalist he knows in my newsroom, but also in other ones. He also joined tons of groups on Facebook to meet new friends. We all wonder if he’s working sometimes…
Just before I met him seven months ago, he had a strange experience at his office. He was working alone in the building (it was on a Saturday) when the police called him to show them the way to the roof. There, a man had unfolded a streamer saying “death to capitalism”. B. and him had a bit of a chat on this curious place, and this event has shocked B. so much that he wrote a column about this incident in one of the biggest newspapers in our country. Since then, my boss says that he’s not acting as himself anymore. When I met him, he told me that he didn’t go out that much, and he seemed really ashamed of it. I didn’t insist that much, but I have the feeling this is the biggest problem of his life right now: he realized he worked hard all of his life to get where he wanted to be, but at a price: no social life. And he tries to change this, but in a very odd way.
When you’re 47, you have a lot of habits and reflex that are hard to change. I know that B. used to be a true terror. I’ve met some of his past students and assistants who told me he used and abused of his power to bring down the others. I’ve met some of his past collaborators who told me he was a douche and an egocentric of first category. When I go interview him, I have the impression to face sometimes the old B. This is probably why he gets on my nerves, and that I’ve never ever had so many difficulties doing my job. Yet, afterwards, he realizes each time he’s gone too far with me, and he apologizes. He can be really nice with me, and the next day extremely mean. I don’t know on which foot to stand with him, this is very disturbing. I’ve talked about him with my friends, and they all agree I should remain distant with him.
My colleagues believe he’s crazy. I don’t think he is, he’s just having a midlife crisis, and tries to change. Maybe he should seek for professional help. I personally hope he would.
So, here’s the question of the day, have you ever dealt with a person affected with this syndrome?