Sunday, August 29, 2010

Are You An Energy Sucker?

If you've read my blog for any time, you've probably heard me mention them before. I call them, "Energy Suckers." We all have them in our lives. They do what their names says, they suck the energy out of you. If they are really good, they can do it by simply walking into the same room as you. Others are a little more subtle and warm you up, lulling you into thinking "this time" will be different and just as you let your guard down, you start to feel that sucking sensation and suddenly you realize you haven't been breathing much until the person walks away satisfied having consumed your energy in it's latest feeding frenzy. Do you know that person? Here's my bigger question...

Are YOU that person? I've always wondered if Energy Suckers know who they are. Well here is a scientifically proven test I've devised (using me as a sample) so you can see if indeed YOU are the Energy Sucker in other people's lives. Go ahead, take it. I hope there are a few people in my life taking it too.

  1. When you ask a question, are you really hoping for an answer or are you threatened when someone has the answer?
  2. When someone asks another person a question, do you always jump in with the answer and keep talking even when the two people talking KEEP MAINTAINING EYE CONTACT WITH EACH OTHER? (They are trying to tell you, the question wasn't for you.)
  3. Do other people frequently stop talking mid-sentence around you? Ever wonder why? (Perhaps you keep interrupting.)
  4. Have you ever noticed that you sometimes say negative things about other teachers IN FRONT OF STUDENTS? 
  5. Do you ask for help with something BEFORE you've attempted to even look it yourself?
  6. Do you make judgmental comments about others' use of technology to people who use technology a lot? ("I don't have time for that." or "Who uses FaceBook; why would I want to know that you are walking your dog, right?")
  7. Do you walk around with a smile or a look of exasperation?
  8. Is everything an emergency?
  9. When someone needs something, do you offer to solve the problem or do you send them somewhere else?
  10. Have you ever considered that maybe you can do things a little differently this year?
What would you add to this list?

19 comments:

Anne Van Meter said...

Do you describe drastic tales that happened to you while on vacation that we will later discover on urbanlegends.com?

Susan said...

A great post!! I once blogged about the same thing, except I called them "energy zappers"...they are so frustrating. And, no, I don't think most know who they are and how they are perceived.

Susan

GingerTPLC said...

Ah, those are all good ones. But my energy suckers are people who walk up to you and don't say anything. They smile, expectantly, as if they need you to entertain them. They always end up just hanging around when you're trying to accomplish something.

Or they ask a question, you answer it and they never *quite* tell you that they're satisfied. They just vaguely nod and still don't leave.

Those are my energy suckers. Have had several in my life.

Jennifer Carrier Dorman said...

They are also the naysayers who work so hard to argue against something (usually an innovative strategy, new technology, etc.) that, with less effort, they could have simply adopted the change or, at least, explored the possibilities.

Or, they are the people who are way too effusively complimentary when they seek out your expertise because they don't want to learn for themselves; they want you to do the work for them.

esperar4scwChris said...

I think this happens may times within schools. So many people are stressed out and feel judged based on today's interesting and diverese group of children and their test scores... It doesn't seem to really be the direction I want to be going in. I really try to let much of this go from energy suckers, but it takes work and lots of yoga. :) Thanks for the post.

TJ Shay said...

For me, it's the people who, when faced with a kid who has difficulty learning something, believe it is the KID who has the problem or fault. They tend to go on and on about how dumb/rotten they are with looking for solutions.

Also, being regaled with stories of who has the worst kid in their class (elementary) from the people who see the behavior and not the child....as if there is some sort of medal to be won for having naughty kids and not trying to resolve the situation.

Your list is great but, sadly, I am not sure the guilty will see themselves.

Kyle said...

I think energy suckers are also the people that always feel like they have to "1-up" everything that you say. It must be some type of "I can't let this person have the final say" syndrome. This happens in person and also it happens virtually.

I also had the same thought that Jennifer stated in her comment about those that are so quick to cut down anything that they consider a little bit too innovative.

In general, energy suckers to me are people that are just negative, grouchy people!

PNaugle said...

Hi Lee,

That is why I spend as little time as possible in the faculty lounge. It seems to be a breeding ground for negativity. Sometimes I feel my energy being sucked out just by walking in the door.

Maybe instead of teachers getting merit pay based on test scores, a system should be set up that pays bonuses for every positive and innovative thing a teacher does. It would be interesting to see what effect that kind of merit pay would have. Maybe the energy suckers would get out of our way and schools would improve.

beatechie said...

Love the post, Lee. I have a note on my desk that reads "Your procrastination does not warrant an emergency for me." I have people breaking into my classroom with "personal" tech issues. I love helping people see "the light," but they also have to take a turn. My students come first.

bethstill said...

Lee,
As I read this post I kept thinking to myself, "Yes! I know exactly the type of person you are talking about!" The point you made about people asking a question then getting upset when an answer if provided is something I can totally relate to. I decided this year was going to be the year when I stopped providing all of the answers and instead point people in the direction where they can discover the answer on their own. It is certainly easier to coast then ask for help in a pinch when you don't understand, but it certainly is a drain on my time and energy. It is especially draining when we offer to help then get blasted by the people we are helping because we are more proficient with technology. I get so tired of the energy suckers in my life talking about how they have no time to learn anything new, but they expect me to drop everything when they need help. I invest my time learning new things and they come along and want a Cliff's Notes version and life doesn't work that way. At least not anymore. I made a promise to myself that this year I am reclaiming my time.

Mrs. D said...

Oh... there are so many! For me... the biggest are those who insist that "their kids" cant.... (fill in the blanks) I am constantly being told by teachers, especially those who teach kids with learning difficulties or those who teach economically disadvantaged students that "their kids" cant.... Let me tell you something folks... as long as you keep believing that "your kids" can't... they won't!!!

brophycat said...

Oh how I can relate! My office is in the copy room-that alone..I try to be the most flexible, positive person I can be, so that I can be supportive and non-judgmental.I certainly don't mind the work related technology questions, but when you are the "tech expert" anyone with any kind of technology question is pointed your way-copy machine,home networks, personal printing,dvd copying,cable box set up, etc. I really frown on the phrase "it's not my job" and I try never to use it-but how do we differentiate between "just in time" tech support that is meaningful, and being taken advantage of? My "ENERGY SUCKER?" those that use me as a personal help desk.

Lona said...

Two things sap the energy from my soul: the automatic negativity about ANYTHING suggested by "certain people" and the "one-upper". (Most people don't really hear each other! They listen with their hurt rather than their head and heart.)

Like PNaugle, I spend little time in the faculty room...to save my sanity.

Website Hosting said...

Why would every body looking at you when they are doing their work?

Anonymous said...

When someone offers to help the person with the problem and they have a list of reasons prepared that will trump any of the help. Especially when the granddaddy of all excuses arises..." I don't have time for that....." I know that my energy is about to be drained....

JoshuaKingEDM310 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JoshuaKingEDM310 said...

At first glance, I thought your blog was about being eco-friendly and going green. After reading it, several people come to mind that are definite energy suckers. These people are really negative and can put you in a slump for the rest of the day. By the way, I'm summarizing your blogs for my EDM310 class. Check it out if you have time!
http://kingjoshedm310.blogspot.com/

Pam Franklin said...

But the thing is...these people don't realize that they do these things! I could anonymously send this to 3 energy suckers that I know, and none of them would see themselves!

Amber Teamann (8Amber8) said...

greatness, greatness, greatness!!!! I am SUCH a happy peppy person, who ENJOYS what I do, tht these energy zappers defeat me like nobodys business. My favorite quote is don't come to me with reasons you can't, i only want to hear how you can.
It amazes me how some people can exiat in thier world of negativity...with their downward smirks, and draining opinons.
Sigh.