For her last show before signing off and moving on to new projects, Monday host Patty Peltekos spends the hour with Jonathan Malesic, a former tenured professor who left his dream job after noticing signs of burnout.
He decided to get to the bottom of it the way he knows best: research. The result is his new book, The End of Burnout, which explores the science, culture, and philosophy of burnout and investigates “how and why so many of us feel worn out, alienated, and useless in our work.”
During the show, Jonathan and Patty talk about changing definitions of burnout, how work exhaustion has manifested itself throughout history, the role of religion and spirituality in addressing burnout, and resisting the burnout culture that has come to define professional life in the United States.
Jonathan Malesic is an essayist, journalist, and scholar whose writing has appeared in the New York Times, The New Republic, Washington Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and elsewhere. He is the author of Secret Faith in the Public Square (Brazos Press, 2009) and The End of Burnout: Why Work Drains Us and How to Build Better Lives (University of California Press, 2022).
A farewell message from Patty:
Thanks to all the volunteer receptionists and volunteer engineers who have worked with me. A huge thanks to the producers I’ve had the pleasure of working with, especially Richelle Wilson, who has produced this show through the pandemic.
Thanks to news director Chali Pittman for juggling everything news-related and for the time she spent engineering A Public Affair during the first six months of COVID. And a shout-out to former news director Molly Stentz, who encouraged me to try hosting. Molly suggested that I might want to explore the topic of liquid manure. I had no idea of the many show ideas that blossomed from manure.
I also want to send a shout-out to Monday music hosts Martin Alvarado and Dan Tallmo of Global Revolutions and Alex Wilding-White of All-Around Jazz for giving me show ideas and for expanding my musical world.
Thanks to the WORT board, with special thanks to the WORT staff and volunteers who helped me during pledge drives, especially Susan and Karen. And thanks to all the guests who came on my show.
Finally, thank YOU, WORT listener. You are the one who makes shows like A Public Affair possible.