"The First Thing of Christmas That's Such A Pain To Me"
I have to ask myself today if there is any point in my existence. That's how post-holiday it is in here. In this Call Center. And in this psyche of mine.
I feel like a moving target. Now I'm a professional, card-carrying SAG-AFTRA actor - now I'm not. Now I'm an Administrative Assistant - now I'm unemployed. Now I'm a writer, now I'm an artist, now I'm a Customer Service phone jockey. At NONE of these things - ALL of which I excel at - am I making serious money. At only two of them have I been recognized for my gifts, and that is for sales jobs that pay almost nothing.
Is there a PURPOSE here somewhere? Because somewhere in here my vision, my hopefulness, my forward-facing view, my life force is drained by people who are truly exercised about a fucking pair of shoes. Or bath salts. Or a blouse...
Somewhere in here, my personal level of disappointment about this work - my sense of having failed to become Important-With-A-Capital-I by dint of being Fulfilled-and-Useful, with a capital FU, is elevated to Code Red, deep-sixing my sense of personal satisfaction in service. Even when a man calls today to ask about returning two rings to the store, and reveals that his wife died in September and that these are two rings she did not wear, I'm not moved. I say all the right things to him, but I'm just. not. deeply. moved.
Even when he says, "And my mother died 2 hours after she did!".
That's when I know I'm in trouble. I need...something. The adrenaline rush of the holidays has faded into a line of people's boring problems: the woman who left her mother's credit card at the Michael Kors counter; the woman looking for a nightgown-and-robe combo; the man looking for an adult sippy cup with Tom Brady on it; the dribs-and-drabs sales of $12.99 here and $34.99 there.
And not once, not twice, but three times in one day I lose a call relating to sales that are actually worth something: fine jewelry and watches.
Call One: The phone call drops unexpectedly after I tell her, "Why yes ma'am, you can buy your friend a $300 watch and send it to her." I haven't yet asked for her phone number. And...click...
Call Two: A man calls about a $269 watch. We identify the watch, and I put it into the cart when he suddenly says, "Oh! My wife is calling! Can I call you back?" I say, "I'll call you back." - I WANT THIS SALE - and he says, rushing, "Oh, thank you!" I say, "What is your number, sir?" And there's no answer. He's gone. So is the $269.
Call Three: I have put myself on mute and I don't notice that I have put myself on mute, so when I answer the phone they can't hear me. I think their phone is crackers, so I release the call which might have been a sale.
Supervisor comes by and says, "Ask for the number right away." I would roll my eyes, but he's right. I hate that. I'd rather scream. But I'm at work, and I'm striving for professionalism. God help me.
All of this, all 360° of it, is boring and frustrating the snot out of me. Basically, I'm having a tantrum. I remind myself that I have been - as my new supervisor puts it - "killing it" in sales, so a few days of shit sales isn't the end of the world. I remind myself that while the phones aren't ringing as much, I can write the great American novel or the play about this crazy kind of work, or WHATEVER!
As Vince, my most recent partner, used to say when he felt no need to apologize for a no: "Fuck that shit." I'm not listening, even to myself. I. don't. want. to. be. sitting. here. I need stimulation. I need people around me. I need to be home. I need...something else.
It's the last week of this year, and why the fuck anyone is working is beyond me. Really. Just fucking let it go, okay? NO ONE SHOULD WORK FROM DECEMBER 24TH THROUGH JANUARY 1ST. EVER.
Especially in retail, we could use some fucking rest. My Gawd!
I yearn for a regular schedule, and weekends off. I mean, I YEARN!
Fortunately, I had a phone interview this morning for a job with actual unchanging hours, and a lot more money in the offing. Also fortunately, my friend EJ is connecting me with someone in about a week+ for whom I may be able to do some actually meaningful work with my writing and maybe even with my speaking - who knows? Fortunate as well is that my new Supervisor has friends who film documentaries and he is more than happy to introduce me to them; I'm having visions of being a Michael Moore-type filmmaker.... Seriously fortunately, I unexpectedly paid off my car this morning - NO MORE CAR PAYMENTS!
Unfortunately, I'm feeling sorry for myself. I'm counting my frustrations instead of my blessings. I think my new Supervisor at work is a personality hottie...and we connect so comfortably. And...he's married. He's got great hair. He's funny. He's real. He's laid back. Very sexy. Smart. Did I mention he's married? Has two kids too.
Very sorry for myself...
Feeling bitter about the holidays - why is the last week of the year the longest damn week on earth?????? - but grateful for the possibilities ahead, I drink my damn coffee and answer the damn phones:
"HelloThankYouForCallingThisIsLori. WhoDoIHaveThePleasureOfSpeakingWithToday? WHAT'S A GOOD NUMBER FOR YOU? WANNA BUY A WATCH?"
Do you like the idea of breaking those social "should's" that have held you back for too long? Do you like the idea of successfully changing your modes of communication, your business goals, your self-image, and to your quality of life?
Lori Kirstein, CEO
The Goodbye Good Girl™ Project LLC
Kicking the Good Girl Rules to the Curb!
Cincinnati, OH 45205