At what point in your life to you just give up, admit that you are a failure, and accept your lot in life? At what point do you accept that this is the best that you are ever going to get and resolve to make the best of it? At what point do you accept the futility of trying to make something more out of your life? Those are the questions that I’ve been pondering as of late (specifically as of yesterday).
You see I had kind of a rough day at work yesterday. It was my first day out of training and things didn’t go that smoothly. The calls weren’t that difficult but there was enough that I didn’t know and my navigation of things is still frustratingly slow that it bugged me. On top of all of that, we (four of us from my training class) had a meeting with our new supervisor and it didn’t go well; mostly because I opened my mouth and in doing so I confused my new boss. Now to be fair, I’m not the easiest employee in the world to deal with and I’ve often confused a supervisor or two in the past so I guess that I shouldn’t be surprised by this turn of events. But on top of that during the meeting I starting getting the idea that some of the things we were taught in class will be discouraged on the floor (big shocker I know) but in one case it is something that I could see being a problem for me (without getting too much into specifics it has to do with taking down information during a call and how we will be judged on how proficient we are; my issue with it is that I’m a typer, meaning I take notes as I go otherwise I forget what is going on, and that behavior is apparently frowned upon). And this then ties into me confusing my new boss because I told my boss that I like to be in contact with my supervisor to know how I’m doing but later I mentioned that I can’t stand being micromanaged or nitpicked. This didn’t go over well and that’s when I realized that I should have kept my mouth shut.
After leaving the meeting my mood went from bad to worse. At some point during the day I had a realization that I’m honestly not that proud of because it totally makes me a snob. Sitting there, taking these calls I literally thought I’m better than this. I have more to offer than working in a call center (even if it is with a great company). Now before this gets me into trouble (because apparently now I have to worry about that too), I have to say that I am very lucky to have the job that I have. It is by far the best job that I am qualified to get at this time and is with a company that I respect, so I am extremely lucky. That having been said it makes me realize that my choices for the future are slipping away faster and faster every day. Years ago I heard a comedian do a bit about people that work as telemarketers. The crux of it was that people who work in that industry are there because something went wrong in their life and that was the job that they could get. He went so far to say (and I’m paraphrasing here) “no one thinks as a kid, I want to be a telemarketer when I grow up.” This can easily apply to the call center industry as well. I’m there because I never finished college and it is the best that I can do to provide for my family. This is not to say that there is anything wrong with working in a call center, because there’s not, I just think that I can do better (hence feeling like a snob). And if that wasn’t enough, to punctuate my already dower state of mind (and to reinforce my belief in the connectedness in the world), last night when I took my family to get some self-serve frozen yogurt (at the completely kick butt Yogurt Bliss in Moore, OK), The Smiths’ classic “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” played on the radio. How fitting is that? (For those who don’t know the song you can listen to it here and read the lyrics here.)
So here I am, depressed that I’m still on the phones, ashamed for feeling that I can do better, and dejected that this is probably what I’m going to do for the rest of my life. Is this the point that I just throw up my hand and a half and accept my lot in life and just make the best of it? Do I forever give up my desire to finish college and my dream of becoming a teacher? Do I accept that my dreams were nothing more than delusions of grandeur and try to find some place in my new company that I think will be the best fit and just go with that until I retire? Will I always just be that guy in the back of the room that asks way too many questions?
I honestly don’t know.
I thought that finally getting a job with a great company would make everything better, but in some cases I’m more confused now than ever. What I wouldn’t give for some clarity and some direction.