Currently, things remain much the same.
I finished Stephen King’s On Writing, finally. My next read is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It’s been on my unofficial list of books I need to read at least once, and a co-worker lent me his copy so I’m moving to that one in between reading A Song of Ice and Fire on the toilet or before bed. I also recently finished watching Eddie the Eagle, and Swiss Army Man, but movie reviews may need to be saved for another post as I don’t have my personal List handy at the moment, and I feel like that list is an important part of movie completion, because it’s this thing I’m kinda doing at the moment.
Beyond that, I look around the call center I doomed myself to, wishing I could be anywhere but there. But do you know how hard it is to get out of a job like that? Like food industry, and retail, you just move from place to place singing the same old tune but filling in the blanks as appropriate.
All perspectives I’ve had in regards to new jobs have turned up in the direction of them moving forward with other candidates, which is fine. These were for more specialized versions of what I’m already doing: Fraud Analysis and Technical Account Manager. Not as gross as being a call center minion, but those jobs would have required me to learn about databases and statistical analysis and things of that nature and my lack experience with these things keeps me where I am, and this is time I could be spending writing or working on what I really want to work towards. So what do I do?
I’ve only recently figured out an area I want to pursue which would be utilizing my college degree, but unfortunately I spent all of college arriving to class and turning in assignments by the skin of my teeth as my whole mission was simply to get it done and get that fancy piece of paper while maintaining my full-time job that paid the bills. Half that time I’d show up drunk to class. Hey, if I’ve got to be that stressed out, why not make it a bit more interesting. Now if only drinking didn’t make me want to pass out. Oh, and make poor decisions, that too. But God, the confidence it instills when played just right.
Back to the call center bit, that’s one big hodgepodge of career misfits: individuals who are in a weird place in their life and aren’t quite sure where else to go at the moment. You find some incredible people at these places, I will say that. When I worked retail at the mall, at the “cool store,” this is what your life is all about for that moment; when you’re 19 anyway, you don’t think past that. You made it through high school, and this is your new job as an adult, and all you want is to impress these people who make a quarter to a couple bucks more than you, and after a couple of paychecks you can save up enough for new tattoos and an edgy haircut. Six months or so later, once you’re an accepted member of the group, if life hasn’t swept you in other directions, you begin setting your sights on that supervisor role. That “keyholder” role. That awkward mid-tier where you’re not quite management but you’re not some sales associate either. When you’re 19, becoming a Store Manager by your early-mid 20’s sounds like a sweet deal: you’re the boss of the cool place to work. You call the shots. You make the schedule. Obviously everyone wants to be you.
It was a place like that that I thought really defined me and gave my life significance. And so I kept at it.
For eight years.
Around year four was when I was finally accepted into the ranks of Associate Management, and I remained a good soldier while working other part-time jobs on the side. It wasn’t until a move across the country with my girlfriend, working in two different locations, and dry heaving from the warm, blue, vom that covered the shirts*a woman wanted me to ring her up for one evening, that I decided I was getting too old for this.
Is that the point most people decide to go back to school and become some type of engineer? Maybe. But I went the call center route, even if I didn’t know it at the time.
An ex-coworker came in one day shopping after work. He still had his badge on, and it immediately caught my attention. He worked for a video game company. Doing what? Helping customers? Hell if I knew. That was, as Ariel would sing, a whole new world. All I needed to do was show off how passionate and experienced I was at helping customers, had some basic knowledge of how computers worked, and loved video games, and I was a shoe-in. That was my ticket out and despite leaving the security of a full-time job in which I had seniority, benefits, and would now be earning a dollar less, I took it.
A month later I was laid off. Typical gaming industry bullshit.