I have ascended to the ranks of the gainfully employed.

I’m terribly happy. Right now, even as I type, I’ve got a glowing ember of joy in my chest; the kind of simple bliss that we all had when we were eight and knew Christmas was a couple of days away, or that first visit to a pretty girl’s bedroom. Even the simple act of breathing kindles it and spreads the warmth and the endorphins. It’s filling me up with pleasure and hope.

Let me explain. I’ve just gotten a job offer, for a role I think I’d be brilliant at – a Web System Administrator. It’s a vague title, encompassing a reasonably broad, if not terribly deep skill-set. It starts on 1st September. The money is perfectly acceptable, it’s full-time, permanent and it should be an excellent bike-ride to and from the facility. And I’ve accepted it.

I’ve been out of full-time work for just over three years after leaving a property company (in hindsight, at the right time). I was having anxiety attacks at work, and didn’t know how to deal with them. Since then I’ve been doing bit parts in retail, seasonal postal work, volunteer work to keep the CV fresh – and to feel useful! – business eBay selling and up until ten hours ago, a telephone interviewer for a market research company – a job I’d been doing for six days.

My biggest issues in doing this kind of call-centre work are as follows.

  1. I am very easily replaceable – the stats are like a swinging scythe over everyone’s head.
  2. I have no sense of ownership of my work. I’m the square peg in a room of cylinders.
  3. The entire job is structured so that I get zero decompression time after a call – no time to catch my breath, or lubricate my throat. I’m usually hoarse after an hour and a half.
  4. There is no chance to get to know anyone while at work. You’re perpetually on call, or waiting for the next one to pick up.
  5. Most of my respondents are terribly, yet understandably, rude. Guys, don’t be rude, or make excuses to pollsters – just ask them not to call you again, and do the TPS thing for sales calls. Simples!
  6. The money is not good enough – not for the unpleasantness of the job.

Even so, I like money – it buys nice things and services – and so I was planning on sticking with the job until the new one begins. Unfortunately, after handing my notice in, they asked me to leave the premises there and then. Even so, I’ve gotten things from the job, other than money.

I’ve never been good on the telephone – I find I witter nervously, rather than sticking to the point. Over the last couple of jobs, I feel I have gotten a lot better and more confident in my professional telephone manner. It’s still tough to speak slowly, concisely and clearly; but the experience gained from interviewing and negotiating on the phone should put me in good stead.

While delighted, I’m trying a little to temper my overall joy. I’m not sure if this is my unconscious mind trying to sabotage my happiness, with a nagging and unshakable feeling that “This is usually the point where the ground falls from under my feet.” But then again, maybe it won’t this time. Maybe this is the one piece that everything else can hang on to. I’m going to hang on to it, and make it flower through skill and will.

Things are good, and I’m happy. And I’m still breathing, it still feels good.


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