I’m spilling my guts out tonight. You all are just going to have to deal with it.
Often on this blog, I talk about sports, politics, what have you. You know why? I’m too damn afraid to talk about myself most of the time. How far some people think I have fallen, that sort of thing.
My most recent job – where I worked for an “energy company” that switches energy suppliers with that all too familiar (to me) telephonic slight of hand. There were two calls I took the brief time I was there that may have permanently changed my world view.
The trainer there was very eager to make sure we took phone calls by the end of our first day. These companies always want to put you in that spot. I’ve been a big guy most of my life – but imagine me hanging out at Tyrone Mall (the big shopping center in St. Petersburg) and having a Rays coach approach me, asking me if I could play catcher for the Rays the next day against the Yankees. That would be absurd! What chance would I have? What hopes would I have in succeeding and not being a laughing stock of the local sports media?
I’d been training all day, starting at 8:30 that morning – and it was all I could do to keep from being a deer in the headlights by the time I took calls. Somewhere in Ohio, the automatic dialer put me in touch with a woman who could barely speak due to a stroke. They taught us in training to be matter of fact, and don’t go out of your way to be polite. I went out of my way to be nice to the woman – that’s probably somebody’s mother, probably somebody living on borrowed time. Pardon me all to hell, but a damn energy bill didn’t seem all that important in retrospect.
The next morning, I take another call from a middle aged man – perhaps a decade or so older than I am. He put me through the paces as I was trying to switch him over. He asked me about rates – and the rates we were trying to hoodwink him over to were more expensive, though what my company offered was a fixed rate while what he had was a variable rate. He won the battle after a few objections – and I let him.
I wasn’t too long after that when I decided I had had enough. I got up, got my stuff – walked out. I walked home the two-mile distance back to the house on a leg that has seen better days. I also get quite winded walking that long, having to pause every few hundred yards or so.
I stopped by an office building near Freedom Lake Park, hoping someone I knew would take mercy on me and give me a lift. I sat a good 15-20 minutes at one point.”Throwing It All Away” by Genesis from the 80’s played over the loudspeaker.
Yeah. I lost it, sitting there. I’ve been throwing it away a while now.