Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Monday Miserable

When will you fucking learn? It is NOT a good idea to have a nap on a Sunday evening, especially when you have to start work the next day at seven in the morning. So, last night I found myself fully charged, unable to fall asleep with the number of hours before me having to depart for work quickly diminishing. I tired every trick in the book, engaging my manhood, reading, changing bedrooms, finally with less than two hours of sleep time, I imagine how I would direct "The Picture of Dorian Gray". I get as far as imagining the opening credits - a super zoom-in of a canvas painting with the depths of the paint sticking out like a mountain range - and I am out like a light, dreaming about finding a collection of Ralph Lauren Polo shirts that I never knew I had.

I get ready for work in record time, and fly out the door. I stand by my bus stop, to tired to even listen to Sangeet (my I-pod) sing to me through my headphones. Why do I always catch the bus which will either bring me in right on time, or five minutes late? The bus arrives at the subway station, and like frogger I maneuver around people who should be banned from walking in public places, because they move as if they were in an elderly home. The free Metro paper litters the subway, but I avoid reading it, I have sought ignorance from world affairs for about a month. I do not care what Gwen Stefani is wearing, nor wish to be depressed by learning about the evils our Tory government is concocting.

I walk in five minutes late to work. But it is ok. This week I am on special assignment, I am acting manager while someone is on vacation, and so am afforded the leeway given to management (at least I hope). Today, I am on what we call the referral gate, and I am relieved, as I can relax. The referral gate, is the line that customers are transferred to when they are upset with the answers our agents provide them and proceed to demand to speak to a manager. Usually, I don't get a call for the first hour, which gives me ample time to do browse the internet, and then gate a call an hour, giving me time to do other work-related tasks.

I got my first call in ten minutes. And another one shortly after, by the first hour alone I had taken four referrals, and my in-box was piling up with more calls, as the line was too busy to accommodate all our passionate customers. All, the calls I take run a similar gambit, I greet the customer and introduce myself and inquire as to how they are doing. They typically answer is, "not good", and the customer then breaks off into a litany of wrongs the company has committed against them. I place them on mute, and stare off into the distance, wave at passing co-workers, or look at my nails thinking how badly I need to get a manicure. I release the mute button intermediately, to say a "uh-huh", "ah", or "oh". Eventually, the customer looses wind and stops, and demands that I do as they bid. In the most soothing voice I can muster, I apologize for their frustration. I restate the problems they have listed, and provide the exact same solutions the agent gave before they were transferred to me. This more often than not is satisfactory, and causes the customer to launch into the problems of their life story again, this time at an increased volume. Each time I calmly restate the existing solutions that we have to provide. Finally, the customer well yell, "are you telling me that you are not going to do _____ ?" In my head I am thinking, "You fucking moron, I have only been telling you that for the last ten minutes, is it only sinking in now?" Instead, I say yes sir/mam that is the case and they hangup much to my relief.

The referral line is hell for the rest of the day. One irate customer after the other. Even though I am on the referral line, I have to keep an eye on the team I am watching. This means ensuring that they are working, not slacking off, and taking breaks at allotted times. One girl on the team is blatantly goofing off, and I wrestle with how too approach her. It is my first day watching this team, and I do not want to come across as over-bearing, but I have a job to do at the same time. I decide I will approach her at the end of the day.

My head is pounding as my work day nears an end, and I am feeling delirious. Everything is a bit strange, and I feel disconnected from reality. I want to avoid the girl in question, but I know if I don't approach her today, this will make her more brazen tomorrow. I put on a big smile, and walk towards her, and wait for to finish the call she is on. I gently remind her that she should be on break right now, she retorts back that she knows, and positions herself so she doesn't have to face me. My nerves tingle, and my heart rate accelerates. I want to say, "if you fucking know its your break then why are you taking calls? Go on your fucking break." She proceeds to take another call. My head is spinning, "honey, why are you taking another call?" She looks up at me flustered. "Please, go on break after this call." She nods her head. I can't deal with this right now, I don't have to deal with this right now. I am done work. I'll deal with the bitch tomorrow.

I leave work. I feel like I have tumor in my head, somewhere in the back of my head an Arnold Schwarzenegger voice comes in and says, "it's not a tumor". I am to exhausted to even laugh at my own internal joke.

I reach home, and collapse on my own bed. But I have reached that point where you are so tired, that you can't even sleep. It's like coming of an acid trip, you beg for the release of slumber, but your body doesn't seem to want to give in. I log on to the internet and read a humorous post on Sepia Mutiny, and then read a few pages of my current read, "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West". It turns out this is bad combination of reading before going to bed, as I have three hour nap, fueled with some dream of crazy brown bloggers taking over Munchkinland.


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