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14 November 2007 @ 02:50 am
LJ is for Emo  
So as the hours tick away before my last day off before I work again (I've been working, I've just been off since Saturday because of low call volume) I spend a lot of time reflecting on my new job (I work at L.L. Bean's call center, for those wondering). I passed training so ridiculously easily that my trainer actually took me aside and said I was the smartest person on my team and possibly the smartest person to leave the training room, and if I want to stay on after seasonal, I am all but gauranteed a promotion to CSR2. On the floor, where the former-trainees are still lurking with people who can rush over to help them if they need it, I am the only person who didn't need a team leader to listen in on their calls, and when I asked about it, I was told I was doing such an amazing job they felt it wasn't necessary. So I'm apparently an L.L. Bean prodigy, possibly the reincarnation of the late Leon Leonwood Bean himself.

The work itself is all right. It's not a bad job. Not the most dynamic thing, but the pay's good and it's not like it's hard. There are people who would do most anything to have my job right now, and to be gauranteed a place after seasonal ends. I seem like I should be the luckiest guy in the world. Right?

The problem is I am not happy there at all, and I feel guilty about it. I am getting an awesome job, handed to me on a silver platter, heaps of validation, good money, good hours (long stretch without work now not withstanding), and good benefits if I stay on. I even have a good friend there who lives on my road and can give me a lift in. There are people who would kill to be in my shoes. And although I wouldn't say I'm "miserable" just yet, I started smoking again after quitting for seven months, and have stopped eating to boot.

It could be because I have never been comfortable working around or for people. I can do it, certainly. And the people there are great, and even the people on the phone are okay (not nearly as abusive as they were when I was a telemarketer). Maybe it's that a little part of me dies every time I have to answer the phone with my legal (female) name. Maybe it's just that I'm the perpetual starving artist, who feels like he's wasting away when he's not being poor but creative. Maybe it's the way my grandmother and everyone else seems to be pinning all of their hopes on me becoming an L.L. Bean bigwig. Maybe it's just because I'm still in God-Forsaken Maine.

I'm not stupid enough to think I can just go off and pursue a glamourous creative career without anything to keep me alive. I just really want to be able to be by myself and be myself for a little while right now. I'm almost 22 and I see my life passing before me, in an endless stream of people who lament my wasted potential (my former college advisor, one of my grandmother's best friends, is dying of a brain tumor, and from her death bed, the woman lamented the fact that I dropped out of school and didn't even end up anywhere better. I was apparently the top of my class when I left, which I believe is more a pathetic commentary on the school I was in than praise on me). I don't want to be that person who has potential and instead takes the easy route and settles into the comfortable (or perhaps "convenient" is the better word) rut, but at the same time, the rut's really damn hard to yank yourself out of sometimes. I don't want to be the person who wakes up miserable twenty years down the line and bitches that they "could have been...". But most days, I just can't see the way out.
Current Mood: depresseddepressed
tamadolltamadoll on November 14th, 2007 08:16 am (UTC)
Haha, I used to be a telemarketer too.

Can't you answer the phone as "J"? Even ole' L.L. used his initials because he has a dumbass name.

I still love Maine. I've never lived there, so it's still magical vacationland to me. I might be up there next April for my cousin's wedding~
childthursdaychildthursday on November 14th, 2007 10:20 am (UTC)
Of course you're miserable. I don't think anyone ever really has "telephone customer service rep" as their life goal. You're not ungrateful, just human.

It's also not "settling" or "wasting your potential." You're obviously working to your potential, they love you and you're doing the best job you can. That rocks. Again, this isn't going to be your entire life - just something that helps you over your rough patch. It's temporary - even if it last for a year or more. Sometimes you have to deal with crappy things in order to get where you want. (After I got my bachelor's and even my master's, I found myself stuck in stupid jobs like pizza delivery and photo copy monkey. It had to be done.)

Is there any way you can spin this job into something else? The potential for a transfer to some other place, maybe? Or just a time for working until you can get back in school or move or publish?
Supernonamegirlsupernonamegirl on November 14th, 2007 12:46 pm (UTC)
Uh, word?

I guess my suggestion is to stick with the job, but give yourself a time limit.

Of course, though, you'll terrified that (for example) two years will come and then you'll still be here. Or that two years will be too late.

But, Be better than that. Braver too. The job gives you a chance to earn some money, get some skills, maybe a reference or two. All things that you can use. But, keep on... pursuing your dream, at the risk of sounding cheesy. Figure out what you need to do to be able to do it and then start doing. If you want to get into tv, work on a spec script, for example.
Plotinus tl;dr Anon: workaholicmullenkamp on November 14th, 2007 01:02 pm (UTC)
Boy, can I relate to that. At my job, I spend five hours or more of my shift mostly reading manga, writing fanfic, or playing video games, and I get paid an extra 25 cents per hour during those hours, which are perfect for me and horrible for nearly everyone else.

...But darnit, if I have a genius-level IQ, why am I mopping gas station bathrooms and making coffee for a living? The most of a mental workout I get is when someone buys a pack of Newports, hands me a $20, and says "put the rest on pump 6". And that just sucks.

I keep meaning to try to find a better job, but on the other hand... being paid to play through the entire Final Fantasy series is nice.
slytherinblackslytherinblack on November 14th, 2007 02:52 pm (UTC)
So I'm apparently an L.L. Bean prodigy, possibly the reincarnation of the late Leon Leonwood Bean himself.

Does that mean you can keep the catalogue dogs? :P
eldritch thoughtformmanekikoneko on November 14th, 2007 06:04 pm (UTC)
If the job affords you a lot of downtime, you can use that. That can be the time you an do creative things. And if they really like you that much, then you can probably go back to school after a while and get them to work around your schedule.

Want to talk about wasted potential, I'm 29 already and I have absolutely nothing to show for it. No degree, no career, living with my mother. You have ages and ages to still do something.
Sam Black: animated Jackoptimus_life on November 14th, 2007 08:07 pm (UTC)
You've got a job that's giving you skills(and money), maybe some good referances so keep your "day job". And don't give up on what you really want out of life, this is just a step in that direction. Do whatever it takes to move yourself forward.
only1genevieve on November 15th, 2007 01:53 am (UTC)
I might be the other side of the coin. I stayed in school, got the right degrees, got good grades ... now I'm unemployed and living off the generosity of my parents and feeling massive guilt over the massive amounts of student loan debt I've accrued for myself and my elders. On the other hand, yeah, I'm getting to do something creative and hopefully it will pay off soon, but there's always the element of uncertainty and "boy, I hope I didn't screw everyone including myself over with this crazy dream of mine."

I don't know what you're doing writing wise right now, so this is all a guess, if I were you, I'd continue writing in my spare time but focus it - specifically, try to get an agent. Heck, write a short story and try and get it published in a magazine. If you keep trying on the creative front, something will happen eventually, but do it smart. Rather than writing fan-fiction, write spec television scripts for the same shows that you can then use to get a job. If worse comes to worse you'll at least be able to live with yourself, knowing that you didn't abandon your dream.
only1genevieve on November 15th, 2007 01:54 am (UTC)
Also, twenty-two is young. Most people your age are still binge drinking and working dead-end jobs or partying in Europe. So don't feel like you have to lock yourself into a path just yet.
A Guy Named Gooaguynamedgoo on November 15th, 2007 02:05 am (UTC)
I have often toyed with submitting some of my scripts to House, since it looks like half the time they RIP ME OFF ANYWAY. (I don't honestly believe that, but the similarities are starting to get damn eerie.) I need to figure out where to find an agent. I'm sure he's not behind my sofa, though, and that's the extent of my search. I mostly want to know who is good to work with and who should be avoided. I'd hate to get an agent who turned out to be rubbish.
only1genevieve on November 15th, 2007 02:29 am (UTC)
There are a number of sites that discuss this and many other questions:



They'll lead you to many other writers' blogs who all have good advice on getting an agent. There are creepy agents out there, true, but probably if you do basic research on them you can figure it out. Also, if they ask yo ufor money that's a big red flag.