Saturday, July 27, 2013

Quittin' Time

I was twenty one and desperate.

It had been a rough few months and I wasn't handling any of it very well.

I no longer qualified for work study which meant I couldn't go back to my job in the J-School. I didn't have a car and I lived off campus. I had to be able to walk. 

I'd never NOT had a job. I started babysitting a few months before I turned twelve. At fifteen and a half I got my first REAL job with timesheets, pay days and taxes taken out. I'm a worker bee.

It was at a telemarketing company. I hated it before I even started but saying no wasn't an option. I was unhinged and off-course. I needed something- anything to give me a purpose.

My boss was a pimply faced, skinny guy who wore too big button down shirts and ties. He looked like he was twelve. Rumor was he'd started there when he was sixteen and rose to the top of the telemarketing corporate ladder. With his high school diploma and his poor oral hygiene he was the boss of me. I was an older, getting educated college student and I resented his mere existence.

There's not much chance for socializing when you are suppose to be on the phone all day. Not that I would have been holding court in the break room unless my co-workers were in search of resentment, loneliness and a side of sad.

We had a script to read. We had to say it word for word but it was suppose to sound natural. They told us to practice at home. Of course we were suppose to smile when we talked as it made us sound friendlier. We weren't suppose to take no for an answer. With each no they said we had a rebuttal. We were suppose to practice those too. Our poor victims had to say NO a minimum of three times before we could end the call. Our supervisors would monitor our calls and there was no flashing light or other way of knowing when they were listening in.

Humiliation came in the form of my name being announced over the loudspeaker inviting me to the cocky young boss's office. No one got called in because they were doing a fantastic job. I found it incredibly demeaning as I attempted to defend myself to a complexion challenged dolt. I just wanted to grab him up by his cheap, pinstriped shirt and shout "I hate this job! I hate you! I hate my life! I hate me!"

But I pretended like I cared. I nodded in agreement that I wasn't trying hard enough and that maybe I could stand to practice the script at home more. I gave the impression that I would try harder. That I wouldn't take no for an answer. That I believed these over priced cookbook of the month subscriptions were my road to riches.

In February my grandmother died. I called in to work and let them know I was driving across country to attend her funeral. I wasn't sure when I would be back. They expressed condolences and told me to call when I returned and was ready to work again.

I never called and I never went back. 

One day I received my last pay check and a nice note...which made me feel even worse for leaving like I did.

Did you ever quit a job? How did you feel about it?

Passing the jug over  at Yeah Write Moonshine.


Tamara Camera said...

I actually quit a job in a terrible way once - I walked out on my lunch break and never came back. In that case, though, it was a really terrible environment and I had already given my two weeks' notice and they were pretty much bullying me during the last two weeks. So I left a week early. I still got my last paycheck, luckily. I could write a book about bad jobs..

Abigail said...

Oh man, I've had a couple really awful jobs that I quit although none that I want to fess up to on the internet at the moment, haha.

Robbie K said...

Oh wow...that must have been a horrible job! You should share some of those stories.

SouthMainMuse said...

I think I would be the worst telemarketer on the planet. But if it was the only option available -- I'd give it a go. I worked in dress sales at a large department store. For true customer service we wrote up sales in our black binder rather than register. We were supposed to remove the security tags off the dresses as we rung them up. This was HUGE because the alarm would go off and people were leaving the store causing them humiliation. yada yada yada. Well, guess who was the worst at forgetting the tags. Me. I'd get called into the office for that. Lots. I bet the pimple-face boss thought you were cute and wanted you back for other reasons.