Tag Archives: work

Comfortably numb

I’m ashamed that this is my first post of 2012! And I’m even more ashamed that this might be the shortest post ever. I’ve just swallowed two Benadryl and a half-bottle of cheap gas station wine, so God knows how much longer I’ll be awake.

I went to a party last night, and, drunk on tequila and without a ride/too proud to ask for one, I decided it would be a good idea to walk home more than ten miles at midnight. I got home around two hours later, thanks to a guy in a multi-coloured ice cream truck who gave me a ride part of the way. At one point, I decided it would be a good idea to take off my shoes, and run barefoot along the street (the things tequiala makes me do!). While I was still wearing the shoes, I must have stepped on some kind of plant or foliage, the residue of which remained on the shoes. Since I had to carry the shoes while I running Zola Bud-like through the streets, I imagine that this residue must have got on my hands, and that I then touched my eyes, and face. By the time I got home my eyes were swollen so much that I could barely see out of the right one. I got a bit of a shock when I looked in a mirror because I had no idea how bad I looked. The swelling has gone down, but I can’t leave the house today lest I scare young children. It looks like I’ve developed elephantiasis of the eyelids.

Besides being temporarily deformed, what else is up with me, you are perhaps wondering? Still working at the same customer service job, but I got a promotion and will soon be earning $42,500! This might not be much for some of you, but it is the most I have ever made in my entire adult life, so I am pleased. It goes without saying that the extra money will come in handy. I may work for corporate America, but I like the company I work for, as they treat me well and seem to appreciate me. This is rare in any job, so I feel that I’ve been incredibly lucky.

MM is also now working for the same company, but he’s a temporary contractor, which is how I started off there (so hopefully he will get hired on as a regular employee too, with benefits and a pay raise). His days as a barista are now (thank fuck!) behind him. This is good for obvious financial reasons, but it also helps me respect him more because there comes a point in the life of a thirty-something artist when you need to aspire to something more than making lattes. If your art career is taking off on the side, then working in a café would be fine, but if it’s not….then, well, you need to come up with a Plan B. It took MM a loooooong time to accept the fact that he needed a Plan B but he got there in the end.

Now we are both “adults” with “proper” jobs….whatever that means. We’re actually thinking about buying a house in an area about eleven miles east of downtown where we would be able to get (hopefully!) a USDA loan. If we did, we could buy a 2000 sq feet house with zero down payment! Home ownership would obviously tie me down here even more, which is a scary thought, but I’m tired of throwing away money to asshole landlords who don’t fix shit. And it is very stressful living in rental accommodation with ten pets since you have to lie about the existence of nearly all of them.

Creatively, things could be better. I don’t really write anymore. I keep on meaning to create my own website where I would write about more serious issues (not just “woe is me” personal stuff) but I never seem to get around to it. I *am*, however, in a music project with a guy who really forces me to get things done. If it was up to me I would get nothing done because I’d procrastinate. Hopefully we should be playing out soon.

Things are definitely looking up although I am still involved, from time to time, in the sex industry without MM’s knowledge. This doesn’t make me feel good about myself at all, but I have so much debt, and I just cannot make ends meet. Once 2012 is over, I will have paid off nearly everything, and will be able to relax a little. To be honest, the main reason I don’t update this blog more often is perhaps that I am uncomfortable writing about this topic. I am not plagued with guilt about what I do because, well, I try not to give it much thought. However, if I were to come on here and start writing about it, I would have to analyze my life more and I am very happy NOT doing that, thank you very much.


Back at the altar

So here I am back at my sacrificial altar, having a less-than-appetising lunch of leftovers from last night’s take-away. My “bucolic” reveries have been interrupted by two people so far. I’m surprised more people don’t come out here from the office. But Americans are wusses when it come to heat, and they’re scared of their own sweat.

I’ve fallen off the NaBloPoMo bandwagon, so the urge not to post is strong.

I’m feeling hungover after getting together with my new friend from Pittsburg with whom I hope to make music. I only had two Bud-Lites, but, on last night’s empty stomach, even that was enough to make me feel nauseous today. I will drink Bud-Lite if that’s the only thing that’s on offer but it seems like such a pointless beverage really. It’s poor quality and it tastes like dish water. Why even bother buying it? I know I’m an elitist, but there’s part of me that looks down on the Bud-Lite drinkers of this world.

I don’t know how things are going to pan out music-wise with this guy. I have a feeling that I need someone with more direction who knows what he’s doing.

Of course, what I really need to do is to make music myself to accompany my vocals and learn how to record it, too. I’m taking piano lessons for that reason but it’s such slow going. And I haven’t even attempted to use GarageBand yet. Even though it must be the most user-friendly and simple music software around, I’m still intimidated by the technology. Plus, I need money for a mic and an audio interface….money I don’t have.

All of my goals seem so unattainable. Like I said in my last post, I wish that someone could just take over my life and tell me what to do.

And back to the office it is for 5 more hours of mind-numbing work.

Stupid Phone


My Smartphone clearly does not live up to its name. I spent lunch writing a post (lying on my back on my little stone looking up at the sun shining through the trees) but my phone died. Not to worry, I thought, my iPhone will surely save the draft but, no, it appears to have disappeared for good.

I wish I could say I felt it mattered, but it doesn’t. I come home from work, and I have got absolutely nothing to say about my day.  I cried a little again today because the manager sent round his daily report of the team’s stats, and there was my “EPH” (emails per hour) in big, red writing. The red writing is for those of us who do not meet the EPH goals. Of course, I don’t care really about these stupid stats; it just seems so symbolic of my life right now that I am being measured against the number of ridiculous emails I can send out per hour.

I’m feeling better now – if you can call feeling “bleh”  better – but earlier, just after my phone died, some guy passed by me as I lay on my little stone, and it occurred to me that he could probably get away with murdering me right there and then. The lake and the trail are not far away from civilization at all…but still. It also occurred to me that I might not even mind being murdered. Feeling somebody’s hands close around my throat in a vice-like grip might be the most exciting thing that’s happened to me in ages.

Considering the way I feel about my life right now, hell, I might not even fight back.

Emails per Hour

I have got ten minutes before I have to head back to the office. I’m sitting on my arse in the middle of the woods. There was a large stone I was planning on sitting on but somebody was actually napping on it. Rather annoying – I like to imagine I’m all alone in the middle of the wilderness. Now I’ve just been interrupted by a dog-walker! Ugh! But there is some sort of bird-of-prey flying above (a hawk?) and I’m ecstatic! Nature!

 Rather uninspired picture of stone where I do
my lunch-time blogging

There was a team meeting today in which all the manager talked about was “EPH”, office lingo for “emails per hour”. We’re all supposed to be doing at least 8 emails per hour. I’ve barely never hit that goal which is sort of OK – for now – because I’m the CSAT Queen (customer satisfaction, that is). I’m the slowest person on the team by far, especially now since we’ve switched to doing German emails. It’s not my native language, and so writing in German just takes longer.

We are supposed to send out “cans” to customers, i.e. “canned responses”,  which we customise accordingly. I’m slow because I tailor my responses as much as humanly possible. You may laugh but, in my own small way, I feel that I’m striking a blow against Capitalism. No, I will not be a fucking robotic, personality-less customer service agent; no, dear customer, you are not just some anonymous person I don’t give a fuck about. We are both people, goddamnit, and i will treat you as such. If Mrs Cooper enquires about her order, and mentions her bunions, I will ask about her bloody bunions, and hope she’s OK!

I wonder how long I can get away with being so slow? My days might be numbered.

Lunch by the Lake

There is a small man-made lake close to where I work, so I’ve been going there most days during lunch to get some fresh air, and a little exercise. I’ll post a picture once I’m home.


That wee white speck in the middle is 
a swan.  

I work only four days a week, but I work ten-hour days to get that privilege. Recently, I’ve been working eleven-hour days because new products have been launched, so our email queues, filled with help requests from customers, are huge.

Yes, that is what I do – sit on my arse four days a week, writing emails to customers. It’s difficult to sit still for that long, and I recently read a New York Times article which stated that people who sit down all day are doomed to die an early death. Huh! As much as I don’t want to romanticise Amy Winehouse’s death, there is still – sort of – a rock n’ roll glamour to it. Better to burn out than fade away from writing emails to Mrs Klein of Akron, Ohio, who cannot seem to find her purchase of “Real Housewives of New Jersey” on her computer.

Despite the somewhat tedious nature of the job, I have to admit that I do like it. No matter how anxious or depressed I am, it’s easy to leave that at home as soon as I walk through the office doors. It gives a regularity and structure to my life that I badly need.

My only wish is that it wasn’t for forty bloody hours a week. It’s hard to give up so much of your precious time (and life!) to a company! Even with three days off – which I foolishly thought would be a panacea for all my problems – it’s so hard to have quality “me time”. I envisioned Friday, my first day off, as being a day of creativity, but instead I lack the energy to get much done. All I want to do is rest.

And now I have to walk back to the office because I only have about ten minutes left of lunch. Sigh.