I started a new job in June, a call center. My first time at a call center and I wasn’t sure how I’d do but I think I do ok. I like it as it keeps me busy most of the time and I love being busy, the days seem to fly by when you’re busy more than when you’re bored. There was a job not to long ago that I had where I just sat there for about 7 hours a day, hated that.

I’ve had three people at my new job comment on how I always seem to be happy and never let anything bother me. Alan said “Dude,” he says dude, who am I to argue “how do you just stay so upbeat all the time, you never let this stuff get to you.”. Brandon commented “Jamez you’re always in a good mood, I don’t know how you do it” and Farrah came out and said “You scare me, people who are happy all the time scare me. Like I wonder what you’re hiding.” Farrah and I talked a bit and I assured her I don’t have any corpses stashed under my crawlspace or in an attic somewhere and that I do have my moments where I’m not so cheery, she said she was less scared after. 

These folks don’t sit next to me and hear me swear under my breath when I come across a record that wasn’t properly documented or cancelled…. and sometimes I swear not so under my breath. Nor do they ride home with me and see how mad I get at people who can’t do the speed limit as a minimum.. what’s wrong with those people and why do they even have a license? 

At work I try to greet everyone with a “good morning” or a “hello” as they walk past and I happen to sit at a high traffic zone so I see a lot of folks. I also tell them good night and for some folks I say “thanks for being wonderful today” when they leave. Gives me something to do and it’s nice networking, I get to know people over time and can chat with them about other things if they run into me. Like today with Farrah, she and I chatted for a bit during a break but had I not be overly nice who knows if we would have. 

I honestly am usually just ok with things. I swear, at home and on my own I’m just ok. I do suffer from anxiety and depression and take medications for those, so it might all be that I guess. It’s also some indoctrination I received from 20 odd years in Alcoholics Anonymous where they preach “fake it til you make it” and where I was taught to greet everyone before the meeting and shake hands with every single person there. After 20 years of doing something it kind of sticks.

At the new job I frequently remind myself – “I’m not a manager now”. Which seems silly I guess, but I managed a team for a good 5 years and it’s in my bones now and I can’t help but get a little frustrated when I see inefficiency or people, literally, sleeping on the job then I start to steam internally and have to stay focused on making calls. Since there are so many calls to make this keeps me occupied.

When I get home I sometimes fret/resent/repeat the day in my head and it keeps me up at night. My own errors is a big thing that bothers me, when I screw up my anxiety shoots through me and I get all uncomfortable and want to crawl in a hole. I try to not make mistakes but sometimes I get sloppy and fast and one gets made, I’m just not good on fixing it once its been done. I don’t like the feeling of failure and that just beats me up real bad in my head. So while outside I may be greeting folks and smiling – inside I’m fighting a demon of self-doubt and condemnation. It’s awful. It makes me feel like I can’t move. I can’t describe it other than that, it’s overwhelming. So I do try ever so hard not to mess up. 

I do work with a good group of people and have good managers on the floor. I’m usually very busy making calls and only once in a while do I get anxious about making one and its not for a good reason, its random. Being nice and smiling helps to keep that at bay so I do it. 

When I was newly sober I was called a malcontent and “that angry guy” but over the years “faking it til you make it” and just doing the next right thing helped make that image go away. My friends that have known me for decades know I’m not the happiest of guys but they love me anyway and find other qualities in me (I guess) to treasure. 

I am not one to dwell on and fret about things over and over… usually. I’m not one to gush over things either. I’m kind of in the middle and just do things that seem to be the right thing to do… and at work, saying hi and trying to keep a positive attitude doesn’t hurt either.

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