Life Altering For Me...

I initially worked as a 'group 1' clerk in a non customer contact dept, compiling info for lisitngs in directories around the state.  It was a bit stressful because we constantly were trying to make deadlines.  But it was fairly easy and laid back most of the time.

I never wanted to be a serv rep because I would get very nervous on the phone, I had heard quite a few stories about abusive awful customers and I didn't think I could cope with that.

The big thing was that serv reps were the highest paid non management people, and it was also a status to be among that elite & intelligent group of people.  They had many more perks than anyone else in the company and always seemed to be doing "fun" things like rallies and getting free trips.  I had no clue on how hard they had to work to get those trips!

For some some crazy reason, after I had been with the company for 15 yrs, I let a co-worker who was a "good" friend talk me into taking the test because they had openings in the Residencial group.  I was very hesitant because I was in a comfort zone with my job, but I also kind of wanted to see if I could make the grade.  Just to prove I could, because there had been others in our dept who had tested and hadn't passed.. Not that I wanted to be a snob or rub it in their noses, not at all, it was purely for my own satisfaction, I guess it was a goal of mine secretly since I had started with the company.  Particularly because my older sister had started off at the same company as a serv rep right from the beginning, and quickly moved into a top management position, and she always kind of looked down on me because I was a lowly clerk!(yeah, she's a bit of a hoity toity *****)

I nearly had a nervous breakdown just anticipating taking the damn test.  But I did and I passed.  I had a sense of pride, but was also scared shitless, I really did not want to go.  But being a bit of a risk taker, and with a lot of persuading from my "friend" co-wkr with her promises of helping me get through the grueling 3 month training, I went for it.

I should mention that I was also going thru a bit of a nasty divorce with my husband of 14 yrs, and there was new drama going on in my personal life on a nightly basis, so it made the job transision all that harder on my nerves.

Somehow managed to get thru the awful training, and had to go into the real world of the business office, and I was scared shitless to take my first real customer call.  I knew right then and there I was not going to like this job at all, but like a dummy I didn't want everyone to think I couldn't hack it, so I did it the best I could, with much help from the great co-wkrs who on the whole were very supportive of new reps.  Thaank god for them! 

I stayed there for 7(?) yrs, seemed like an eternity.  I hated every single minute of it, and went home upset and crying nearly every night, and wake up with stomach pains because I knew I had to go back.  I HAD to work to support myself and my 7 yr old son, I was not getting any alimony or child support from my ex because I agreed to split 50/50 and forego any battles over money.  I recvd no child support because he took my 12 yr old son from me to live with him....he broke my heart by doing that I was not a bad mother, but he was a Ultimate Disney Dad and my son was at the age where he could I couldn't really blame my son. 

Sorry for the tangent.... Yeah, that job ended up making me the mess I am today. 

I ended up losing my pension because I had to get as far away as possible from that place.  I had been putting transfers in to every dept that had an opening for years and I could not get out of there because they used to put freezes on all transferring out of the Business Ofc!  I was a frikkin prisoner attached to a headset, and on the other end of the headset were some of the craziest, deceitful, lowlife people in the world, and I had to kiss their butts!!

I've pretty much blanked out most of my memories of that place, it's been 10 yrs since I left,

I've been in therapy, in a mental ward once because of suicidal thoughts , and on meds for depression and anxiety ever since I lost it in work one day over a caller who was threatening to come to our office and start shooting everyone they saw.  He had been transferred around from rep to rep because nobody wanted to deal with his problem, and I was about the 5th rep he got and he just lost it with me.....I did the best I could with him to placate him enough to tell me how I could help him, but he was beyond talking to a rep, he wanted a manager on the line or he was coming down shooting.....that is not when I lost it, I lost it when I went looking for a manager to talk to this raving guy, and there wasn't one to be found in the work area, and we had about 15 managers.., I had to go to the lounge area to find one, by this time I was getting pretty upset and a little bit frantic about that customer waiting so long, when I explained the situation to the manager, he started laughing and totally blew me off because he was on a break, told me to take a "call back"!......

Yup, I went back to that poor customer to try and take a call back, which I knew he did not want,  and he had hung up.....THAT's when I lost it because that should never have happened.

Let me just say that it was not the first time that had happened, I'm not that bad, I had handled my share of wack jobs, but this was that straw that broke me., and broke me good, I was in hysterics and after I was pulled into a meeting with management, human resources and a union rep, I was advised that perhaps I needed to get some "professional" help.  I didn't even kknow what they were talking about at first, I had never ever thought of going to a shrink.  EVER!  I was not crazy, it was that place that was so fecked up.  But not according to them, so I believed them and dutifully skulked home and made an appt with a shrink.

There's so much more, but I'll leave it for another time because I'm sure you've dozed off already, I just need to get this off my mind I suppose.

Maybe once I spill my guts I can remember some of the funny things that happened!

Hopefully, there are more of us out there who know the feeling...I know there were more people besides me who were forced to go see shrinks because of that job situation, practically a quarter of that office was on some sort of anti depressant and anxiety meds... 

But I do miss the my co-workers!!




sparkless sparkless
56-60, F
Mar 14, 2009