Thursday, March 28

Some Things I Miss

I saw this photo of a Muni streetcar and suddenly I got homesick. Hmmm. . .
And Have I Reached?. . .

Well, I knew life in the "boiler room" of a marketing research company wasn't going to be pretty, but I didn't think it would be down right ugly. A lot of unrest, it appears, lurks in every corner of this place. But, it's a paycheck and for that I am grateful. There are alternatives and not all of them are unsavory. We'll just have to see what happens.

I'm currently assigned to the Arbitron project. We call randomly selected numbers to see if we can place radio ratings diaries in homes. It's not a bad project. Arbitron is the leading provider of ratings for radio stations in the country. They are to radio what the Nielsen ratings are to television. And while I'm truly not selling anything to anyone, people are naturally suspicious that I want to part them from their money. Maybe it's all of those years doing fundraising telemarketing. I'm sure there is still subtly implying tone in my voice, kind of like a surgeon describing an operation, "and this is when I begin the wallet-ectomy. . ."

One of the cool aspects of the job is that I get to talk to people all over the US. I've spoken to rushed New Yorkers, retirees in Florida (I now know why those ballots got so fucked up), God-fearing Iowans (all of whom have blessed me with The Lord's abundant love), and resigned and depressed Alabamians (well, it is Alabama.

My favorite call today was to an 87-year-old man in Powell, Tennessee. He lived on Mount Hollar Road, a fact that somehow had escaped him from the time he moved there until now. Our coversation when something like this:

John: And may I confirm your mailing address?
Man: Way'll, I tell ya, I'm not sure what the address is, I'll have to go out and look at the post. Can ya hang on a minute?
John: Sir, all I need is your street address. (I didn't realize at the time he lived in a hollar, which in Tennessee means you literally "hollared" up the road to see if anyone was up in the valley. They don't consider the "road y'all walk up to the house" to be a street).
Man: Ah'll be rite back.
John: Sigh. . .if only I didn't need to pay rent

After five minutes he returns:

Man: OhKay. . .it's Tew Semen Nian (that translates to 2-7-9) Mount Holl-ar Road.
John: Thank you. Now, sir, can you promise me that you will return your diaries to me?
Man: Way'll I'll tell ya. If I don't die and I ain't too busy I'll see what I can do.
John: Thank you, sir.

I don't think I could ask for more.

Tuesday, March 26


How fast one's priorities change once full-time work starts. I've gone from fretting over no work to worry about acquiring too much. I have to say, however, that all things considered, I'd rather be in the place I am right now as to where I was one year ago. Every now and again it pays to take an inventory. See where you are, where you want to be, what you have to do to get there. Something AA taught me about and one of the things I took to heart.

When I look at my inventory today, I realize it's filled more with "wants" than "needs." In the past, I needed a job, a house, income to help me further myself. Today I have those things. My needs have become wants. I want a better place to live, a car to get to work, other ways to make money. Want, I believe is a better place to be. Need is a point of desperation. Want is a point of inspiration. After being down for a while and reduced to a life of need, I now see what it's like to want again. Want leads to goals, goals to aspirations, aspirations to realizations. Amazing what a little time will do to your perspective and sense of things.

Tomorrow is the "big test" at the new job. Pass this and you are in, until the next performance hurdle appears on the horizon. Pass this and the wants become bigger. Thankfully we have a boss who is committed to seeing us pass this test. She all but put it out in front of us today to absorb. Out of our group of eight I have a feeling someone won't make it, but I don't want to think about that. Bad karma or something like that.

Superstition aside, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Monday, March 25

. . .And Another Door Opens

Today was the first day of the new job. In one short week I will become one of those people so many hate -- a telephone market research interviewer. Perhaps hated is a strong word, as we don't sell anything. We truly only garner information from individuals and then sell that to the companies who hire us. Still, the "being cursed at while being hung-up on" potential is extremely high. I've done it before, though, and can do it again. It's a job.

Still looking for something part-time to augment what I will be making in this new full time position. The opportunities are there, just have to capitalize on them. Trying to do some of the self-employed stuff and we'll see how that goes. I need to muster as much energy as I can over the next several months, show great endurance, inspiration, etc., and build up a cash bank for future growth.

Sounds easy, doesn't it?

Sunday, March 24

Oh, It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Springtime

Yes, I'm boy crazy right now. Surprising, however, this rice queen hadn't discovered this new addition to the SF Giants. He's worth looking at for a few innings.

He even has his own bats:

Now that is a Japanese basei-ball boyfriend-o!