Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Nonchalance As A Way To Deal With Stress

Or, when "doesn't care" can't be made to care. (Warning: May only work with strong Type-B personalities.)

I've made comments in the past about my luck. Between my driving experience and my work life, too many problems seem to come back to bite me, too many stressful situations come back to haunt me. As an artist, I am my own worst critic, and I put too much strain on myself without third parties interfering. To make up for that, I shrug my shoulders at the world.

The potentially most expensive part of my luck comes from driving. It seems, all too often, that poor or angry or impatient drivers are drawn to me. Maybe it's true, maybe it's just me. Tailgaters seem to hate me, for all that I refuse to accelerate for their convenience. I used to slam on my brakes, now I just take my foot off the gas or turn on cruise control. Go on, rear-end me, but what are you going to tell the cop? "He was driving the speed limit, and I was trying to drive faster; he got in my way"? Yeah, good luck with that.

At work, I get the same added stress: people wanting more out of me than I have to give. There's no such thing as giving 110% without taking years off my life span, and there's certainly no way to do that in a telemarketing job. What do you want from me? I can't exactly use two phones at the same time. I've already established that incentives don't work: I know I won't get them, so I don't focus on them. I set my own goals, and if they're not conducive to my supervisor's view of how I should be working, then maybe I'm not the one for the job.

And customer service is no different from the telemarketing gig. Nobody in the building knows every answer, every time, so you can't expect me to; don't get me started on questions that I haven't even been properly trained for. I'm the Parts specialist. If it's not a parts question, I'm not the person you should be talking to, so don't complain when I'm not the most helpful. If my best isn't good enough, I'll pass you on to someone else who might have a better chance, but when there's no one else, I'm not going to take abuse.

When I drive, and someone behind me flips me off, I throw my hands in the air or make faces at them. Go ahead and tell that to the cop; if you're lucky, they'll laugh. Rear-ending a guy for making faces? Are you twelve? Now flipping someone off, that there can be construed as starting a fight in a court of law. Making faces isn't.

When I'm on the phone, I can make all the gestures I want. I can even say some choice words (as long as I am sure to put the phone on mute, and I still only mouth them anyway just to be safe). If you're going to start ranting, I'm going to stop listening, because chances are, it's not my fault (and even if it is my fault, ranting isn't going to get your problem fixed).

There are three people in the build with my name. Just because one of them gave you false information, whether accidentally (probably) or on purpose (doubtful), doesn't mean everybody with that name is at fault.