Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sometimes The Difference Between Loneliness and Achievement Is The Size of Your Desk

Sitting in a call center is lonely work. Waiting for calls, taking calls, making calls. It's not always a nice place to be, especially when you're sitting squeezed in a row of a dozen or more desks just like you. There's nothing that distinguishes you from anybody else in a call center. They train you to take calls and answer questions and make sales like everybody else. You sit and wait, and even if you get bumped up to a higher and more elite department, you're still stuck in the same tiny desk.

I wouldn't mind cubicles if that's what they were, but we don't get cubicles, but they're not. It's barely more than a bar with carpet-covered metal partitions every few feet.

Unless you get lucky.

Luck is having someone above you getting moved further up the ladder, or off the ladder, and being given an opportunity to take their rung. Luck is getting that chance, not getting the rung. If I believed in fate, I'd call getting that rung fate. Gather all the lucky people in a room and it's not luck that takes one of them out and moves them up the line: it's doing something the stands out, becoming someone who stands out.

And in a world where everybody is trained, taught, and brainwashed into being the same, standing out is the hardest thing to do. Security in a familiar paygrade is a difficult chain to break.