Friday, January 27, 2006

Professional Bitch -- Amateur Mystic

I know I've been extremely low on the radar, Loyal Readership, but with everything that's been going on, I've been lucky to get to read my email and make some food before falling into bed to read and sleep and start over.

But that's not what I came to talk about, s'much...came to talk about my new job description, the one I'm considering printing on my business card -- my newly acquired status: Professional Bitch.

Now that the evil weight of inbound sales has lifted itself ponderously out of my life, like Caligula slinking out of the vomitorium, I've been able to pinpoint the Thing That Made It So Awful, the thing that my new job actively discourages: obsequious ass-kissing.

If people don't like the folks on the phone at the Former Network, they can always just hang up and dial the folks at one of their other competitor-clones with three-letter acronyms to purchase their crappy piece of exercise equipment, antiaging snake oil, or crappy cubic zirconium. But, short of FDCPA violations, there's absolutely nothing the people we talk to can do, short of hang up with full knowledge that we'll call them again the next day. They can't demand that their accounts be given to another credit agency; the consumer choice comes from the doctor's offices and radiology clinics and all the people we bill for. Furthermore, anything they say against us is automatically suspect, because of course they hate us; duh, we're bill collectors. Professional politeness is good; allowing oneself to be condescended to by idiots isn't allowed.

My supervisor walked by the other day, which happened to be my second on the phones, and said, "You have such a sweet little voice." (Keep in mind that we are in the South, where any adjective such as "sweet", "cute", or "precious" is grammatically incorrect without its preceding "little".) She followed it up with a laugh, observing "It'll be gone in about two weeks."

I don't know if she's entirely correct -- the polite-but-firm, unruffled-by-client-consternation approach isn't doing me so bad on small-balance accounts, at least. This could totally work out. I spend my time between calls doing malas and eavesdropping on the two hilarious guys who are primarily assigned accounts from criminal court. I don't even have a special code to punch in before I deign to take a piss.

I have my own desk, which came complete with its own bell. People ding them frantically to announce closure on large accounts. The jade Buddha from the desk altar at the house has made it to the desk, and his grin and my grin are beginning to come from the same source of joy, instead of the desire to have the proper Phone Voice. No more forcing my face into a feral rictus of pretend friendliness just to make people think I don't hate them. It makes my real smile real.

I'm so much less pissed off and generally disgruntled at the end of the day. Exhausted, yes -- besides the NewJob, I have three tutoring sessions a week and still watch the SCBLitW's kids on the weekend. I haven't had a day off in God knows how long -- counting back, at least nine or ten days. Don't have one scheduled until Saturday week, and even then I'm herding between four and ten folks to the Dao ceremony.

Oh yeah! That!

Since I had the Big Conversation with the Wise and Increasingly Omniscient Tish, the universal unfolding has been conspiring to increase my confidence in my magic and my abilities, and my conception of myself as a competent leader.

So I come home from PBing, and I have voice mail, and it's the Dian Chuan Shr of the Huntsville temple, the one who initiated me, calling to let me know the date of the next ceremony and asking me to call her. She had remembered that I had a group, you see, and that I might be bringing several people.

I am a girl who gets voice mail from holy women. I know she probably does that with lots of people, not just myself; my happiness over that fact has nothing to do with ego. It's just that I think I may be in the process of becoming the person I wanted to be when I set out on this leg of my spiritual journey. I pray regularly and openly now. I'm doing disciplines with tehellim, with japa mala, with lots of different things. My shrines are happy and well cared for.

I'm floating in the River Why, to wax metaphoric (and the book The River Why is awesome and you must go and buy it right now along with Life of Pi) and I'm enjoying the ride. Om namah Shivayah. I've even started to cover my dreads completely every day but Friday (for reasons that defy any explanation I could give at the present), which is like a Discordian hijab and weird-but-neat. I can feel the shakti that stores up in them when they're covered. I know now why a very wise and holy woman once whispered in my ear, "Never cut those, girl; they your power", repeating it to be sure I got the message.

So all is well here, just busy. As I get into the swing, you'll hear more about it.


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