I'm dreaming again. It's 10:15 on the Tuesday after Labor Day, and I've got this silly thought in my head that perhaps, I would be one of the few who would actually enjoy being a collections agent. Give me permission to be a creeper and try and find ways of getting in touch with a deadbeat, show me the rules about what can and can't be said, put a quarter in me, and turn me loose. I'm having visions of grandeur that involve me standing on piles of money stained with tears, wearing a viking helmet, and yelling into a phone. I wonder how many other help desk agents have these sorts of wet dreams?
I think it comes from all the years I've spent swallowing being yelled at by people on the other end of the phone. Occasionally, I've deserved it. However, if you're screaming that you need help right goddamed now, and you refuse to help me help you solve your problem, then you can wait till we have someone available to drive to your location. And you know what? I will sleep fitfully tonight if that means you have to wait till tomorrow afternoon. For fuck's sake, my crystal ball has been cracked for the last 6 months, and government employees don't take home enough to put a down payment on a new one right away. However, these are all things that I can only think, never say. Well, never say *and* keep my job.
My need for justice, to balance the scales, makes me pretty sure I've got enough of this venom banked to be very effective at not backing down till someone opens their wallet or hangs up. The thing is, my skin's thick enough for me to almost make it a game. Heck, even just sitting here, I could probably whip up a collections bingo card based on the kinds of things I hear working an IT help desk.
Don't get me wrong. I don't take joy in other people's pain. I'm not a sadist. I'm just not a fan of learned helplessness. (This includes my own. I'm well aware of what are my own personal Everests, and it irritates me that I have a mental block about them.) Trust me, I know what being in over your head is like. The thing is, even through it's uncomfortable, you've got to make a decision about it. Letting life just wash you out with the tide isn't gonna do anyone any good. Eventually, if it gets bad enough, you need a catalyst. In my case, it was that being married just to stay financially buoyant wasn't cutting it any longer. If a collections agent calling and telling you that you have an obligation, and it's on you to find a way to make that happen with some tough love, so be it. I think I'd be damned good at that. I mean, I'm all about finding a solution, planning for "what ifs", and not allowing the bullshit distract me when I'm on a mission. I think I could be good at telling someone "I understand that you think my mother was a spawn of Satan, but you still owe us this much money. regardless. I know you have the other problems right now. But, here's a solution that works for everybody. And to be fair, I was summoned, so there's no proof I even *have* a mother.".
Who knows. I guess I have yet to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. This might end up on the pile with ballerina, marine biologist, US ambassador, and hostage negotiator.