Pardon me while I sound like an ungrateful, shrewish, spoiled brat…
I haven’t written. I haven’t posted. Even my personal journaling has suffered, maybe even more than the creative aspects of my life.
I haven’t written because I didn’t want to sound like this. Like I’m about to in this post. I don’t know how to write about what has been going on without pouring out all the negative feelings I’m having. So here it goes. If you don’t want to hear it or read it then I suggest stopping here and moving on to something more positive. I will totally understand.
I haven’t been reading other people’s posts because quite frankly I don’t have time. I really don’t have time to write this either but I’m doing it anyway and letting other areas of my life suffer for it. That is just how my life is going right now. If I do something I like then I get behind on the things I don’t like that need to be done. If I do something I don’t like doing then the things I love suffer. I miss them horribly and my artist self dries up a little inside every time it happens.
Work. We completed our classroom training on Thursday. Thursday we completed our final assessment. I received a 96 out of 100 total, which was far more fantastic than I thought I would do.
Most of the people in our class have performed this type of job under different client contracts. I have never done this type of job and it shows each time I take a call. We started taking calls last week. I fumbled through my first call, freezing immediately after ‘hello’… another call I failed to get vital information… I’m a perfectionist and this kills me. I wake in the middle of the night, either dreaming about it, or my mind immediately kicks in chastising me or going over and over what happened raising my anxiety levels. I feel like I can’t breathe sometimes. Other times I feel like I’m going to choke or collapse into a shriveling gooey mass on the floor unable to think or form a coherent sentence or thought. But not just because of the problems I’m having with the calls.
The problem is, I know I can do this. Without a doubt I know I can but my insecurities seem to overwhelm me and get the better of me. I know I’m learning from my mistakes, it is just whether I can survive this and come out better for it.
I got my first paycheck for two weeks work which was shocking to say the least. In a world where money means the difference between survival and not surviving, I’m suddenly faced with earning what I first earned when I entered the job market as a teenager. This is a huge blow to my self-esteem, to my feelings of being able to provide for me and my daughter. I’m talking 3 times less than what I was making or possibly even less than that.
This above all else is challenging my belief that things happen for a reason. What could possibly be the reason for this? Did I take for granted all that I had and now need to learn a lesson in appreciating what life has to offer? I have struggled for everything I have had in life. I’ve had times where I was so much in debt I didn’t know how I would climb out and yet I did. I was all alone in a different country raising my three year old child all on my own without any help and yet I survived and made a better life for us than we ever had before. Just when I thought I could breathe again, I’m thrown down on my back with the diagnosis of cancer and not even a year later I’m tossed down, trampled on and told I’m no longer wanted in the job I was performing with a company I devoted my life to for over 33 years. While at the top of their corporate ladder people make millions or hundreds of thousands of dollars and don’t care a fig for those at the bottom of the ladder struggling to feed themselves and their families.
I’m back in that same corporate environment. People come and tell you how important you are to the success of their business and yet the people they are telling this to are barely making enough to buy food to put on their plate. They may have to choose between a leaky roof over their head or food in their stomach because they don’t earn enough to take care of both.
How can I encourage my daughter to live in a world like this and strive to find a way to earn a living after she has seen me devote my life to the work I do, only to be tossed out in the street as though I were nothing but a bag of garbage?
I wish I had the power to influence the world. To invoke change into corporate structures. To make them appreciate and understand not one single job function is any more important than another. That a CEO shouldn’t earn any more money than the person on the phone taking calls from customers seeking help to repair the equipment they bought which now has a problem their warranty covers. Without those on the calls helping their customers they wouldn’t have a business bringing in millions or billions of dollars which pays them their exorbitant paychecks.
If it wasn’t for my need to feed my daughter, I wouldn’t be trying to learn this new job. I would rather starve than continue to support any company which undervalues its employees. That however is what these companies feed upon. They feed upon the need of people who are desperate for even a small income because they have responsibilities to their families, to their children, to someone in their life to help support them or take care of their health needs.
It should be against the law for corporations to operate like this. I applaud any company which tries to alter their pay structure to one of more equality which reflects the fact that no job is more important than the next. If I ever come across any such company or companies, I think I would be proud to work for them. Will that ever happen? I doubt it. Creating such a change I realize would cause some huge problems, mostly for those who have become accustomed to their exorbitant incomes and need to pay bills they have allowed themselves to become entwined within. Trying to change pay structures would mean a huge change in people’s mindsets. It would be easiest for those at the bottom of the corporate ladder but the higher you go the harder it would be. And let’s face it. The change won’t occur because those decisions are made by those at the top of the corporate ladder. Unless laws are put in place, corporations will not change.
The hardest part of this life is facing reality, acknowledging how reality can change in a blink of an eye. I can honestly understand how people living on the edge of survival can feel as though they are forced to make choices between living a legal life or living an illegal life. If I had any wish in this world it would be to help bring positive change to those people who feel like they have no choice in life but to steal to feed their child, or live in a dump with no heat or electricity in order to feed themselves or their child. I would try to bring about change so every person felt they were valued and not a piece of trash left on the side of the road.
Every corporation, every place of business, every owner, CEO, board of directors makes this choice by how they treat and pay their employees. Every city, every official, every citizen makes this choice by how they treat others. I’m ashamed to admit, when I made a decent wage and carried cash in my pocket, I didn’t think of the man or woman on the street who had nothing. Maybe this is why I’m experiencing what I am now at this time in my life. Maybe I’m paying penance for what I didn’t do when I had the ability to do so.
All I know, is though I whine about not having the time to work on my artwork. Though I whine about earning so much less than what I did last year. Though I whine about a job I feel less than perfect at. I am still in a much better place than others. Though there are people who will always choose to live off welfare instead of work. There are many more who would prefer to work if it meant they would earn enough to feed themselves and their families, but working a job and still not earning enough is thievery from my viewpoint. It amounts to forced labor because someone taking such a job which doesn’t pay enough is because they have no other choice than to take something that will at least provide them with something, anything, so maybe they aren’t living in a cardboard box in a stinking alley or their child isn’t crying out in hunger every single day.
There is so much so terribly wrong in this world it makes me want to cry. It makes me want to weep and pound upon the earth in frustration. We don’t deserve this earth or the life god gave us.