Yesterday I was sat at Exhaust-a-fix getting my car seen to, and saving £350 from the price originally quoted to me, it must be said, when an old guy sat down next to me. He was one of them chatty people. I was happy to sit staring at the one & half inch screen on my Blackberry, he wanted to gasbag. I’m not ignorant and I was drawn into the conversation with him.
We shared car anecdotes. I told him about the crazy learner driver I encountered on the way to Whitby, and he told me how he scared the Bejesus out of his partner on the back roads to Aycliffe. He told me about how he fell off a ladder and hurt his arm I told him about how I fell off my bike and broke my wrist & elbow. The conversation ebbed and flowed, and I found myself warming to this guy. Then he said something which J said is typical bloke.
We were discussing what they could do at Exhaust-a-fix and he said, ‘they do their thing and they are good at it, I do my thing and I’m good at it, and you do your thing….’
I nodded and made a ‘hmmm-mmm’ noise.
‘which is?’ he persisted.
‘I work at ______’, I said, ‘yeah I spend my day being nice to people who I don’t like all that much. But hey, it pays the bills.’
Man, I was embarrassed to tell this guy what my job was. He was a real man’s man. Work boots, electrician by trade; and we’re sat in one of the manliest of places, a garage with real mechanics. And I have an awful job.
I could have crawled back under my rock and died. Right there.
I talked to Chris at work this morning and she said there is stigma attached to call centre work. It’s a decent job in that it pays decent money with decent benefits and a decent environment, but I could not have felt less of a man that evening talking to an electrician.
I’ve been miserable all day as a result. I desperately need to get out of there and get something worthy of me. It’s frustrating because I can’t just find something on the same money in this area. I’m stuck where I am until I either take a hit financially to reskill, or until, by some goddamn miracle, the police recruit this year and I get through.
Ever felt that you’re trapped with no means of escape? I’m like the proverbial fly in the spider’s web…
And it ain’t pretty.