‘i should have quit you a long time ago…’: dispatch from the bread line, day one


24 hours removed from my last day with The Man, I’m realizing just how subhuman that environment made me, how I was treated as an interchangeable part for an associate and a disembodied voice for a caller.

Several friends who left on better terms noted the Stockholm syndrome they felt after parting company. I felt that tug today, when I woke up, fought the urge to get ready and go in for another ten-hour shift, tonight, when I think I should be waking up early to go in for my earlier shift. That life is over. The feelings aren’t real and they certainly aren’t mutual.

Frankly, it should have ended a long time ago. Like Chester Burnett sang.

In retrospect, and I might well be guilty of hindsight bias–I’d like to think I’m not…don’t we all?–I knew my future wasn’t there, in a phone farm, being routinely abused by the public and taken for granted by management.

It should have the other way around, but, rather than take a step of faith and a calculated risk, I let them put me on the killing floor. And, for the time being, I’ve not felt so alive in years.

I applied for six positions today, and the response on my personal social media pages has been decidedly supportive since I broke the news to friends and family. Had coffee with a good friend last night, who reminded me that my worth is more than what I do–a lesson I had conceptualized but apparently never knew. I even got a callback this afternoon, though the position didn’t quite fit, both the moral support and call reminded me that I was more than a standard ID and a guy on a headset. More, or, perhaps less: subject without clauses and so on. I am because of the God who is. Thus, I should probably just be.

It is far better to be human and, as a result, do, than to do and define our humanity by whatever occupies our time during business hours. My next job will be an extension of my humanity; my humanity will not be whatever my job leaves behind as scraps for me to devour because I’ve been starved of myself all day.

So, onward we go along. I discovered this strange phenomenon known as a ‘Fry-day knight’, and tomorrow am looking forward to this mythic ‘Sat-ur-day more-ning,’ whatever that is. Scholars say, so I’m told, that many families would get up for this weekly event and lounge around, enjoy a leisurely breakfast and do whatever it is they’d like for the remainder of the day. I’m not sure how this exactly works, but I prepared for this ancient event by getting sizable cinnamon rolls from the local grocer for the occasion. This is how these things are supposed to be, right?

Monday will come soon enough, and with it will come the resumption of the job hunt. I will take this ‘week-end’ and enjoy the holiday season for once in my life.

I should have quit you a long time ago.

***

Dispatches from the Bread Line are going to be week-daily blog posts until I am employed again. Hope that’s ok.

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