Friday, April 3, 2015

The Anatomy Of My “Brick and Mortar” or Why I Must Go To Work – A Rant

A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a man below. He descended a bit more and shouted, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him half an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."
The man below replied, "You are in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You are between 40 and 42 degrees north latitude and between 58 and 60 degrees west longitude."
"You must be an engineer," said the balloonist.
"I am," replied the man, "but how did you know?"
"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I am still lost."
The man below responded, "You must be a manager."
"I am," replied the balloonist, "how did you know?"
"Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are or where you are going. You made a promise which you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. The fact is you are exactly in the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it's my fault."

I constantly bemoan my position at my “Brick and Mortar,” because as it turns out I hate the job. I use to love people and this job has introduced me to the most critical, ungrateful, insensitive, unforgiving, socially backwards and ignorant lot of them all – and those are just the ones I work for.

Why do I stay? 

There are a couple of reasons I have been at this job that I did not even want for four years.

I am a mid-forties white guy, and so far there have not been any jobs that I can take advantage of, so I keep looking and mark time here.

I think what Jeremy Crow at said it best; it is all about pride. I wanted to try to make a difference.  I wanted to be the best at what I do, but unfortunately, that will not fly at my work; their position is to “fix” the customer – then address the problem. This is all well and good, but my customers aren't calling a psychologist, they are calling for technical service,

In my job, I do technical service for an American manufacturer of computer products and personal electronic devices (I cannot say their name, but if you made a pie out of their product, it would taste worse than their namesake): However, I do not work for them directly, I work for a company that provides outsourcing for them – which is worse: Same job, less pay.

So let me explain the path the customer has to get, before getting to me. They call technical service, because they are already distraught about their device that is no longer working: I work for the personal electronics division.

After going through the IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system, they speak to an entry level advisor. If the entry level advisor cannot fix the situation, or they really muck things up, they put the customer on a hold for sometimes thirty minutes. After that hold the customer makes it to me. How do you think that customer feels at this time? That is what I deal with on a daily basis.

Why don’t I just quit?

I would just quit, I think I’d be happier. However, the money this job provides – all be it very little – does keep our heads just slightly above water.

Why don’t I just shut up then and keep on keeping on?

As I have said many times, my writing is cathartic – I need sometimes to vent my frustration. I do that with writing, I do that with sarcasm and jokes about management. One of these days I will find something that I really enjoy doing. Maybe I will finally get that job as a writer, and then I can kiss my “Brick and Mortar” goodbye.

Perhaps you are in the same spot, you are in a position you don't like. Sometimes we have to be where we are until what we are meant to do becomes available. Sometimes there are things we need to learn - so that we are useful to others with our experience. I suppose the best phrase for this is, "What doesn't kill you, will make you stronger." 

Thanks for reading 


  1. Oh my friend, let me tell you how I started out writing, and tell you that you have all the makings for it. You make a good point and you have imagination. I hate to be one of those people that posts's a link in a comment, but you should read this .. .. I show you this because it was ME back in 2005 talking about the same place I work for. It was how I got my writing style, that some people seem to like. Taking the mundane life of a factory worker and turning it into a comic book. YOU could very easily do this.

  2. I just read superdaddyman, great post brother. Thanks for your comments.