I have become a telemarketer, trying to talk wealthy older people into taking a two-hour tour of vacation condos in exchange for a vacation package. That’s one of the offers I’m moving. It’s a bizarre way to make a living, I admit, and not one I would have chosen if I’d had any choice, but I have to do something to earn an income while I find a better job. We work four hours a day, sitting at computers, waiting for the computer to make a call, then reading from a page-and-a-half of script, over and over. Most people, of course, don’t want it, and many hang up. It pays $8 an hour after probation, but I’m not there for the hourly wages, I’m there for the bonus you get when you sign someone up for the tour. The rejection rate is rather high; so is the turnover on this job. You’ve basically got two weeks to sell some tours or you’re out the door, and even after you sell the tours, you don’t get paid unless your clients (I was tempted to say “marks,”) show up.
Seeking alternative employment, I went to an interview at KMart this morning, only to be told at the service desk that the appointment had been generated by a computer error and the personnel manager wasn’t in! “You’re not the only one this has happened to,” the thoroughly bored looking customer service woman told me. She wrote down my information and assured me I’d get a new appointment. That in itself was not reassuring.
On the way home I stopped at Auto Zone and spent over $100 on parts and supplies for a tune-up and oil change on my aging, 1997 Nissan truck. Mileage: going on 212,000. Pray for me.
Needless to say, I feel a sense of desperation and futility these days. I am also severely constipated, which seems so stereotypical for an old guy that it would be funny if it wasn’t so serious. I need to keep my attitude cheerful and remind myself that I have survived worse than this, that everything changes and things can always change for the better… but sometimes it’s hard to remember that.
Meanwhile, scientists studying the dolphins in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, find they are severely sick as a result of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. According to the Times-Picayune, the dolphins were “underweight, anemic, had low blood sugar and/or some symptoms of liver and lung disease. Nearly half also had abnormally low levels of the hormones that help with stress response, metabolism and immune function.” Thank you, BP.
And Morgan, the killer whale that stranded in the Netherlands and was moved to an oceanarium in Tenerife, a Spanish protectorate, isn’t getting along with her tank mates. It seems that regardless of whether we leave dolphins in the wild or bring them into captivity, we are still messing up their lives.