But I'm not on the sales floor, and I'm certainly not running around with a walkie talkie chasing after salesmen who work on commission. I'm sitting at my desk with a ball of yarn and a book, one leg lazily crossed over the other. I'm wearing a pair of faded blue Mwah! jeans, a hand-me-down from my girlfriend Nichole, and a grey t-shirt with the names of the Rolling Stones across the front of it. My hair is in pigtails, my nails are bitten, and I've got an Almond Joy hiding in the bag that I carry my headset in. (One bite will usually soothe me after a particularly difficult call.)
I ask them to hold while I check inventory on Kenmore Elite high-efficiency washers, tango red LG dryers with matching pedestals, Wii games I've never heard of, and my favorite, an animatronic dog by the name of Biscuit who may even be cuter than my own dog, but not quite.
While they hold - and imagine me running across the store like a chicken with its head cut off - I listen to them on the other end of the phone. I hear young mothers cooing to newborn babies, stay-at-home dads letting their daughters know that Daddy will put the hat on in JUST A MINUTE, SWEETHEART, frazzled stay-at-home moms yelling at their three year old to be careful with the baby. It's magical to me, really, the things that they don't know that I hear.
I have calls that make me laugh, like the tough Brooklyn transplant who wanted a telescope to check out the Hawaiian Tropic girls on the beach. No one had been able to help him, and he promised to send me a bottle of vino for Christmas, as well as tell his friends Joey (Pesci) and Al (Pacino) how good I am at my job. There was the new grandmother out East who wanted to redo her kitchen and was hoping that stainless steel appliances wouldn't look too cold and sterile. (She asked to speak to my supervisor, and I have her compliments hanging on my desk every day. She said that Corrine deserved her pay. She said that Corrine was the prettiest to her. Great job!
I have calls that break my heart, too. I spoke to a woman whose son was brain damaged after he was hit by a car as an eight year old and uses his computer and TV as his lifeline. She didn't have much money and needed a new air conditioner for his room. I wanted, with every fiber of my being, to buy one and send it to her anonymously. I wish I'd had the money to do that. Sometimes I still think of her, hoping that she found an a/c unit for her boy. I hope he's comfortable, wherever he is.
Last Thursday, I won an award. My stack rankings (quality, AHT, sales, etc) were the highest from everyone who had graduated from training in the month of September. I have a certificate that lets everyone know that I am the Best In The West. The bulletin board outside the break room has my name on it in huge blue letters. CORRINE WISE, I read every time I walk past it. That's me! I think. I have been able to show myself and prove what I can do.
After years of minimum wage slavery, doing "weird shit for strange people in the name of company profits", I have found a place where I can excel. I am in the place that I've always wanted to be in, in a company that stands for the same things that I do. I'm finally in a place that treats me the way that I deserve to be treated, and in turn I do the same thing for the people who call me.
Here I get to shine.
And each and every day, I find myself shining a little bit brighter.
If I'm lucky, maybe someday you won't be able to look straight at me.
Or so this girl can wish.