I Can Only Picture Myself in a Corporate Job.

There, I said it.

Despite encouraging comments from folks who, even with their broad experience, seem to find me unique and possessed of a “clear personal brand”…I cannot imagine a life in which the responsibility for my income falls solely on my shoulders.

I hate to say it, but my disagreements with the corporation I work for – as well as the industry I work in – are not the principal driving force behind my seeking a career shift. Rather, it’s the lack of control: the constant sitting in one place while a rapid-fire succession of unresolved-problem footballs are lobbed at my unprotected body.

That notwithstanding, there is obviously a huge difference between me, someone who really, really doesn’t want to work in a call center anymore, and someone who is being slowly annihilated physically and spiritually by working in a call center. That person is so nervous and full of dread that they cry on the car ride in, vomit in the bathroom midway through, and then can’t perform sexually that night.

Me, I just really don’t want to do it anymore, which has been the case for more than five years now. But obviously I can compartmentalize.

The other day I replied to an article written by an introvert that realized they couldn’t last more than a few weeks in a call center. As both an extreme introvert and a call center veteran, I thought my contrasting perspective might be of interest. Interestingly, that comment never passed moderation. While there are several possible reasons for that, I have to think it may have been that my narrative was so at odds as to seem practically irrelevant.

Of course I wake up physically aching and groggy every morning, feeling like the task ahead of me is insurmountable. But perhaps that is simply akin to a musician with stage fright who has to be dragged out and propped up by their handlers before finally heaving to life. As one of my coworkers with a stage background said on Skype the other day, our job is nothing if not a performance.

Because of this, if I’m honest, it’s hard to keep up the momentum of exploring other possibilities. So often it’s easier to muscle through the familiar unpleasant tasks and then enjoy leisure time afterwards, than to spend every outside-of-work moment trying to trace the feeble outline of something new.

And that, friends, is the disheartening truth of why a majority of people don’t leave situations like mine unless they’re forced out. Take that as you will. I’m not ready to claim total resignation here, but I felt stating the unglamorous truth of the present moment was important.

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