Tag Archives: life

Weekly Update #40

I know it’s been about a week since I last posted. Depression is a real motivation killer for me. All I’ve wanted to do basically all week is sleep and play video games. Which is more or less what I’ve actually done with my time.

At work, I started floorwalking, which is basically me answering questions as the new hires take phone calls for a few weeks before they’re on their own. I enjoy it quite a bit. It’s actually the favorite part of my job now. I enjoy helping the new hires and sharing my knowledge. Thursday, I was asked to stay an hour later than I’m usually scheduled with the promise that on Friday I would leave an hour earlier than I’m usually scheduled. Friday comes around and I get pulled from the phones to floorwalk again. When 3:45 rolls up on the clock, I practically begged to stay longer.

I’m also bonusing finally at work, too. An extra dollar an hour! My team lead is encouraging me to apply for the same position – team lead – since some spots are apparently opening up. I would very much like to floorwalk more permanently or move up in the company to the team lead position. I feel like I have the skills to effectively do either of those jobs and I just want someone to take a chance on me. No, I don’t have the experience, but how am I going to get any if no one gives me the opportunity to gain the experience? I hope the higher ups can see the potential in me like my last two team leads have.

I started cross stitching again. It’s been probably around four or five months since I last stitched something completely from scratch. I know I finished my first cross stitch not too long ago, but that was finishing something. I’m feeling more normal now that I’m stitching. And I can’t just put it down for six more months before finishing it – I’m stitching for Christmas gifts. I’m excited to give them to the recipients!

And to bring it full circle, outside of work and stitching, I’ve been sleeping and playing Borderlands with M. We plan to play through Borderlands 2 and then the Pre-Sequel. We’ve just made it to New Haven. Not bad for a week’s worth of playing after M gets off work! I play the Hunter and M picked the Siren. We actually work really well together, although it does annoy me sometimes how M needs to explore every nook and cranny when I just want to move on to the next mission.

Do any of you play video games with your significant others? Do you play well together or not so much?

Anyway, that’s it for me. As you may have realized, posting schedule is out the window for the time being. Keep it tuned in, though, I have some cool things in the works!

Blogging With Depression

I am not shy about talking about my depression.  In previous posts, I go into great detail about my struggle in dealing with depression.  I’ve been blogging for a little over a year now, and I’ve been through various phases of depression, with and without meds.  Currently, I am now off of the medication I’ve been taking since February, Fetzima.

Unmedicated, I have to relearn how to manage my depression.  It does affect my blog.  I have no motivation anymore to do much else aside from sleep and mindlessly watch TV.  Since I’ve yet to get the hang of scheduling posts, I still blog on a day-by-day basis of posting.  A post doesn’t go live unless I write it that day.

Even now, it is a struggle to make myself type out a post.  My bed is right behind me, I have Ghost Adventures playing in the background.  I want nothing more than to curl up under my covers and just stare at the TV screen.  I know I won’t really register the show.  I’m fine with that.  I just have zero motivation to do anything.

I am tired all of the time.  Prior to getting off my medication, I had severely restricted my soda intake, opting instead for water or tea.  But lately, I can drink two to three bottles of Mt. Dew a day and I get nothing from it.  Not even the tiniest energy boost to make it through my workday.

I know I need to force myself to keep working on my blog.  It’s something productive to do with my time and, honestly, I do feel better when I’ve done something I enjoy (or feel like I should enjoy because I’ve enjoyed it in the past).

Especially when it comes to the topic of depression and mental illnesses, I know I need to blog.  I am a very strong believer that the social stigma of depression needs to change.  We need to be able to talk about our mental illnesses in the same way we talk about our physical illnesses.  If I can add my voice to that change by discussing my illness through my blog, then all the more reason for me to push through my depression-based apathy and write.

Weekly Update #39

So, the second half of this week kicked my ass pretty hard. Tuesday afternoon, my phone battery decided it was just done. Apple, while seeming helpful, actually did fuck all. Some personal health issues rounded up the week. At this point, not a damn thing has been resolved.

Wednesday is typically my day off, but this past week I felt like I worked more that day than any day I actually had to go to work. Woke up early, dropped my car off for an oil change, went back home to chat with Apple Support and then make a bunch of calls to places in town that Apple said would be able to fix my phone only to find out that lol jk no they can’t. Then it was a bit of a whirlwind with appointments with doctors and potential future employers.

From there, some personal health issues took off, leading me to call in to work Friday to deal with that whole can of worms I’m not going to open right now.

Saturday was a little easier. Work was fairly slow, making for an easy day. After work, I was able to take my mind off of things by going to the Celtic Festival with M and another friend of mine. It was pretty fun, except for when we ran into M’s ex. That was awkward for me. I’ve never met an ex before. I got jealous. M took the time to talk me down when we got home later that evening, which was appreciated.

Today, I’m posting from game again. I went out this morning and ran errands while M was at his H&R Block class. Got around to doing laundry finally, and just sort of took it easy on my day off. None of the issues started earlier this week have been resolved, but it was nice to just take the day as basically one deep breath after a week of frustrated yelling.

Oh, Nostalgia

Being in Minneapolis really brings me back to that time in my life.  When I was still in school, mostly unemployed, going to shows all the time and hanging out with friends when I wasn’t at a concert.

Even though I was struggling with depression, I remember my time in Minneapolis fondly.  In all honesty, if I hadn’t been living there when I was dealing with that particular episode, I don’t think I’d be where I am today with the disease.  I started antidepressants while living in Minneapolis.  Partly because of the people I met there.

Some of my best friends live up in the 612 area code.  In fact, the person I commonly refer to as my platonic soul mate lives there.  I’ve written about him before.  His name is John Kargol and he is amazing.  It was really great to see him and his lovely girlfriend Jamie, who is also a good friend of mine.

I also tend to thrive in a city setting.  I do well when I can walk around a downtown and have everything I need within arm’s reach.  One of my favorite things M and I did in Minneapolis was we went to a movie at a local theater.  St. Anthony Main Theater, to be exact.  We went to see Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For on discount Tuesday.  I really liked being able to make that choice on a whim, and then have something to do while we waited for the next showtime.  M and I hung out by the river and went to a cafe I’d never been to before.

But the thing I think I miss the most about Minneapolis and my life there is that I feel like I had more of a purpose back then.  I had a goal I was working towards.  I don’t really feel like I have that anymore.  Visiting what I consider my home town, I got that feeling back again.  Like I have something to strive for.  I don’t know what I’m working on yet, but it’s something.  I need to focus on something.

Coming back home to Iowa, I need to find that something again.

Time Off

So, I know I’ve had some time off recently, though not really planned.  But this weekend marks the start of an actual vacation!  One that I’ve planned and saved for!  One that I’m very excited for!

Saturday after work, M and I will be driving 6 hours up to Minneapolis, MN.  We’ll spend four days bumming around my old stomping grounds.  Sunday, we’re going to the Renaissance Festival with a couple of friends of mine.  No real solid plans outside of that.  We do want to hit the Mall of America and I’m thinking also Walker Art Center and the sculpture garden.

Then, we come home and work for two days before tripping up to Wisconsin for the weekend for my cousin’s wedding.  It’ll be nice for M to finally meet a lot of my extended family.  I just met his this past Sunday at a family barbecue.

It’ll just be a nice, much-needed break from the routine of everything.  I’ll be able to see all my friends from MPLS and I’ll be able to see my family in WI.  And I’ll have M with me the whole time!

Even with my days off and my new schedule where I’m working an earlier shift and subsequently getting off work earlier, I still wind up feeling overwhelmed by everything I’m trying to do.  I’m hoping this vacation will relax my brain and help me get back in the mindset to tackle all my goals head-on.  I’m hoping it will help me re-focus on what I really want to do and lose the things I’m doing just to do.

Sometimes you just get stuck in your own routine.  And that’s exactly what vacations were made for.  Step outside of the rut you’re wearing down for yourself in your daily path.  Jump on to a trail less traveled.  I know meeting up with my old friends will give me new purpose.  John is such a brilliant artist and I’ve seen him take some great strides in his own career recently that make me want to follow his lead.  And Jamie struggles with a lot of the same productivity/focus issues that I do.  Lately, she’s been researching how to put her time to better use and her determination really inspires me.  Being around those two is going to do me worlds of good.

I have some posts scheduled to go up while I’m gone, but I won’t be promising a weekly update this week (I’ll be in Minneapolis).  And next week, I’m skipping the Pinterest Project in favor of my cousin’s wedding.  But after that, I’ll be back with more ferocity than ever in terms of my commitment to producing quality content for this blog to make it everything I want it to become!

Weekly Update #36

Okay, I think I’m more or less back on track with my posts. Thank you guys for bearing with me. The health issues in my family have fixed themselves more or less, it seems. And the internet issue has been more than fixed.

I started a new schedule this past week. Instead of working 11:30 PM to 8 PM, the second shift at APAC, I now work 8 AM to 4:30 PM. It means getting up at the ungodly hour of 6 AM, but it also means feeling like I have more time in my day. I’m actually very excited for this new schedule. Once I adjust to functioning so early in the morning and I’m not constantly exhausted, I’m very much looking forward to using that free time after work in better ways.

M and I went to go see Guardians of the Galaxy on Wednesday. It was very good! I highly recommend it! It’s not the average superhero movie. It’s not as straightforward as other “hero-saves-the-universe” movies. Each character has an interesting and compelling backstory, and this first movie is a great introduction to the characters. The sequel is slated for release in 2017 and I cannot wait! Groot and Rocket are my favorite. I do wish that Gamora’s character had been treated a little differently, though. She’s supposed to be this bad-ass character but sort of gets sidelined into a damsel in distress. Not too happy about that one.

Next Saturday, M and I are driving up to Minneapolis for a little vacation. I’m pumped to see all of my friends again as well as for M to meet them all. I will post as consistently as possible while I’m away. Then, two weeks from today, my cousin is getting married in Wisconsin. M and I will be attending that as well.

And that pretty much does it for new and exciting things in my life. Until next time, my dear readers!

Hello, dear readers. As you may have noticed, I have been a teensy bit absent this past week. The reason has been two-fold.

One. I’ve been having some usage issues with my internet service provider. Those are being worked out.

Two. There have been some health issues within my family that I made a priority.

Things will be back to normal sometime this coming week. I appreciate you sticking with me, my lovely readers!

Weekly Update #30

This week, I shook things up a bit. I actually did things outside of work and hanging out with my boyfriend! Crazy, I know, right?

I’ve been getting pulled here and there for little tasks to assist my TL. I’m taking this as a good sign that hopefully in the near future I will be given more responsibility and more time off of the phones. I would very much like to be off of the phones. End goal in working in the call center is to get off the phones.

On Wednesday, me, my family, and M got together for a combined birthday dinner for me and my mother. Our birthdays are a week apart. We ended up going to Red Robin and because M kindly drove, I was able to have a couple of Orange Blitzes. They taste like liquid creamsicles and are gloriously alcoholic. Kate got a little buzzed. It was pretty sweet.

Then, on Saturday night, a bunch of us from work went out to Buffalo Wild Wings. Since some of us didn’t get off until 11:00, we didn’t meet up until 11:30. Which is actually pretty late for me. I’m usually asleep, or at the very least in bed, by 10:00. But it was nice to go out with friends since M was spending time with his family since he took overtime on his birthday this week.

Today, we celebrated M’s birthday by going to lunch with his family, then spent some time wandering around the local mall until it was time for the weekly tabletop gaming session. Which is actually where I am now, waiting for everyone to get here and/or update character sheets.

Looks like we’re getting ready to start. I’ll have to end it here, dear readers. Check back on Tuesday for some character development fun!

Weekly Update #29

I know, I know, I was supposed to be posting steadily every week now. I have a blog planner and everything. I even got a lovely iPad mini for my birthday to make it easier for me to keep up with the posts.

Life happened, as life tends to. I fell off my usual schedule, fell off of writing my posts ahead of time. It was my birthday on Monday. I’m now 26! M was pretty sick for a few days before he finally went to the doctor and got some antibiotics. Yesterday was our six month anniversary.

But I’m getting back on track. Can’t beat myself every time I make a mistake or don’t quite follow through on my plans. As long as I keep taking steps towards my goals, that’s all I can do. Even if those steps get off track sometimes.

Let’s see… I’m writing this post on my new iPad. I’m kind of in love with it. I used to do most of my writing on an Acer net book, but that particular machine was a bit slow for my tastes. This iPad is so much quicker and lighter to carry around and it’s just a delight to use for blogging.

Look forward to this week for a few changes to the posting schedule. I’m going to try a new writing project. Should be a fun little experiment. Until then, dear readers.

Introvert In A Call Center Part 2

It’s time for a topic revisit from when I first started working at a call center.  If you recall from part 1 of this topic, I was having a hard time coping with literally being paid to be social for 8 hours a day and needing time to myself, as an introvert.  I’m back for part 2 now to let you all, my dear readers, know how I’ve been handling a job where all I do is talk on the phone all day.

The first thing I had to learn and take to heart is that I cannot internalize things the callers say to me or even the things they call me.  For example, just last week I had a caller who called me a fucking moron because I told her she did not have a Medicare account with us.  The call didn’t last much longer than that, but it was upsetting.  Even when I’ve had to deal with people like that day in and day out, it will always be upsetting.  But you know what?  I had to deal with that entitled asshole of a customer for less than 10 minutes.  She has to deal with her insurance issues for hours, days, and hopefully even weeks.  She’s not worth my time outside of work to worry about.

The trick is, when you get a call that upsets you, it’s totally fine to take a minute or two after the call and take a few deep breaths.  Take a long swig of water or soda or coffee or whatever it is you drink.  Go take a bathroom break, even if all you do is get away from the phone for a few minutes.  If someone calls you out on it, all you have to do is say you had a bad call.  I promise, everyone who has ever worked at a call center will understand and let you take a couple of moments to calm down and let it go.

The other side of the coin is that you need to take the kind things customers say to heart.  If someone is thanking you for helping them, even if all you did was click a few buttons and get their medication refilled, they are being sincere.  It may not seem like a big deal to you, but sharing that one little piece of information like that they can get up to a 14 day supply at the local pharmacy while waiting for their 90 day supply through the mail order pharmacy can make someone’s day, even their week.

Yes, more often than not, you’ll get calls where the caller won’t even realize they’re yelling at a real person, but those calls were the caller realizes it and then goes a step farther by acknowledging the fact that you are indeed a human being are going to make the job bearable.

If you’re worried about the physical act of having to answer the phone every time it rings, the whole process does become automatic.  Also, you don’t even physically answer the phones, the call just sort of comes in.  No real way to avoid it.  At my job, it’s this little beep-beep and then we’re on with our “Thank you for calling.  This is Kate.  How can I help you?”  It gets easier and easier the more you repeat the process.  I’ve been at my job for 8 months now, and each time I take a call, I begin automatically.  In fact, I move through the majority of my calls pretty much on autopilot.

Working at a job where all you do is talk on the phones, making and taking phone calls outside of work becomes even more of a daunting task.  It is nice, though, when you can relate to the person answering the phone at your bank or when you call the electric company.  It makes those calls seem less like you’re talking to some stranger and more like you’re talking to a comrade-in-arms (because, let’s face it, it’s a war on those phones – fighting customers who think they’re right but aren’t, trying to help those that have been wronged by the system, and moving through the seemingly constant verbal barrage of insults and complaints).

You’re friends, family, and loved ones will at least attempt to understand you need a good hour or more of silence or minimal conversation upon arriving home.  I’m lucky my boyfriend works in the same call center I do.  We have a mutual understanding that the drive home will only consist of very basic “what do you want for dinners” and whatever music is playing on the radio.  You may need to explain to family or roommates once or twice that all you do all day is talk, you need time to not talk.  And I mean that – you need physical time to rest your vocal chords.  You will get sore throat after sore throat and loose your voice on a monthly, even weekly basis.  Once whoever you live with sees the physical side effects of literally talking for 8 hours straight, they’ll let you rest up your voice a bit before asking again how your day was and the like.

So far, being an introvert at a call center isn’t an impossible thing to do.  It does just take some time to get used to it all and to learn coping mechanisms for dealing with the constant socialization.  Expect more posts on the topic as I learn more about it through first hand experience.