2009-11-03 9:57 a.m.
I've now had a little more than a week at the new job. Right now, part of each day is training, and then most is on the phone, with a "training buddy" who often puts me on hold, to talk about how the calls are going, and what I could have done differently. When I am fully trained, I'll spend an entire nine-hour shift on the phone, by myself. It probably won't seem so bad once I get used to it, but right now, even an hour of sitting in one place and repeating myself indefinitely seems like more than any sane person can take.
Basically, my entire work history has involved movement. This job is a huge shift for me, and it's going to take some time to adjust. I still think this is what I want. The benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.
I get to wear more or less what I want. I see people pushing the "business casual" envelope even farther than I do, so maybe when I'm done with training, I can cut myself even more slack than I do right now. Also, I love wearing jewelry every day. I even get to wear a watch again.
The hours are Mon-Thurs 11-8:30, and Fri 8-12. A two-and-a-half day weekend, every single week. Last Friday, I was done being responsible by 4pm, and I still had two full days of weekend left.
(So far, I'm spending at least one day each weekend doing stuff with friends or family. Someday, I will maybe get a weekend where I don't have any prior commitments at all, and my head will explode.)
Technically, I make a little less per hour. But, since I actually get a full 40 hours, I believe it will work out to slightly more per paycheck than I was seeing most of this year.
There's so much to know. There are maybe 50 different screens, and it's simple enough to follow "If a then click x, if b then click y," but then the person says something that the answer is back four pages and down an entirely different question path. I know this will come easier with time, but right now, it's very stressful.
To protect the privacy of the customers, there's a lot I can't say to just anyone. When the information pops up on my screen, I have about two seconds to process who the customer is, who I will talk to, who I should talk to (not always the same person), and what I need to ask first.
There's one other thing that I really enjoy, that never even occurred to me. So, far, every job I've had in Madison has involved a minute to get to the highway, and then 10-45 minutes of monotonous highway driving. Now, I go through downtown. (Of course, this is Madison, so no one goes through downtown. Downtown is all one-way streets and hordes of pedestrians. It is madness to try and go through there.) I go very close to downtown, and through a lot of residential or light business neighborhoods. It makes me feel like I really live here. I drive through the city every day, instead of around it.