It’s been a pretty busy year with trips, visitors, and working on our house, not to mention getting married and going on a honeymoon. Within all the busyness we’ve set the focus on living less complicated lives, creating plenty of space for downtime, and spending quality time with people we love.
Professionally I’ve started to stagnate in a job too stupid to believe. I’ve worked for a company on a crisis and referral phone line so morally bereft and unethical you wouldn’t believe it. I work in a helping profession and take lots of calls from struggling and frequently even suicidal people. I take calls from people suffering from addictions. I also take calls from a lot of entitled, screaming assholes.
While I feel good knowing I help people and literally save lives, our health system overall is as fucked as our culture in general. For every legitimate call where I really help someone, I have dozens of others that were mistransferred to me, meant for someone else, screaming people, etc. My calls are answered automatically, without my choice or control, I have no idea if I’m gonna get a sweet old lady looking for a counselor or an raging psychopath looking to abuse someone.
I have zero control over my daily schedule. Every single second is tracked online. I have to start a timer on breaks, I only have so long for lunch and breaks everyday. If I need to piss, I start a timer. If I need to eat, make a quick tea, I start a timer. I can’t walk away from my desk. To make matters worse, my office is also my gear room so I have a constant reminder of the outdoor freedom I crave. All the gear sits there like a shitty monument to freedom I no longer have.
Everyday, I am tethered to a laptop using a USB headset with a six foot cord. I’m on a fucking leash.
Since I work in a call center setting, only so many people can be off per day. I get plenty of vacation time, but struggle to find open days to use it. When I got married and went on a honeymoon this year, it was the first time I’d had more than a whole week off at once in a year and half. Somehow, as my blog and Instagram will attest, I squeezed in a lot of good trips to the best of my ability.
Once I saw my teams’ vacation calendar for 2019, I saw that April-October was completely unavailable or already booked. That is every single bit of prime West Coast backpacking season. I couldn’t even get one long weekend into the schedule. Not only that, but I wouldn’t be able to take off for any other purpose either. I can only call in 4 times per year without it being an issue. However, seeing all this gave me a massive sense of relief, because the path is now clear. So I’ve decided this job is totally unsustainable, clearly.
I’m not sure what’s next, but its coming.