Go climb a tree.

In Uncategorized on September 18, 2012 at 8:43 pm


I work in a call center. Won’t advertise which one and I won’t even say how many people find out I work in a call center and ask me with a serious face, “How do you do it?” First off, I got completely lucky with the call center I work for. The pay is great. The incentives are great, and the constant support I get from management is great. The one factor that is unknown on a day to day basis, is what kind of jackass you might be talking to on the other line. I could write a play based off of my experiences with this job. I’ve never seen people get so bent out of shape over media before, and I’ve worked in some form of entertainment since I was 18. I have quite literally stopped watching TV and stopped going to movies since I’ve taken this job. I’ve talked to too many people who want to make sure they have a certain level of HD or programming in their home before making sure that they have enough money for groceries. I love TV, don’t get me wrong. My unhealthy obsession with “How I Met Your Mother” is one for the books. But Jesus Christ. When you go day after day listening to people put more emphasis on their programming then their own well-being, you just want to pull your hair out. 


When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time at my gramma’s. It was a requirement to play. It was a requirement to be outside. Her answer to everything was, “Go climb a tree.” And we did. We climbed every damn tree in her huge backyard. She had turned her yard into frickin’ tree suburbia. Each of my family members had their own tree-house. She had so many tree-houses that if you grew tired of your own, you could stay at the Motel Tree-house or the Castle Tree-house. There was a certain magic in having a tree house. Leaving your normal world behind and escaping. Living in nature…it was really just sitting on a branch and trying not to get attacked by ants, but it was still nature. It was magic. The magic of growing up, the magic that you hope to keep with you and hold onto when you make silly grownup decisions that make you bitter. Anyway, the only TV we were allowed to watch was the 60’s TV version of “Batman and Robin” or “Mr. Bean”…which actually explains a lot as to why I’m such a quirky mess. But even TV was an event. It was something special that we did together, not just something you would do to waste away an entire day. 

This blog stems from one crappy phone call I took last Sunday. It was a big day for the NFL. Every game under the sun was playing. I took a phone call where a guy on the other line was throwing a temper tantrum over the fact that the Jets game got blacked out. He screamed at me to push the button to fix it. This is where I started my spiel on how blackouts work, all the while thinking that this guy is either A) a moron if he’s such a sports fan and has no clue how a blackout works and B) Does he seriously think I have the power to press a magic button to fix everything?

I continued calmly and explained that the game was being carried on a local station. Insert tantrum *here*. He demanded the programming be aired on the channels he was paying for, not a local. He then screamed out that he demanded to speak with my manager since I was incompetent, and should just crawl back under the rock I came out from.

I forgot to mention that when this lovely gentleman screamed these words, I had just come off a 17-hour shift from the day before and I was now working a 14-hour shift. My only response was, “I’d be more than happy to get you my supervisor, as long as you SHOW SOME RESPECT!”…insert pause here. I put him on hold and tried not to cry at my desk. I’ve talked to assholes like this many a time. I can usually laugh it off. Roll my eyes. Anything. Not today. It absolutely infuriated me. Not that I got yelled at…just the fact that a person was capable of treating another human being like shit because of football. I wanted to tell him to go climb a tree. To gain back some sense of self. I wanted to stand on my damn soap box and tell him that he’s a moron. That there’s better things in life. That life’s too short to pop a blood vessel over a bunch of guys wearing shoulder pads and getting fat paychecks. The next day I got a call from a man who responded to my simple, “How’s your day?” with “Well, it’s awful.” He didn’t want pity. He just simply stated that his wife had a stroke and went blind from it. I didn’t know what to say. I wanted to reach through the phone and give the guy a hug. This guy was trying to program his remote so that he could turn on his TV so that his wife had something to listen to while they figured out all of this hard shit that was going on in their lives. 

Media is important to everyone. Let’s face it. For some, it’s an escape from a reality that we aren’t quite ready to accept. It’s something to be passionate about when everything else has turned to shit. Who knows? Maybe the only positive thing in that one guy’s life was football. I can understand how he’d be pissed, but here’s the bottom line: Don’t treat others like pieces of crap. Being an adult is hard. Everyone will tell you that we had it easy as kids, but the truth is, we have it easier as adults…but only if we want to see it that way. As an adult, you have the choice of hanging onto a piece of your positive side that you inherited as a child, in order to help you tread down the path of adulthood. To people like football guy, all I have to say is, “Go climb a tree,” so that at least you can gain back your sense of self…



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