Also

I had not at all thought of the anger in that way. That maybe the anger helps protect me from myself. I was thinking about anger in the sense that it is pointed and can cause great damage when buried into a person, and even worse damage when that person is yourself.

But I think you guys are right. If the anger isn't about proving THEM wrong, maybe it can be about proving the damage done wrong.

I never would have thought of it that way. Thank you guys!

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Ghosts and flamethrowers

I had a thought about anger.

I was driving, as I do, listening to the radio, as I do, and commenting on the various memories and associations I have with those songs (as I do.) One of the songs was a song from my youth, one that I had cradled as a champion in my struggle to break free from the abuse at home decades ago.

It was a song about using your anger as a rock to brace yourself against, to leap out from. A song about taking the rage and using it to prove them wrong. It was the "prove them wrong" part that caught my attention.

I make no bones about how precious my anger is to me. My anger is a force that has kept me walking, kept me clawing upwards, inch-by-goddamn-bloody-inch, on the Everest that has been my recovery. I give no apologies for how I've relied on that anger. It has kept me motivated for most of my life, in that very clear "prove them wrong" manner.

But....who am I trying to prove wrong anymore?

My mother, my stepfather, whom I haven't seen nor spoken to in years? David, who has also been exiled from my life? They no longer see the struggles or the triumphs on the big screen that is Teressa's life, because I have completely booted their asses out of the theater.

They remain in my life only in metaphor. These people are ghosts. And how can you prove a ghost wrong?

You can't.

Proving someone wrong only works when that person is able to see what you're doing. But they aren't allowed to see me, because I have long since removed myself from their line of sight. It does no good to hold jousts for an audience that is not there. Dotting my past with bonfires to show just how bright my future is has become nothing more than a constant fire hazard.

My anger, my rage, the burning, seething mess inside of me will not be completely doused. Not now, probably not ever. But maybe I can realize its place - that place being a handhold up instead of a flamethrower aimed behind me.

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The Inner Monologue

* *read some shit on the internet about fedora'd, delusional assholes buried elbows deep into their own fragrant bullshit.* Ahaha! That's so funny! That makes me want to make fun of David! It'd be SO FUCKING FUNNY!

* But everyone around you is SO TOTALLY TIRED of hearing about David. They are SO OVER IT. Do you really want to keep yammering on about something that's gonna bore them at best and annoy the shit out of them at worst?

* But OMG I HAVE REALLY FUNNY THINGS TO SAY!

* Y'know, humor is partially based on the temperature and read of your audience. If they don't find it funny, maybe it's not so funny.

* BUT JESUS I CAN'T CONTAIN MYSELF ANYMORE THIS IS JUST TOO GOOD NOT TO SHAR-

* Okay. So let's not actually *share* the things you might think are funny and instead share about the FRUSTRATION of funny-but-socially-acceptable-even-if-it's-only-on-Livejournal thing.

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CH stands for Card Holder

CH: I'd like to activate my credit card.

ME: No problem! Let's get you verified real quick and then we can get your card open for purchase. What is your first and last name? *ch gives name* Your phone number? *ch reluctantly gives phone number* And just your DOB and the last four digits of your Social Security Number.

CH: What? Why are you asking me that? Why do you need ANY of that? No one EVER asks me that.

ME: I'm sorry, ma'm, but as you didn't put in any information when coming through our automated system, I need the information to pull up your account. It's also for security reasons, We pride ourselves on customer protection and want to make sure that your card doesn't go to anyone else but you.

CH: I don't think so. I've NEVER had to do any of this. They always just let me into my account without all that bullshit. I'll just call back! *huffy gasp. Phone line goes dead

Thanks, lady, for confirming that you're a card thief. (Or else a terrifically paranoid bastard who thinks the rules should not apply to them. Either way, you ain't gettin' that card opened right now.)

----------------

CH: *ten solid minutes of ranting and raving about the evils of our company, as a small refund hadn't been returned to her account, which caused a late fee to be rolled onto her account*

ME: I'm so sorry, ma'm. I can go ahead and waive that late fee and credit you that refund immediately.

CH: NO! I want to close my card!

ME: Are you sure, ma'm? I can get you your money back - it'll show in less than 24 hours. I'd be more than happy to compensate you for this whole mess.

CH: I said NO. Cancel the stupid card.

ME: Alright, ma'm. *reads cancellation script*

CH: Wait a minute. You're going to just cancel my card? Just like that? Without even offering me something in return? *huffy gasp. Phone line goes dead*

I don't know what it is about these situations that render our callers unable to hear things, no matter how many times we repeat it. I imagine this is the phone version of "customers never read anything" that face-to-face customer service encounters.

--------------

I always get that when waiving the pay-with-representative spiel, too. Normally, to cover the cost that our pay-over-the-phone systems (check or debit), we charge customers 10$ for that. We CAN tell them to pay with our automated system, but we have no way of transferring people back to that system. We have to tell them to hang up and call the number back.

I think it's a little stupid to charge people, and then further inconvenience them with having to hang up and redial the number. So I almost always waive that fee, since I already have them on the phone.

The conversation ALWAYS goes like this:

CH: I want to make a payment with you but I don't want to pay the fee.

ME: No problem at all. I'll take your payment free of charge today.

CH: I just really don't want to have to call back. Can I make that payment today but not pay the 10$?

ME: Of course! I'll happily waive that 10$ fee-

CH: Because I REALLY don't want to pay that fee. Can you waive that fee for me?

ME: I can absolutely waive -

CH: I don't think it's fair to have to pay money to pay my bill. I want you to waive that fee!

ME: Yes, sir, I also think it's unfair to have to pay money to pay a bill. I'll waive that fee for you and take your payment for free. *mimes beating my head into the computer*

So on and so forth.

I figured out another trick to have a good day at work. When transferring, if I simply say to the other rep, "Have a good call day" it seems to perk me up. Perk me AND them up. Something about small acts of recognition helps. It seems to help A LOT.

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Going in circles

So here's the big fear: I go to the doctor's office, they do all the prepwork or whatever it is that doctor's do...and everything comes back normal. I go to the doctor's office and what I hear at the end of it is "This is stress related. You have to reduce your stress levels."

And I go "Okay, but I'm already (1)working out (2)eating better, (3)allowing distraction time with video games (4) meditating, (5) and writing. What else can I do?"

Because I'm afraid I'm going to TRY and do everything right and somehow mess it up. Which, if I can't reel in the stress of this job, means I am definitely doing something WRONG.

I'm almost hoping it is something seriously physically wrong, because then at least it's not my fault. If it's cancer or a thyroid issue or something, then that means that there's something outside of my control, instead of it being "Teressa just doesn't know how to deal with hard work without freaking out."

I mean, I know call center work is hard. I handle, on average, 100-120 calls a day. At least three of them a day are irate callers (yelling, calling names, berating) and several more callers a day are curt and rude. There are several hours a day in which the calls are literally back to back, without even a THREE SECOND pause between calls.

I keep hearing "Don't take it personally", "let it roll off you". So I do. Or at least I try. And I get frustrated because it's super easy to let one or two people calling you names roll off your back.

It's a hell of a lot harder to handle when you know you're going to get that at least 15 times a week.

There's no better jobs out there than this. Great pay, great benefits, close to home. My coworkers and managers are AWESOME.

So something is wrong with ME. I feel like I'm running out of things to do to help myself, which makes me feel defensive and defenseless. And the cognitive dissonance *itself* that I'm reaching is really beginning to stress me out.

Pat was very nice and took me headband shopping. Claire's was having the best sale - 3 for 3 on headgear. So now at least I've got something pretty to stick over the bald spots. For now, anyways. Even with two headbands and some pretty hefty side bangs you can still see SOME scalp. But with the headphone on at work, between the two or so headbands on my head, mostly covers it.

It's really sad when that's the good the news of the day.

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If Amazon Were A Person, I'd Punch Him In The Face

So many assholes. So many clueless assholes. So. Many.

CH: What do you mean I can't use my card if I'm past due?

ME: I'm sorry, sir, but we do require payment for continued use of the card. I can knock off these late fees and take a payment for you right now for free if you'd like.

CH: This is ridiculous! This is Obama fascism! Obama-Hilary 2016!

ME: Sir, if you can get Donald Trump to make credit card policy, then I can follow those policies. I'm fairly certain that payment for services existed before Obama, but even if it didn't, there's nothing I can do. We are bound by the current administration's laws.

CH: Forget it. I'm not doing anything for Obama! *click*

So. Fucking. Many.Collapse )

I swear to god, if someone ever invents a phone in which someone could reach through and strangle others, call center reps would be able to give just as damn well as they get.

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Thoughts on Love

* David goes on and on, and always has gone on and on, about how the various loves of his life have saved him. They keep the darkness at bay and without them, he'd be swallowed whole. Without them, he is incomplete, a story without an ending, a broken raft splintering in rough oceans.

How can you be 35 years old and still think that's what love is about?

* I made the mistake of reading a text conversation a woman had with her son moments before he was gunned down in the Florida mass shooting. Love did not save her son. Love will not save her from the grief she will now carry.

What can love do in a world where hate literally paints the walls with blood?

* It is human, so very human, to think that if we love something enough, love something long enough, it will not die. And when things die, we feel as if our love failed. We feel as if WE have failed.

How do we love in a way that does not fail us, does not fail others, and heals brokenness, instead of merely cracking those broken pieces further apart?

 photo Teressa Pic.jpg

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(no subject)

Worked out? Check.

Showered? Check. (BONUS: Shaved)

Anxiety levels not dropping even teeny, tiny bit and instead ratcheting up to physically uncomfortable levels? Check.

It's that sort of completely irrational fear where you know, you just know, if you step out of your house, a plane or something will fall on your head, even though there are no Twin Towers in Kansas City and you don't even own a bunny suit.

(Donnie Darko was cool. And dumb. And never had I before seen such a cute, cuddly animal portrayed in such a terrifying manner.)

I have a doctor's appointment set up for next month. I think part of this is that despite working out and doing breathing exercises, the hair is falling out faster, my energy levels keep dropping, and over the course of the last week, I've lost my appetite.

I went 24 solid hours without eating yesterday (no time for breakfast, food I brought for lunch at work went bad) and the only thing that happened after those 24 hours was....I got exceedingly chatty. No insatiable hunger pangs, nothing that normally makes me feel like seizing on the first chubby child and eating them whole.

(That's creepy. Oh well.)

I'm really sorry, Willow. I don't get these sorts of anxiety attacks this strong but a few times a year.

I worked out. I showered. Small victories. Just because they are small victories does not mean they aren't victories.

Fucking bunny suits.

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Arguing with myself

* Time to go get on the treadmill, Teressa.

* I don't WANT to get on the treadmill. That first mile suuuucks and it hurts a little.

* But Teressa, don't you love how awesome you feel afterwards?

* Yeah, but it takes EFFORT to get there and I just want to stare at the internet and play video games. I'll feel awesome with that, too!

* You know what isn't awesome, Teressa? Losing your hair. Losing your fucking hair.

* Okay, I'll go. But wait! What is this I feel? Anxiety about leaving the house? We can't go work out, I'll have a panic attack!

* You are 35 years old, Teressa, and blessed with the meds and treatment plans that give you tools to get out there. Your anxiety is no excuse.

* Alright, alright. I'll go workout. But I'm not going to like it!

* You weren't put on this earth to "like" everything, Teressa. Now go be a goddamn grownup and get on the treadmill.

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In The Car

Things I Say, Out Loud, To Myself In The Car:

* I'm really glad Justin Timberlake is making music again. He does pop music so well.

* It seems I am destined forever to drive cars without functioning air conditioners.

* I like seat belts. They're pretty awesome. I dig the whole not being flung through a pane of glass at 70 mph thing.

* Becky never wore her seat belt. She said she didn't like the government telling her what to do.

* Then again, she committed suicide only a few years later. So that turned out to be a completely moot point.

* In Mass Effect, the Asari live to be easily a thousand years old. Bucking the trope of "being nearly immortal means loving things with shorter lifespans is too heartbreaking", they instead take lovers on their whole lives.

* A human's lifespan is easily 7-8 times longer than a cat's.

* So if they can fall in love with beings that will die hundreds of years before they do, then I can understand why we are drawn to, and beautiful in, our love of things that will die years and years before us.

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