I mean, we all have to do something for money, right? Something to get us from day to day, week to week without having to live in our cars or under a park bench, (no disrespect intended toward those who do) right?
I suppose it’s always ideal if you love your work. Currently… I enjoy my job enough to not want to slit my wrists. The more I feel like I know, the better it gets. Plus? When I do go off the deep end one day, I have fantastic insurance. Taking care of me always helps in the satisfaction department. Now if I could just get someone to rub my neck and shoulders.
Thinking about job satisfaction this morning took me back to 2005 when I worked this temporary assignment for the XYZ Corp (names changed to protect the douchebaggery). This job was, by far, the most. When I say “the most,” I mean the most ridiculous, the most horrifying, the most ick-inducing, and (I’m almost ashamed to say this) the most entertaining.
My job was to listen to voicemails on the phone line for a popular televangelist’s “prayer line.” You’ll see why I put “prayer line” in quotation marks soon enough. Basically, I was to listen to people’s prayers, transcribe their demographic information, and (here’s the horrifying part) then delete the messages.
So… where’s the part where these people get prayed for?
Ooooo…. oooooh… I know! I know! Pick me, teacher!!
THEY NEVER GET PRAYED FOR.
As it was explained to me, I was the only person to ever hear these messages. Well, me and the other few people who were on this project. None of us were told that we had to pray. I’m not sure any of us would have, but I do know we were never asked to.
We were told to transcribe these people’s names, addresses, and phone numbers so that they could be solicited for monetary contributions at a later time.
That’s the part that made me feel completely filthy. That, along with knowing these miserable jackasses were not fulfilling their part of the bargain and, you know, actually praying for their callers. Somehow, I found this worse than any act committed by Ted Bundy. Then again, good ol’ Ted was also a pro at pretending to be something he wasn’t.
Most of the callers wanted prayers on their behalf so the could find a husband/wife/significant other, and these requests were the amusing part of the job. Amusing = cute, not a “laughing at them” kind of thing. Some people needed jobs, cars, homes, money for bills, or to find their car keys. Yes. Before you ask. Yes. And these calls came from all over the world.
I often found myself playing a mental “Dating Game,” wishing I could introduce Gina in California to Henry in Zimbabwe. (names/location changed)
It was heartbreaking to hear some of these folks’ prayer requests… sick spouse/child/parent/friend, homelessness, you name it. It was even worse to know what the final outcome of the call was going to be.
In case you didn’t understand when I said it before, allow me to repeat myself:
final outcome: NO PRAYERS.
That was the longest two weeks of my life and was exactly why I shied away from temporary assignments after that. Very soon after that travesty, I was fortunate enough to end up at my last job, where I stayed for 13 years. That came with its own issues. I was going to say at least it never left my soul feeling filthy, but that isn’t true. Sometimes, it did, and that’s why I’m not there anymore. There are things I will miss about that place forever, but feeling like a shitty human being is not one of them.
But back to Henry in Zimbabwe and Gina in California… I hope you’ve both found your true loves and made lots of babies. I remember you both wanted that. I always shot out a kind thought for people like them. It just seemed like the decent thing to do. If I knew you both in person, I’d have introduced you.
Jim in Oregon was the best, though. All he wanted was a cat. And isn’t that fantastic? Jim stands out to me because that day is the day I adopted my asshole cat, Tuco. There were times I wanted to ship his angry little ass off to Jim, but I never did. Somehow, I saw Jim as more the Persian cat type, or maybe a Siamese.
Oh, and Bob in Tennessee? I hope you found those keys.