Trepidation, Reservations, and Obligations

posted in Work on Mar 29, 2008

So I did my full share of work this week on my new overnight shift. I just finished the work week about 45 minutes ago. Currently my schedule is 8pm to 6:45am, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Of course, we know that last weekend I made preparations for the overnight shift, and all was well. Monday was an interesting day. Seven weeks had transpired since I first walked into the doors as an employee. After the first night of the new shift, though, I was feeling a might uneasy about everything. Would all of that knowledge be for naught? And how does it all feel one week in?

Well, to answer the first question, I would say that the knowledge stayed, but an additional is essential. The first claim I took Monday night was fairly routine: a couple of cars got into a fender bender. The second, however, was nothing that I’d dealt with up until that point. Such things are fine, I knew I was going to run into new experiences, but it did make me take a step back. The second call was that of a poor gentleman whose house had just caught on fire. Luckily, fire crews were already on the scene putting water to the damages. Unluckily for me, I stumbled hard on this call. I knew how to take the call, but since it was my first “live” one, it was hard to deal with. Additionally, the software we use to handle such claims decided to take a dump and not work (which I’ll address further later on), so I had this caller who was watching his home burn, standing outside with his neighbors waiting for me to do something and my computer was stalled. That man on the line ended up hanging up because he had to go deal with the fire department. Of course, I don’t blame him for doing so, but I was ill-equipped – both mentally and on the hardware side of things – to handle the claim. It kind of shook my resolve, adding some additional fear to my plate that had otherwise been pushed aside like so many vegetables in one’s youth.

That second call nearly set the tone for the whole week. I started from then to feel reluctant to even take a call, like all of my knowledge was sucked out of me through some fearcuum (fear + vacuum). And that was only the second call on the first night. I still had a good eight hours or more to go. That fear was definitely not fun, and the effects of which are still trailing my shadow, unseen but felt.

Because of that fear, I started to wonder later on in the week if I really was cut out to continue with the job. I definitely do feel for the people involved in the accidents/events, so it’s kind of hard for me to get over one that is particularly bad. As soon as those thoughts entered my mind, I began wondering about what exactly led me to be employed there, and what exactly I wanted to do. If this is not my particular “calling,” so to speak, what is? That’s the question that’s really plagued my life since I was about eighteen, and I still don’t have an answer for it. I don’t know at this point if I ever will. Because I am not entirely resolute in my drive to work this particular job, it has been hard to find the will power to go every night and face some new tragedy. People don’t call in when they’re having a good day. This feeling comes and goes, however, and that is a good thing.

Even though currently I may be dancing back and forth between my emotions for the job, I do know that at the end of the day, yes, I’ve helped some people. In fact, the last call I had this week was from a woman in Texas who was living alone whose house had just been damaged by a huge hail storm. She was the most polite lady, and it felt really good to help her out. That’s who I’m doing this job for. I could take thirty calls that are crappy, and have one good one like this last one and feel really good at the end of the day. Right before I got to work today I had a discussion with my mother that basically entailed everything written above save for this paragraph. I’ve felt really defeated all week concerning this job. I really didn’t know if I wanted to stay with the company. I have been frustrated with all aspects of it. “Mom,” I said. “I just really don’t know what to do.” It took all of my being to get out of the car and walk into work. Tonight my whole “team” was gone, I was the only one in my aisle, and I had a full week’s worth of apprehension built up. For whatever reason, I knocked all of my claims out tonight, and it felt good. Something “clicked,” and while I still need help with a lot of things, I was able to push a lot of the bad feelings out. I know I won’t be doing the job forever, but it’s those little old ladies who you know you helped out and who give a thousand thanks, in addition to a good mother, that may just end up keeping me around.

Which I know that I said I’d mention the computer problems later on, but it is near my bed time (7:30am), and I’m going to wind this down. This post was not about computer issues anyway, although there are some that are aggravating. I’ll touch on that in another post.