Friday, May 22, 2009

What a Day!

It's 9 p.m. on a Friday night in Los Angeles and I am sitting alone in bed, drinking coffee from my favorite mug; I have an outstanding parking spot right in front of my building and no intention of moving my car until work Monday morning! It's amazing how a parking spot can totally justify hermit-like behavior!

So... I unlocked my door and walked into my apartment, relieved that a horrible work week was finally over! But then I noticed a slip of paper on the floor outside my bedroom with a picture of a hot dog on it. Odd. Then there were two more small papers at my door and a breeze coming from my room. They were coupons that had blown off my desk. At this point I stood frozen in my bedroom door, staring at the balcony door which was wide open before me!

Do I rush out of the building? Is there a killer standing behind me? Should I call the police? Things darted through my mind as my eyes quickly processed the scene. My laptop and checkbook were still laying on my bed, exactly where I had left them. Nothing was moved or missing. I looked in my roommate's rooms and nothing appeared to be disturbed. Of course, I immediately called both my roommates; neither answered. Then I sent a text. The roommate who also has access to the balcony replied that it had not been his doing.

I thought back on my morning; I overslept and left my room a bit of a disaster, thus I am 100% sure I closed my bedroom door when I left for work. Also, the sliding vertical blinds over my balcony door had been opened, indicating someone had to have been on my bed to get to their cord. Ew!

I decided it was a roommate issue and not a security threat so I did not leave or call the cops. The balcony is only accessible through two of the bedrooms; I assumed the third roommate came through my room to get to the balcony. Of course I was pissed that he would come through my closed door instead of the other roommates open bedroom door. And beyond pissed that he would forget to close the balcony door!

Literally a moment ago the suspected roommate replied to the text from two hours ago, saying "Eek sorry. They did an inspection. sooooo sorry."

Now I am relieved that it was neither a criminal act nor roommate disrespect. It is definitely frustrating that he and the building management forgot to shut my balcony door though! That's ridiculously irresponsible on both their parts!


This was a really rough week at work. I believe it was two weeks ago we had free pizza one day for setting a new sale record and the top rep in the company received a $500 bonus check for doing fifteen deals a week for three weeks in a row! This week that rep only did seven or eight. The top reps on my shift, who normally do ten to twelve deals a week, only did six this week! We simply didn't have good leads to call. I once again found myself dialing people who had asked for a quote three weeks ago and had already been attempted thirty or forty times! Not surprisingly, I only have one deal to my name this week (I also got a "post-date" but it'll count for whatever week the credit card is actually run). Under the circumstances, I don't even feel bad about my poor performance.

I think I've mentioned before that the hourly wage is the same for 0 to 3 deals a week, then it jumps up $2 for your fourth deal and a dollar is added for every deal thereafter. So when you only have one deal on Friday, there's not much motivation! This may be a horribly attitude, but the likelihood of getting three deals today and making my effort monetarily worthwhile was slim to none. My first day on the job I got two deals, but it's been only one per day since then...

To make matters even worse, the managers have been a little edgy this week, for good reason. In our pre-shift meetings they've been harping on focus and saying they want energy and enthusiasm rather than folks playing poker on their cell phones and mine sweeper on their computers. I smile and nod but am internally rolling my eyes at this notion! I am an actor and have been a spokesperson; while some may find this disingenuous, my personality and customer service skills have become a finely tuned light switch. Trust me, I can go from being half asleep, checking my email on my phone to pitching a customer with all the focus and enthusiasm in the world in a split second! Eagerly staring at your computer screen, waiting for someone to pick up, only makes you want to strangle yourself with the cord of your headset!

I am not guilty of mine sweeper or poker, but rather stealthy texting and chatting with the woman I interviewed with and now sit beside. Lucky for them, the email and internet on my phone work too slowly in the building or I'd be online the whole time. Today I occupied the time by hand writing a blog post, to be typed in later. I'd give anything to be able to sit there and paint my nails! Everyone is amused that I bring silly putty to give my hands something to do!

The past two days I've been having serious issues with my phone. Customers would complain I was cutting in and out. It's hard enough to get someone on the line, I can not afford them not being able to hear me once I get a hold of them! Yesterday I hooked up a different phone and headset adapter. Today I found myself saying "hello" several times before they'd hear me. Most people hang up if they don't hear you soon enough, so who knows how many leads I lost. The people I actually spoke with complained they could barely hear me; I had to nearly swallow the mouth piece and scream at them. Finally I decided to take matters into my own hands and test it. I call my guy from a second line while my computer kept dialing on the first line. Like everyone else, he didn't hear my first few words, then he said I sounded faint and was going in-and-out.

Then, my computer screen picked up a call at the exact moment a manager walked up behind me. Fucking fantastic. I quickly picked up the other line and said hello fifteen times, but the person I was calling wasn't there or something. I turned to the manager saying, "my shit isn't working!" He joked that that could mean a lot of things. I clarified that they couldn't hear me, to which he snarked, "maybe because you're on the other line?" I explained what I had done and though this manager is really cool, he didn't seem to believe me. "I made a personal call to test it and he couldn't hear me either," I said. "If he couldn't hear you, how could he tell you he couldn't hear you?" asked the manager.

I found myself extremely defensive and frustrated! I can't stand looking bad when I haven't done anything wrong. In retrospect, I should have asked for my manager's cell number and done my test on him, but whatever... He listened to my headset and thought it was fine. My line was truly not working and I really didn't want him to think I had made an outside call only for personal reasons, so I persisted. I ended up changing cubicals, which kind of sucked because it took me away from my preferred area of the office. Nonetheless, I immediately got someone on the line at the new cubical and gave a pitch that required a take-over. I guess that made me feel like I'd redeemed myself somehow, or showed that I was willing to work (even though overall I didn't care). The same manager was unable to close the crotchety, old Floridian customer, so again, whatever...

After I decided my apartment hadn't been burgled, I sat down and opened my paycheck; I ended my shitty work week by finding that I have been under compensated. First of all, I made four deals last week, but I was paid the 0 to 3 deal rate. That $2 upgrade makes a huge difference, so I'm pissed! Next, one of my deals last week required me to stay forty minutes extra but that wasn't reflected either. I'm really hoping it's a mistake, but it's possible that one of my deals may have screwed me by doing a same-week-cancellation. I am left wondering how I've endured this absolutely horrid job for four weeks now!

But for now, I need to ignore my work-week reality and practice songs for an audition tomorrow afternoon. It's for the role that the writers offered me, pending the hiring of a director. I have no idea if the director is auditioning multiple women or just choosing to make me go through a formal audition even though the writers have already picked me. All I know is that my throat hurts, I'm out of vocal shape, but I need to pull together two contrasting pieces in the next fourteen hours!

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