The Amazing Race

I wish my college had offered a course on answering phones/properly operating different office machinery. I’m coming to terms with the fact that while I left college thinking I was prepared for life because I could ace writing a twenty page paper, I’m discovering that I am not prepared, or even as smart as my GPA suggested. I might in fact, have various degrees of retardation. The other day I was standing over a postage meter holding directions that clearly explained how to remove the new postage meter from its box, but failed to mention where to plug different cords in, or how to correctly install the ink. This is a task that a company decided they would pay me to do, and suddenly I found myself starting to panic and frantically typing “how to fix postage meter help” into the web browser on my phone. This has also happened with a fax machine, coffee maker, scanner, printer, computer keyboard and a door knob. When the day is done and I go home at night, everything becomes clear and I wonder why I let inanimate objects get the best of me, but in the heat of the moment, its as if I’m a contestant on the Amazing Race and my failure to connect a scanner means I’ll miss the plane to China and fall miles and miles behind the other teams.

I also think I may be partially deaf because it never seems like I can hear anyone properly over the phone. If they say their name is Jillian calling from Deutsche, I hear William calling from Doosh, which means I either have to think of another question to ask them so I can figure out if they are male or female, or I have to ask them to keep repeating themseleves until they are spelling everything out in a fury. I initially met my boyfriend because he was calling the front desk to speak to his boss and I kept repeatedly transferring him to a bidder named Marcia who has a heavy New York accent and kept yelling “WHO IS THIS?” at him.

I wonder if I am in fact functioning at a much lower intelligence level than most people or if an intensive special interest class where you get tested on rolling calls or troubleshooting office equipment would improve my performance. Office Assistant 101 would be an agonizingly boring class which I no doubt would have suffered through, but I would have been so much more prepared to suffer in the real world.

Sometimes I try to assess my skills, in an attempt to reassess my self worth, but I really only excel at a few things. I’m very good at analyzing situations that don’t need to be analyzed, daydreaming, and sometimes I feel like I’m good at Instagramming, only I seem to max out at 15 likes which I guess means I’m not that good. I’m not sure what this means in terms of a career, but if mastering the art of answering phones, operating office machinery and shipping packages is the stepping stone to a power position, I am absolutely doomed. I might find more success being a vagabond as I seem to be very low maintenance and want to travel without spending a lot of money. But being a vagabond is a serious life commitment that would probably require me to sell all my belongings and buy a van, and I just signed a year lease. So at the very least, I have a good amount of time to weigh the pros and cons of transitioning from a cog in the wheel, to a wanderer who drifts off the face of society.

I can’t seem to shake the feeling that it just seems like such a waste to spend the majority of your existence here on earth working a job for a paycheck, or rushing to get ahead in a career, or worrying about success like we are contestants on a game show. It seems like there is no alternative to this though, unless you want to drift off the face of society, so we have to find ways to make the best of it. One way is to have a really powerful imagination. Another is to have something to look forward to at the end of each day, so that waking up in the morning isn’t such a struggle. If you wake up and you know that, although you are going to spend a good amount of hours sitting at a desk calling people for other people or trying to unjam a paper shredder, at the end of it you’ll have dinner with someone you love, it makes the day worthwhile. Sometimes, if I’m off work early enough to witness the sunset, even thats enough to make a seemingly uninspiring day inspiring again.

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