Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Thursday, June 01, 2006
  The Conspiracy of Normality

Over my almost forty years of living on this earth I have heard so many people wish they could be normal.
"How does everybody else live right and keep it all together?"
"Why can't I be as organized as everyone else?"
"How does everyone else do so much more than I do?"
"I'll never be successful, skinny, rich, or loved like everyone else."

From the time we were little children and have been able to understand spoken language, everyone has been telling us what is normal and what is expected of us. The problem with this is we are told what is normal by people who aren't normal.

Everyone telling you what normal is tells themselves that they are the exception, but everybody else is normal. People think that either they are failures at being normal, or they just have to try harder. All the while, everybody keeps repeating the lies of normality. It seems that so few of us ever admit to anyone else that normal doesn't exist.

Don't misunderstand me. I understand the value of socialization, of teaching cultural norms and mores. We all need to at least have a concept of what society thinks is normal. I just think we should see them as what they really are: cultural ideals.

Normal is not the same as truth. They may cross paths from time to time at the Starbucks, or wave to each other at the Wal-mart, but they aren't neighbors, and they don't carpool. Normal wants to be everybody's best friend, normal is on the pep squad and plans the prom. Truth walks through the world making friends with the unpopular people, feeds stray dogs, and writes letters to the editor. Truth reads unpopular books, and asks unpopular questions. Truth doesn't give a rat's ass about being popular-it just wants to be understood, whether you like it or not. Normal changes minute by minute. Every PTA meeting, every pop star, every popular song, every new interpretation of morality, there are so many things that change what normal is. Normal exists as a continually changing vapor, even though it thinks itself a mountain of granite.

What does this have to do with call centers. Nothing and everything. What is important about the conspiracy of normality is that we don't take it so seriously. Do whatever is necessary for people to take you seriously, but don't become heart broken because you don't seem to have the ability to be normal. Don't buy into the lie that everyone around you is normal, and you are the freak or failure. That's the conspiracy of normality. What's important is that we live our lives seeking truth and not just trying to be normal.

Since I've worked in the call center, I've had days I suffered because I asked why I wasn't normal. Why don't I have the same call volume? Why don't I get the same numbers? When Larry ran the center, we all tried to be normal. Now, with the new management, they have begun to treat us more like individuals, and not just numbers on an ACD report.

Truth lives. Normal is overrated...
Thanks for reading,


Anonymous Cog

normal is very, very over rated!! I couldn't agree more!
Thanks. Glad you liked the post.

I also liked this post a lot. I can totally relate to it. There are a lot of things about me that aren't "normal," but the older I get, the less I care. Life's too short to worry what other people think.
Thanks Spring.

Did you ever think that the only truly strange people are the ones who consider themselves perfectly normal?

I KNOW that I am not normal and I also know that the "normal" people are the ones that show up on Oprah everyday, seeking help for their dirty little's the "normal" people that blow through $100,000 dollars that they don't have, on shopping sprees that are meaningless, in an attempt to fill the void that "normality" has created...

Does this mean that Tom Cruise is "normal"?
Even in this messed up universe, he is still a wierdo.

Truth doesn't give a rat's ass about being popular-it just wants to understood, whether you like it or not.

Now I know that you really meant "to be understood" or did you. Because if you did your slip of the pen wrote a little truth: Truth just wants to understand.

And in response to the response: Did you ever think that the only truly strange people are the ones who consider themselves perfectly normal? I can testify that the converse is not true: Only truly normal people are the ones who consider themselves perfectly strange. Then again, maybe it is normal to consider yourself perfectly strange. Personally, I simply consider myself---different!

You are thinking way too fast for me and making my head hurt. I love that you made my lack of grammar make a point I should have made.

Now, in my personalization of Truth and Normal, I considered Truth as already knowing all, and Normal as not caring what the truth is, but only wanting to be popular.

I think both views are right, Truth wants to be understood and to understand. That is why it is so much more important than normal.

Thanks for all the great comments.

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Exploring the mind numbing insanity and childish corporate culture of an unknown call center employee.

Purgatory: A place of suffering and torment with an unknown duration. In Roman Catholic Theology-the place where the dead are purified from their sins.

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"One must know oneself, if this does not serve to discover truth, it at least serves as a rule of life, and there is nothing better." -Blaise Pascal

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