4: I’m sorry I can’t take your call right now.
“Hello. Thank you for calling ABC Dog Training, I’m sorry I can’t take your call right now. If you’d like the April and May class schedule please visit my website at ABC Dog Training.com. Or leave both a day and an evening phone number where I can reach you and I’ll call you back within three business days. **OK maybe not** see I am very depressed someone broke my heart and I can’t seem to concentrate on work. Ok well “broke” is kind of dramatic – it’s got a big fuc@#$!! hole in it. Wait that’s too angry, I am upset though. Bruised, yeah bruised it’s a little bit bruised. And I try to focus on work but I am vacillating between various states of intense loneliness, anger, depression – intermixed with the occasional false bravado and imposed euphoria.
But I promise to call you back just as soon as I get my shi@#! together – you are number 132 in line. I’ll be right there as soon as I get to the 97 e-mails I need to return. I still don’t really feel like talking to anyone or hearing about your problems, I have my own.”
Ah self employment – it’s wonderful. I do genuinely love self employment but too it gets trying at times. I have been self employed for nearly a decade now, through not so great economic times to downright depressed economic times. All in a city whose economy has really never been strong even in the best of times. Hard – there are days when it is hard. I’ve not taken a vacation for example in over three years (not gotten out of town), health benefits are sketchy, not great. Mental health care, therapy, drugs?! I’m sorry of course not. No one pays me for a sick day – a “mental health day” what is that?! Oh I can take one and do but if you go down for weeks at a time physically or mentally…well the money just doesn’t come in. And who knows what the cost is when you don’t call someone back for weeks, even after they have called you several times.
Sigh. Ok I am not perfect. I am human. I am single, and self employed and while I have friends and family — often there is no one really to lean on. Self reliant.
End of pity party. I do have over 100 e-mails to return and probably 40 or more phone calls. And what kind of story will I make up when I return them – cause I will have to make up some kind of story.
No one wants to hear “a girl dented my heart and bruised my psyche …she turned my world upside down and now I’m….” (oh dear god I digress again).
But I have been thinking about that.
And think about it – we are all so wrapped up in our own lives, myself included. But the next time you cut someone off in traffic and flip them the bird, the next time you are irate because they screwed up your latte order at Starbucks, the next time your fast food takes three minutes to arrive instead of two.
Maybe somebody had their heart broken, or their sister just died — or they just got the news that they have cancer. Maybe we should extend our kindness and compassion first and realize we are all doing our best…and sometimes people are just barely getting by and our patience and a smile are all they ask for.