"I know it don't thrill ya / I hope it don't kill ya"
Me too, Elvis, me too
Surprisingly I had very little anxiety on my drive over to start my new job last Monday. The sky may have been dark and rain constant but I was more nervously excited than anything else. Am starting a two week trial which I am amazed that I have in the first place.
Mondays in any business are busy busy busy and this day was no exception. In the morning i got to grips with the office computer systems and observed one of my new colleagues taking orders over the phone. My stomach was in a bit of a knot and was still pretty tied up over lunch. In the afternoon I started to take some of those orders over the phone and my brain just went into panic mode. Not panic attack mode but "what the bloody hell am I supposed to be doing?" mode. Somehow I stumbled through the afternoon and when I got home my head was just hammering with all the concentration, frustration and stress. I couldn't see me being able to do this every day. Every time that phone rand my heart went into my mouth and my brain went in neutral
Day 2 and I decided to make a list of the info I needed from customers so I could methodically go through it when answering the phone and not make any errors. I have never been much good with the phone if I'm honest - hate ringing up for things, call centres and the like. Well this was very much in at the deep end, sink or swim time. All my calls up to this point were on speakerphone so my boss could hear what I and the customer were saying in case I got things wrong. He didn't say this but it was clear that was the reason. Unfortunately the shitiness of all "speakerphones" meant I often found it hard to decipher the shrill squawk on the other end of the line. However as the day wore on I got more confident and by days end I was far more relaxed about it all. I even had to chase up some debts at once point and dealt with that very well indeed.
Despite a late night out - see upcoming gig post - I was feeling quite bright and keen on Day 3 and from then on it went fairly well. A few errors here and there but the learning curve was getting less steep. I had worked out my ways of dealing with my lack of product knowledge by keeping details close at hand and not letting customers rush and confuse me.
All in all my first week was a success. I think I impressed on my boss that I knew what I was doing, can adapt and learn quickly and cope with the pressure. At weeks end I did a bit of work on the website and the opportunity to help build and develop that arm of the business I find intriguing and exciting.
And my anxiety. Well it never really reared its ugly head. I guess I very rarely had time to stop and think as I was so busy but even when I had a job last year both to and from work I sometimes had really bad attacks. This time, nothing so far
On my day off I visited a lovely old bloke as part of my voluntary work and I discovered that his phone had been dead for three days due to a local fault. I noticed that he was wearing a pendant alarm and discovered that this naturally runs via the phone. Therefore if he had fallen in the past three days then the button and alarm would not have worked. I checked online and found that BT had the job as "completed by 5pm next Tuesday". A quick call to BT and within 90 mins the phone was fixed and they checked his alarm was working too.
The thing is that I was so much more confident, organised and relaxed dealing with that situation. This week of a proper paid and responsible job has already started to change the way I deal with things.
I hope that I do well this week and sign a full contract. This could be where it starts to get good. .