Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The 30's and Sitcoms

Sal and I both turn 30 in the next week.

She is looking forward to her 30's.

I am not.

I don't have a great reason why I'm not. It's really a number that humans made up based on another number on a piece of paper from 30 years ago. Being 28 is not much different from being 32.

But I feel sort of ripped off. Between the multiple surgeries, getting laid off, all the overtime, I feel like we missed out of the sitcom years. You know, the 24-30 range where you make adult wages and get to have fancy cocktails in some hip New York bar/coffee house combo.

Instead, I could barely walk during those years.

And it's unrealistic. No one really lives like Ross and Rachel or the Sex in the City ladies. (I know, they were all in their 30s, but come on, they lived like 20 somethings) Most of my friends had the same struggles finding work as we did and dealing with lay offs and unexpected debt.

None of us were sipping cocktails in Manhattan and worrying about a visit from our rich, but obtrusive parents or discussing the benefits of dating older men and women.

F·R·I·E·N·D·S more like L·I·E·S
The 20's just felt like this exciting time. Older adults seemed to latch onto every story you had, living vicariously through you. The world seemed to be in front of us, and life so fresh.

When I look at the 30's on paper, it just seems like a time to get comfortable, and I don't really want that.

I'm not going to feel much different on Saturday than I did any random Saturday a few years back. This is all theoretical changes and maybe how others might view me.

I guess I'm ready for my 30's. A time where my student loans will be paid off, our car paid for, our salaries increasing (God willing), and a new chapter in life. But damn if I didn't wish I still had a few 20's to count.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Going Back to the Phones

On July 8th, I had to return to taking phone calls once a week.

I hadn't done this in almost a year, and in that year I really loved my job. The calls themselves aren't that bad. It gives me a chance to think on my feet and interact with people. BUT... this also opens me up to abuse from people having a bad time.

I've been dreading it. I used to be one of the best you could ask for on the phones, but not taking a call in a year really puts some rust on your skills.

For instance, my phone dismounts have gotten really awkward.

"Alright, that password is reset, you should be good to go..."
"OK, than..." "can I help..." "OK, umm bye" "...with anything else." Pause a few seconds, "No, bye."

I've also been stumbling to remember where I have certain tools saved. Sometimes they're a bookmark, sometimes it's an app, either way, I have 100 of both, so I have to sift through.

And I forgot how talking to users is like speaking two different languages. They don't exactly know what's going on and that's why I'm there to take calls.

So the first day back, I had a call that went something like, "Hey, I can't get logged in."

"OK, what screen are you on? Is this Windows or Email?"

"It's Windows."

"OK, do you see a change password button below where you log in?"

"No, I see a black screen."

"Ummmm, sir is your monitor on."

"Yeah should be, but it's black."

"Push the little orange button."

"Alright, I'm logged in. Thank you!"

We have a new head of technology coming in August, so my team going back on the phones is sort of a test to see if we can keep up with our other work. The answer is probably no and we're hoping whoever the next head is will take us off the phones permanently. But for at least the next few months, every Tuesday is going to be the worst day of my week.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Divergent Path

I didn't go to my 10 year high-school reunion because frankly, I didn't like high-school very much and the people I actually liked, I still talk to.

Facebook has removed the need to re-connect at high-school reunions. There is something lost by not drinking face to face, trying to one-up each other in the life awards at a real reunion, but I think I'm OK with it. I've always said, have a couple great friends instead of a ton of OK friends.

There are a few outlying people that don't post to Facebook too often that I want to know what they are up to.

My best friend from high-school reached out to me a few days ago. I hadn't really heard from him in a good 7 years when in college he told me he knocked up a girl and might have to drop out of school.

When I say I haven't "really" heard from him, it means I haven't had a meaningful conversation with him in years. Maybe about every 2-3 years, he sort of checks in and finds out where I'm living and what I'm doing.

He was cleaning out boxes in his basement and found a concert stub for a metal show we went to in high-school and reached out to me asking if I remember it.

I think the real reason is my Facebook picture is me as a kid and he thought maybe I had a child. I get the sense that he lost a lot of friends having a kid so early and was hoping to rekindle ours. As soon as I told him it was me, his answers got much shorter.

There are times where I'm jealous of the attention and camaraderie I see among parents my age. This is especially true at family functions where my brothers and I are the only ones that don't have kids or houses in the burbs.

The other cousins form circles where they discuss trips to Florida or the most recent soccer tournament. The announcement of a new pregnancy brings high-fives and hugs.

The kicker is, I love kids. I'm great with them. I just don't know if Sal and I will ever have one of our own. Anytime we've seriously discussed it, we think adoption is the most likely option for us. And even that, not until we're in our mid-30's. We both always felt like we wouldn't have one of our own, but our parental calling would be more of one for a child in need.

As morbid as it is, we both separately had this deep feeling that something terrible would happen someone we knew and we would take their kids and raise them instead of letting them go to child services.