My office is near the main library. There is at least one canvasser camped out at the bottom of the elegant library steps trying to get me, while I’m running errands at lunch, to sign his/her petition. “Can I talk to you about saving dolphins?” or, “You look like someone who cares about making our education system better.” I usually smile and decline.
First, I’m not a registered voter. (Yep, that means I’m either a convicted felon or not a U.S. citizen. Guess which one.) Second, I’m just not a signer-upper. I’m all for others signing petitions, it’s just not my thing. Sort of like why I don’t have bumper stickers. I just don’t choose to express myself through bumper stickers or petitions. I’m weird that way.
Sometimes we have to be forced into growing and getting outside of our comfort zones – kicking, screaming and throwing internal temper tantrums every step of the way.
After passing them on the sidewalk, I often think to myself “I could never do that job.” But the truth is, I’ve had some pretty horrible jobs myself. Cold calling for a temporary staffing agency was one of them. I would be sick to my stomach going to work in the morning. Once I got there, I would relax, just a bit. Until mid-morning when we were expected to start making our cold calls. I was so nervous about calling strangers that I would put them off until the very last minute and then scramble to get them all completed before the end of the day.
I never, ever felt comfortable doing it, but I eventually made a little game out of it and stopped dreading it. The game was to hope to get a “no” because for every 20 “no’s” there would be one “yes.” It’s a numbers game, after all. You actually had to talk to someone to get a “no,” so I stopped hoping to get voicemail (counted as a neutral) and would wish for a live person so I could actually get rejected. Silly little game, but it worked for me. I can’t tell you I was ever good at the cold calling, but it sure was a forced professional growth opportunity.
And that’s the point of having, at some point in your life, a job you hate. Sometimes we have to be forced into growing and getting outside of our comfort zones – kicking, screaming and throwing internal temper tantrums every step of the way. Jobs we hate help us do this. I’m never going to be a telemarketer, but I sure have benefited from being able to pick up the phone and make contact with a stranger, without being sick to my stomach.