Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Forums... and rambling

On the days when I want to try to reach out to other people and connect some, it often seems it would be easier to do so on web forums that in real life.  In real life I have to sort out who I actually want to interact with in a fairly short amount of time.  And most of my personal interactions happen at work.  Ok, this probably sounds silly, but I really struggle with finding acceptable ways to spend time doing non work while I'm at work.  I mean, if I'm spending any significant amount of time on a social interaction instead of working I feel like I'm cheating my employer of my time.  Its hard to find ways to do both at once, especially when, well, my work is isolated and it typically involves talking to someone over the phone.

Sometimes I wonder whether the ICU team was a mistake on my part.  Yes, being in this position allowed me to take some classes that really moved things forwards for me in life.  Yes, it was a raise in pay.  But at the same time its meant not being able to attend most any church social events because for some reason the ward likes holding them on weekdays or Fridays in the evening, and I work Mon-Fri in the evening.  Also, the team I was on before was a close knit group.  Not everything was perfect about it but the members of the team at least interacted regularly.  The ICU team typically has only one member active at any particular time.  Sure, I have a backup person who I could fall back on if things got too intense, but that's a total of one person on my team I can normally socialize with throughout most of my day.  I could always join the chat room for the PM commitment team, but I've just never felt that I fit in.  Dominant interactions include making fun of your customers, other agents who bring you work to do, and each other.  And I'm sorry but I just have trouble interacting in that mode.  It's just like how I could never learn to play-fight growing up.  If I'm going to hit someone, I'm going to do it because I'm hoping to injure them, not because I want a mock contest of strength to help arrange the macho stratification of a social group.  Similarly, I have a really hard time making fun of someone unless I am really out and out trying to mock and crush them.  IE, I have to have lost my temper.  And I hate losing my temper or treating someone in a low manner.  To me if I act that way that's a message to me that I'm a low life who isn't ready to be live as an adult.  I think to many people, making fun is a way of analyzing each other for the likelyhood of tolerance to when you might actually mistakenly hurt their feelings and also a way of defining yourself in your social stratification/network.  IE, make fun of our customers to establish ourselves as superior intelligence to them, make fun of other agents to mutually agree upon how our team is better than their team, and make fun of each other to try to establish who has emotional, technical, and social dominance in the group.  Flatly not much of that makes any sense to me, but I think that's what they are actually doing.  About the only way of doing that that ever made sense to me was arguing over political philosophy to establish how intelligent I actually was in comparison with others and also to exercise my mind.  And yes, Andy you were a wonderful debating partner.

In any case, I don't fit in with the PM shift of my old team.  And due to a fluke of chance of how things were situation when I was training and other things, I sit by myself in one of the most isolated spots in the call center.  Its so nice that way that a bunch of admin chose to sit in the same area to take advantage of the peace and quiet I found for myself back there.  And I'm not on buddy buddy terms with my operations manager or sales trainer so that doesn't help the social isolation part.

So back to forums.  I used to invest a large part of my socializing into online forum discussions.  About the same time I got engaged, my favorite forum started to die a slow and horrible death and most of the frequent participants were driven away by the change in atmosphere.  It's since been deleted so you won't find the things I said there anymore.  Since then I've never been able to bring myself to more than just lurk on a forum.  I mean sure, I'll check out spiderweb's forum if I want a hint on how to complete a game and I'll browse through another forum or two from time to time if I need to browse through other people's experience for some practical ideas.  But in general I just have lost interest in forums.  I think I just can't bring to bear any feeling of commitment to the social environment, don't care about what people are talking about anymore.  So I mostly just comment on blogs now and then.  Hopefully the changes that are pending in my life right now will help shift things around for me some.  If I don't die of change anxiety first :)

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