Wednesday, May 26, 2010

a stressful job (lyn)

Weight Watchers meeting in the morning.  Down .4 pounds, to 120.2.   I’m not going to keep losing, but it’s nice to know I’m good at it.

After the meeting, I go back to calling on doors.  It really is an exhausting job.  There’s a lot of talking involved, and my sore throat seems to be getting worse because of it.  I hope there are no points in sugar-free Cold-Eeze as they are the only things that give me relief.

People are interesting in their reactions to, “Hi.  I’m here from the US Census Bureau and I’d like to ask you a few questions.”  Most are nice.  Some are gracious.   And others will put their lives on hold to help.  Like the girl who invited me in and let me conduct the five minute interview, as she stood wrapped in a towel with the shower running in the background.  Or the man today who was in the middle of lunch with his family, but invited me in, offered me food, and kindly let me interview him.  The few who shut the door in my face, or walk by as if I’m invisible while shouting, “I’m too busy to answer your questions” are fortunately the minority. 

Similarly, I’ve noticed a range of reactions from the doormen around the neighborhood.  In large high rises, I’m dependent on the building staff to help me.  Most couldn’t be nicer.  Maybe it relieves them from the monotony of handing out packages or announcing guests all day.   Or maybe they are genuinely helpful, kind people and are good at their jobs because of these traits.  But there are those few.  You know.  The ones that say, “I’m not paid to help you.”  Or the one I encountered today who told me he was too busy to buzz the 29 apartments on my list.  Too busy?  C’mon.  No one is in the lobby.  No packages are being delivered or requested.  No one is moving in.  It’s the middle of the day. How can this doorman possibly be too busy to lift the phone receiver and call up to an apartment, where likely no one is home?  So the super speaks to him and tells him he has to help me.  I should add, the super speaks to him after I speak to the super.    We all agree that I’ll return early evening.

I’m back at 7:30 and I can see from this doorman’s expression that he is not happy to see me.  He begrudgingly makes a few calls, as in, he buzzes a few people’s apartments.  He is hating me and he is hating having to do this.  Halfway through my list, he quits.  Tells me he just can’t do this anymore. “It is too stressful,” he says.  I can’t help myself.  I politely ask, “I’m sorry.  I don’t understand.  What is so stressful about buzzing up to an apartment and letting them know I’m there?”  With that, he turns his back on me and walks away.

I’m going to have a fat-free mango sorbet now, read my book, and think about relaxing on a beautiful beach. 

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