Joys of the Job

There are times in your life,
When you reflect on your job,
And you check if you like it,
If you grin or you sob.

For although all work pays,
And of course pay it must,
There are always those days,
Where you’d like just to just –

Just to say “screw you, work!”
And to walk out and quit,
With a flurry of spirit
And complete lack of wit.

But even when it’s nice,
When you can stand it and grin,
There are always those dunces
Who must make a din.

For I’m innocently working,
Reassuring the upset,
I’m being so dilligant!
But what do I get?

Music blares out,
And I yell “Turn it off!”
But the answer, of course,
Was a smirk and a scoff.

“I can’t hear the clients!”
I angrily point out,
But my Israeli coworkers,
Hardly notice my pout.

For who cares of the work,
When there’s horrid music to be played?
And who cares if the clients
Are then a bit delayed?

I suppose this must mean
That my job is okay,
For I actually care
About the clients each day.

Tha Language Barrier

Every country on earth has minorities. In every country there are people who don’t know the language well, who are living where they are because of necessity or family connections or a job. People don’t appreciate just how hard it is to live somewhere and not know the language. Working at the credit card company, I’ve found just how easily affection springs up whenever someone hears someone speaking their own language. For one, there are a lot of Russian speakers at work, and they’re almost always to be found during their breaks to be speaking with each other in Russian, even though all of them speak perfect Hebrew. But it’s irresistible to speak your home language while around others who know it.

Another example of this is how English-speaking clients react when they find out I can speak English. My bosses recently realized that I’m American and have since been foisting every English speaking client they can upon me. I don’t really mind though, because the rush of gratitude I can hear in these clients voices at being addressed in soft English, rather than garish and barking Hebrew, is a reward unto itself.

This raises a common question though – if you’ve moved to a country and are living there permanently, isn’t it part of your responsibility to learn the language? Or should you be allowed to expect that you’ll always find someone who speaks your language to help translate things for you?

Paranoid Much?

I haven’t written about my clients before – both because they’re not always very interesting and because I’m not technically supposed to. I work for a credit card company, so I get to talk to just about every sort of person you could imagine: Smart, dumb, confused, annoyed, happy, thankful, nice, sweet, appreciative, secretive, and a hundred other moods and traits. It’s interesting to hear the different people and the different voices, and it’s interesting to see how differently people act with their money.

Today, however, I actually have an interesting story about a client, a specific one. The call started out nice and polite – he wanted to know his credit limit and what money will be coming out of his bank account. He was very sweet, talking to me a bit about where our company is in the country and making sure we were away from any danger [Israel is in a “situation” right now.] Then, somehow, slowly but surely, he started telling me about problems he had with banks in the past.

I thought, at first, that he was just a rambler – there are some people like that, who are lonely or bored and take the opportunity to get some conversation into their day when they call us. Soon, though, he started telling me, in a calm voice, about how his phones are tapped, how he’s followed everywhere, how his mail is examined and stopped, how he’s been cheated in place after place.

Eventually, he made me understand that the sole reason for his telling me all this was because he knows our calls are monitered and recorded for future reference if needed, and he told me he planned to use the calls he makes to us in court – to prove… something or other. I really have no idea. It was rather creepy though – the man sounded so sane and on top of things, and then I felt, as the call progressed, that there was something seriously wrong here.

But who knows, right? Maybe in six months there will be a big story in the paper about this man. You never know I suppose.