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Archive for the ‘Frustration’ Category

July 22, 2015 10 Things to Do While Waiting on Hold for Hours

Finding Productivity in Strange Places

I love computers. I really do. They’ve simplified my life in so many ways, but there are times… Today, I made the second call in three months to get a copy of my life insurance policy. What ensued was three hours of being passed back and forth between two departments, conference calls with the insurance company who, according to them “only handles the billings” and even the predecessor company. Yet the answer from them all was the same: We’re very sorry, but we can’t find you in the computer.

This is exactly why so many of us have developed a serious love/hate relationship with our electronics. We know that at some point they will fail us. To add insult to injury, while waiting on hold for yet another department at the insurance company, the call failed! Thankfully, I’d gotten the phone number before being put on hold number 97.

I am not one to sit idly for hours on end. In fact, being forced to do so gives me the twitches and sends my ADHD into paroxysms bearing a nasty resemblance to seizures, thankfully, sans loss of control or writhing on the floor. Instead, I simply cannot sit still. The cell phone and bluetooth headset have saved my sanity more than once.

Today was no exception, but I was able to put my proclivities to good use for a change, and that’s where the idea for this post blossomed. Without further ado, here are 10 things to do while being put on hold, transferred and otherwise thwarted:

  • 1. Pull everything out of the closet while searching vainly for 20-year-old documents, only to find the Miracle Balls I was looking for two weeks ago.
  • 2. File 3 months worth of investment documents.
  • 3. Scoop the litter boxes.
  • 4. Retrieve the snail mail.
  • 5. Clean and cut a pound of green beans.
  • 6. Fold a load of towels.
  • 7. Do a weight workout.
  • 8. Answer emails.
  • 9. Brush two cats.
  • 10. Manage to hold my temper despite being asked to verify my identity every time the another person was brought into the conversation.

Original Mission: Not Accomplished

Though I failed to actually achieve the results I desired, I actually got more than I bargained for. I have to wait a couple of days to see if one of the people I called is able to locate my ancient records in another department, but in the meantime, I have drafted a scathing letter to MetLife requesting immediate resolution to my problem either by locating the exact department for whom they’ve been collecting (and raising) my premiums for the past 20 years, or a refund of all funds they’ve collected since nobody would have been able to access my policy given what I learned today. I’m not a patient person as a rule, and of all the people I spoke to today, MetLife employees were the least helpful of all, clearly not giving a damn about the people they suck money from. By the time I’d spent over three hours on the phone, fueled only by a cup of coffee and a carton of yogurt, they had used up at least a year’s worth of my quota of patience, and will see that dam burst rather impressively should Boeing fail to locate the records by Friday.

I am happy to report that the positive results of so much forced idleness were enough to keep the eruption at bay for the moment. Though the Miracle Balls are somewhat deflated and I have to wait a few days to find out just how much is in my pension account and how it can be paid out, I feel that, overall, I received far more than I still lack. I also learned a valuable lesson about keeping my overly sensitive BS meter happy.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I learned about funds I’d forgotten even existed.
2. I am grateful for all the tasks I accomplished instead of sitting and staring at the wall.
3. I am grateful for the motivating phone call and butt kicking I got from a dear friend today. She gave me a lot to think about and a much-needed deadline to meet. Now to just conquer those pesky fears and get on with it.
4. I am grateful for the calming influence of my cats who stayed very close all day today.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, friendship, cheerleading, inspiration, motivation, health, harmony, peace, prosperity and philanthropy.

Blessed Be

I’d appreciate your taking a moment to visit my Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel and https://www.facebook.com/HLWTAccounting . Please also drop by my website, http://www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

July 21, 2015 Fighting Freelance Frustration and Failure

Taking All of the Steps But Coming Up Empty

A couple of months ago, I took Gina Horkey’s Freelance course. Though I thought I put each of the steps into practice, I have gained a friend, but not the livelihood for which I’d studied. To add further insult to injury, I joined her Facebook group where it seems that everyone in there except me has had success pitching jobs. I’m now forced to ask myself, what am I doing wrong?

I do OK when I log onto one of those content mill sites and write something for one of their clients. In fact, I have a 100% success rate. But do I really want to spend my time writing and researching a decent post for 8 bucks a post? I can answer that question without a nanosecond of hesitation. I’d do better to put that time into my fiction and my own blog. I tried cold-pitching, first with someone I already knew, then with several chiropractors. The first gave me a “thanks, but no thanks” response. After several days of silence, and not even a read receipt from the chiropractors, I got emails from several including my own doctor, only to learn that they all just subscribed to a single location which wrote their content. All they had to do was to send the link to their own subscribers. So that was a bust as well.

I’m thinking I need to just research and write a post on the top 10 frustrations facing freelance writers trying to gain a foothold in what we’re told repeatedly is an industry desperate for writers.

Frustration Can Be A Strong Motivator

Since nobody was beating down my door looking for blog posts or web content, I turned my attention to one of the books I’d bought on writing; this time, Ray Bradury’s version. There, I found some encouragement and inspiration, even if it wasn’t directly related to selling my writing. His style and encouragement convinced me to stop beating myself up over how little editing I’d done on Sasha’s Journey, and just start writing for an hour a day (though, for now, it’s every two days, but I have always given myself credit for the baby steps). In the process of following this new path, I’m about 1800 words into a new short story. Though I’m not breaking any records yet, at least I’m now moving in the right direction.

What I’ve discovered is that when I try to actively monetize my writing, something always gets in my way. When I just write for the love of the written word, or about something I feel passionate about, the words flow like water. This is evidenced by the last couple of blog posts I wrote, both over 1000 words.

Overcoming the Physical Obstacles

As I reminisce about the physical challenges brought on in June and July by shoulder and neck issues, it occurs tDerailed Traino me that my train was derailed last year due to sinus and ear infections at just about the same time. Is there something about this time frame? Do I have a regular date with frustration and poor self-esteem in the early months of summer? Do I simply get off track and my body chooses this time to remind me of my real purpose? Is this the Universe’s oh-so-subtle way of saying Girl, if you keep going down this path, you’re just going to wind up being another easily-forgettable train wreck. Now get your little choo-choo back on the tracks and make me proud! Gotta love the perverse sense of humor and twisted sort of pleasure the Universe likes to have at my expense.

Once again, I find myself questioning everything from the yogurt I had for breakfast to the Leap of Faith I took when this whole thing really began and wonder for the kazillionth time if I’ve made a huge, irreversible mistake. I wonder if it’s time to go to Plan Q and go back into the work force until I can get my little enterprise up and running, whether that enterprise be freelancing or fiction writing. OK, so in a lot of ways, they bear a striking resemblance to each other. Either way, I still have to do research and put some believability and even credibility into the words I pen. I still get up nearly every morning and read something or write something, and sometimes I even do both!

So yes I’m frustrated and feeling like I’m wearing my failure face, but thankfully, it just strengthens my resolve. I may not know where I’m really going, much less, how I’ll go about getting there, but when push comes to shove, I still believe in myself.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for life’s challenges.
2. I am grateful for the opportunity to question my own decisions.
3. I am grateful for the successes of others who’ve trod my path as it tells me that I, too can succeed, and succeed in a grand way.
4. I am grateful for the physical ailments which have added new movement to my daily routine. The cats may not like the waiting for their breakfast while I stretch my sleep-stiff bones, but they sure don’t complain about my willingness to get up, move around and take care of the rest of their needs as a result.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, friendship, motivation, inspiration, shared success stories, words on the page, peace, harmony, health, prosperity and philanthropy.

Blessed Be

I’d appreciate your taking a moment to visit my Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel and https://www.facebook.com/HLWTAccounting . Please also drop by my website, http://www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

photo credit: Photograph of postcard of wreck of the Delaware and Hudson train via photopin (license)

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