Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Telemarketing 2.0 Act 1

The Graduate Actor
In today’s economic rat race, work is scarce...and that which is available is either excessively competitive or excessively boring.  Flip on the T.V. between 10am-2pm...it’s the same thing on every channel.  T.V. shows featuring live law-suits, talk shows featuring trashy trailer trollops, and the 14 ½ different men that could be the baby’s daddy.  The commercials that run during this time, are aimed to inspire today’s youth to pursue a higher degree of education at such academic bedrocks as Everest College...or other such prestigious institutions as DeVry.  All these commercials feature a paid actor claiming to be a graduate.

               The “graduate” actor is often portrayed as a hip cool guy who just wasn’t sure what he wanted to do after high school (as opposed to a hip cool guy who wasn’t sure WHO he wanted to get HIGH with after school).  The schools they promote often are skilled labor schools like for welding or masonry.  This cool guy is going on about college, broad casted from his driver’s seat in his beat up Chevy Nova in a dark ally way at night time.  If you squint your eyes, you can see 4 guys mugging a baby in the background.

                The actor never talks about how awesome his experience was at school.  He doesn’t mention what he’s doing now with his degree, or even mention what he studied.  All (he) they say is “PICK UP THE GOD DAMN PHONE AND CALL YOU LAZY ASSHOLE!! YOU AIN'T DOING SHIT WITH YOUR LIFE CEP COLLECTIN G.R. OR SSI, SO SPEND YOUR MONEY ON ME INSTEAD...SO WHAT CHA WAITN FOR?  PICK UP THE PHONE!!!”.  During the closing scene, the actor pulls out a grip of one dollar bills and flashes them on the screen.

                If this commercial features a woman, she is typically fat and ugly, portrayed as a single mom (well probably just single), and is usually advertising for a nursing school.  She is usually walking alone on a bridge somewhere in slow motion, the camera fades out and fades back in, this time showing her stressed out and yelling at her 12 kids and-or siblings (If you squint your eyes during the scene where she is walking on the bridge, you can see one of her fellow class mates attempting suicide by hanging herself, that is until the bridge collapses underneath the combined weight of the two fat women, and the weight of all the bullshit that they are trying to feed us).

Nothing encourages me to act diametrically more then a commercial.  What about a career as an artist, a musician, a writer, you know, things that involve being creative and fresh?  What happened to human beings?  All that’s left is work for human doings.  All these forms of employment sound about as appealing as getting a pap smear with a rusty garden rake.  I think I would rather be a professional jizz moper or a poop smith, than a systems engineer.

          Perhaps my views, needs, and skills for life do not match Obama’s plans for economic recovery, and why should they?  I always hated being told what to do.  Is there no place left for right brained thinking individuals (oh yeah, there is and it’s called state prison). The truth of the matter, in todays world, everyone just expects artists to give away there craft for free, and why not?  Radio, Napster, DVD burning, no one has respect for the arts anymore.

How else could I have gotten through school?

Like most of my peers, I finished high school.  My motto was “D is for Diploma” and I earned that motherfucker. I partied my ass off over the summer, and about the same time my hangover kicked in, so did the reality that I was now responsible for taking care of my self.  I then respectably enrolled in the local Jr. College or community college.  In my case, it was Saddleback College for me (voted number 1 by Playboy Magazine for hot chick ratio).  During registration I was asked “What are you interested in? What would you like to major in?”  The fact that I had a choice blew my fucking mind away, and with out thinking, I arbitrarily said “Music”.

Truth be told, I have many interests, boobs, dolphins, video games, growing my own pot, telling believable lies to authority figures, you know, the basics in life.  I felt a strong identity with music, and went balls to the wall with it.  Although I am not currently employed through my field of study, I don’t regret studying it for one second.  “Well Wylie, that’s kind of stupid wouldn't you say?  Why pay to learn something that isn’t paying you back”.  Good question, the answer is simple.

1)It has paid me back, many, many, many times over (e.g. teaching lessons, gigs, just plain panhandling with a guitar)

2) The personal growth that I experienced, is so much more rewarding then a pay check, I don’t even know where to begin.

3)Even the shitty musicians (I’ve seen this happen over and over) get laid with no problem.  The only people in entertainment who have problems getting laid are comedians (make a girl laugh over and over again, she will think of you as a friend for life).

I was very happy working for about 4 years.  I had the luxury, no, the blessings of teaching music part time at $33 an hour.  This made it possible for me to work an average of 20 hours a week, go to school full time (for music of course, jazz studies as a matter of fact) pay my rent, drink my ass into a coma, and still have enough money to post bail after my 9th DUI.  My life was awesome.  I was arriving in my place in the world.  Wednesdays were my favorites at that time.  I remember waking up in the morning, taking a gnarly beer inspired shit (because I was so hung over from drinking a 12 pack of Sierra Nevada).  In case I had problems finishing, there was a bong between the toilet and sink, next to the toilet scrubber, named “Old Faith full”.  My roommates at the time thought it was comical, I just felt it was Mother Nature’s laxative.

                After leaving a deposit, I would hop into my 86 Vanagon hippie bus (the space Twinkie), and drive to school.  Several joints later, I would be in jazz ensemble, playing some Wayne Shorter music.  Music from 12-2pm, followed by a brief lunch at "In and Out" (which should have been named "Here to Stay" cause it only takes thirty five minutes to get a burger there), jazz improv class from 3-4pm.  Jazz combos from 4-5:30, with a group that was led by my keyboardist Lum and I (our electric combo)   5:30-7:00pm was my acoustic combo that I had the privilege of running all by my self.  After class I would hop in the space Twinkie, and drive to the city of Lake Forest for rehearsal with a folk band that I played with for a time, until 10pm.  I would return home, and take comfort in knowing my day didn’t have to start till about noon the next day.  So a 12 pack of Sierra, a few Norco 10s, and “Old Faith-full” to celebrate another awesome victory.  I was a free man, getting paid for being myself, and loving my life.

                This lifestyle continued for a number of years, until the end of 2006. I managed to hold in there on the teaching front for another few years, but as the economy went down the drain, so did my life style.  Kids started to drop out due to financial problems.  Suddenly I had financial problems of my own, which led to depression, and depression led to irresponsible drinking and drugging, which of course, led to legal problems.  I had no choice I felt, and turned to my next set of skills; lying, bullshiting, cheating, stealing….the skill set of any good professional salesman.  Before long, I found my self in the depths. Of………..

Call Center Legends

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