Here’s a Story Time Tuesday for ya. It’s been a while.
I am not a morning person, I’m a late night person. Last week however, I was forced to live in another realm of reality when I had a job where I had to wake up at a normal time, and by normal I mean the time most people in this city are waking up: before 8 a.m.
It’s not the waking up that’s the problem, so long as I hop in the shower within the first 10 minutes, I’m alert and ready to go. The problem I have with morning is other morning people. It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen so many sad and frustrated looking souls.
The job I’ve been doing is a promo gig. I hand out coupons and samples on the street. Yes, I have a Masters Degree – it has come to this. It’s my acting background that makes me a perfect candidate for this line of work. I can smile and act friendly on cue. I also genuinely like talking to people.
I watched hundreds of people walk through their mornings with coffee mugs in hand and a vacant expression on their face. Some have cursed when they missed the bus then glare at me like I was the cause of it. Many people have kept their eyes down watching their feet instead of the world around them. These people could never do my job.
As I stood on corners parting the seas of commuters, hands extended pinching 50%-off coupons questioning these morning people and their happiness, I became aware that they were also judging me and my life choices. They probably thought I was a student trying to help pay my way through school. Hopefully they were that kind. Hopefully they didn’t know that I was a thirty year old writer/performer who sometimes gets her picture in the paper or interviewed on CBC radio, because that sounds really sad.
I wore a jacket with the company logo on it, smiled and tried to make eye contact with adults way too busy and important for coupons. I tried to accept my place in life and be in the moment without judgment, without resentment or the thought – ‘I went to the UK to do a MA and I came back to Vancouver to do this kind of job again? Have I amounted to nothing in my life?!’
Over the week I got used to early mornings and I actually came to enjoy them. The job was easy and made me laugh. I also genuinely liked people I was working with.
After you stand on street corners handing out promo material for a while you learn not to take the rejection personally. It becomes a game. You learn the tactics that work, you study the psychology of the crowd; if one person in a group take a flyer the people that saw ti will do the same as they walk by you.
Now that the job is over I’ve found myself missing mornings but not morning people. I don’t miss standing on street corners but I do miss being in the middle of the swarm frantically rushing to work as I stand working on acceptance.
Aren’t people sad and strange in the morning? I’ve been on both sides of the fence here at different times in my life – handing out the stuff, and walking by, often avoiding eye contact and looking at my feet. I’m happy to hear I’m not the only one. If you get the chance, try being one of the people who wears a sandwich board. It’s a trip – like being being an alien for a day. Funny post, thanks.
I’m so glad I read this. Everything you said resonated with me as a fellow promoer. Questioning myself, the games you play, the acceptance of rejection. it’s a balancing act, pursuing an acting career and your sanity. I think you are doing a great job.
Thanks for sharing 🙂