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.