Written by Paul Angone Are you becoming a real live half-dead adult?
What do I mean?
Well to explain let me take you to a call center.
Call Center Crisis
In my opinion, the only difference between hell and a call center is the phones. (Unless the devil is sporting a cellphone these days.)
When you work at a call center you realize fairly quickly that when people call in it’s not because they want to chitchat or tell you about the amazing work your company is doing.
No. They call because they have a problem. A life-shattering, comets-colliding, worlds-imploding problem that you’re to blame for.
And since our call center was wildly understaffed, every person I spoke to was usually waiting on hold for an hour before they even made it to me. Oh, they were just as pleasant as a peach come summertime by the time I said “hello.”
The Call Center Chef Behind Me
The only really nice thing about working at the call center was the solidarity and unity among coworkers based on one simple truth—we all hated our jobs. Every last one.
But then I’d ask coworkers how long they’d been working there. “Five years,” they’d say.
“Five years!” I’d respond. “Well, when did you first start hating the job?”
“Five years ago,” they’d say. “Five years?” I’d respond. Something about these conversations didn’t make sense.
Take Rosey who sat behind me. She was about 45 years old, kind, energetic, and was an amazing chef. The office parties where she brought carrot cake were the only times all calls were placed on hold.
But Rosey had been working at the call center for a long time and complained about the job with the same frequency as the incoming calls.
“Rosey, why don’t you quit this lousy job and pursue cooking?” I asked. “You’re an amazing chef. You hate it here. Why stay?”
“Oh, I tried pursuing cooking once,” she said. “But it was hard. Didn’t pay enough, you know? And I couldn’t catch a break. So I gave it up and started working here.”
“Well, I think you should give it another shot,” I said. “No, no. That’s not for me anymore,” she said putting on her headset. “I’m done with dreaming. Just gets your hopes up for no good reason. You’re young, but one day you’ll learn. Sometimes you’ve just got to say goodbye to the fairy tale and put on your grown-up pants.”
Right there at that moment, I vowed something. I was never going to wear grown-up pants.
You see, the call center was filled with real-live-half-dead adults—people who are more comfortable with feeling like crud than they are with making a change for the better.
Change is scary. Change takes courage. Change means uncertainties.
The people at the call center let fear call the shots. They were fine living crapfully ever after. I was not.
How to Escape From Becoming a Real Live Half-Dead Adult
Taking yourself too seriously is very serious work. Very important, steadfast, I-can’t-be-bothered business. Where you save up every penny to buy a one-way ticket to Boredullameville—it’s kind of like living at Disneyland, except the exact opposite.
Or you can live differently. You can live ridiculously.
The #1 rule to living ridiculously? Never, ever, under any circumstances, worry if people think you’re ridiculous.
The boring love to bore. The realistic live all too real. Naysayers love their ample amounts of nay.
On the other hand, ridiculous people live with their bodies dipped in possibilities and they don’t care who crawls out from under a rock to tell them that painting your body in potential and “what if’s” is not the appropriate or responsible use of resources.
Ridiculous people are these weird, wild people that actually make you feel alive. They take one step in the room and the heavy weight of Stuffy Adult-Dom floats away like a helium balloon.
Ridiculous people ooze creativity. It’s easy to follow instructions. It’s hard to create your own.
Ridiculous people believe in others more than others believe in themselves. Then they constantly encourage others to see the truth that they see.
Ridiculous people don’t always live life strictly by the facts. Oh, they take them into account, but they know facts aren’t always factual. They know that facts are contrived by self-proclaimed adults for their own fancy.
Ridiculous people care more about doing what’s right than what will look right to others.
There’s too many real-live-half-dead adults for you to join the ranks. So if at some point you want to accidentally drop your “grown-up pants” in a real.live.fire, you have my blessing.
I want to be ridiculous. Who's with me?
This post is adapted from Paul Angone's book 101 Secrets For Your Twenties