Saying no to the manager meant that I was transferred to manager specialist number two, the third older man that I would speak to that day. Yes, I do believe that they play age/race/gender games in these things, figuring that a single female is more likely to trust the word of an older male, especially if he shares a background and/or accent with her. This guy was a New York-area native. He tried to sell me on the money I would plunk down (now down to 6k) as an investment in creating memories for myself. And then he said the line that absolutely broke whatever spell might have had a teensy chance of being cast, “You have nothing to look forward to.”
What???!!!, some part of me thundered inside my head. He was lucky that I’ve been well-trained in the art of keeping my temper because really, he ought to have been burnt to a crisp by my stare alone. “I have A LOT to look forward to,” was my measured response. He quickly back-pedaled and clarified, saying something along the lines of he’d meant vacation-wise. My answer was now was definitely NO SALE. Punkt. Schluss. Ende.
Funny thing, though—what he said had been the very same thought with which I had been grappling for the previous few weeks!
My MSLIS coursework had been taking a toll, with me feeling like I had no choice but read and type responses to overwhelming amounts material all the time without digesting it fully. I was getting caught up in an energy not unlike the bad-old/good-old doctoral days, where learning became a grind rather than a pleasure. My body had started to ache (tendinitis in my dominant arm), and my brain was just losing all ability to absorb any information. I had begun to wonder what rhyme or reason my existence was having. So at the moment the salesman uttered those words, I had one of those “aha! moments”. It was as if the Universe had brought me there in order for me to rediscover and reassess what is important to me.
I felt it in my heart when I said, “I have A LOT to look forward to.” That came from the depths of my being. And I must say, it is always helpful to have someone externalize the negative thoughts that one has been carrying around, because then they’re easier to dismiss. You realize that these negative thoughts are not the real you.
To Be Continued