Worn Velvet and Butterfly Farts

You ever get that feeling that you’re insignificant? Some days I’m the master of my domain, and god help anyone who gets in my way. Other days? Well, other days, not so much.

Amidst the normalcy that encompassed my upbringing, I managed to gain a certain sense of self-importance. Go figure. It’s all about this silly notion that my needs and desires are worthy of consideration. Of course, when one works in a call centre, one quickly learns to leave those ideas outside the walls of the building; no sense in needlessly having ones illusions crushed on a daily basis.

Alas, they do remain, and try as I might I can not shake that sense of my own value altogether.

from  The Red Duo-Tang

Duo-Tang March 15th, 1974 ~ Very irritable today. Got a spanking this morning before going to school for being saucy. Didn’t help much. Still miserable to-night.

I can certainly identify with that moodiness – feeling that sense of miserableness after work last night – from standing in the frigid cold, to the possible rescheduling I have to look forward to at the end of the month – feeling a tad bitchy.

Grandma instilled a sense of our uniqueness, as well as humility. For that I am thankful, because it tis sometimes my only saving grace.

Great Grandma Calvert and I
Great Grandma Calvert and I on the green velvet settee

Perhaps some of that stemmed from the fact we were surrounded by our own family history. The very walls, stairs and doorways of The Homestead have seen many a generation come and go, and that gives one a sense of continuity. From that I gained a feeling that somehow we were special, or at the very least different. As most of my friends lived in newly constructed abodes, with new furniture, we on the other hand learned the value of worn velvet and old oak cabinets.

At night when I arrive home, and close the door on the chilly and heartless world, it is that sense of continuity and family that greets me.


I’m not saying I believe I’m better than everyone else, no, merely different – and that sense of differentness sustains me.

The call centre world can be rather demeaning, with its profit margins and a slavish concentration towards metrics and availability, the individual has little to no significance – I am as important to them as a butterfly fart in China.

Yet here, among the timeless and worn, I am once again more than just a number on a screen.

Within my family, we have some difficulty I suppose in just throwing things away. Generation after generation has worn their feet upon the floors, and many hands down banisters, and each chip and every scratch on our old dining room table holds memories. These family heirlooms and values are sometimes the only thing I have to grasp onto, the only way I have of climbing back out of the gloom of feeling so totally insignificant.

Duo-TangMarch 30th, 1975 ~ Thursday when I got back from shopping Mom told me Paula had been stuck in the Magnolia tree. It sounded so funny I started to laugh. Paula was really mad at me for laughing. She said she could have been stuck there all night. Apparently she had gotten her knee stuck inbetween a branch & the trunk. She said it “didn’t even help when I hung upside down”. Grandma asked her how long she had been there & she said she didn’t know, but it felt like all day. Poor kid. She told me if I wrote about it in this book she was going to erase it. She’s a nut.

Niece this spring reaching up into the old Magnolia – the main trunk fell down a few years ago.

I do SOMEDAY want more than being some insignificant voice to answer the phone. I am worth more than that…yet right now I have not the emotional energy to seek out a new frontier. Or maybe I do? I don’t know. I just want to go to work, come home and every two weeks they pay me, and with that I sustain the life I desire. Same as anyone.

Oh, but what a waste. Or maybe not…maybe this is exactly the right thing for me right now, and perhaps this new schedule will not be so bad. My biggest worry is being scheduled till midnight, as the cheap b@$tards don’t pay cab fare, after 11:30pm I would have no way to get home.

Geesh. Could be raped or molested on the way home, but HEY…no worries matey…they can just haul in another hunk of flesh to do your job, lots of people looking for work these days. Any notion of ones uniqueness or value is quickly squashed…in a call centre you are just the aux’d in voice to answer the call and solve the problem.

Bitter much? I’m venting, merely venting.

Truth is, this job is a stepping stone for me. After caring for Tim those years, and therefore having this big gap in my employment, no one else will hire me. I suppose being loyal and caring isn’t a quality employers value – they want cold, hard experience and no gaps. Gaps are suspicious and get your resume thrown in the virtual waste basket.

So I’ll hash it out, and roll with the punches…same as I have been. I’ll put in 110%, and if that is not appreciated, so be it. At the end of the day, I’ll close the door on all that and enjoy the many unique gifts that surround me – I am blessed to have them, as I know full well.

7 thoughts on “Worn Velvet and Butterfly Farts

  1. I don’t work in a call center but I can completely relate to the thoughts of insignificance! Some days I end the day feeling unstoppable, while other days I feel smaller than a speck of dust floating aimlessly through the air.


  2. Wow. This post, so intense, stirring. First line connected. This was good: “At night when I arrive home, and close the door on the chilly and heartless world, it is that sense of continuity and family that greets me.” Many years ago I saw a TV show entitled The Guardian, and there was a line, when the main character told a rich spoiled kid (after the kid wrecked his parents’ car for attention) “No one cares.” I like the line because it causes me to identify what I am feeling at times; and it also causes me to recognize the line for what it is … a lie. Someone, some people, do care. We need to find those people who care for us … people we can care about. Sorry for the long reply. Peace, T


    1. Thank you. Been a rough few days…its nice to connect with people… good to know its not of course just me who has these thoughts of insignificance ;-\


  3. I held a call centre job for exactly 2 days for those very reasons. It’s lovely to be able to come home to the family home isn’t it. It restores your soul. Where is that book from, is it an old family diary?


    1. I’m not living there now, my sister and her family do though…but I have enough of the homestead stuff here in my little pad that it feels like home for me. :-) The book is a journal Mom started when I was around a year old…she recorded my first days all the way through to graduating high school. My sister has one as well. Its a priceless gem. Its comforting to read, see her handwriting, her thoughts… I miss her, and it brings her closer.


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