Thursday, May 17, 2007

Identity Crisis

A few weeks ago I had to go back on the phones for a few days...and was reminded of just how much I hated it. However, I knew at that time that it was just for a few days, so I wasn't overcome with depression. I say that halfway seriously...collecting 8 hours (7.5 technically) a day, 5 days a week can become incredibly emotionally/psychologically draining. I began to wrestle through just exactly what it was that I found so depressing. I was genuinely trying to view my job as worship and perform it as unto the Lord, yet failing miserably. The conclusion that I came to is reflected in the title of this post...I was in the midst of an identity crisis.

The problem was that I was allowing myself, my identity, to be defined by my job. Whether it was the people on the phone calling me a #$%&#er or a just seeing some aspect of my stats in the crapper; that was what I allowed to define my identity--who I was. In fact, just having person after person tell you that they won't make a payment despite your best implementation of the call model and wiifms, still takes more than a few check by phones to overcome. Of course a good day leads to a great attitude...but those are VERY few and far between, not to mention idolotrous.

Some collectors deal with it by belittling or demeaning the cardmembers...after they get off the phone of course. To be honest, I've been guilty of this myself. However, that obviously is not a cross centered way of overcoming adversity. Instead, I had to come to grips with the fact that my identity is defined by Jesus and not my circumstances; by the gospel and not my job. Sure I want to suceed at what I do...but that's not to be what's primary. My life is hidden with Christ (Col 3) and ultimately my sucesses and failures are irrelevant...His success is counted as mine. The battle is keeping this perspective at the center and thus avoiding the identity crisis. Sola deo gloria for the Spirit and the Word.


smlogan said...

i can sympathize...
i worked there for 17 days.

but on the bright side of things,
at least you have a job.

i'm still looking.

Dan said...


I appreciate your frankness. I face this often being on the phones myself, but in a different way. I'm on deputation and thus calling to "sell" myself to pastors. When I go for hours and days without getting a single meeting it's very easy to get down and start to question myself on what I need to be doing different to produce the results. I usually snap out of my funk once I realize that it's not really me producing the results anyway (and my sweet wife is usually the one to remind me of that!)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Nate, I needed that, your post was an encouragement and admonition, reminding me too that that which I do should be done as unto Him, as an act of worship and for His glory. I am humbled by the number of times I fail and He forgives. Love, Mom