Sorry, That’s Not My Problem–Customer Service Edition

The other day at work, my coworker recounted an interaction she’d just had with a patron while I was away from the desk (I was on shelving duty that day and she was covering my supervisor’s lunch). She printed out a receipt for the patron -it’s low-stick paper with the due date printed on it that we can slap on the item if a patron wants it- and it got caught in the printer. It’s been doing this all summer with both receipt printers for reasons (I think it’s another disapproval sign from the ghost of Ms. Kent). It’s annoying as hell, but it takes less than 30 seconds for us to open it up and retrieve the receipt.

This happened to my coworker while she was waiting on a patron, who said, “Never mind if it’s going to take long. I’m in a hurry.” My coworker had the receipt free by the time the woman had finished her sentence, but it still bothered my coworker that the woman felt the urge to get so snippy with her about it.

When my coworker told me about the incident, I shrugged and said, “You being in a hurry is not my problem.”

My coworker was shook that I would approach the situation like that. I told her, “Your emergency is not my emergency. Your time-constraints are not my time constraints. You come in here, you’re on my time now. It takes however long it takes.”

This made an impression on my coworker because the very next day she dealt with another patron whom she was trying to help find a specific movie in what’s known as WorldCat, which covers the whole country. It can be involved. And when my coworker wasn’t finding the desired results fast enough, the woman said, “I’m in a hurry.”

My coworker later told me that she turned away from the woman, mouthed to herself “That’s not my problem”, turned back, and said, “This can take a few minutes. Would you like to come back later when you have more time?” The woman declined, my coworker finished searching for the movie (nobody has it, which baffled us both), and the woman went on her way.

She wasn’t rude, the request was completed, and the point was made.

That’s not my problem.

The thing about customer service is that customers or patrons frequently want to make their problems your problems. And I do not accept anyone else’s problems. I have enough of my own that I’m in no mood to deal with. I’m definitely not in the mood to deal with yours.

Telling me that you’re in a hurry does not make me go faster. The task takes as long as it takes and it’s eyebrow raising at how many people will tell me they’re in a hurry like that will somehow make searching for a book magically go quicker. It doesn’t. I’m looking for a title that might be wrong by an author you don’t remember. Settle in. This is going to take a beat. If you’re in a rush, come back later. No one’s life depends on you finding this book right stat now.

Likewise, I’m sorry you waited until the last minute to send this fax, but it’s not my fault that they turned their fax machine off and it’s not my problem that whatever you’re sending is going to be late. Also, I don’t care if our dollar per page fee is too high. Pay it or learn to work email. Regardless, it’s none of my concern.

I’m not saying that people aren’t entitled to adequate customer service; of course they are. But I think that many people do not (or don’t want to) understand that the people behind the counter can only do so much. We’re only responsible for so much. If you want better customer service, then be a better customer.

And if that pisses you off, well…

That’s not my problem.

You God Does Not Apply to Me

One time a coworker of mine was going on about how the Devil was overtaking America and all I could think of was “Wow. That sounds like a Christian problem. Good luck with that.”

Rude? Maybe. But points to me for not saying it out loud. And even if I did say it out loud, at least I’d be speaking the truth.

It is a Christian problem.

Your God does not apply to me.

Your God believes abortion is murder? Wow. Sucks for you trying to access reproductive healthcare. But your God does not apply to me.

Your God believes being gay is a sin and marriage should only be between a man and a woman? Wow. That sounds pretty harsh. But your God does not apply to me.

Your God believes women should dress modestly? Okay then. But your God does not apply to me. Or my crop tops.

If you couldn’t tell, I’m not a religious person. Oh, I dabbled back in the day, mostly with Christianity, but it never stuck. I couldn’t jive with that God. Today, I believe in the Universe. It has everything. Some of the rules are kind of complicated, but only if you’re being graded on explaining them. It doesn’t judge you. It just is. I dig that.

In short, I do not believe in your God. And please do not counter with, “He believes in you!” He can do whatever He damn well pleases. It doesn’t change my position. Jesus might love me, but I opted out of his fan club.

As such, I do not have to abide by the fan club rules.

Your God does not apply to me.

I came across something the other day that summed up my feelings on this. Religion is a personal relationship with God. Personal relationship. What you do with your God is none of my business. It’s quite literally between you and your God. The trouble comes when you try to include me in your personal relationship. When you try to extend the rules of your personal relationship to include me. When you try to enforce the rules of your personal relationship at me.

Your God does not apply to me.

I’ll be blunt. I don’t give a shit what your God thinks. It’s none of my business and none of my concern. Because as it turns out, I do not need the threat of a displeased God sending me to a place of eternal suffering to make me act right. Judging by the behavior of some religious folks I’ve seen, they don’t take that threat too seriously anyway.

Insisting that your God applies to people your God does not apply to is not a demonstration of the strength of your faith. It is oppression. Using your God as a justification to harm and control others is not exercising your right to religion. It is denying that right to others.

If your God is a God who demands total obedience, who insists upon dominance, who propagates hate and bigotry and selfishness, who speaks loudly about helping but does no such thing, who doesn’t believe that prayer is a verb, then by all means, live in accordance to His law. Keep that shit in your houses and your churches and your prayer groups and your schools. Don’t try to make it law. Don’t subject the non-believers to that shit. That’s all your problem. Don’t you dare try to make it mine.

Your God does not apply to me.

I’m Not Patriotic By Nature

I know this seems a radical thing to say by someone raised in a country that prides itself on its patriotism, that injects the performance of it into so many aspects of life. I said the Pledge of Allegiance every morning in grade school like everyone else. I’ve sung the “Star Spangled Banner” before sports events. But they’re just motions to go through. They don’t stir that “America, Fuck Yeah!” feeling that I’m supposed to have, that unbridled, unconditional loyalty akin to what an avid sports fan feels for their team (now that I do have for my beloved shitshow Chicago Cubs). I do not well up with pride or any other emotion when I see the flag.

The patriotism didn’t take. Sorry. It’s just not my bag.

Now don’t get me wrong. I enjoy the 4th of July. I love a good theme. The color scheme and coordination, the insistence on consuming only barbecued meats and mayo-based salads, and there’s explosives. What more could a Midwestern girl want?

But I am not patriotic.

I do not feel an unconditional love to a bordered area just because of the happenstance that I was born there. Do I acknowledge that I was fortunate to be born into my circumstances in this country as opposed to perhaps another country? Yes. Do I also acknowledge that I could still have been less fortunate being born in this country, but into different circumstances? Yes.

None of the freedoms that I’m supposed to celebrate were given to me freely by this county I’m supposed to pledge allegiance to. All of them had to be fought for, bled for, and are now being casually ripped away. The only “freedom” I have going for me in this country is that I’m white. Everything else -being a woman, being queer, being poor, being non-Christian- disqualifies me. Why should I be patriotic to that?

Shouldn’t loyalty to country be no different than loyalty to anything else (except my loyalty to the Cubs)? Shouldn’t my country be as loyal to me as I am to it?

No. Because patriotism is an unrequited act. You’re expected to show your devotion, up to and including giving your life for you country, and in return you hope it spares you its worst. You point to the freedoms that are just illusions and claim that asking for anything more is an insult because this is the best country in the world.

I don’t feel that way. I don’t feel like there is a Best Country in the World contest and if there was, I don’t think America would be seeded as high as everyone else does. I personally don’t see a country that prioritizes the destruction of the people in other countries over the well being of the people within it’s own pretend outline as even making the Sweet Sixteen, let alone the championship game.

People conflate patriotism with gratitude. I can be grateful for my existence (or not) and how where I live influences my existence. I can be grateful that I live in the middle of a cornfield in a perceived blue state in a carved up United States. But that gratitude is not patriotism.

I am not a patriotic person.

I just live here.

That’s How the Story Goes

“And then what happened?”

I get that questions sometimes after people read some of my stories. The end satisfies the narrative, but not necessarily the reader’s curiosity. So, I’m going to answer that question once and for all.

I don’t know.

That’s where the story ends. I have no idea what happens beyond that for the most part.

Someone once asked me if the protagonists in one of my novellas hooked up after their ordeal and I told them no, but the only reason I had an answer to that question was because of the narrative itself. I had never intended on them becoming lovers at any point. Their relationship was purely platonic and surviving the night didn’t change that.

Those questions I can answer. But things like, “Did the leaves come back the next day?” “Did that shadow haunt the brother?” “Where did he go?” I don’t know. That’s where the story ends. I have no more story in my head after that.

This is all in the same vein as “This short story should be a novel” or “This should have a sequel”. While I appreciate the compliment that you love the story so much that you want more of it, I regret to inform you that there is no more. That’s the story in the form that it’s supposed to be. That’s it. That’s all of it. There is no more.

I don’t know what it’s like for other writers, but for me, the story is the story and that’s how the story goes. I’m not much of an overwriter. I don’t tend to have some huge, detailed backstory that I’m not putting in my fiction. I’m not one to do detailed outlines of my characters lives and their likes and dislikes. I don’t have a need to go much beyond whatever the context of the tale I’m telling is unless it pertains directly to the tale.

I start where the story starts and I end where the story ends and I don’t know much more about it than that. That’s all the story there is.

Of course, knowing this doesn’t stop me from wondering “and then what happened” about some of the novels and stories I read. I don’t ask the question out loud, obviously, because I know the answer (or what my answer would be), but I’m still compelled to wonder. And my imagination takes me in all kinds of directions and I come up with all sorts of answers for “and then what happened?”

I think that would be a better go-to answer for me. “I don’t know” is accurate, but invites negativity and accusations (“What do you mean you don’t know?” It’s a story, not an alibi for murder. Calm down). What I should do is answer that question with the question, “What do you think happens?”

Because most likely the person who asked that question, already has an answer in mind.

I Am Not Flirting With You

I saw a tweet the other day (that I failed to screencap) that said something to the effect of, “I’m not flirting with you. I’m just hot and talking.” And on a level I could relate to that tweet. Not the hot part, of course. The not flirting with you part.

Because I can assure you that I’m never flirting with anyone, ever. Even if I’m attracted to you, I’m not intentionally flirting with you.

I study many languages, but flirting is one I do not speak. I don’t know a single word. There are people who can weave that flattery and charm and innuendo and whatever else it is into conversations effortlessly. I can’t even attempt this. I’ve tried. I’ve also conveniently erased those times from my memory because they were so awkward and cringe-worthy. If you put me on a plank over a tank full of alligators and told me the only way I was getting out alive was if I successfully flirted my way out of that situation, I’d go ahead and jump. I have no game. None. Non-existent.

However, I am frequently assumed to be flirting with people even when I’m not. This is most notable with men who panic that a fat girl might be hitting on them. Meanwhile, I’m oblivious because I think we’re just having a conversation, maybe joking around. Under no circumstance am I actively flirting. As we’ve discussed, I have no skill there.

What I’m doing -and what I’m good at- is bantering. I’m quick with a joke or an insult, I know a lot of random stuff, and my mind is just dirty enough that I can come up with an appropriate innuendo or two. Every conversation with me has the potential to be a comedy routine if I’m feeling it. I’m a natural.

People mistake this for flirting. It’s wild. I know that there are some similarities. But I can assure that I’m not trying to seduce you.

I’m trying to entertain you. It’s my defense mechanism.

If I’m entertaining you, then you might not notice that my anxiety is raging and that I feel incredibly awkward, that I AM incredibly awkward, that I know I don’t quite fit in, that my introvert ass is plotting a socially acceptable exit. If you think I’m funny, you won’t notice I’m weird.

You gotta get to know me better before I ease you into my weird .

And by then my banter stops being a defense mechanism and becomes just my natural conversational skills. You’ll never notice the difference.

I’m told that what I really am is a natural flirt. That’s why I don’t notice what I’m doing. But I think it’s the other way around. I think everyone else doesn’t notice what I’m doing.

So, don’t panic. I’m not flirting with you.

*Obvious customer service related aside: I am definitely not flirting with you when I am at work. My job is to be professional and courteous. I am paid to indulge your presence to a certain extent. I do not want your body or your phone number.

I’m Cheering You On…From Over Here

As an introvert with unmedicated anxiety, my desire to be supportive of friends and family can be somewhat less than what I’d like depending on the day.

On my best days, I can show up. Physically. In person. When my batteries are fully charged and my anxiety is either low-tide or manageable, I can actually be there for my people. Yes, I am capable of pushing myself for really important events when I’m not feeling my best, but I honestly try to make myself social interaction ready prior to those events. This means as much alone time as I can beforehand along with having my anxiety coping methods at the ready.

However, I can’t always do that. I work in a customer service job. Even part time, I can’t always successfully recharge my batteries. My anxiety can prevent it. Or my depression if it’s acting up.

So, sometimes -most times, too many times- I don’t show up. Not in the physical form.

Most of the time my support comes in a less full-bodied form. Text messages, emails, likes, favorites, retweets, memes, cards. It’s not ideal, I know. But sometimes it’s all I have the energy to do. I want you know that I’m thinking of you, that I support you, that I’m proud of you. Those little gestures are the best I can do and they’re the ones I end up doing the most.

And even with the easiest of these gestures I can still struggle because of my anxiety.

As I’ve mentioned before, my anxiety’s favorite thing to tell me is that people do not like me and do not want to hear from me. This applies to my closest friends and even my family. I have to psych myself up sometimes to text my own sister. Crazy, right? Yes, I am.

There are times, when I do not respond to social media posts even though I want to because I feel like that’s for the best. That my support would best be expressed with a like or a favorite or a share or a retweet rather than an actual verbally communicated interaction because I don’t want to be too familiar and/or bug anybody. And yes, this applies to people I’ve known for years and that I’m related to. I quite frequently backspace.

You’re welcome.

I’m lackluster in a lot of ways. My best is rarely good enough. But I do try. And I do care about the people in my world.

Believe me when I say that I’m cheering you all on.

But from over here.

There’s a Weight Limit on That

“I love it when girls wear white shorts.” Not if those shorts show off some cellulite. Then the best come on you can muster is a cow noise as you walk behind her.

“I love it when a girl eats.” Not if she’s got some meat on her bones and some rolls in her bakery. Then you have nothing but concern for her health that you spit out as snide comments.

“I love a girl in yoga pants.” Not if that pants size is in the double digits. Then she just looks like a slob because we all know she doesn’t actually do yoga, am I right?

When I hear comments like these which remark on a woman’s appearance (which are almost always made by a man), I automatically add the asterisk to it. Because there’s a weight limit on that comment, a footnote on it about the exceptions.

Because there are always exceptions.

Now of course these are generalized comments so they’re not necessarily supposed to include everyone. Most people are just speaking from their own attractions and I suppose there’s no harm in that. But when you take a closer look at the exclusions that apply to those statements, you start to see a pattern.

You see the weight limit.

Even people who claim to be body positive will put that kind of asterisk on their declarations.

“People can wear whatever they want.” “But are you sure you really want to wear that?”

“People can eat whatever they want.” “But are you sure you really want to eat that? All of it?”

These asterisks are so internalized that we don’t even notice them. It’s not something anyone has to say out loud. It’s just automatically understood that these statements don’t apply to those of us over the max weight. And, yes, we even apply those asterisks to ourselves.

These terms and conditions are established by society and just by being born into it, we click accept. Not that we would probably read them anyway. But they are pretty insidious. We agree to look a certain way and be a certain way. And when we violate those terms, we get removed from the privileges the agreement provides us. No seconds for us. Not without further consequences.

Sometimes I feel the urge to call out these comments. To point out the weight limit and watch the scramble to defend or justify or dismiss it. “You’re too sensitive!” Do you not see all of the asterisks spilling out of your mouth? They’re covering the floor like jacks. Have you ever stepped on a jack?! You’d be feeling sensitive, too. Downright sore, even. That shit is harmful.

People don’t like to be called to the carpet over things like that, the internalized bits of societal rhetoric that they blindly adhere too without questioning. They don’t like to think about the harm that they’ve been inflicting on others -or on themselves. They don’t like to take responsibility for a wrong they didn’t realize they were committing.

And that’s why their scales tip when I wear the white shorts.

Max weight indeed.

Stop Infringing On My Right To Be Cranky

Blame it on hormones, my brain’s inability to chemical correctly, or getting up on the wrong side of the bed, but sometimes I’m just cranky.

And you know what? That’s okay.

Make no mistake. I’m not a fan of being cranky. I don’t like existing in the realm in which my senses are heightened to the extent that I can hear you scratching your arm across the room and it makes me want to puncture my eardrums and then you. I don’t like having days in which everything, without fail, pisses me the fuck off.

But I have made peace with the fact that I will have those days. And I need you to accept that, too.

I try very hard not to take my crankiness out on others. This is why more people are not walking around punctured. I try to regulate my words and my eye rolls and my heavy sighs and my tone. I do not always succeed. Sometimes I snap at people despite my best efforts. Even though I am cranky, I try to keep that to myself. My crankiness should be no one’s hang-up but mine.

However.

There seems to be a miscommunication here. People tend to conflate my attempts to not expose them to my crankiness as an invitation to exacerbate it. And then get mad when I whip the shit out of them with my last nerve.

When I encounter someone in my life who is cranky, I leave them alone. Their crankiness has nothing to do with me. Even if it’s only perceived on my part, I’m going to err on the side of caution and give that person some space. Because I don’t want to make their mood worse.

I find it baffling that not everyone feels this way.

I may try to keep my crankiness to myself as much as possible, but even on the days I warn people of my crankiness, to let them know to steer clear, they steer closer. And then get angry with me when I fail to keep my mood in check for their benefit.

There’s this odd idea that unpleasant emotions are not to be had. That people are not entitled to have bad days or off days or just be plain ol’ cranky. That anything that makes a person less accessible is unfair and offensive. That to be in anyway off-putting is a crime, even if only for a day. People insist upon that accessibility from others no matter what their mood or mental state, but then get uptight when people insist upon that same accessibility from them during their cranky days. The same people I leave alone are the ones who pester the shit out of me. And then act shocked when I finally snap at them.

That’s the really wild part of all of this. I can expressly state that I’m in a mood and it would be in everyone’s best interest to leave me alone until the black clouds pass. Yet, when that warning is ignored and that boundary violated, feelings get hurt and I’m the one in the wrong.

But being cranky is my right.

Your Career Queer Auntie’s Guide to Life

“I don’t know what I’d do if my kid came out as gay/lesbian/queer/non-binary/trans.”

Good news! As your Career Queer Auntie, I’m here to help! I have decades of experience as both an auntie and a bi+ woman. I’m the person you come to when you have questions about life, and somehow gender and sexuality have become a specialty. If I don’t know the answer, I can find it for you.

So let me help you out when it comes to dealing with a queer kid.

My main job as an auntie is to guide my niblings through life. I accept them for who they are and show them how to navigate the world as themselves. My job is to learn them up, not change them or judge them. Which means I answer their questions honestly. Age appropriately, of course, but honestly.

Because I can do that as an auntie. I have that privilege. Because I don’t have the hang-ups that parents have. I don’t have to worry about what the neighbors think or how I’m paying for college or making them clean their rooms or whether or not they can eat ice cream for breakfast or whether or not they’ll live up to the ideals and expectations I have for them. I’m free of all of that.

It’s that last part that gives me a unique perspective. Because these young things are not genetic off-shoots of myself, I have no skin in the society achievement game. I don’t have to worry about any missed milestones. I can focus on the kids’ happiness. That’s my main concern. Their happiness and their safety.

So here’s how to love your hypothetical queer kids like a Career Queer Auntie.

1- Respect the journey. Because it is a journey. Not everyone is blessed with an automatic knowing of who they are. And the coming out isn’t necessarily the end of their journey. For some it’s the public start. What feels right -or close- then might change later as the kid matures, grows, acquires experiences.

One common misconception about bisexuals is that we haven’t chosen a team yet. This is based in some reality because many people initially come out as bisexual only to later identify as gay or lesbian. Part of that is because the insistence of the heterosexual norm which leads people to cling to the idea that they’re attracted to the opposite sex when they’re not.

But this sort of thing also happens with the enforcement of a gender binary and the idea that sex is solely biological. That sets people up for a trip to find out identifiers that work for them.

Be prepared to go on that journey with them.

2- Use their pronouns. It is amazing how many people have such difficulty with this when it’s really the easiest thing in the world to do. It feels like an affront to have a child tell an adult who they are and request they be addressed as such. Especially if you’re the adult responsible for their existence. It feels like a violation of the power dynamic.

Well, get over yourself.

Showing a kid respect costs you nothing and is worth everything to them. A sincere effort to use their pronouns, to correct yourself without complaint, and to correct others can mean the difference to a kid struggling to establish their identity.

3- Call them by the names they want to be called by. Second verse, same as the first. It’s another easy thing that adults can do, but absolutely resist. Especially if you’re the adult that gave the kid their name in the first place. But if a name is tied to an identity, it makes sense for a person to pick their own. Even the allo cis hets are entitled to that.

4- Understand that it’s not one-size fits all. Not every trans person feels the need to have transitions surgery. Not every non-binary person is androgynous or uses they/them pronouns. Not every gay guy is effeminate. Not every lesbian is butch. Not every asexual is sex averse. Not every bisexual is 50/50 in their attraction. And so on. And so on. Just like there are all kinds of allo cis het people, there are all kinds of queer people. Don’t expect the kid -any kid- to fit in a box. Those labels are for them to express and identify themselves. Not for you to find another way to dictate their existence.

5- Educate yourself. You could say that a lot of my own education was acquired during my own journey as a bi+ woman, but I didn’t stop there with my education. To be the most supportive auntie I can be, I have to keep myself in the loop.

Do not put the burden of your ignorance on the kid. They can inform you about their experience, but that broader knowledge base that you’re looking for to help better your understanding needs to be acquired on your own. There are plenty of reliable online resources that can help.

6- Your understanding is not a condition of acceptance. You don’t have to completely understand the specifics of a kid’s identity to accept it. My go-to example for this is furries. I do not get it, cannot process it. But guess what? So long as everybody is consenting and happy, I’m cool with it. I will honor your fursona. Because it’s not about me.

You don’t have to understand non-binary to accept a non-binary kid and use their pronouns and name. Because it’s not about you.

And that’s really the core to loving your kids like a Career Queer Auntie. Understanding that it’s not about you.

Now take all of these guidelines to loving your hypothetical queer kid and apply them to your real queer kid. Then apply them to all queer kids. States are passing laws like “Don’t Say Gay” and barring healthcare for trans kids under the guise of protecting the children, but really it’s because it makes these grown ass bigots feel uncomfortable. These laws will not make kids straight or cis.

It will make them dead.

And that’s the point.

Your ultimate job -as a parent, as an uncle/auntie/untie/auncle, as an adult, as a human being- is to make those kids -all kids- feel safe.

Because the world won’t.

“What’s Your Dream Job?”

Can you still have a dream job when you’re over 40? I don’t know. But I’m going to play at answering this question anyway.

In my younger days I had that all too common dream of becoming an actor or singer, but as it turns out, that requires talent and looks, of which I have neither.

When I was in junior high I had two dream jobs. I either wanted to be a meteorologist studying tornadoes or a shark biologist. What can I say? I prefer my science when it wants to kill me. Should be obvious that neither of those plans worked out, though I’m still fascinated by both fields.

By high school, I’d changed my mind yet again. I knew for sure that I wanted to be a writer. And in the three attempts at community college, I changed my mind the same number of times. Just another manifestation of my commitment issues.

I suppose you could say that my dream job is elusive. Or at least achieving it is.

Now that I’m middle-aged, I kinda haven’t given up on that whole dream job thing. I still want to find something that thrills me and I get paid well to do it. But instead of knowing what exactly that job is, I know more about what I don’t want it to be like.

It’s not customer service. Definitely not. It’s not working with coworkers that drain me, that are unreliable, that have agendas. Ideally, it’s something that limits my time in a bra and/or real pants. I mean, it is a dream job. I should ask for what a really want.

I want my dream job to be writing. I’ve dedicated years to it without much success, but it’s still very much my heart’s desire in many ways. But the difficulty I’ve had doing it in the last few years has led me to doubt it as my life’s calling. And that’s led me to an existential crisis of sorts because if it’s not my dream job, then what is? I know I’m still a writer, even if it’s not working out the way I planned and things are hard right now. Writing is a part of me whether it’s writing fiction like I want to do or blogging or even journaling. But if it’s not my dream job like I’ve wanted it to be, then what is?

Lately, I’ve really found some joy in podcasting. And not just Book’ em, Danno, either. I really enjoy doing episodes of the library podcast, particularly the history episodes. I like doing the research and writing the script along with the recording and editing. There is a lot of writing involved, even if it’s not my true love of fiction writing.

All of this thinking has led me to one solid conclusion about my dream job. I might not know what it is for sure, but I know what it feels like.

It feels like that sweet spot I hit when I get lost in what I’m writing, when I’m so in the groove that I lose myself in the words. It feels like that rush when the rabbit hole I head down during my research leads me to something new and brings that podcast script together perfectly. It feels like that buzz I get when I’m recording and the observations and jokes are flowing naturally. That’s what it feels like. It feels like I’m surfacing after being underwater for a while, coming out of a dream state and back into reality when I’m done.

That’s what my dream job is.

Also it pays super well.