Secret Life of a Telemarketing Peon
A soap opera actress turned serial fundraiser on the nervous breakdowns, panic attacks and soul-sucking hilarity of her part-time gig dialing for dollars during your dinnertime.
Illustrations by Alex Nall
I’m crouched on the floor of the office storeroom desperately trying to breathe. The room is jammed, floor to ceiling, with haphazardly stacked boxes. I cling to the lone table’s leg in a feeble attempt to stop the room from spinning. My breath comes in tight, rasping gasps and the buzzing in my ears syncs with the crackling fluorescent bulb above my head. Pressure builds in my skull, like a thick rubber band squeezing my brain, and I think, “I must remember to put this in my memoir.”
My friend and fellow fundraiser finds me rocking back and forth, ugly tears streaming down my face. She sinks to her knees and urges me to look her in the eyes.
“Deep breaths. Slowly. In and out. Good girl.” As the daughter of a psychologist, she’s read plenty of books about panic attacks.
Later, our campaign manager discovers me manically babbling at her in the canteen, or aptly named “breakout area.” It has come to his attention that I’ve been logged off from the phone for too lo…
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