I have been a PSO since...September, I think. I would have to look it up to be sure. Since the day I decided that an hour and a half commute each way for a shitty job was just not worth the effort. Especially since the company pulled a bait and switch on me and the job I was being trained to do was not what I was hired to do. So I have been talking to men about sex for 8-9 months and I still experience stage-fright.
It's stupid and unnecessary but, I dread the first half hour of my shift. Part of it is, flat out, because of the Downer. Every new PSO has to start on his shift and he seems to be determined to make the experience as unpleasant as possible. I guess he believes in trial by fire. The hosting company controls which callers a PSO talks to, though the official line is that a PSO gets the next call coming in according to queue. Bullshit. When I work on the shifts the Downer supervises, I never speak to any of my 'regulars'. I will end up speaking to every short time freak I have never been able to lure into a long call for the entire length of my shift. Assuming that I am allowed to work my entire shift. If my call time average drops too low, I can be 'given a break' or 'placed on call'. Each day I work, I have to prove myself all over again within the first half an hour. Most of the time, it is not a problem. Sometimes, it feels like herding cats and I have no idea what kind of shift it is going to be until I am in the middle of it.
The end result is stage-fright. I get nervous; fluttery stomach, tense, wondering if there is anything I can do to ease the transition and knowing that there isn't. I clean off my desk, gather the things I will need, brew a pot of coffee and wait until it's time to start talking to perverts. Mindless video games help but, not much.