Saturday, March 29, 2008

"It's not too small--it's supposed to fit that way..."

This weekend is my "spring cleaning" weekend and the first job I've tackled is to put away my winter clothes and get out my spring/summer clothes. It's probably a bit optimistic, but frankly I could use some cheering up--this winter-that-refuses-to-end has me ready to shoot myself.

Unfortunately, the exercise has backfired because I am discovering that most of my warm weather clothes have mysteriously gone down a size whilst in storage, leaving me even more depressed. I have now moved into that unpleasant place where I own more clothing that doesn't fit than does fit. I'm tempted to label the garbage bags as, "Summer clothes that are a little small", "Summer clothes that are way too small" and "Winter clothes that I can't bear to get rid of but that I'll likely never fit into again." At least then I'd have a pretty good idea of what's in them!

Friday, March 21, 2008

I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing

I'm fascinated by the e-Harmony commercials on TV--those people seem so happy now that they've found their soul mate. They're smiling and laughing and dancing and you're smiling too and thinking, "Aw, look at them. They're so cute!"

Then, after you've seen the same commercial two or three hundred times, it sinks in that some of those smiles seem just a little strained. A few of those "happy" people look a little uncomfortable, the mask slipping just a tiny bit. One person in the couple will be gushing about their partner and the partner will be giving the impression that said gushing isn't entirely mutual.

The part I'm really intrigued about is the "compatibility test" that is responsible for bringing these people together. I'm tempted to go on the site, take the test and "review my matches for free" just out of curiosity--not because I'm unhappy in my relationship, but because I'm wondering what kind of person e-Harmony thinks would be compatible with me. And we're not talking just any kind of compatibility, we're talking "deep compatibility" coupled with "intense physical attraction."

I'll never do it though, because I think the whole thing is a load of crap. What's at work here is the law of averages--provide people with enough opportunities to meet other people and eventually they will connect with someone. What determines a positive outcome isn't some pseudo-psychological "compatibility test" but how many other people fall for the pitch and become members of the site. The larger the pool from which to draw, the more likely you'll find that special someone. The matches could be completely random and I believe the success rate would be roughly the same.

Still, it is intriguing...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Geeks Vs. Nerds

I had a conversation with a co-worker the other day that got me thinking. I'm not sure how we got on the topic, but he was adamant that he was a geek and not a nerd. I disagreed because the word "geek" has negative connotations for me--I can't help but think of disgusting carnival acts where some poor chicken gets its head bitten off. For me, a nerd is someone who lacks social skills but is smart and interesting and I find that kinda sexy. A geek is socially awkward too, but is also weird and icky. Liam disagreed and said the complete opposite is true. So I consulted my favourite online dictionary but now the waters seem only muddier because the words appear to be interchangeable:

–noun Slang.
1.a stupid, irritating, ineffectual, or unattractive person. intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit: a computer nerd.

1.a peculiar or otherwise dislikable person, esp. one who is perceived to be overly intellectual.
2.a computer expert or enthusiast (a term of pride as self-reference, but often considered offensive when used by outsiders.)
3.a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts, as biting off the head of a live chicken.

Hey, at least I knew about the chicken part.

So, is there a consensus on this? Am I the only one who thinks geek=bad, nerd=good?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I Have Got to Get This Off My Chest!

I watch HGTV a lot and there is a commercial they play (seemingly incessantly) that features a montage of their various real estate shows. One of those shows is about the incomprehensible phenomenon of flipping houses--hasn't anyone figured out yet that no one ever makes money on that unless they're a professional? A few of the little clips show a guy who has purchased a house to flip that is in such a bad state that it is obviously going to force him into bancruptcy. A little past the midpoint of the commercial there is a clip of him saying, "This house is turning into a cash cow." Obviously what he meant to say was "money pit" and he's just too stupid to know what metaphor to use. Now I don't know if the producers of that commercial are also too stupid to know he said the complete opposite of what he meant or if they like rubbing his stupidity in his face, but either way that commercial annoys the hell out of me.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

If You're Going to San Francisco...

I've booked my flight and I'm looking forward to some fun and sun (hopefully) in California in April. much to do, so little time. My Honey has to work for 2 of the 4 days I'm there--any suggestions on what I should do while he's stuck in his cubicle?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Have a Nice Day :)

It never ceases to amaze me how incredibly easy it is to make someone's day. People are so accustomed to talking to customer service representatives that are at worst rude or at best apathetic, that when they speak to someone who's actually pleasant and cheerful it thrills them to no end.

I work in an inbound call centre for a major financial institution and I (incredibly) love my job. I'm living the dream--I get paid really good money to talk to people on the phone all day. While many of you would rather have a root canal or have your fingernails ripped off with pliers, I find this to be a rewarding and enjoyable job with stimulating challenges and tonnes of learning opportunities. I never know what the next call is going to bring! While this would fill a normal person with dread and anxiety, it fills me with adrenalin. When someone calls me and says, "I have a big problem" I actually get excited!

I know--I'm crazy.

My theory is if you don't feel the same way as I do then you have no business being in customer service. It shouldn't be as easy as it is for me to make the day of the person on the other end of the phone, but unfortunately we've been conditioned to not only accept poor service, but be grateful for mediocre service. When we eventually get great service it's like winning the lottery!

The best part of all this is when I give great service, I also have a great experience. There's nothing I enjoy more than having a customer tell me, "Thanks so much for helping me. I wish everyone were as friendly and cheerful as you. You've been a big help." It's nice to be appreciated!