Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm Probably Blowing This Out of Proportion

As I've already covered in this blog, I work in an in-bound call centre.  Generally speaking the callers are the agents who sell our investment products or their assistants, but occasionally we get clients calling in as well.  Many of our clients are elderly and are often confused by our automated attendant and they either push the wrong button or don't push any button at all and end up speaking to me because apparently I'm the switchboard.

I had to transfer one of these clients to another product queue just today since she couldn't count to 3 and pushed 2 instead.  I conferenced over to the correct area and got my colleague, Wojtek (pronounced VOY-tek).  Wojtek was born in Poland but raised in Canada and speaks flawless and completely unaccented English.  Arguably, he speaks English better than I do.  When I conferenced in the client and introduced Wojtek, the client asked, "Does he speak English?"  My answer:  "Yes, he speaks English," but I was stuck by the sheer stupidity of this question.  I'm pretty sure the ability to speak English is a prerequisite for our job since it involves talking on the phone all day to people who expect you to speak to them in English, regardless of how you pronounce your name.  So here (in descending order of snark) are the answers I really wanted to give this client:

1)  Yes, he speaks English, but he has trouble understanding "bigot" so make sure you speak sloooooowly.

2)  No, he doesn't speak English so he'll be using a translator. But don't worry, you won't even notice the 4 second delay.

3)  Yes, he speaks English but if you ask nicely he'll teach you how to say "fuck you" in Polish.

Sorry for the rant, but this really pissed me off.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Zippy Zips No More

I have some bad news.  Sadly, my pet turtle Zippy has shuffled off her mortal coil, gone to the giant pond in the sky and met her maker.  She is a former turtle.  She's not just tired, she is deceased.  I have no idea why--she was in perfect health (seemingly) and then she was dead.  I clued in after she hadn't moved from her sunning rock in two days.

It is distressing to have a pet pass away with no warning--I feel like I've failed her as a care-giver.  It makes me think about what right I have to even have pets, to think I have the right to keep an animal in captivity for my own comfort and amusement.  I don't think I'll get another turtle.  They are a lot of work and I'm just not sure I want to make that commitment again, but it's more than that--I no longer think it's morally right.

So long Zippy.  I hope you're finally free.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Did You Do Something Different With Your Hair?

How do you like my new look? I felt like I needed a change so I did some "shopping" and discovered this little number. I've always liked purple and orange together! I'm a little worried about the font size....let me know if it's too small.

Spring has always been a time of change and renewal for me. I find I let myself grow stagnant over the winter and by the time spring gets here I'm ready to (literally and figuratively) throw open the windows and let the fresh air in. Spring is the time when I take stock and purge that which I don't need, eliminating some physical and psychological clutter.

As much as part of me enjoys this process, there's also a part of me that is anxious about letting go of "stuff." I often find myself putting way too much energy into debating the merits of keeping or tossing something which evokes a happy memory. I'm not a hoarder (although you wouldn't know it by looking at my bedroom) but I do like to collect stuff. The funny thing is, I'm really not all that attached to it. There are a few things I'd be upset about if I lost them--my flute, some jewelry, some photographs--but if everything I owned went up in flames tomorrow I'd be okay with it. It is, after all, just stuff.

At least, that's what I tell myself every spring when go through the ritual of "keep vs toss" and attempt to tame the clutter.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

To Captcha, Or Not To Captcha

I've been getting a few spammers leaving comments on both my blogs lately--not a lot, but enough for it to be a bit of a pain in the neck. I'd like to think it's because my blogs are super awesome and all the popular kids are hanging out here, but I'm realistic enough to know it's just a side-effect and I'm not really all that special.

I've decided to add a captcha when leaving a comment as a way to prevent spammers, but I realize it might be a deterrent to comments in general and I don't want that. I really hope that if this captcha business is too much of a pain in the ass for y'all that at least a few of you will speak up and let me know, causing me to repent and remove the offending device. In the meantime, I ask for your patience and cooperation during this difficult transition.

Thank you, and have a nice day :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Have a Nice Trip, See You Next Fall!

I am an expert faller--Chevy Chase has nothing on me. I've perfected the art of falling to such a degree that I can now take the most spectacular headers and emerge almost unscathed. I started practicing at an early age; my first bad fall took place the day my little brother was born when I fell asleep on my babysitter's deck and rolled off the edge, breaking my arm on impact with the ground.

After this inauspicious beginning, I began falling in earnest: I fell off the monkey bars at school, chipping a tooth and damaging the cartilage in my nose; I fell off my bike repeatedly, leaving my poor knees scarred for life; I fell off a horse; I fell trying to get out of a canoe and into a kayak; I fell out of moving vehicles on two separate occasions (well, the first I was more "thrown" than "fell", but it was still good practice). I've fallen off chairs, bar stools, beds. I once fell down an entire flight of stairs, escaping with nothing worse than a few bruises and sore muscles.

And last night, I fell getting into a hot tub.

It was a spectacular fall, one which shall surely go down in the annals of hot tub falling history. The look of horror and concern on the faces of those present will be forever burned into my brain because despite the force of the fall, I was able to keep my glasses on. Now that's class. The remarkable thing is all I have to show for it is a small bruise on my right ankle and a bit of a scrape behind my left knee. I was sure I'd have a lot of sore muscles today, but aside from my usual lower back stiffness, all seems normal.

Another successful fall, another step closer to fulfilling my dream of becoming a famous stunt woman.