when the status quo frustrates.

A Rant in F Sharp

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

For the last month, I have picked up another (unfortunately, temporary) job working at a call center. And for this reason, I post this rant.

Stop calling tech support pissed off at ME. It is not my fault that you don’t know what you’re doing. The current software company I work with has one of the most user-friendly software on the face of the earth, and people have the audacity to call in and be mad at us. 90% of the time, possibly more, the fault is that you don’t know how to work your computer and/or the software. Yes, you might have to by the upgrade for our software- the product we made in 1990 is not going to work on Window’s 7. Alternately, it’s not our fault that you haven’t upgraded your software since DOS and our brand-new software requires more space than your computer’s entire hard drive. Maybe 5% of the time you don’t know how to work your security, and it’s interfering with our server. About maybe 1% is it a problem that actually requires our help.

If you don’t understand how to work the software, read the manual. Alternately, check our website for our lovely step-by-step tutorial videos, or our extensive knowledge base articles. Yes, upgrading means you’re going to have to do maybe 30 minutes of familiarizing yourself with the new layout and features. If you don’t know how to drive a car, you don’t call Ford asking them for over-the-phone lessons. Same thing with us- we hold your hand enough. I don’t deserve your ire because you are to computer ignorant to follow an installation wizard. I deserve your gratitude for my patience and not pointing out your mental deficiencies.

Speaking of customer limitations; we are over the telephone. I don’t know what screen you’re looking at. I don’t know what system you’re on. I don’t know what product you’re using. These things all have to be communicated verbally- I can’t magically see your computer through the headset nor read your mind. If I ask you for information, I’m not trying to stall so don’t ct snippy with me. Additionally, don’t act like I’m a mental patient if I ask you to spell your email or to repeat something. Even if your email is “ilovecats@yahoo.com” I don’t know if that’s 1lovecats or Iluvkats, or any of a million other variations. Also “f” and “s”, “m” and “n”, “p” and “t” and “c” can sound like the same letter over the telephone, especially if you have a bad connection or a thick accent. I know people don’t necessarily know the formal phonetic alphabet, but it wouldn’t kill you to say “f” as in “Frank” or “Food” or “Fuck” for all I care. I just want to type the right letter- your mutterings make it sound like I should be using a cyrillic keyboard.

So, quick recap:
1) Don’t be rude and mad when it’s probably your fault.
3) I don’t know any information until you give it to me
3a corollary) I don’t know what you’re seeing until you tell me
4)When you’re listing letters and numbers, speak clearly and slowly. If in doubt, throw in an “as in”.

Follow these simple rules, we can both go back to our normal lives relatively painlessly.

I Haz New Job

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

…starting Monday. Yippee! $$$$$$!

(let me say that again)


I’m trying to decide if this is going to reintroduce me as an active blogger…it might…

Happy Labor Day

Monday, September 6th, 2010

In 1894, the Pullman Palace Car Company cut wages to the workers who were already doing 12 hour days. In response, some 3,000 workers struck against them. This set off a strike from railway works that at it’s height would have a quarter million workers in 27 states striking. President Grover Cleveland called in the US military to stop the strike, on the excuse that they were interrupting the delivery of federal mail. At the end of the strike, 13 strikers were killed, 57 were wounded, there were untold thousands of dollars in damage, and the unions in the United States had been dealt a decisive blow that it would take until the Great Depression to bounce-back from.

The Pullman workers themselves did get rehired, but at their old wages and with the union dissolved. The strike leaders were never re-hired, and Eugene Debs, who lead the national strike, was arrested and convicted.

It wasn’t a total loss to labor- Pullman was required to divest a lot of his company in 1989 by the Illinois Supreme court, and company towns were found to be “Un-American”. As a sop to this still large contingency of the population, Grover Cleavland proposed Labor Day as the first Monday of September, and it was unanimously passed by Congress.

Labor Day in the United States is marked by barbecues, taking one last trip before school, and shopping, and rarely is it associated with the actual roots of the celebration. Of course, for the shopping, the travel, and the barbecues, ironically, this ends up many people are still working on labor day.

But Labor Day should be considered the American Holiday. Labor Day represents the struggle between businesses and labor, the political deals we make, the race struggle, the gender struggle, and the struggle between national and international. The Pullman strikers had legitimate concerns, but they undercut their own strength by being not letting the African-American community join, and cutting out women. We celebrate Labor Day in September to grilling meat and maybe a parade- the rest of the world celebrates May Day to fiery speeches. But the aspect that makes Labor Day the most American of all of our holidays is the disconnect between its purpose and its practice. We forget our own history, the struggles of our own people, for a narrative that we like better- that of the United States being the land of opportunity that people can bootstrap their way up. We forget the violence and the death in order to make way for a narrative we like. And we make the day a hell for those who actually labor instead of day of rest and reflection.

Happy Labor Day, for all you Americans. Happy Monday for everyone else.

The many faces of spam.

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

The Blatant Brownnose

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Oh my god, you guys! Do you really think so? I’ve always thought so. Of course I’ll approve your comments!

Oh, and hey, do either of you know how I can get a flatter, more toned stomach? Really? WOW.

The Non Sequitur

Marissa Shaffner says:
The 3 phase electric power is common way of alternating current transmission and it is a type of polyphase system and is the normal method used by electric power distribution grids to distribute power. That looks like exactly the 3 phase alternator I’ve been looking for.

That’s— That’s great? I’m really happy for you. We all long to find that one special 3 phase alternator that brings meaning to our cold, dark lives.

Fort Lauderdale Caterers says:
I was at a wedding of my ex-lover last week and I couldn’t help remembering how uncomfortable I felt that day. I find it very awkward attending his wedding. It was a great thing he was so accommodating that even though the difficult feeling I felt glad to be there for him.

I am glad you could make it, even though the difficult feeling. You are strong. Having great summer.

The Artificial Intelligence Failure

Christopher Vivier says:
learning some thing your self and becoming able to teach it to other people, is as various as evening and day

gap diet says:
I can’t remember how I found your site – I think I was trying to find out just how crap that Site Build It scam was.

Glad found you it scam was. Learning you did? Reweight markov chain probabilities should you.

The Embarrassing Search History

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The Nearly Appropriate

Sherrell Sozzi (and about ninety other people, apparently ~ v.) says:

Stephen Hawking says the universe wasn’t necessarily created by God. In other news, grass is green.

It definitely isn’t an especially surprising statement—neither prima facie, nor considering the source. But why are you using it to sell people quack cancer cures that don’t even fucking work you terrible, terrible person?

The Strangely Honest

OpillaLoarp says:
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Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

You might have been led to believe that if you’re standing in Lehi, Utah, USA, that you are in America. You’re not. You’re in the United States—not America.

America, after all, is a vast, wild frontier, where any man—only the right kind of any man, of course—can make his fortune! It’s a place filled with adventure and danger (to other people) and, most of all, freedom. A place where brave settlers defend themselves against savages, on the every edge of civilization! Where we fight tremendous wars, and they’re good, and they’re right. It’s a rough, beautiful land where men are men and women are women.

Look around. You don’t live there. Nobody lives there. We all live here, on bloody land stolen from people who don’t have the decency to either attack like wild animals or lie down and die. In a place where black and brown people freely walk the streets as though they belong, as though their lives are anything but an uncomfortable reminder that the triumphant throne of whiteness is stacked on a pile of bodies that could overflow a thousand mass graves. Where people with cardboard signs saying veteran. disabled. please help line the streets because they didn’t get the memo that you’re supposed to come back perfect and whole and blonde or in a box or a bag or not at all. It’s hard to live here—hard because the government takes everything to give to those lucky brown immigrants, hard because your Social Security check isn’t near big enough, hard because they keep showing bleeding, broken children on the news like it’s our fault they were in the way of our bombs, hard because you can’t just shoot a man on the street or slap some sense into your woman.

It was better, back then. Better in the past. The past, after all, is the only place where America lives. Maybe it was your parents’ time, or their parents’ time, or maybe if you’re lucky and old enough it was your own childhood, but whenever it was, that—that place, seen through the perfectly smudged glasses of memory—that was America.

Of course Liberty Land is a hoax—Extruded Liberty Product With Real Freedom Filling. Everyone knows that. But maybe it’s enough for now. It’s just a taste to keep us going. To remind us of what it will be like when we bring it back. When we kick out the fakes, the immigrants, the interlopers. When we bring back real America, where men are men and women are women and our wars are just and our lives are simple, clean, and good.