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Tuesday, July 9, 2019


Philately is perfectly acceptable, as long as you do it in privacy and wash your hands afterward. Actually it's a good idea to wash your hands before, too.

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Wait Wait

Listening to the Wait Wait Don't Tell Me podcast again. Don't think I've mentioned this before. I want to be a caller on the show. I want to play the limerick one because it's easy. And I want my prize to be my voice on Bill Curtis' voicemail.

Did I already say that?

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

What I'm Worth

Just had a truly terrible day of work. It was like far too many days anymore.

I do telephone customer service. I work hard and try to provide the best customer
service I can. Up to a point I can put up with a lot from the customers who call in, because up to a point, that's the job.

But there seems to be this belief that if someone has a customer service job, it is perfectly fine to treat them, treat us, like dirt. We are not worthy of being treated with respect and dignity. Perhaps it's the depersonalization. I'm just a voice on the other end of the phone, so I'm not fully human, and not worthy of dignity, respect, or even fairness
My employers seem to believe that all of us are interchangeable, valueless, and easily replaced. I don't know all employers, but I'd wager that's par for the course. We are pushed harder and harder to act like machines and not complain, and if we go along, they replace us with machines which may suck at the job, but at least they're cheaper, and don't complain.

Experienced customer service agents are chewed up and spit out -- and then customers complain they "can't get a person," and employers complain they "can't get good help," as they pick the flesh of their last agent out of their teeth.

The good days are good, as with any job. The good days get more scarce, year over year. The trouble with treating any worker as expendable is that sooner than you think they will be expended. And you'll go from having good experienced people, to adequate inexperienced people, to folks who can only read what's on the script -- which is fine, because they work cheap and are easier to manage.

The only reward for a Job Well Done is another job. And sometimes not that.

"She said a good day, ain't got no rain. She said a bad day's when you lie in bed and think of things that might have been."
Paul Simon

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Dubai on Wait-Wait

Listening to a game on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me where the call-in listener attempts to determine which news story is the true one. Two of three are made up, though usually quite clever. Today's stories were about the crazy things rich folks in Dubai there are quite a few they tell me do to show off the fact they have too much money and not enough time to waste it all.

The episode is from January, you can go find it. My only observation was, that all three stories were pretty crazy. And all of them were quite plausible.

Which says something about Dubai, and says something about our perceptions of rich people. Well, okay, my perceptions. The rich, they are not like us.

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, June 29, 2019


So, spent about a week doing something vaguely resembling a vacation. Didn't travel out of town, so the term I kinda hate, "staycation," fits I guess.

Mainly, I didn't have to do the Dayjob. Which was very good. My dayjob makes me intensely unhappy after 17 years doing the same thing for two different companies. I shouldn't have tried being clever starting with my current employers. Got out of media studies & production school and these nice folks were catching calls for a public radio fundraiser, and I thought it'd be a good place to start for a little while. Twelve years later...

Anyway, whining-about-dayjob isn't terribly interesting, so, moving on.

Did get to do some things I like. The week started out looking very bad. Saturday morning the weather thing on my phone was claiming it was going to rain basically all week. Boy was I down at that point. By a couple days out, though, started getting a few sunny days, with occasional rain. Even had a couple days at 80 degrees F or higher a little excessive but for northern Minnesota, the sort of problem you want to have. It's not snowing, it's great weather. ;-)

I take great enjoyment from going to rummage sales. I don't feel compelled to buy more Rummage, our house is plenty full of Rummage already. But rummage sales give me a place to go, and when I get there, generally speaking, is still out in the sun. Might well buy nothing at all. But from time to time I find that one small thing that is unique-ish and serves a purpose for me -- even if the purpose is me staring at the thing while it sits on a shelf and I do nothing with it.

I use an app on my phone called Garage Sales Everywhere. It filters through the appropriate listings in Craigslist, and sends them through Google Maps giving me a map that (usually) shows where those events are relative to where I live. Sometimes I walk to the sale, sometimes I might ride my bike, and very rarely I might take a bus. The busses now have bike racks on the front so I could bus near and bike around an area. I get a bit of exercise and maybe I actually buy something, maybe not.

Last couple days I walked up the hill to Piedmont Heights. It's up a pretty steep hill, way to steep to bike up or down for me, and not easy to walk for that matter. But I feel like I've accomplished something when I get there, even if I don't end up buying stuff.

(Why yes, this is the exciting part of my RL life...)

Far as SL goes, I've done a bit of that, too. In fact, I picked this particular week off because it's also the time of SL16B, the Second Life 16th Birthday event. I originally intended to do what I'd done in the past, a couple of events DJing and a couple singing. Yes I do sing in Second Life. There's significant tech involved, but bottom line it's still me in front of a microphone.

Just did the DJing so far this year. I've been an SL DJ for 10 years, so I'm pretty good. I'm always a bit anxious about singing in comparison. Got in touch with a friend who'd been in charge of some of that stuff at previous SLBs. Turns out Linden Labs, our Glorious Leaders, may their tribe increase, decided to run the event themselves this year instead of having user volunteers manage it. This may be perfectly fine. But without the comfort of working with someone I know, I didn't feel up for singing this year.

So the main vacation thing I did was not work, but I also did some Non-Work Stuff. A small vacation, but adequate to its purpose. Couldn't get the week of Independence Day off, but the week after I'm out again for a few days
couldn't get that Monday off, those are busy on the Dayjob.

I think I'm going to be unhappy having to go back to day after day of Dayjob. (sigh)