Sunday, August 31, 2003

Another year has come and gone.

Happy Anniversary to my son and his Big Brother.

Three years today. Can�t say enough good things about the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization.

If you need one, get one. If you aren�t one, be one.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Cum Hear The Band

"Oowatanite" and I picked up my ticket today.

I can't wait. Talk about your blast from the past. Ever since I heard they were coming, I have been remembering all the great ballads and how proud we were that they were from Nova Scotia.

"It all began in Nova Scotia late in 1969. The Henman brothers, David and Ritchie, got together with their cousin Jim Henman and fellow musician Myles Goodwyn to form a band called April Wine, a name chosen simply because they were two words that sounded good together. Fifteen studio albums, three live releases, numerous compilations, a boxed set and thousands of concerts later April Wine has become enormously popular in Canada, the United States and throughout the world."

Like the dork I was, I was totally in love with Myles Goodwyn. When he sang "Cum Hear the Band", I thought he meant me, and I cried when my mother said I was too young to see their concerts. (hey, I was 10) And I had just gotten this album.

It's crazy what brings memories flooding back. Most of the time it is a song on the radio. You remember what you were doing, how you felt, what was going on in the world.

I was 10 and I was miserable because Myles had said, "Cum Hear the Band" and my stupid mother just didn't understand.

Well I am no longer 10, and even with a touch of the rheumatism I will try to party hard. And in the morning? I will just thank god for the Alzheimer's and try not to OD on the Mayolox.

"Rock N' Roll Is A Vicious Game."

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Crayon from hell!

Last night, I had a screamer. Always fun, the very last call of the night.

It stared out sane enough.

�Thank you for calling the Undisclosed Customer Service Center� my name is Evel, how may I help you.�

A nice boy starts to tell me what problem he is having and I start gathering his information.

Then I hear what I can only describe as a banshee in the background, Justin is trying to give me his info and the banshee is having some sort of fit.

�Is there a problem Justin?�

�One sec.�
He proceeds to tell the banshee to shut her f�ing mouth and let him talk so he can get through to tech support.

The banshee was having none of it. Justin is in mid sentence when the banshee picks up the extension.


�Well ma�am I am just getting some information and creating a case so I can send Justin through for tech support.�


I try and calm her down, by what she was saying I thought she had already gone through the process and was on hold for tech support and didn�t like the wait time. I tried to tell her that unfortunately with the virus problem we were experiencing high call volume and everyone had to wait. I am trying to talk over her, but she is very loud, and I am loud and pretty soon everyone in the place can hear me trying to get this quiff�s information.

�BUT I PAID GOOD MONEY FOR TECH SUPPORT� She has obsolete software, everyone who is still running it is paying for it.

I ask her if she has a case number, she is still ranting but after a couple of minutes she finally gives up her phone number. I find her in the system. Flashes up the ying yang. She has been here before and there are warnings that she is a screamer. Flashes are sort of a heads-up from other CSR�s who have dealt with her. Her information is there but no case. This does not go over well, she is the president of her own company and she should be treated with respect. Blah blah blah. Some company if she couldn�t afford to update the computer system in at least the past 5 years.

�So, you have not spoken to a technician yet?�


�Excuse me ma�am but what you are saying is that you are upset because you have been on hold to talk to me? You put your credit card information in the phone?�


�Ma�me, until I answer your call, I have absolutely no way of knowing that you have paid. This is not a psychic line.�
This was out of my face before I could stop it.

"WHAT IS YOUR NAME?�I WILL BE SPEAKING WITH THE HEAD OF YOUR SOFTWARE COMPANY AND I WILL HAVE YOUR JOB.� Ya sure, right after you talk personally to the President of the United States. You will probably have more luck getting him on the line. �I CAN�T BELIEVE I AM STILL NOT TALKING TO A TECHNICIAN, WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?�

�My problem? First of all ma�am, you are screaming at me, second I still have to get some information from you because I have no idea what your problem is so I have no idea where to send you.�
It�s not just me and tech guy Gerry sitting here. �I need to know exactly what the problem is to redirect you properly.�

It was all I could do not to tell this bitch to fuck off and hook her.

Finally, ignoring the banshee altogether, Justin and I finished setting up a case and I transferred him. I was kind to all both of my readers and shortened this post. Believe me when I say this call was one of the longest so far. For all her bitching she made a 2 minute call last over 40 minutes.

The good news is, after all that, tech support for the banshee�s software is in one of those countries where they don�t eat cows and everyone is just working long enough to save enough money to buy a 7-11 in Des Moines.

There IS a God.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

By George! I think she's got it.

Samantha Bennett writes an interesting article about Canadians.

"It's not just the weather that's cooler in Canada"

Thanks Desiree for the link to it.

Finally, a Yank who doesn't blame Canada for everything wrong with America. (or does she?)

Saturday, August 23, 2003

It takes all kinds.

Thank you for calling Undisclosed Customer Service Center� my name is�.�

�Ya, I have the virus, how do I get rid of it?�

I get all the pertinent info from this guy. Version of software etc. He is OEM.

�...and who is your internet service provider?�

�I don't� have the internet.�
Are you kidding me?

�Ah, sir, you don�t have the virus then.�

�Oh yes I do, the computer is not working, and it is telling me I have a worm.�

No it is not! People try and get free support by saying they have the worm. Some moron leaked it that if it is a virus problem, we take care of it regardless of your warranty status.

If you have this problem, it will NOT say you have the virus. Most people who call in and have it, have no idea that is what it is. It does NOT say you have a worm. That is NOT the error message you get. Stop trying to get support for free if you are not eligible for it. You WILL NOT get past me.

�Sir, if you do not have internet access, you are completely safe from this virus. Now, if you computer is not working properly and you want technical support we have a pay per incident line available to you. That would require a $35 charge to a major credit card but that would let you speak��.�


Fuck-off dumbass.

And Another Thing...

"Thank you for calling Undisclosed Customer Service Center� my name is�.�

�Ya, this virus thing, how do I know if I have it?�

�what is your computer doing?�

�I don�t know, I am on vacation.�

�Are you connected to the internet.�

�I have dial up.�

�Ok, what type of anti-virus software do you have.�

�I�m not sure.�

�Is there a small icon down by where the date is? It will say there.�

�I don�t have my computer with me.�
And you thought it was a good idea to call now?

�Ah, sir, I really can�t help you if you are not in front of the computer.�

�Really? Well can�t you just tell me what to do if I do have the virus?�

�No, I would have to verify your software first.�


�Well, if you have unlicensed software, I won�t be able to help you.�

�You mean pirated? I paid for mine.�

If you SAY so, dumbass.


Monday, August 18, 2003

If it ain�t broke, don�t fix it.

"Thank you for calling Undisclosed Customer Service Center� my name is�.�

�I have the worm, I need help.�

�Ok, what sort of error messages are you getting?�

Ok, maybe she doesn�t know what I mean.

�What exactly is the computer doing?�

�It�s working fine now, the guy at Staples had me change some settings and it works fine now.�

�So, you fixed it.�
She had the virus, she put up the firewall and downloaded the patch, removed the virus and everything is fine now. �I don�t understand what I can do for you, Gena?�

�Ya, but how do I go back to my original settings?�

�Why would you want to?�

�Well, they were changed, so now I want them back the way they were.�

�But the way they were allowed the worm to infect your computer. If you put them back, you may get the virus again.�

�I don�t understand.�
That�s abundantly clear.

�Well, the only thing different in your settings is that your firewall is now up. If you take it down you may be vulnerable to other attacks. I would keep it up until there is a better handle on this thing. If you find later on that the firewall is preventing you from going to certain websites, you can take it down at that time, but if you don�t notice a difference, then just leave it.�

�I don�t understand�

�If it ain�t broke, don�t fix it.�

�I waited 40 minutes on hold and you aren�t going to help me?�
Its not my fault you are a crayon.

�Gena, if there is nothing wrong with your computer, I can�t fix it.�

�I want to talk to someone else.�

Unfortunately she didn�t say the magic word, the QM asked if she asked for someone or a manager? Since she didn�t specifically ask for a manager I was to tell her I could put her back in the Q and she could wait to speak to another customer service rep. This, I am positive will send her over the edge.

�Ok, Gena, you have two options. I can transfer you back through to the Q where you will wait another 40 minutes to talk to another CSR who will undoubtedly tell you the exact same thing as I just did. Or I can create a case for you and send you through to tech support where you will wait 3.5 to 4 hours to speak to a tech who will tell you exactly what I just did. Its up to you.�

�I cant� believe you sent me a virus, and now you wont help me.�

�GENA, you already did what was required, you fixed it. THERE IS NOTHING ELSE THAT CAN BE DONE!�

�This is not what I call good customer service.�

�I give up.�


Sunday, August 17, 2003

My very first Redneck Relay call.

"Thank you for calling Undisclosed Customer Service Center� my name is�.�

�Ya, I got thet thur virus yaw�ll been sendin�.�

CHEESE AND RICE! I can�t even be bothered to correct this moron. Thankfully at this point we are just sending them all through to tech support. No more trying to talk them through the solution.

�Ok, Brenda, what I will be doing is just verifying your version of the software and seeing if I can get you through to tech support. What version are you running?� Basically we will help anyone except for the people with pirated software. For free, I might add.

�Day ell�

�Ok, it�s a Dell computer, but what version of the software are you running?�


�Ok, can I get you to right click on my computer��

JEEZ, she didn�t even put her hand over the receiver. My eardrums have now burst.

�Brenda, are you in front of the computer?�

�No, da phone don�t reach.�
Give me strength. At this point we are about 5 minutes into the call and I decide to start timing it.

So we start the process, I give Brenda the instructions, and she screams them to Clayton, and it is losing something in the translation. I can hear him screaming back that ..� IT DON SAY NUTTIN� LIKE DAT DER�

I get the bright idea to maybe talk to Clayton, since he seems to be the one working the computer. It takes a bit of coaxing, but Brenda shoves the phone at him.

�Hi, is this Clayton?�

In a dumb as dirt monotone this crayon says, �Brenda�

�But your name is Clayton?�

Whatever! I don�t know what this hicks problem is but if he wants me to call him Brenda, I will.

What I though could happen was that I would give this guy the instructions on how to get the information I needed off the computer and he would go and do it. THINK AGAIN! I give him the instructions and then I hear��.�MAW! CLICK ON THE COMPUTER!�

GOD HELP ME. {Heavy Sigh} �Let me speak to your mother again.� The timer has just hit 32 minutes.

�Brenda, what I need to do is verify your software. Is there no way that you can get the phone over to where the computer is?�

�It don�t reach no how.�

�Even if I can get this information from you it will be almost impossible for the tech to be able to help you unless you are sitting in front of the computer.�
She is pondering this, she really doesn�t want to spend more time on hold, but she understands that she will have to be in front of the computer.

�Oh ok, Well I do have a cordless, but I s�pose dat won�t work, its in da udda room.�


Deep breath Evel, �Brenda, go get the cordless and sit in front of the computer, please.�

A minute and a half later I have her info and I am transferring her. The timer reads 37.5 add that to the 5 min before I set it and that is 42.5 minutes that I will never get back.

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Just chillin'.

Enjoying my day off with a coffee.

This is my new toy,
[photo of fancy ass thermos]
bought it the other day and didn't even get to take it home. My mother took it with her to the hospital and left it there.

I bought it on the way to work the other day, and being the big geek that I am, I was totally amazed that it kept the coffee hot all night. I know it's a thermos, but they never keep things hot.

Anyway, I was sitting outside with my new pride and joy and one of the young guys (18) I work with came out and sat down. He picked it up and said, "What is this?"

Before I could stop myself I said, "It's a personal device."

It took him a couple of beats before he realized what I said and turned about 50 shades of red. He carefully sat it back down and said, "Evel, you are a walking HR issue."

We joke all the time about the goofy sexual harassment seminars and how you have to report everything to human resources. Pretty much everything we say or do around there is an HR issue.

The good news is, my mother will be bringing it home tonight so I can fill it up for work tomorrow. We should be getting more fallout from the blaster worm, since it is set to hit tonight at midnight again.

I am trying to keep track of all the crackpots that are calling so I can post them here...but there are so many it is hard to keep up. We get all kinds.

A brief summary of coming attractions:

People who follow the steps and fix the problem, but still want help. With what? I have no idea.

People without internet.

Mac people.

People who think they are getting the virus on satalite tv receivers.

People trying to lie their way into free support. Hey, we know what error messages you should be getting if you have the worm, we have had hundreds of calls all saying the same thing.

People who insist we made the virus. Ya, we created the problem, just so you could call up and shoot your face off. Makes perfect sense.

People who watch CNN.

People who read PC World.

People who are not in front of their computer.

Idiots who actually wait on hold for 2 hours just to scream "I LOVE SAN!" into the phone. Get a life!

And the very next post, I promise, will detail my very first 'Redneck Relay' call. (for those not in the know, a relay call is when you have to use a relay operator for a blind or hearing impaired person and this woman was neither)

Friday, August 15, 2003

Blame Canada!

Once again, it's all our fault. Yanks are real good at the blame game. New York's mayor Michael R. Bloomberg puts the blame for the blackout square on us.

"But other officials, including Mayor Bloomberg, said they believed that the power failure might have stemmed from a failure on the Canadian side and spread south through the interconnected grid."

Couldn't possibly have anything to do with the antiquated power grid. Of course not.

President Bush on Friday called the worst blackout in North American history a ``wake-up call'' and said the electric grid must be modernized.

``I view it as a wake-up call,'' Bush told reporters during a visit to the Santa Monica mountains, adding that it was ``an indication we need to modernize the electricity grid.''

Go ahead, we can take it. You blame us for everything else anyway cuz you know we won't get all up in arms like most people. We just say....what-ever! I deal with Americans all day, I know it's just not worth the aggravation.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Have you beat your hacker today?

This made life a living hell tonight at the Undisclosed Customer Service Center� - Internet infection spreads rapidly - Aug. 11, 2003

I don�t know where CNN gets its info but a better source is HERE

At one point the techs had 950 people waiting on hold, and we had 450 on hold just to get to customer service. If you get kicked off the internet and a message appears about �nt authority\system� �remote procedure call� and keeps rebooting your system. Well that means you are hit.

The good news is it is most likely not infecting your system but rather the server of your ISP. Therefore if you disconnect physically from the internet you can use your computer. The bad news is there isn�t a fix yet. The virus seems to be mutating, so when they think they have it licked it changes.

Short term solution - lay off the porn for a night or two until there is a permanent fix (you might try going outside, you know, the place with the trees?). Long term - find a hacker and beat the shit out of him.

If we all pitch in, we can lick this thing. It takes a village.

UPDATE: For all you loyal followers.

Here is the patch for the aforementioned virus. It is only for XP.

Pick #1 and open it.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Movie night.

The kid and I went to the drive-in tonight. The Undisclosed Customer Service Center� rented it out for the employees. Was I ever glad to see this.


I remember years ago the ex and I were at the drive-in (stoned) staring at the intermission movie. He looks at it an awe and says, �Now that is one talented hotdog.�

That was the first time I ever spewed pop from my nose. I laughed so hard I nearly wet my pants.

Ah, the good ol� days.

Saturday, August 9, 2003

The freaks come out at night.

So, a bunch of us were sitting around the smoking area at the Undisclosed Customer Service Center� , laughing at callers, shootin� the shit. There were a couple of tech guys there and one was asking me what type of questions I asked callers and how exactly we determined who got through to them.

This other spaz pipes up, raises his index finger into the air, and with what sounded like the fakest pompus accent said, �I usually refer to Ferengi rules of acquisition, I believe it�s number 17�� Then he fucking quotes it! This freak was dead serious.

The whole place went silent. You could hear the crickets chirping. Talk about stunned silence.

Friday, August 8, 2003

Yesterday, when I was young.

Was reminded of a funny thing that happened to me during my wild and crazy party days.

I was at a party, drinking and smoking, when this guy walked up to me with a shit-eatin� grin on his face and whipped out his �little soldier�.

I didn�t even bat an eyelash. I leaned over like I was trying to see what it was.

I straightened up and said in a sympathetic voice. �Birth defect or war wound?�

God, I miss the old days.

Tuesday, August 5, 2003

The Nova Scotia Tattoo

My sister and my friend Kimmy are both on me about getting a tattoo.

I had said to Kimmy at one time that we should get one before we are 40. My sister (ever since she got the Harley) wants to get one too. So I guess that would technically mean I have to get 2 of them.

I have narrowed it down to these:

What do you think?

One sec, and I�ll transfer you to H-O-O-K

I got a real winner tonight. Usually not too much fazes me but this guy made my blood boil.

�Welcome to the Undisclosed Customer Service Center� my name is Evel, may I have your name please?�

Right off the bat this guy had attitude.

�Yes (gave me no name) transfer me to tech support.�

After telling him that I had to get his information first he grudgingly told me that his product was OEM. So I told him that either he called his OEM or he would have to pay $35 to talk to someone here, he lost his mind.

�You guys are ripping off the public, selling products that are faulty and then making us pay to get it fixed. So, what you are saying is that you are not going to help me unless I fork over the money, � (this is the part I liked)���.you are useless�.

Me personally? I am useless? I could feel my body move without me conciously doing it. It was like I was magneticaly drawn to the HOOK button. I leaned over and pressed it.

Happy trails, asshole.

And Another thing�.

This lady needed to take a long jump off a short cliff.

�Just transfer me, I�ve been dicked arround since this morning by OEM.� And this is my fault?

I ignore her ignorant outburst and try to get some info from her.

�Why are you asking me all these questions? You are obviously not the person I need to speak to, transfer me.�

Before I could stop it from coming out of me��.�Did you want me to just PICK a number?�


�Well then, I will need some more information in order to transfer you to the proper technical support.�

I often wonder if these people are this rude to people on the street. If they are, it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to know that they probably get the snot beat out of them on a daily basis.

We have tech support all over the world and I contemplated sending her to a non-English speaking country and see how she liked that. Somewhere where they haven�t figured out that you can actually use vowels in proper names, but I didn�t.

What I did do, is �accidentally� hit HOOK instead of transfer.

Oops, my bad.

Sunday, August 3, 2003

A cure for what ails ya.

Went to a wedding today and of course after 30 days of dry hot weather it poured during the whole ceremony. Did I mention it was an outdoor wedding?

I was video taping for the mother of the bride. I had told her I would need the camcorder about a week before the wedding to familiarize myself with it. I also told her I wanted to attend the rehearsal so I would know where everyone was going to come from and stand so I could position myself properly. No, I don�t do it professionally but I am totally anal about stuff like that, if I am going to do something it has to be well done. Which is why now more people ask me to do it for them. Well after this one, I doubt anyone will give me a second thought. Last night my son messages me at work .

�Aunt Adele is dropping off the camera tonight, the wedding is tomorrow at 3.�

WHAT? Fuck me gently. I could have killed my sister.

The wedding was fine, but a lot of the video was interrupted by people walking in front of me. Fuck, people are stunned sometimes. I had one guy walk over and stand right in front of me. WTF? It was disorganized but I think it can be edited. I almost left without getting one shot of the string quartet that was playing.

But I didn�t leave that place without a shot of this:

(For those who don't know......thats a freakin' Ferrari!)

Hey, I have my priorities straight.

So, we skipped out before the dance (but not before stuffing our faces) and went home. I, of course, sat down to my ritual of painting my nails. I was feeling a little goofy at the time.

When your in a bad mood, googly eyes always cheer you up.

Friday, August 1, 2003

Before you call, make sure you are wearing the tinfoil hat

This is going to make my life a living hell tonight. Note the quote from FBI spokesman Bill Murray. I think he might have it in for Bill. - Experts anxious over possible Net attack - Jul. 31, 2003