Sunday, July 31, 2005

Can you say, "Four days off" ?

That's right, I got the backshift. 1am till 2pm, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. 13 hour shifts but 4 days off.

Initailly I was not on the list. But I poked and bitched and whined until I got what I wanted. The best part about it is that the other shifts will start on Thursday, so the Extrememly Huge Head said we could come in and listen to calls and the Undisclosed Computer Software Company™ would foot the bill. So we will be able to hear some live calls without being at all responsible for them. And get paid.
-- insert evil grin --

And another thing...

I was up all last night studying, got to sleep about 5:30am. I get up at 9 to pee and hear the downstairs neighbor yelling through the connecting door. "EVEL! THE BUG GUY IS HERE TO SPRAY!"

FUCK! Thanks for the advanced warning.

Guess I forgot to mention that I had been having an ant problem since I moved in here. I was hoping that the destruction of the old rotting deck would take care of the problem but I woke up one day last week to this.

And these are just the ones I caught on film before most had scurried away. EEEWW!

So the boy and I had to find somewhere to go for a few hours. Since I am not ever off on the weekends, I had no idea where that would be. Finally we headed out to my brothers. The boy snuck off to a bedroom and went back to sleep and I visited with my brothers fiance. By the time it was safe to go back home I was ready to crash and barely made it in the door. Made a B-line for the bedroom and dropped dead.

Got back up at 7, drove the boy to meet his friend and got back to studying.

I am such a wild and crazy gal.

Friday, July 29, 2005

"Stand back, and make sure you are wearing your protective goggles."

I think I might get through this training as long as my head doesn't explode.

The Extremely Huge Head announced that we are doing so well he has decided we will hit the floor next week. If you only knew the amount of information there is you would understand what he said next.

He looks at me, "Are you ok?"

I was purple. I could literally feel my blood rushing through my veins. All I could think was, 'How the hell am I going to retain all this information?' There are a kazillion developer products and at that moment I could not tell you what one of them were.

Then the trainer let us listen to some calls. Whew!

I think if I can just get past the written tests I will be ok. I totally suck on paper. On paper I second guess myself, but I can bluff the shit out of a phone call if I have to.

The coolest thing about this new job is the power. In CC and in Pro, we did a lot of complaining about the techs. They liked to refuse to take calls, they would send customers back to CC if they thought they were misrouted. Customers could end up talking to 6 people before they actually got their issue resolved. (usually by the first group they had been transferred to.)

But with this job we will be taking the customer to the tech. Explaining the issue and taking names. When we are done with a customer we will know that that customer will be helped and by whom. And if the tech refuses? God help them!

"Ah, you don't want to take this case? Oops, I just assigned it to you. You think it belongs somewhere else? Hold please, I will get that tech on the line and the two of you can fight it out amongst yourselves. B-Bye!"

This is going to be cool!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Baldry won't be back this time.

Long John Baldry

When I was a teenager, this guy was it for me. We would all sit around smoking weed and listening to 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'. I don't care who has done it before or since, his version was the best.

A couple years ago I had to spend months on eBay trying to replace one of his cd's. I remember how excited I was to finally find it. I played 'Baldry's Back' till the boy threatened mutiny.

Back before the dawn of video and MTV, artists had to rely on talent not hype. I don't think we even knew what he looked like back then. He was a great talent and that is all we based our opinion on.

It is sad when you have to let go of that. Video's are cool and all but now a days anyone with a couple bucks and a bellybutton ring can get themselves a record deal.

Sadly missed, but never forgotten.

Long John Baldry
1941 - 2005

Sunday, July 24, 2005

I left some stuff out, if you can believe that.

Well, we finally figured out what the training is. Well sort of. We found out why it was 'secret'.

They don't actually know what it will be in the end. It's more like a pilot. See what we can be trained for. Have us as a backup for existing centers, basically cross train us for every level of customer service highest to lowest. They are big on redundancy sites right now since our center went down in a blizzard for 4 days, and there was no one to cover.

Since most of us already have experience in consumer and professional customer service, they are training us for higher levels. You know, those customers who purchase thousands, even millions of dollars of support. Companies that may even have our technicians on site already or have the option to have them flown in.

Some of the others are a little freaked out. But these customers will require even less from us. They will know exactly what they want and who they want to speak to.

Before we even learn what we will be training for there was a little bit of tension. Especially from a few of the techs that were chosen. They are upset, understandably, about going backwards in the company. (the salary cap is lower in CC) But they don't even know where this might lead, so they should at least give it a chance.

Not this one Tech Chick. The Extremely Huge Head from the Undisclosed Computer Software Company™ is welcoming us and giving us an idea of what it was all about and she starts. She is upset about being there. She feels it is a demotion. Now, keep in mind, we don't work for the Undisclosed Computer Software Company™, we work for the Undisclosed Customer Service Center™, the Extrememly Huge Head is our client. He is pissed. This tech chick idiot won't shut up. He keeps telling her to take up any employment issues with her MO.

Then she does it royally, she equates her draft into this new project with being asked to flip burgers. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD! You don't look your client in the face and tell him it is beneath you to work for him in this capacity.

One of the trainers (not ours, thank god) was offended by this comment, he stood up and told her that the Undisclosed Computer Software Company™ was a family and no one department was any better or worse than the other and stormed out of the room.

This, you would think, would shut her up? No. She kept going. Finally the Extremely Huge Head shut her up. "I can't do anything about your employment, I can't say to your MO, fire her. All I can say is I don't want her on my project. Again, if you have any employment issues take it up with your MO."

BURN! Wonder if I will see her in training on Monday?

So, how is training going? It's frustrating. There is one chick in this class (not idiot tech chick) that is jumping all over my last nerve. She is literally holding us up. She constantly asks questions, senerios about future events, "What happens when I am on the phone for 6 years and I get a cramp?" The guy from the Undisclosed Computer Software Company™ who actually wrote the training book is training us and she is correcting him. I kid you not! This dude wrote the book. Even if he says the sky is green, you do not correct him. What the hell is wrong with you?

I turned to the guy beside me and said, "I'll give you 20 bucks if you break her legs."

"I think one of them is already broken."

"Ok then, ten."

Dude from the Undisclosed Computer Software Company™ is pretty even tempered, and clearly religious but I can see him cracking.

He might do it for free.

And another thing...

Another reason the tech chick is bitter? The CC agents get a one dollar an hour raise! Considering that the techs start out at a dollar more an hour, it has to do with wage equity in the project.

Bite me bitch!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Ignore the man behind the curtain.

Today I start the 'secret' training.

The Extremely Huge Head from the Undisclosed Computer Software Company™ did indeed show up yesterday. He was not impressed with the setup.

There was much angry words and smoothing of feathers. Threats and compromises. Pictures of the great wall were taken and, I assume, sent back to the home planet. I don't blame them, that wall is just indescribable.

So far the Undisclosed Computer Software Company™ has not pulled the plug on the new project but they are not happy with the training facilities. Nor are they at all happy with the presence of the Undisclosed H Em Oh™.

So, what does the Undisclosed Customer Service Center™ do to rectify the situation? After the Extremely Huge Head left building they constructed what can only be described as a brain fart. They hung tarps around the hastily thrown together 'special' training room. Big time security at the Undisclosed Customer Service Center™.

I wish I had been there this morning when the Extremely Huge Head cast his peepers on that rediculous setup.

Can't wait to hear what his reaction was.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Incoming message from the Big Giant Head!

The Big Giant Heads from the Undisclosed Computer Software Company™ flew in yesterday to begin training.

A little background. I work for the Undisclosed Customer Service Center™ who's only client (until very reciently) in this center was the Undisclosed Computer Software Company™.

A couple months ago the Undisclosed Customer Service Center™ courted a new client, lets call them Undisclosed H Em Oh™. They figured it would take this new client a while to make up their minds and by then they would have a new location ready for them.

Not so, they were quick to sign on the dotted line. And now they want to begin training and the Undisclosed Customer Service Center™ had no place to put them. So, while waiting for a new location they put a wall down the center of our production floor. Gave them 150 cubes and they started training. They are also using all of our training rooms.

Coincidently, around this same time, the Undisclosed Customer Service Center™ is also courting the Undisclosed Computer Software Company™ to bring in a new project. Much training, new shifts, the whole nine yards.

They didn't figure on getting the go ahead on both projects at once.

So the Big Giant Head's from the Undisclosed Computer Software Company™ show up here on Monday and this is what they see.

-The great wall of china.
-Training rooms occupied.
-Strange people milling about.
-Security barring them from half of the center.
-Techs (their techs) standing around for an hour waiting for seats so they can begin working.
-One hastely constructed training room smack dab in the center of the production floor that they are informed is 'special, just for them'.

So, one of our classes begin. Trainer is distracted by production floor noise and the added noise coming from behind the great wall. He is pissed. He sends the class for a break and does not come back.

Next thing you know, the Big Giant Heads inform everyone that training is postponed till Friday and they leave. This is not good.

I suspect that they went back to their hotel and immediatly contacted the Extremely Huge Head and he is on his way from the home planet.

Heads are going to roll. I just hope that it is not mine.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Scheduling brilliance!

Last night I get to work (at 3pm) only to find that by 7:30pm I would be one of only two agents working. WTF?

Who's brilliant idea was that? And I was off at 11pm so the other poor soul (Kay) would be there all by herself till 1am.

Needless to say, I stayed till one. You got to wonder who, in upper management, lied on their resume. Organizational skills, my ass!

The TM on duty called the Big Giant Head to see if he could ask some agents to stay for OT, but she conveniently didn't call back until all the others had left. 'I could stay if I wanted to', she says. 'Yes, she knew it would only be us two', she says, but she thought I was on till one. WHAT? She thought two agents were plenty to take care of all business calls in North America? I was NOT impressed.

I ended up taking 106 calls and Kay took almost 80. If you called in last night, I apologize, but I was just rounding them up and shipping them out. No extra chatting, no going above and beyond. Everyone got the bum's rush.

And another thing...

It had to be that way, cuz we were working the professional line, and of those 106 calls I took last night, maybe 20 were professionals. All the others were calling after hours for personal support. And they weren't getting the whole "we're closed" thing. Some people can be so thick sometimes.

ME: "Thank you for calling the Undisclosed Customer Service Center�? my name is blah blah blah..."
CUSTOMER: "Ya, I can't get this program to work." It's Me.dia Groan!
ME: "Consumer support is closed for the evening, if you would like to call back in the morning, someone should be able to help you."
CUSTOMER: "So here's the thing..." He starts babbling about his issue.
ME: "Sir, I am not a technician..."
CUSTOMER: "Ok, I need a technician."
ME: "As I said that department is closed, if you would like to call back in the morning..."
CUSTOMER: "No I need to talk to one tonight, I will pay..."
ME: "I am sorry, but I can't charge you, there is no one here that can help, they all went home."
CUSTOMER: "So you won't help me? I paid a lot of money for this software and you are telling me that you will not support it?"
ME: "No, that is not what I said, I told you that that department is closed, everyone in that department clocked out 4 hours ago and went home."
CUSTOMER: "But your there, why are you answering the phone if you can't help customers?"
ME: "You have reached the professional group, we handle tech support for professional products."
CUSTOMER: "So you lied, there are techs on duty, you just won't send me to one."
ME: "Yes there are techs here, they are trained in professional products, if you had a professional product I could get you through to a technician. It would require the use of a support account or a credit card charge. The charge for professional support is two hundred and forty five dollars." That shut him up.
CUSTOMER: "That is so unfair!"
ME: "What is so unfair, if your tech support cost $245, you would have 24 hour service. But yours is free, so you have to call back during support hours. It's simple."
CUSTOMER:"Ok, well let me ask you this...."
Ok, this has gone on long enough, I am in Q and I don't have time for you...< - CLICK - >

And how was your night?

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Curious-er and curious-er.

Another thing that makes me think this might be the Technical Router thing. All the current TM's were asked if they would volunteer for a back shift.

No one, of course, did. So since no one volunteered, someone will be voluntold.

They wouldn't ask for volunteers unless they plan on having that shift.

Fingers still crossed.

And another thing ...

For those of you concerned about my impending incineration. You will be relieved to know that I got my training schedule changed from that 7am start to 3:30pm.

Sigh of relief.

Friday, July 15, 2005

It's all so ...

Lots happening at the Undisclosed Customer Service Center�. A bunch of the pro agents have been in sales training this week. Then I get my schedule and there it is, training. I ask a TM what the training was for, I figured they would say sales. Not so.

"We were not told what the training was for. Just that you are scheduled for it."

Now if it were sales they would just come out and tell us it was sales.

"What is so top secret about training?"

"No idea, they won't tell us anything."

So, I ask around. I can tell that it is NOT sales for the simple fact that there are people that are already in sales in the training. There are also people from the xp tech department in this training so I am thinking it might be some sort of tech router.The suspense is killing me. I really hate not knowing.

I am really hoping that it is tech routers. Ever since they hinted that they had a new shift for possible technical routers, I have been dreaming of it. Three days on and four, count 'em, four days off.

I would kill for that. But what is with all the secrecy? Another rumour is that big giant heads from the Undisclosed Computer Software Company� are flying up for the training.

Gotta be something besides sales. After all, any moron with access can do sales.

And another thing ...

I get an email telling me I am scheduled for training on the 20th.


AM! Did I mention it was AM? Holy shit!

I have been night shift (5pm to 1am) for most of the last 2 years. I am not sure what will happen to me if I am asked to function at 7AM. And I have to work till 12:30 the night before.

I don't know but, I am pretty sure if I step outside at 7AM I will burst into flames. I am scared!

I voiced my concerns with a TM and he is going to try and get me switched to the night class. Pray for me.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Rain, Rain go away.

If it would only stop raining, I could sit here.

Can ya tell I am proud of myself?

Is it that obvious?

Monday, July 11, 2005

Stupidity. Not just for customers anymore.

I know I pick on the lowly computer home user. They are not the only ones calling me with absolutely stupid requests. (if you want to insert funny accent for tech, go ahead)

TECH: Starts to babble on about tech things, what he has tried with this customer, what he wants to try next. "What do you think?"
ME: "I think you should call your mentor."
TECH: "The mentor line is busy."
ME: "So you thought 'hey, I can't fix this, and the more experienced techs are not available, so I think I will call customer service? Did you want me to send Gerry the Janitor over and you can consult with him? Give your head a shake."<-CLICK->

TECH: "We are installing this operating system and we need a bypass key for activation."
ME: "What is wrong with the key the customer has?"
TECH: "We already used that one on his laptop."
ME: "Did he purchase a second OS?"
TECH: "No."
ME: "Then No."
TECH:Then very snotty, "If you wouldn't mind checking the case notes, there is a note from my mentor that authorizes me to call cc for a bypass key."
ME: "How nice for you, but I could care less. If your 'mentor' wants to give you the key he can fill his boots. OS software keys are one license for one installation. If I were to give you another I would be actively pirating the software."
TECH: "Really?"
ME: "I'm sorry, are you new?" <-CLICK->

TECH: "Ya, I need a bypass key for office upgrade."
ME: "Does the customer have a qualifying product?"
TECH: "No."
ME: "Then, no."
Insert snotty comment about checking case for mentor note
ME: "Did you delete the customers qualifying product?" Which does happen and we don't penalize the customer for our mistake.
TECH: "No."
ME: "Look, your 'mentor' has access to the tool. If he wants to give this guy four hundred bucks worth of software he can go right ahead, but I am not. That would be piracy. If your customer wants a full version product he has to purchase it." Who trained these people?

TECH: "I need you to redirect this customer. I am an XP tech and this case was created for office." He gives me the case number and, look at that, he is right. Says so clearly that it is office. Along with the proper transfer code for that department.
ME: "Are you kidding me? How long did you wait on hold for me?"
TECH: "Five minutes."
ME: "And all the while, staring at the proper transfer code for this customer? Why didn't you just transfer him there?"
TECH: "Ah...." <-CLICK->

TECH: "We just finished the install and we need to be transferred to activation."
ME: "So, why didn't you just call activation?"
TECH: "Ah..."
ME: "Not your secretary." <-CLICK->

Again with the roaring.

It's not fancy...

But it works.

I might start a business. LOL!

Friday, July 8, 2005

La tabella � completa!

The table is complete, with complications. I forgot to allow for the thickness of the top when I measured for the legs, so its a bit high. Sonny will cut the legs down for me.

But I think it turned out alright.

This little pile of lumber?

Is destined to become an night stand. Wish me luck!

And another thing...

After finishing the table, I was moving it to take a picture....and broke a fucking nail! Do you believe that?

Thursday, July 7, 2005

More delays.

Well the jigsaw had no blade. So I had to call my cousin, Sonny. All he had was a skilsaw.

He said he would come over and saw the legs for me. Great, cuz I won't deal with anything that can cut my leg off. A flesh wound is fine but I draw the line at amputation.

So, Sonny comes by, power tools and daughter in tow. The princess and I stand back, cuz he is already down one finger and that does not inspire confidence. Once he is finished he asks if I want him to put the legs on for me.

"Ah, no. I can handle it." It's a table, not the space shuttle.

Then the princess pipes up, she is all of 5 I think, "Don't you want my daddy to make the legs for you?"

I kneel down in front of her, like I am about to prevail upon her the wisdom of the ages, "No, sweety, women don't need men to build anything, they just need their power tools." In more ways than one.

As they were leaving I thanked Sonny. "No problem" he said.

And the princess, all sweetness and light says, "Daddy, why did you say 'no problem'?"

"Oh, was he complaining the whole way over?" I ask.

"Oh Yeah."

Never trust a kid to keep a secret.

Anyway, I got one leg on the table before I had to go to work, and then it rained cats and dogs, so I won't finish until tomorrow. Pictures to follow.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Those who doubt me, can bite me!

I turned this...

Into this...

And did not break a nail.


I had to quit when I finally broke the saw, but tomorrow I will break out the jigsaw and finish 'er off.

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

I am woman, hear me roar!

Been busy these last few days, I am building a table for my deck.

Yes, I said building a table. With my own two little perfectly manicured hands.

So far I have just cut and laid out most of the wood, but the hand saw I have is warped. So, I am just waiting for my brother to arrive with the new saw and a power tool I need (a power driver).

A couple of people offered to do it for me, but you know men, the offer then make you wait till winter. By winter I will not need a table for my deck. So, I lugged the wood up the stairs and started on my own. Mind you, it will never make it into the Bob Vila Hall of Fame, but it will serve my purpose.

I will post pictures when it is done.

And another thing...

Building has been slowed due to the fact that my son and I had a bit of a corn boil today. I am suffering a bit.

I have come to the conclusion that you never really buy corn you just rent it. There can't be any nutritional value in corn, since it exits in the exact condition as it entered.

Monday, July 4, 2005

She's Baaaaaacccckkk!

Canada's most notorious female killer, Karla Homolka, is back on the streets, of Quebec.

She went straight from prison to the studios of Radio-Canada to do an exclusive interview in very bad french. I guess she wants to live in Quebec so decided to go the French route.

This whole thing has been huge embarrassment for the legal system in Canada. Twelve years is not adequate punishment for the monstrous things this psycho did. Rape torture and murder of several school girls including her own 15 year old sister. The prosecution jumped the gun when they plea-bargained Holmolka. Had they just waited a couple months, (until the video tapes surfaced) they could have had her for the rest of her days. Safely behind bars.

In the last hour they added a crapload of restrictions on her for a year after her release. But I doubt it will stick. Holomolka declined an offer of earlier parole consideration for just this reason, she served her entire 12 years. Meaning it is unlikely that they will be able to enforce the restrictions. The court gave her a sentence and she served the entire sentence. They just better pray that she can keep it together and not go psycho again.

I am still of the hope that there is at least one other psycho out there who will finish her off, just for the notoriety.

Hey, psycho's should be good for something, eh?

Happy Fourth!

And just for today, go ahead, blame Canada.

You know you want to. But remember.

Saturday, July 2, 2005

Good news, bad news.

After being missing for 6 weeks, 8-year old Shasta Groene found at a Denny's Restaurant in Idaho in the company of Joseph Duncan a level three sex offender. Her brother, Dylan Groene, has yet to be found.

Apparently this dick-head has a blog that advocates the non conviction of sex offenders. Stating that "Sex Offender Registration is State Sanctioned Discrimination."

This guy has a string of sex offences in multiple states and has the nerve to blog the following:

"Most sex offenders are just like me, not at all concerned about re-offending since the idea is not even in the realm of possibilities to them. They are hard working responsible law abiding citizens, and in fact on average slightly better adjusted than the average working class person."

So far this 'person' is just a child abductor/abuser but judging from the fact that Shasta's brother is still missing, I wouldn't be suprised if this 'thing' is also a murderer.

Makes you wonder what the point of registering sex offenders is. Perhaps society should investigate other alternatives. Like chemical castration or, my favorite, sand blasting.

What do you think?

Friday, July 1, 2005

Happy Canada Day!


Crazier than a bag of hammers!

It was an interesting night tonight. The usual bag of dumb as dirt computer users.

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

CUSTOMER: Ya, I got an error message when I tried to open a file.
ME: What is the error message?
CUSTOMER: Don't remember, I closed it.
ME: (SIGH) Interestingly enough, the error message will tell you what went wrong and why.

(I wait, while he recreates the error. I tell him to tell me what he is doing as he is doing it.)

CUSTOMER: I click on this zip file, and it tells me cannot be opened because associated program does not exist. (can't remember the exact message, but it was something to that effect.)
ME: Do you have WI.NZ.IP on your computer?
CUSTOMER: What's that?

Give me strength. Next crayon.

CUSTOMER: It says, installation incomplete, Product A upgrade cannot find a qualifying product.
ME: Can you read the disc to me?
CUSTOMER: This product will search your system for a qualifying product for this special upgrade edition.
ME: Do you have a previous version of Product A?

One more...

CUSTOMER: I try and connect to the internet and it says - Cannot Connect to Server
ME: Who is your internet service provider?
ME: Who do you pay for internet access?
CUSTOMER: You have to pay for that? I thought the internet was free?

I kid you not!

And another thing...

Just had to share this call that a co-worker told me about.

Customer called in from Ma.cD.ona.ld's Restaraunt chain. He had mistakenly shortchanged a customer fifty bucks. He wanted the CSR to look up the person in the Undisclosed Computer Software Company� database so they could contact him to come back for his change.

After telling the person that was impossible, he became frustrated. You can do it, the Undisclosed Computer Software Company� knows everything about everyone.

And how was your day?