Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Weird Office Guy - Part 3

I walk into the break room and WOG is standing in front of the vending machine with a rolled up piece of scribbler paper in his ear.

I come back to my seat. I have a bewildered look on my face so, of course, someone asks what is up. I tell them.

"He was just standing there, staring at the vending machine."

Little blond chick pipes up, "Oh, I think he does that so he can hear with a one sided headset. You know, keeps the background noise out."

I look at her like she is retarded, "He was in the break room."

"Ya, I guess that is weird."

"Ya think?"

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Oh, the humanity!

I got a new bed the other day. I got rid of my old one, but had to spend one night without any bed at all.

Big deal, right? I'll just bunk on the couch for the night.

Holy shit was that ever a colossal mistake. There is a certain point in everyone's life where these decisions should be given a good deal more thought.

I woke up (insanely early) with pains in joints I didn't realize I had. How do you get a charlie horse in your ribs? What the hell is up with that? I think it might have more to do with my overall health and my affliction with FCS (Fat Chick Syndrome). When your a fat chick you can't just curl up in a ball on the floor like when you were 16. I even woke up in the trunk of a car once, curled around the beer cooler, and woke up fresh as a fuckin' daisy. Those days are so gone!

When I think back to all the places I woke up, I really know I have turned a corner. I may not yet be over the hill but I can definitely see the top, and there better be a Barcalounger ready for me when I get there, and a tank of oxygen.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Just bang your face on the phone keys, no worries, I'll pick up.

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

She gives me her name and her number, then says, "Ya, I just need you to transfer me to E.machi.nes."

"Uh, this is the Undisclosed Computer Software Company™."

"Ya, I know. I have called before, let's just cut through the crap and transfer me."

Ok, it happens, she couldn't find the number; she remembers getting there from here before. "Did you want the number for E.machi.nes?"

"Look, I have had a long day, just transfer me."

Un-fucking-believable! She is speaking to me like this is my job. Like this is the Undisclosed Dumbass Fucking Crayon Idiot Backwater Hillbilly Switchboard Company™. 'Don't know the number for 411? Let us take over, so you can give your actual brain a rest.' (Hey, that is a catchy slogan.)

"I just thought that maybe you would like to save yourself some time. So next time you can call directly."

"I already have the number for E.machi.nes, just transfer me!"

Who the hell does this? What kind of a mindless fool calls one company to get transferred to another completely different company?

Maybe she is saving her brain for more important information like, I don’t know, breathe in, breathe out?

I decide to help the poor mindless creature out, with a little cultural enlightenment. I send her to Mean Machines, in Stockholm.

I am just doing my part to broaden her horizons and perhaps knock some sense into her. At the very least she perhaps will never try this shit again.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Picture it, Sicily....kidding.

I was working Saturday night, it was about 11:30pm. Consumer tech support closes at 7pm. Premier support is 24/7 so here I sit.

We are also still open for Pro support but only if your servers are down and your boss is ready to give it to you up the ass. To save you from this fate we now charge you double the going rate. People love this.

Anyway, this dude calls at 11:30pm. His name is Mike Lafiette.(this is important later)

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

"I bought your crappy software."

Your going to have to be more specific. "Which crappy software are you refering to?"

" Sim 2002. It is crap and I want you to send me a new disk."
It's crap, but he wants to replace it.

"Sorry sir, that department is closed. How long have you had it?"

"Three years."

"Then I doubt you can get your money back for it."

"It is crap, I want you to send me a new disk."

"As I said, that department is closed, and I don't think you can even get that disk from us anymore. It is out of production. It is 4 years old and..."

He interrupts me to go on a tirade about going to the support, that is in India and they are making everything worse, and Bill sucks and he is a money grubber and doesn't support his software and on and on and on.

I try and explain to him that the consumer support is closed, so is the replacement desk and so on and so forth.

"What the hell are you doing there then?"

"I am a technical router for developer products and premier customers."


"It's not teiring, if you need tech support at any hour, you pay for it."

"Look, if you wanted to you could give me a disk."

"No really, sir, I couldn't even if I wanted to."

"Just go down the hall and get me one."

"Sir I am in Nova Scotia..."

"A FUCKIN' CANADIAN. Now I get won't help me cuz I'm French."

"How would I know you were French?"

"With a name like Lafiette?"
I had forgotten his name. "All you Canadians hate the french."

"Sir, we don't hate the French, we hate the French Canadians, there's a difference."
I was growing weary of being civil to him.

"Look, this disk is fucked and I want another one."

"What makes you think it is defective."

"Well I install the Fli.ght Sim and it works for about a month and then it craps out and I have to reinstall."

"Well then there is nothing wrong with the disk, it installs properly."

"I want help with this then."

"As I said, that department is closed, only professional support is open..."

"This says Fli.ght Sim PROFESSIONAL."

"It's still just a game, Sir."

"What if I told you that I use this to train pilots."

"I would say 'thanks for the heads up, I will never fly again'."

This is where he lost his mind and I decided to have a 'phone malfunction'.

They just don't pay me enough.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Please release me, let me go.

If you remember, a while back I had a meeting with my MO regarding my happiness within the Undisclosed Customer Service Center™™. In that meeting, among other things, I suggested that I might be happier in another project. Namely tech support.

A couple of the techs that were yanked into our project have been lamenting for almost a year about how great it was 'over there'. How much better the management treated them 'over there' so much so that I was forever telling them to build a bridge and get the fuck over it. They made it sound like a whole other world. Thanks, I really need to hear that my misery is that much more profound because bliss exists under the same roof.

Fast forward to last week. The big giant heads send out an email. They are going to finally release some people from our tech router project to go back to tech support where they were blissfully happy. They are going to finally hire more tech routers so this can be accomplished.

Great. Maybe this means I can also get released as well? I have to try, what is the worst that could happen? Ya right. I get a polite email that says they are only releasing to tech support those who were already there before. Hopes dashed.

Then I get an email from the MO. "Come and see me."

What the hell did I do now? I don't remember telling any manager to bite me lately. Or did I? I am wracking my brain the whole way to her cube. I was teasing my TM about sounding like a 976 operator on the phone the other night. He wouldn't, would he? The weasel!

Turns out it was my lucky day. She said she couldn't tell me in the email the other day before she ran it by the big giant head of tech support but she is replacing me in this round and sending me back to Pro support. She said that training for tech didn't start till the end of July and if she waited till then, she wouldn't be able to release me.

Since Pro is a bigger project, (meaning more agents) I can more easily be replaced, so releasing me will not be an issue.

Holy crap, and it isn't even my birthday. So, she wraps up the meeting with, "So, does this make you happy?"

Happy as a pig in shit.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Happy Mother's Day.

The boy spent all day Saturday raking top soil and mowed his father's lawn.

On Mother's Day he presented me with twenty-five dollars. Cold hard cash. We went out for pizza.

Ok, so he didn't actually buy me anything, but I think we are making progress.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A teenage boy thing.

Why must teenage boy things treat their mothers like dirt? I give him everything I never had. I work hard (ok, maybe not hard but long) to support him. To have the internet and the cable and the cell phone. Not to mention the video games, guitar, skateboards etc, etc. Sometimes he looks at me like I am something he scraped off his shoe. He talks to me like I am a stranger. Hell, I doubt he would talk to strangers the way he speaks to me.

When I was a teenager, I wouldn't say shit to my mother if I had a mouthful of it. Sure, I might mumble under my breath but that was the extent of it. And does anyone remember talking back? You just didn't do it. You would get the back of her hand, and deserve it. Raise your hand now to the little shit who just told you to fuck off and what do you get? Child Protective Services, that's what.

Don't get me wrong, I think there is a need for services such as that, but I also know that there are abusers on both ends. Kids today are evil creatures, they use the obsession with political correctness against the people who are obligated to feed and clothe them. How did 'you can't beat the living shit out of your kid and burn him with cigarettes' become 'you can't discipline your child at all'?

Don't you find that with anything, there is no happy medium? First you can't torture and kill animals for fur coats, now you can't kill a chicken before he gets the chance to experience air conditioning and digital cable. It's one extreme to another.

How about 'zero tolerance' in schools for bullies. Sounds good. Do you know what that turned into? No snowball fights. All they needed was a little supervision in the school yard, did they get it? No. This doesn't even stop bullying, it just stops the good kids from fighting back because they don't want to get expelled right along with the kid who is terrorizing them. And the bullies know what they are doing, it hasn't stopped them. They know how to get around it, they punch you in the face and walk away, takes a few seconds, there is no one there to see it.

Sexual harassment laws taken to the extreme, means no five year olds professing their love for little blond haired girls. Charlie Brown would be in the pokey for stalking if he were a real boy.

But I digress.

A friend of mine has a teenage girl thing we will call The Lump. She is 16. She informed her mother in the midst of one of their knock down, drag out fights that all this abuse was foretold.

My friend was very upset at the treatment she was getting from her once sweet little girl. The Lump looks at her like she can't believe she is upset and says, "I don't know why you are so upset now. You knew when you were pregnant with me that between the ages of 16 and 18 I would hate you."

Where do teenagers get this shit?

I blame Oprah.

Saturday, May 6, 2006

I kid you not.

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

"I just bought a new computer and I can't get on the internet."

"Who is your internet service provider?"

"What is that?"
Sigh, the internet is not free and I am not magic.

"I just got a new laptop, it says it is equipped with wireless internet, but I can't connect wirelessly."

"What type of router are you using?"

She does not have a wireless router. I try to explain to her that her laptop has to get a signal from something that is hardwired, before it can send a wireless signal to her laptop. This takes about 10 minutes and I am not convinced she gets it.

"I can't seem to open up my Netscape."

"Have you thought about calling Netscape at all?"


"I don't have my contract number, can you look it up under my company?"

"No, sorry."

"Why not?

"Well, anyone could call up and say they are from Gen.era.l Mot.ors, pretty sure they would have a contract with us."

"But what if I really was from Gen.era.l Mot.ors?"

"Then you would have the contract number."

"Ya, I was just talking to Amanda and the phone went dead."

"Did you have a case number?"

"No, but can you just transfer me back to Amanda?"

"Uh, there are more than a few Amanda's here."
Hell, you can't swing a cat in here without hitting one.

"She said she was in Las Colinas if that helps." With 62,000 employees world wide, I am pretty sure I could not find this guys Amanda.

Ya sure, it's just me answering the phones and Amanda taking the tech calls. Oh, and the janitor, Gerry.

"Ya, one of your sites are down."

"Which one?"

"E bay dot com."

"That's not our site, sir. I can get you a number though..."

"What do you mean it's not your site. It's on the internet."

"Sir, this is the Undisclosed Computer Software Company™, we..."
He cuts me off again.

"YOU ARE THE INTERNET!" Holy crap, are people really that thick?

Thursday, May 4, 2006


-A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.
-A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.
-A crocodile cannot stick out its tongue.
-A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours.
-A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds!
-A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.
-A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.
-A snail can sleep for three years.
-Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.
-Almonds are a member of the peach family.
-An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
-Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.
-Butterflies taste with their feet.
-Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds. Dogs only have about 10.
-"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".
-February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.
-In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.
-If the population of China walked past you, in single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.
-Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors.
-No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.
-On a Canadian two dollar bill, the flag flying over the Parliament building is an American flag.
-Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.
-Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.
-Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.
-"Stewardesses" is the longest word typed with only the left hand and "Lollipop" with your right.
-The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.
-The cruise liner, QE2, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.
-The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.
-The sentence: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter of the alphabet.
-The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid.
-The words 'racecar,' 'kayak' and 'level' are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes).
-There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.
-There are more chickens than people in the world.
-There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.
-There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: "abstemious" and "facetious."
-There's no Betty Rubble in the Flintstones Chewable Vitamins.
-Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.
-TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.
-Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.
-Women blink nearly twice as much as men.
-Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks; otherwise it will digest itself.

Now you know everything!

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

It has been how long?

Does anyone outside New York realize that nothing is happening at Ground Zero.

WTF? It has been 5 years. Basically all they have done so far is cart away the debris.

I just got finished watching Penn & Teller: Bullshit. They were talking about the bullshit surrounding the rebuilding of the 9/11 site. I was shocked. If you haven't seen the program, you should try and catch it.

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, headed by Governor George E. Pataki, has dropped the ball more than once on this project.

Remember the competition to design the new structure? The unveiling was impressive. One small problem. The structure was not structurally sound. Couldn't be done.

So they brought in another architect to work with the winner to make it less of a deathtrap. Yeah, they unveiled that too....nice, except they didn't bother to consult anyone on safety. The cops tell them it is too close to the road and anyone with an 18 wheeler could mosey on by and blow it to smithereens.

And then there is the memorial part of the 'park'. Throughout it all they don't bother to consult the families of the people who actually died there. Their brilliant plan puts the memorial underground. Nice, two gaping holes filled with water and the memorial under it. Just what they would want, to be buried....again.

The LMDC has a webcam setup so you can see the progress. I don't think they really thought this through. If you look at the last 30 days, all the pictures are identical. There is nothing going on, it is abandoned.

What the hell is this Pataki guy doing in charge of this project? He's a politician, has he ever built anything in his life bigger than a sand castle? I say, call the Donald, get the old plans for the twin towers, beef up the security and voila, he could have it up in a couple of months.

If I was an American, I would be completely appalled at this. Hell, I am Canadian, and I am appalled.

Monday, May 1, 2006

I swear, I didn't do it!

While surfing some business related blogs who talk about customer service, I was reminded of a particular problem we have at the Undisclosed Customer Service Center™™.

We offer free virus support. No matter what AV software you are running, no matter where you got your computer or how you obtained your software.

Some people phone us the second they think they might have a virus. Some after their AV software tells them they have one, and that it can't remove it. They rarely think of calling the company whom they pay for virus protection software. It never crosses their mind.

"Ya, 'MARTIN' says it found a virus and it can't delete it."

"Have you thought about calling MARTIN?"

"They want $39.99 per minute to work on it."

"They want you to pay them to remove the virus that you paid them to keep off your computer?"

"Sounds worse when you say it out loud."

"Well, the first thing I would suggest is that you stop paying them. I will set you up with a case and get you to support who will help you get rid of this and recommend a few security programs that are free for download off the internet"

"Free for download? How good are they?"

"Well at least if they let a virus through, you didn't pay them for the privilege."

Some people at this point 'get' that we are just trying to help. Others come away with the mistaken impression that we are fixing something we are responsible for in the first place. Since they got the virus on the internet and we 'are' the internet.

The Big Giant Head may have had a hand in making the internet available to the masses, but that still doesn't make 'us' the internet.

Most people do not understand that we are a software company, we don't make hardware. They don't understand the difference. When they start their computer it says 'Undisclosed Computer Software Company™™' so we must be the makers of their computer. Ergo, anything that goes wrong with it, including smoke from the monitor, is our problem. SO FIX IT!

By providing a service that fixes the screw up of another company, I am not sure we are doing such a great service to ourselves. Most customers think it is our fault to begin with and are less than greatful.

I guess that is why, after all these years, the Undisclosed Computer Software Company™™ is getting into the AntiVirus business. If we are going to fix it, we might as well be the ones who actually broke it.