Friday, March 04, 2005

I'm Back, Bitches!

Wooooooooo. Woo. Woah.

Your faithful correspondent now knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she is not cut out for boot camp.

I am basically broke, because that's what happens to you even when your insurance has good disability benefits. When a significant portion of your monthly income is commission-based, and you lose that, plus 1/3 of your hourly, you are not, how do you say, flush with cash.

But I am back to work now, although not yet working from home (just you wait, y'all -- when I work from home I am dangerous), and right about the time my Internet service went down, I was scheduled for Hell Week, which turned into Hell Weeks Plural.

My service went down on a Friday. It was a major outage, across three sections of NashVegas, and service wasn't restored in all areas until Saturday afternoon.

My service never came back up. Now, I owe them a small chunk of money (although I've been making regular, partial payments to keep it connected), and so I was placed in the embarrassing position of having to call and find out if I was disconnected for nonpayment. Which, as it turned out, I was not.

Now, y'all know from the title of this blog that I work in the Customer Service Industry. Which cuts both ways when I am forced to deal with other companies, because for one, I'm really, really, really nice to customer reps, but for another, if they screw me I get pissed the fuck off. The first ComCast rep? Screwed me. Practically swore on her granny's grave she'd have someone out the next morning to fix it. As in, the next morning before I went to work on day One of Thirteen scheduled in a row. I explained to her in no uncertain terms that there was a two hour window, no more, and that I'd be expecting a tech during that time, as that is what she had promised me.

Needless to say, they didn't show. So I went on to work.

To make matters worse, the hapless tech (who swore up and down in a very convincing fashion that there were no notes of any kind about the service visit on the work order, which I think I believe) called me. While I was on the floor, at work. Which is also a huge no-no, although most of us have become absolutely expert at the "No, no, I'm not on my personal phone, I'm hunting under the desk for a dropped item!" game.

I got home. I checked my schedule, and I cursed. Because it was Hell Week.

We've got people out with the flu. We've also got a shortage of trained reps right now because we purged all the temps who didn't convert (doesn't THAT sound scary) during the Christmas season. (And at this company, there is no goddamn excuse NOT to convert. It's not all insane, impossible parameters, like my last temp job was.) Which means there is overtime coming out of the proverbial yin-yang.

I worked 65 hours last week. I'll work a minimum of 45 this week. As it played out, with the exception of Sundays, I worked between nine and twelve hours each and every day, skipping every off day to work more. Because everyone and their mother wants a piece of my paycheck at the moment, and with my commission -- I did $180 grand in sales this last month -- I should be able to get almost everyone what I owe them. And fix the van, too. Which is good.

Except that I figured out I don't really need to work that much when I'm not doing the from-home thing. Twelve hours in my big green chair with computer (unfortunately internet-free when I'm working, since the network blocks me out of all websites but ours), DVD, stereo, fridge within walking distance, and three kitties is no big thing. Twelve hours in the call center where I don't get a break during the last 3 1/2 and I have to dodge supervisors to go get a Coke during a busy show is, well, suboptimal. It's even less optimal when the vagaries of no-car-having, sick-with-flu being, and not-wanting-to-take-the-bus-itude mean that I frequently get to work an hour before starting and leave up to 2 and a half hours after I log out.

This schedule completely removed any possibility of being able to schedule a service call until...today, actually. (Well, Thursday. While I was editing this it has become Friday.) And I wouldn't have had service today if I hadn't called an hour after my time slot to find that the Second Slackass Rep had scheduled my appointment for seven days later. (Hint: when you call on Saturday night, "next Thursday" is four days away, not eleven.) Luckily Ethan the Awesome in dispatch got me set up and they came by around 8 pm and fixed it in five minutes.

Hell week has ended. I took BOTH my days off this week -- well, I worked one of them, but that was cleaning for the Boss, which is not really a stressful work environment.

To put it as CDHSarah did while driving me home after Day Thirteen, "You need to stop working so much overtime, because it turns you into a bitch." (This was after we had one of our we're-both-Leos-and-also-in-third-grade "I'm tired-No, I'm tired - No, shut up, I am - No, YOU shut up, I'm tireder than you" fights while waiting to pick up my medication.) Valium helps, y'all, whether you're a CSR or a Waffle Waitress.

I'm not going to give you a blow-by-blow, because most of the Days consisted of:

Get up at asscrack of dawn. Get dressed. Lie back down in bed until Ride Du Jour calls to get let into the complex.
Go to work. Work. Work some more. Put phone on mute in order to curse at customer. Keep thinking about paycheck.
Paycheck comes for last pay period where flu was had. Immediately give 4/5 of paycheck to various creditors, which still does not pay off all money owed to a single one. Keep $100 for yourself after groceries -- this is your running money for the next 2 weeks.
Call everyone, all the time, while you are at work, every time you are not on the phone for business purposes, just to hear non-work-related human voices. Eat out of the machines because you are too exhausted to remember to make breakfast.
Come home from work very late. Go to check email and remember that you can't. Go lie in bed instead and read a book until you pass out. If you must eat, make sure it is something with no nutritional value that requires no effort, because standing up in the kitchen is not an acceptable use of your two hours of non-sleeping nightly free time.

But there were a few anomalies in there and I'll give 'em to ya.

The Doctor called. He has married his Horrible Girlfriend and is already trying to escape. His presence was expected today, but as he does, he didn't show. We'll hear from him soon enough. Now that we've seen he still exists, we have more faith that we'll see him again.

The Doctor died (Hunter S., not our Doctor.) Much mourning occured.

Our group wrote its mission statement and my version was accepted, unchanged, by unanimous consent, which made me feel really good.

Someone tried to solicit me to have sex for money, which was fucked up.

Design School Homie and Anorectic Homie and I finally got back together to have a night in, and while it wasn't as good as it used to be, we did have a good time making fun of the "swimsuits" on the Victoria's Secret website and watching Mean Girls. Also, AH's husband is coming home from Korea next week.

I bought a Universal Remote. Then I got high, found a name of a company which, when its letters are rearranged, spells a version of CDHSarah's full name, and programmed one of the buttons I don't use to her user code, making her laugh with glee.

I successfully won an argument with my bank, which has never happened ever in the history of my life before today.

My character got a set of red dragon scale mail (the best she can wear, due to class restrictions) and has proceeded to kick ass and take names, now that her AC is NEGATIVE SIX. That's right, bitches.

The Artist and I went on our first cooperative piratic raid (on an apartment abandoned by people who owe us considerable sums of money) and I scored a mirror that is So. Awesome. Really. Once I get it painted and get my digicam working again, I'll getcha a picture. It's not really worth $200, but I have new forks and a cool quilt and that, and it's enough. Plus -- hey, I got to be a real pirate!

I got told that a.) my dreads were so awesome that if I went to Jamaica I'd have trouble getting the Rastas to let me leave (by the young Jamaican guy at my work) and that b.) the girl with the awesome headwraps at work thinks my scarves are cooler than hers, and she does also have to readjust hers several times a day, which means I am not so much of a dipshit as I thought.

I developed a crush on a third girl at work, who is gay, but being a celibate I haven't let it get farther than the "I must dress cutely before work today despite the fact that my eyeballs are hanging out of my head, because SHE will be in my bay this afternoon" stage. We shall see what happens. (Her friend-not-gf at work has invited me tentatively to come and watch The L-Word with them at some point, so this could be promising.)

I met the cutest dog in the universe -- a six week old Chinese pug who lives upstairs and is so incredibly cute she's ALMOST as precious as the kitten on a bad hair day.

I got shouted out by a total stranger on last week's TV Time, who had heard the show where I called in jacked on TheraFlu and felt bad for me.

I made chicken fried steak better than the chicken fried steak produced by the Betty Crocker Cookbook. And since I promised my Elvis Twin, I will share the recipe with you now.

PQIF's Get People To Drive You Anywhere Chicken-Fried Steak

Step Zero: Get woken up at 8 am on your day off by asshole CSR. Spend an hour getting problem straightened out. Realize that you are not going back to sleep unless you put something in your belly. Decide that something had better be good. Remember that the person you were going to cook steak for cancelled on you and that said steaks are still in freezer.
Step One: Call your mom and get her to read you the BCC-approved recipe to chicken-fry round steak.
Step Two: Be smart and remember that you kind of suck at recipe cooking. Decide that you're going to cook one of your four cuts of meat by the recommended method before committing them all to the possible snafu.
Step Three: Defrost the round steaks in the microwave. Curse the microwave for taking all year.
Step Four: Preheat the oil. Be sure not to check for stray particles in the burner well which will cause your smoke alarm to go off. Go open bedroom window and garden door.
Step Five: Mix 2 tbsp milk and 2 eggs in a bowl. Beat the egg/milk mixture. Dip the Sample Cut into the egg and then into the flour. Repeat as needed. Go ahead and eggwash/flour all four cuts of meat.
Step Six: Brown the SC in the hot oil. Realize that you are so ghetto you don't have a properly fitted cover for your skillet and that, furthermore, the skillet in question is too big for your normal cover-it-with-a-plate MO. Cover it with a pan instead and hope for the best.
Step Seven: Realize about halfway through BCC's suggested cooking time that BCCsSCT is going to mean a lunch of carbon for you. Preheat the oven for broil and move the top rack down to the second notch. Pull the almost-carbonized, tough SC out of the pan. Mourn its inedibility. Open bag of corn chips and munch on them during steps 8-10.
Step Eight: Use the oil you just cooked the carbonized meat in and oil up your trusty cookie sheet. Re-egg and flour other cuts of meat. Give them each a healthy shot of lemon pepper and red pepper.
Step Nine: Pop the still-edible cuts on the cookie sheet into the oven. Turn them after ten minutes or so, give them another nine on the other side (might need more if you skip the BCC snafu and the oil isn't already hot). This will give you mid-rare, chicken-fried steak.
Step Ten: Get the French bread you've been saving to eat with said cuts. Realize it has gone moldy. Curse. Substitute toasted hamburger bun with melted cheese. Eat a couple of sandwiches.
Step Eleven: Call your mom. Tell her you love her, and you would like her other copy of the BCC. Do not tell her you will probably burn it in a fit of pique, as recommended in The Sweet Potato Queen's Book of Love, because she will probably not give you her spare loaf pan like she is supposed to if she is apprised of that fact, and you will not be able to bake Chocolate Stuff next week.
Step Twelve: Call CDHSarah (or your CDHSarah equivalent) and tempt her with promises of chicken-fried steak and Bill Hicks DVDs. To achieve this latter goal, once she has eaten the PQIFsGPTDYACFS, she will drive you to Radio Shack, where you will purchase a universal remote for only $3.99, despite the fact that on Wednesday she was swearing up and down that she was not going ANYWHERE of an errand-type nature with you the next day.

Missed you all terribly. I have to work tomorrow which means bed is about an hour overdue, but I wanted to let you know that I'm back and I love you. And tell you Bon appetit.

ETA: MWN! Don't lose faith! I just had to catch up on Tomato Nation, TINO and PVPOnline before I sat down to chronicle my week, and then got a call from my boss letting me know the info I emailed him never got there, and by the time I got started with the fine-tuning you had been here and gone. Come back? Please?

2 Comments:

At 3:37 PM, Blogger Memphis Word Nerd said...

Okay, I won't lose faith. You've singlehandedly restored it with your magnificent, epic-length post. Yay!

Good luck finding MK. That is truly scary and it gives me panic attacks about my own furballs.

If I still had all of my candle making supplies I'd make one of my spell candles and offer up prayers to any listening deities. Bastet, perhaps?

 
At 8:22 PM, Blogger parcequilfaut said...

I've got my ritual planned already, and the bowl of food at the garden door has a St. Jude candle standing watch.

The last time MK pulled this bullshit I invoked the Green Man and had a sighting within 15 minutes, although I didn't get him back until the next morning.

I've done absolutely all I can. The planetary Hour of the Moon is very good for recovering things lost or stolen, so I've got my St. Francis, my Green Man and my Isis stuff all ready for the full-on shazam as soon as it hits 12:13 am. (This in the planetary Day of Venus which is good for love and relationships, which is a stretch but hey.)

Your invocations will do, spell candles or no. All the pagans are sure he'll return. My pendulum is sure he'll return. I'm just not going to be happy until I bury my face in his fur and tell him NEVER to scare me like that again.

Supreme irony? He was supposed to go to the vet to get chipped (location chip) NEXT WEEK.

 

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