Customer Support: An Existential Crisis

Customer Support: An Existential Crisis

I spent an hour with customer support this morning and still couldn’t get the problem solved. They had to call back. Customer support is Dante’s first circle of hell—the one where the virtuous pagans sit in limbo. Granted, the support workers are usually okay.  Like most of us, they spin their chairs, microwave lunch, and try not to jump from the office window like Monty Python characters.  Regardless, here are the things about support that make it hard not to leap out after them.

  • When you’re speaking with them for forty minutes, and then they tell you you’ll have to make an appointment for another time. Ever see the movie Groundhog Day…?
  • When they interrupt the hold music with a message telling you that you can leave a message. At first, it sounds like a live person.  Also, it’s a trap. If you hang up (for any reason), they will never ever get back to you.
  • Automated recordings. They sound like Siri, only more annoying.
  • When they’re imposters, and they actually caused your computer virus in the first place. (This really happened to me once. Never call out!)
  • “I’m not able to say how long it will take to complete this.”

Remember, your call is very important to them and will be answered in the order in which it was received. As in Monty Python, the window’s on the left.


80 Degree Weather: It’s not so Bad After All

80 Degree Weather: It’s not so Bad After All

We’ve been having hot weather—the kind that makes sweat run down your neck and into your boobs. Everyone’s in shorts and people have tans, which for us Washingtonians is quite a feat. Normally, we’re so pale we look like vampires. People complain about the temperature a lot, but I enjoy it. Here are six good things about the heat.

  • It’s a conversation starter. My small talk this week went:

“God, it’s hot out.”

“Yeah, it’s really hot.”

“I’m going to have the fan on tonight.”

I thought speaking about the weather was cliché until I started doing it way too often.

  • It kills the lawn, so I don’t have to mow it.
  • It makes swimming bearable. Normally, the water is cold enough to give me goosebumps. Now, I have to dive in to stop myself melting.
  • The sky’s blue. Last winter was a miserable gray slog that lasted nine months.
  • I get to use the fan (see number one). It’s peaceful to fall asleep to. When I turn it on, I can forget the things I need to do the next morning.
  • I can wear cute sundresses and shirts. Foam green tank-top that shows off my shoulder muscles—definitely yes.

One thing to remember: When you get sunburned, use aloe. It will stop you gasping every time you put on your bra.


How I Got That Scar on My Big Toe

How I Got That Scar on My Big Toe

I lacerated my foot on an oyster this weekend. I have a big white spot around the cut and a jagged red line where it hasn’t closed. My flip flop got so much blood on it that it started attracting flies. That’s what I got for forgetting my water shoes.

I went to Spanish conversation hour tonight and figured out some new phrases “I cut my foot on the beach, and it hurts me” is “Yo cortí me pie en la playa, y me duele” or “Ow Ow Ow” for short. “Evil oysters is “Ostras malvadas.”

Here’s what to do if you cut your foot.

  • Don’t hop on one leg to the rag cupboard like I did (a band aid didn’t cut it). Hobble back and clean up the blood trail later.
  • Hydrogen peroxide is your friend. Antibiotic ointment is also your friend. Advil is your very best friend—take at least three.
  • Water is your enemy. You are going to have to do a lot of awkward sprawling in the bathtub, so your dressing doesn’t get wet.
  • Change your dressing once a day.
  • Keep your foot elevated like your mother told you.
  • Put ice on it. Ice not only eases swelling, it stops bleeding. I learned this from a short story where the heroine’s romantic interest gets his throat sliced. They tried, but ice couldn’t fix that one.
  • Do not wear flip flops on a beach full of oysters. They are sharp, well hidden, and easy to trip over.

They will get you.


The Scottish Games: Wallets out, Claymores Up!

The Scottish Games: Wallets out, Claymores Up!

I spent last Saturday at the Scottish games up in Enumclaw, WA. I had a root beer float, looked at Celtic jewelry, and came home sunburned. It was great. Here are five reasons why Scotland and the Scottish games are fun.

  • They have good sweets. If you want toffee, shortbread, fudge, or salted caramel fudge, this is the place for you. I’d stay away from the Irn-Bru though. It’s bubble gum flavored soda and probably tastes as bad as it sounds. I don’t know. I’ve had the sense not to try it.
  • Their sports are more interesting than you’d think. I watched a group of big, Hagrid looking men fork a bale of hay thirty feet in the air. The crowd held its breath every time they came close.
  • They’re badass. If you want a spiked mace, broadsword, or dagger made into a hairclip, this is where to get it.
  • They’re also nerdy. If you want a replica of Sting from The Lord of the Rings, you can find that here too.
  • They have adorable displays of dogs herding ducks. You wouldn’t think 10 ducks could fit into one pet carrier, but you’d be wrong. They really wanted to get away from that border collie.

I recommend getting there early and leaving before five o’clock. You wouldn’t think everyone could fit onto the two lane country road heading out of town, and you’d be right.