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» Bullies

Hamlet convinced most potential bullies in middle school not to mess with me
I had off and on trouble with bullies in elementary and middle school, though by middle school most people had grown up. I still got some snide remarks for the way I dressed and my fascination with science fiction books and movies and my complete disconnection from anything "popular" at the time. During middle school, I really only had one bully, and I shut him up by consistently beating him out of first chair trombone for a semester (the next semester we were two of three trombonists and basically everyone got a turn to be first).

But I finally got everyone to kind of just lay off by a single performance of Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy. Not because it was oh-my-god-he's-got-so-much-talent good or anything camp. No, it was because when I read Hamlet, the guy sounds to be fucking nuts. I played Hamlet as a mostly deranged, severely unbalanced individual. Afterward, I had more than one person who'd offered even the merest half assed ridicule come up and say they were convinced I was going to leap off the stage and start butchering the lot of them right then and there.

I didn't have much issue with anyone after that. Unfortunately, the year I started high school was the year that we had several high school mass killings in the US, and somehow my fragile mind decided that the best way to not get caught in one of those situations was to not stand out in any way. I therefore learned to be a consummate slacker and turned getting a C into an artform, but that is another story.
(Tue 19th May 2009, 6:51, More)

» Call Centres

Tales from an ISP Call Center Monkey
This is in response to powervator's excellent story below, which I will duly *click* once I have finished here.

Have you ever called in to your ISP and thought 'gee, if I worked there, with my brilliance in the IT field, maybe my users wouldn't hate company X so much...'?

Well, I have. I lived in my first dorm experience at a private residence hall, and for the first semester, speeds were beyond abysmal. Having attained multiple certifications out of high school (back when I foolishly believed that such were worth more than the roll of Charmin sitting atop my toilet), I proclaimed near and far as to what the reasons were for the speeds that would make a college freshman yearn for sweet sweet dialup.

Spring semester came, and I learned I was wrong. I also learned that I was now employed, and tasked with making sure that the dorm never again had a problem.

I would like to say "And under my unwavering hand, the network ran like Pop-eye deepthroating a field of spinach." Unfortunately, I must instead lead with the following: It is because of this initial employment, and my continued employment with the original ISP's successor, that I have come to a conclusion that will startle each and every one of you: everyone on this planet is dumb as fuck.

I now work in three separate departments for my current employer. I am the technician that goes out to property to work on resident's internet connections, I am the helpdesk monkey that takes calls and arranges appointments for other hapless technicians, and finally, I am a supervisor overseeing all of the above.

I have seen enough stuff to make me weep in frustration as I flagellate a baby pachyderm to release my pent up rage.

My favorite stories are always of the users, god love 'em, because they in most cases can be excused their idiocy... until of course they presume to tell me my job. Then the gloves come off and I unleash a torrent of jargon that would make Geordi stand mouth agape trying to process. I have, in fact, had the following exchange:
Me:"Ma'am, I hate to ask this, but is your cable plugged in?"
Her: [EXASPERATED SIGH] "Yes. It is plugged-"
[audible male "huh" then *CLICK*]
Her: [Embarrassed Noises] "Well, my boyfriend just plugged it back in, it, um, must have gotten disconnected, you know, well,thanksalotforyourhelpbye!"

The stories that make me cringe are tales from other technicians who go into resident apartments and are faced with undeniable proof that some of the most unhygenic slobs known to the face of this earth do not possess a penis, down to floors that are covered in layers of food wrappers, feminine hygiene products, and dirty undergarments. *Visibly* dirty undergarments. *shudder*

And yet, all of that is nothing compared to when I call *my* ISP...

"Thank you for calling Chanter Communicators*, is your modem plugged in?"


*name changed to protect the guilty

length? 6 years and counting.
(Fri 4th Sep 2009, 19:28, More)

» Impulse buys

I wanted to be a pugilist
...so I bought an 80lb bag and a two station bag stand.

I have maybe used the bag (aside from a clothes rack) and associated equipment a total of 7 times since then (fall of 2007).

It gets better. I got the bag as part of a home gym setup. So what did I do the next spring? Bought myself a gym membership for my birthday.

Anyone want a bag, bag stand, wraps and gloves?
(Thu 21st May 2009, 22:28, More)