Thursday, August 21, 2003

It turns out that there *are* some people who have decorations adorning their desks after all. Some of the Nameless Nationwide Department Store's permanent employees do have a few little items (be it small souvenirs, family photos, etc) in their workspace. Even so, the desks that people have put their own personal touch on are in the minority, and even the decorated desks look pretty sparse to me.

Then again, when I worked at the bank, during my 12 years there I went out of my way to turn that cubicle into a home away from home. There wasn't one place you could look without seeing What I Like, be it photos of Mark and me, pics of the cats, or decorations related to the Flyers, Phantoms, or Due South (my favorite TV show). Even my computer desktop had a favorite photo for its wallpaper. Then there were MY appliances, including a coffee machine and a fan. I felt that I was spending eight hours there per day, so I might as well be surrounded by My Favorite Things. I guess that's why I feel like a desk whose owner has only made it their own space by adding, say, a pencil holder that's too fancy to be company-issued and one family photo, isn't a home away from home to that employee.
Well, we have a first. Our Harridan of the Day was a MAN. Fortunately, my encounter with him came with about 15 minutes remaining in the workday, so I was able to get the heck out of there not long afterward.

Let me clue you all in on a secret. For the time being (until Nameless Nationwide Department Store changes their computer system, which is supposedly going to happen soon), I have a little bit of leeway regarding scheduling service dates. I click the button to show me the next available dates, but if there is a VERY good reason, I can manually enter an earlier date. I can't bend the rules for everyone, all day long, but sometimes there are valid reasons to work with a customer and provide them with a better date. If I'm still around after they switch systems, I won't be able to do that any more, but for now, I can.

Now let me clue you in on another secret. When a customer acts like a total figlio di puttana and makes fun of every word I say because he's Not Getting His Way, it is going to be a cold day in you-know-where before I stick my freaking neck out for him and bend the rules. You want to sit there and insult every single thing I tell you? Fine. Then I will sit here and insist that the best service date I can give you is the one that the computer is giving me, even when I know darn well that I COULD do somewhat better for you. Not as much better as THIS customer demanded... it's humanly impossible for me to give you a first-thing-tomorrow-morning repairman visit when I'm talking to you at 4:45 PM today. That just flat-out can't be done, at least not by me. But a better date than the computer was giving me? Yeah, I could have done it. I probably would have, too, if I hadn't had to sit there for ten solid minutes and listen to insults every time I tried to tell him anything.

Eventually I convinced him to take down the 800 number to call customer service. They probably WILL give him a better date. Fine. But I was darned if *I* was going to do it. Not to mention, if I recognize his name on any MORE service orders, I'll be dratted if I'll call him again unless I absolutely, positively must. I pity whoever lives with this guy... nobody, but NOBODY could possibly spring into Evil Mode that readily unless they've got plenty of practice doing it. God help the people who have to deal with him face-to-face, and can't be done with him by simply ending a phone call.
On to lighter news. I watched my odometer turn over to 30,000 miles on the way home today. I was on I-476 South, crossing the Plymouth Creek, when it happened. That means I've pretty much doubled the mileage it had on it when I got it. I bought my little 1989 car used in 1991. At the time, it had about 14,500 miles on it. It's nearly 12 years later, and now it's got 30K miles on it... I guess you could say I don't drive a whole lot, huh? :o) That's a result of living in the city, where I can take public transportation or walk to a lot of the places I need to go.

With any luck, before long I will be able to go BACK to not driving so much. I would love a SEPTA-accessible job assignment, or at least one that's not a 50-mile/day round trip.

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