My Crazy Morning

*Article contains some strong language.*

The only way I can describe today…thus far, is ridiculous, absurd, and insane. So it starts off the usual. It’s Wednesday, so I had to drive to my parent’s house to take my two young siblings to their school. No big deal, I have to get up a bit earlier and go out of my way to do the task, but I enjoy seeing them so it’s well worth it. This is when it started though. I throw on my clothes, put on my shoes, toss on a hat. I grab keys, phone, wallet….shit! The wallet, where the hell is it?

I frantically search all the way to the moon for it. I ran out to the car, checked the kitchen, living room; everywhere in my room. “Son of a bitch!” I exclaim. I’m in a deep panic now, it’s got my driver’s license, debit card, military ID, social security card… where could it be? Then I take notice to a few socks lying on my computer desk (clean of course) and I get suspicious. I walk over there and yank them off the desk; they land on my bed.

It was a moment where trumpets should’ve been playing, while a ray of light shown from the computer desk. In all of it’s glory, there lay my wallet. I wasn’t screwed! Gleefully I grabbed it, put it in my pocket, and I was on my way. Now it was time to drive among the morons of the road. Someone in a minivan next to me really wanted haul ass, and the speed limit was 50 mph. They were creeping up close to me so I did what I do best to these type of drivers.

I unleashed my powers of trolling…oh boy did I! I pulled out the old Utah dick move on this guy. I only save it for those who are in need of it. Now, I was still going a fair speed; 5 mph over the speed limit, so it wasn’t like I was slowing them down much. I kept glancing slightly behind behind me with childish joy as they tried to get around. Sorry, not happening guy. This continued until I got to the light just before my turn. They finally made it, but at least this improved my morning a bit. I got a laugh.

Well, I get the kids, and my monthly Loot Crate (woo!) waiting at the house, and then dropped the kids off at school. Time to head home. I get there and ecstatically look through the Loot Crate to see what I got. Some Deadpool and Walking Dead items… not too shabby! I then went to shower, and prepare for work. After, I my wash hands, and I get breakfast ready: remainder of my Beto’s burrito, and some microwave pretzel stuff (breakfast of champions people). I proceed to get the sauce out of the fridge, after setting the burrito on the table.

The sauce was placed on a lid as to avoid getting it on the wooden table. There’s a few items near it that had been set there prior to picking up the kids; I don’t think too much of it. I go to wash my hands again, because I’m weird like that and come back to the deliciousness bestowed upon my table. Those items were now starting to make me a little irate so I decide to take them to my room. Part of one the items brush the lid the sauce was sitting on. I can see what’s about to happen, but it’s too late!

Sauce goes everywhere! EVERYWHERE! Some ended up on the other side of the room. Even on the hallway wall that wasn’t facing the explosion. “What the fuck!? WHAT THE FUCKKKK!!!” I roared as I proceed to go velociraptor all over the apartment in anger. I had to leave for work in 10 minutes, and I was fresh out of paper towels, and I idiotically don’t have any cleaning towels. Another highly irritated, “Fuccck,” escapes me. I scramble about the apartment looking for something…anything to clean up this insufferable mess.

I fortunately uncover three blue hand towels that were waiting to be washed. Alright, time to get them even more dirty! I fill up a cup and soak the main site of the sauce spill disaster. Water meets carpet and then I scrub into it vigorously to remove this dreadful stain as best I could, with the little time that I had. Speaking of time, I glanced over at my clock. Shit! I’m definitely going to be late to work today. Not a problem, keep calm, I had 30 minutes of left over sick time to cover it. Whew!

All three rags are now soaked and covered in sauce, and there’s a faint red tint to the light brown carpet. It’ll have to do. I finish off the burrito, and then open the microwave to get the pretzels out. Damn! Some of the cheese leaked out; fantastic! I shrug and devour them, throw on some new pants, and rush out the door to my car. I get to my stoplight and there’s large delivery truck in front of me. This means I’ll be even later as it drove very slow, and it was just a one lane road with no passing. More velociraptor screams for my misfortune.

I finally arrive at work and bolt into the door, and head over to my cubicle. I clocked in. As some of you may know, I work as a chat rep in a call center so that doesn’t necessarily help anything if you’re in a bad mood, while getting that one occasional ignorant customer. Anyways, I finally get logged in and get to work. Over the next 30 minutes I start to feel my feet getting a bit warmer progressively, around my toes. What could be causing this? I mean, I know I work in Mordor with how hot they keep the building, but I needed to investigate.

It turns out I still had a small amount of hot sauce on my feet and it was causing it it rash up. Noooo! Not now! I’m at work! I threw some crumpled up paper towels from our break room on them and called it good. They stopped burning for the most part. So… at this point I was pretty irritated up until my break and finally the beast inside was calmed with what I love best; food. But alas, it was over. This bullshit morning had ended and noon welcomed me into it’s grasp. Today is my Friday, and I have pulled through. Or did I??

Thanks for reading about my crazy morning, which was chalk full of first world problems! If you have any responses you’d like to add, just put them in the comments below!

~J. A. Ross

© 2/23/2016




Infamous Blackout Days

So here I am, another day at work. Taking chats, pulling up items; the whole deal. I was recently on what’s called an LOA (leave of absence) for my wisdom teeth removal, and came back a few days ago to find I’m scheduled 9 days in a row, with split days off at the end (off, work, off); instead of my normal 5 days in a row.

Normally I could care less, I mean 9 days in a row…big deal. But when you come back with your mouth all jacked up, and have to focus on a couple of customers at once; it can suck pretty bad. How were they able to do this drastic change out of nowhere you ask?  The answer is blackout days. Well what the hell are those?

Blackout days are a contact center rep’s worst nightmare. Pretty much, everything is what’d I’d like to refer to as a ‘no go’. Trying to use sick hours to go home if you’re feeling under the weather…no go! Need a day off for something important? No go! They’ll be happy to give you an occurrence though. They’ll give those out like candy! Occurrences and blackout days go with each other hand in hand.

They’re like a big helping of ‘screw up your day’ in one sitting. If you’re a bit late, and normally use a few minutes of sick time to cover it, well kiss that goodbye. You get that occurrence! So what this means, is that if you’re late or miss half the day… you get .5 points added. If you miss the whole day, you get a full point. On non-blackout days on point can cover 3 missed days if you’re sick.  If you build up 8 total points, you’re out of there!

The schedulers pretty much hold full power over your schedule, and you can do nothing as they laugh, “Muhahahaha!”, at your agony.You watch as the schedule you originally chose crumbles. They can literally make you come in hours earlier or later, and give you several days to work in row while spreading out the mandatory days off they have to give us (thanks unions for limiting this tyranny some!).

Thanks for reading!

~J. A. Ross



My Year At A Call Center

Call centers are known for being the type of job that’s surely going to make your blood pressure rise. From angry customers who would like to do nothing more than rip your face off; to customers that tell you your’e the best customer service agent they’ve ever had because you just gave them 10% off their order. It certainly can be an interesting job!

Currently I’ve been working at a call center for exactly a year today. The first 8 months I was a phone agent; that was pretty ridiculous. We have fairly slow systems so just imagine sitting there for 5 minutes trying to pull up an order, while a pissed off customer tells you their life’s story and mountains of complaints. All the while, you hit the mute button every now and again and express you anger to the customer with plenty of colorful obscenities (good thing that mute button worked). You eventually find their order and see that they’re mad about something that was actually caused by them.

Later, they try to say it was really us that really that put in that wrong delivery address when they placed the order themselves. Not all calls were bad of course; I did talk to a lot of nice, genuine people who would end up making my day because of how pleasant they were. I used to only be trained in appliances so that meant that some of those nice customers could be rare on occasion. Due to the large costs of appliances, they can certainly get people fired up (this can be described in both good and bad ways).

I was starting to get a lot better at this job. I was going from highly angry customers saying, “where the fuck is my order?!” to, ” thanks so much for helping out with this order,” in the same call, instead of them being irate the entire time. After a few months of this, I was able to escape appliance only hell by getting trained on the rest of what we sell. Fast forward even more months and my time with the phones came to an end.

I transferred departments and became a chat representative. Those last few months on the phones hadn’t been too bad as I was getting a lot less appliance calls,( I still got appliance calls as I was still trained in it). Entirely, I was beginning to get a much higher range of happier and more pleasant customers. But alas, chat welcomed me with open arms.

The only thing that does suck about being a chat agent, is we chat with two customers at the same time. It’s easily possible to get two assholes chatting in at once, instead of just one like on the phones. As a whole, it’s a fantastic trade off because I can yell at them without worrying about the mute button being on; and not have to hear them yelling at me. No more having to decipher model numbers, order numbers, you name it! The major perk is that I can listen to my own music instead of the awful pop music played in their department.

But boy, let me tell you! Now that they’re hiding behind a computer screen, instead of a phone, they can be fairly more aggressive, insulting, and…stupid. They will ask the most idiotic questions you’ll ever hear. I had one genius ask me if he’s supposed to put the oil with gas for a snowblower. Can you imagine what it might be like living with someone like that? They probably break stuff all the time! Another question I got a couple months back, was seeing if a basic oven would work without counters being around it.

My immediate reaction was a face-palm while thinking, “you’re shitting me. Why…why are you this this dumb?! Do you need a counter to make your fridge work? Your washer or dryer? Because you know, the counter itself powers the appliance. The only exception would be a dishwasher, and that would be to hide it; due to their design. (it wouldn’t be its source of power, so they would revise the question for that at least).

Overall as pestilent and aggravating that many chat customers can be, I do strangely enjoy my job for the most part…due to the entertainment value. There will always be those days though where you wish for a skip button. I also would just like to add in my gratitude again that I was able to get off of those damnable phones!

The last thing that I’m thankful for, is that we’re not far enough in the future where they may try to innovate face to face technology more in-depth, to not have to use phones or a chat system. I do feel like this could easily be a thing in the future. Can you just imagine how horrendous that would be? The customer just staring at you the whole time; watching your every move. Give me shudders thinking about that!

We’ll see how this job treats me in upcoming months. Cheers to another year! Well…maybe.

Customer Service

This will probably be the first of many posts about customer service.I work in a chat department for a call center. Let me tell you, you’ll never talk to more intelligent people than my customers!……Ha! Just kidding. I swear I lose millions of brain cells everyday while chatting with these damned morons. I had a customer just the other night keep me over my shift 30 minutes, wanting 10% off an item. It was $17. I told the them I can’t apply the discount. There isn’t a way for me to apply it, because the store itself only has access to those programs; they have to apply upon pick up the there.

Then after explaining this to him at least 3 times, he proceeds to say he’s ‘taking a risk’ buying the damn item. It is not a risk to buy a $17 item when you already need the thing in the first place. Like really, risking an extra $1.75 (the 10%). Are you fucking serious?? This fellow was in NJ and I assure that saving the $1.75 would do jack shit when it comes to buying anything, especially in NJ. Great, you can buy a candy bar or something. Big deal. I was half tempted to send the stupid $1.75 through the mail to him personally just to get him off the chat.