Monday, March 16, 2009


If it seems I've been a bit absent the last couple weeks, well -- blame it on computers. Seriously, I am getting so fed up with them. The one at work...okay, granted the biggest issue there is the outdated operating system. But before we can update that we have to upgrade the invoicing software we use. Which, of course, all costs money. Granted, some of that would be tax deductible, but it's still A LOT of money upfront and in case no one has heard, we're in a serious recession. So, I'm stuck dealing with daily frustrations, such as the fact this thing has frozen on me half a dozen times today. If not more. Thankfully, most of those times I have been able to ctrl+alt+del my way out of it, but have suffered one hard freeze that necessitated shutting the computer down the hard way and restarting. Ugh! I ran full maintenance this afternoon, hoping it would be an hour well-spent, only to receive another frickin' error report within ten minutes of coming back online. ARGH!

As for the home computer...there it's mostly connection issues. If it's not the ISP acting up, it's AT&T doing more line work in the neighborhood. And I can always tell when AT&T shows up. I'll be speeding through email or surfing along quite nicely when all of a sudden...nothing. Nada. Rien. Complete standstill. Take a walk around the block and nine times out of ten there will be an AT&T utility truck. Irritating in the extreme!

* * * * * * * * * *

Also irritating is the fact that someone stole my scissors over the weekend. I remember using them near the end of the day on Friday and returning them to their cubicle on my desk. Soon after coming in this morning I reached for my scissors and they were...gone! The boss claims he wasn't in all weekend, so who took them? A mouse? Someone was obviously here, 'cause they didn't just grow legs and walk out on their own. And these were GOOD scissors, not crappy ones like other pairs here at the office because I don't use mine to cut stuff you shouldn't. Which means they aren't stiff or dull but actually work. Someone better cough 'em up and fast!

* * * * * * * * * *

If it seems like I'm in a bit of a foul mood today well, that's because I have had a bit of an off day. Blame it on my neck, which contributed to a poor night. As some may remember, I suffered whiplash a decade ago when some bimbo at the Kohl Center tripped over her own feet returning from concessions, landing on--you guessed it--my neck. It's meant not being able to do some things, like reach for items shelved above my head, or sitting with my head turned at an angle for any length of time, and I can't look up at the sky (or a high shelf) without supporting my neck from behind with one hand. There are also (supposed to be) limits as to what I can lift. As in, not supposed to lift anything over 20 pounds. Ha! Yeah, like that's possible with my life. Maybe if I had a house boy to do all the heavy lifting and strenuous house cleaning for me. I also get migraines once or twice a month now, which causes my neck to throb with pain.

My neck has been bothering me a lot again lately, and I was hurting quite a bit when I went to bed last night. Yes, I took some drugs and applied heat before climbing into bed. And again when it woke me up at 1 and 5. The last set plus heat and another hour of sleep finally seemed to do the trick, but as is usual after a night like this, it starts to feel tense again after a long day at work. Not to mention how it sours my mood. Good thing stupid people have stayed out of my way today! *WEG*

* * * * * * * * * *

Oh, and what is with people not knowing how to talk on the phone? Okay, Phone Etiquette 101.

First, turn off the TV and radio. It's distracting to both you and me.
Second, silence screaming kids or barking dogs (likewise screaming dogs and barking kids). Again, it's distracting to both parties.
Third, if placing an order, have your order written down in front of you (item, description, part number, color, etc). Likewise your credit card.
Fourth, speak slowly and clearly. There are no prizes for speed, and no one likes repeating themselves twenty times when they can't be understood. Plus, if the person can't understand you, it could lead to your order being entered wrong.
Fifth, speak loud enough to be heard without deafening the person on the other line. This is the 21st century, people. You do NOT have to shout over the telephone line. Really. I'm not kidding.
Sixth, spell out names, especially unusual ones. You know whether your name is unusual or not by how frequently you have been asked to spell it. Also, do not be offended if asked which spelling of a name you use. Some people spell it S-t-e-v-e-n, some spell it S-t-e-p-h-e-n. Likewise, consider the number of different spellings of names such as Terry/Tari/Teri, Jerry/Jerri/Geri, and Chris/Kris.
Seventh, be polite. How you treat the person you're calling can greatly influence how they in turn treat you. So if you don't want to be treated like an ass, don't behave like one.

End rant. *g*


Lynn said...

Wow. It's sounds like you've had quite a time. Remember when computers were first starting to come into our businesses and homes? Remember how the idea was they were going to do away with all paperwork and they would make our lives easier?


Sorry to hear about your neck; I didn't know anything about the incident. Is it like an arthritis thing; it hurts with certain types of weather and such? Either way, that really sucks. I hope you get to feeling better soon.

Phone etiquette? I would honestly be surprised if people showed it. There's no common decency left anywhere else -- not on the road, not in any type of interpersonal relations -- why bother with the phone? I wish people would, but I don't see it happening soon.

Hope you find your walking scissors soon!

Angela said...

LOL about the last names - I don't even bother saying mine anymore, I just automatically spell it out.

Heather said...

Lynn~ Yes, a paperless society was quite a pipedream, wasn't it? I don't think we'll ever completely get rid of paper, at least not in our lifetime, for which I am glad. In addition to this post, I wrote nine pages in my journal today. I would not have written that much on the computer, but handwriting entries...I can ramble for pages.

As for the neck injury, it happened about a decade ago, around this time of year. I was at a show at the Kohl Center, which has arena seating. Which means your head is level with the knees of the person behind you. You don't have the "protection" afforded with regular seating. So when she fell on me it literally bent me in half.

The thing about whiplash is that it is, essentially, a broken neck, though it obviously varies to different degrees. Many people experience residual effects the rest of their lives, despite PT and doing everything you're supposed (or not supposed to, as the case may be). And yes, it can be affected by being sick, stress, not enough sleep and even the weather. I basically live in turtlenecks from October through April and can't go out without a scarf. Sometimes I am able to stretch, walk or massage the pain out, but then there are nights like last night where nothing seems to help.

And yes, I know wishing for phone etiquette is a dream that will never be actualized, but nothing wrong with wishful thinking, right? *g*

Heather said...

Angie~ Heh, I guess if anyone would know about "difficult" last names, it would be you, huh? Hey, at least I can spell it. Only took so many years, but I can finally spell it! T-R-... Wait, I know I can do this., what was the question again?


Jana said...

Awe, sorry you've had such a rough time of it, Trix.

Wonder if there's something up with the painful body parts. My knee has been stiff and achy all week, too.

As for names, as simple as mine seems, I still always spell mine out whether it be over the phone or in person. If I don't, they'll have me down as Janet Gill or Janice Heel. So whenever I'm faced with folks writing it down I always say "Jana J-A-N-A Hill H-I-L-L." LOL

Annalee said...

Sorry to hear about difficulties...

"Fifth ... You do NOT have to shout over the telephone line. Really. I'm not kidding."

Being a debt collector, usually when the people are yelling "hello, hello, hello" like complete morons, I figure they are trying to convince someone in the room with them on their end it is a bad connection.

Heather said...

Annalee - LOL at people pretending they have a bad connection when you call. I confess, I have done this a time or two when trying to deal with telemarketers who won't take the hint.

You know what was really annoying...for a while last year there was a debt collector who kept calling here (Wis) for my sister in OH, because she had listed me as an emergency number, without my permission (like I'm going to pay for her debts if she defaults--NOT happening!).

I don't know how many times I told them she did not live here, she was in OH at the number they had on file for her, please stop calling here. Then one day the same guy called here at 7am. I confess I went ballistic. I was barely out of bed and let the jerk know that I did not appreciate being harrassed when the sun wasn't even up yet and explained, once again, how many states there are between Ohio and Wisconsin and all about time zones.

Needless to say, he has not called again. Hehe....