January 6th, 2006


Random Memories of Customer Service

Reading the "customers suck" community is such a vicarious pleasure now that I no longer work retail.

Time has blunted my outrage from the days of customer service, and so I only remember a coupla gems, like the woman who called the streetlight outage hotline (yes, I worked on a hotline where you reported streetlight outages. Astonishingly, this was NOT the most tedious job I ever had.) to tell me that her streetlight had been crappy ever since the gaslight was replaced with electric, and she wanted her street's lights torn out and replaced with the old gas ones. Now, St. Paul may be a quaint little metropolis, but even we had stopped doin' that whole gaslight thing in the thirties.

As with all such imponderables, all you can do is hit hold, turn in your chair, and carol in that high, mad sing-song that means your manager is about to suffer as you have suffered, "I have a customer that needs to talk to yoooooooouuu..."

Mostly what I remember now are scenes. Peculiar visuals. The guy who came into the drugstore once a week, who was--I kid you not--a transvestite Benjamin Franklin in a walker.
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Birding Dreams

Another nap, another dream about weird birds. I was struggling to find a place to hang a feeder on my back deck, which in my dream had suddenly acquired a lot of odd additions, so it was more like trying to hang a feeder on the side of a ferry than anything else. A gigantic insect, sort of a sphinx moth crossed with a locust, buzzed me, and I fled inside. It landed on the glass. It was huge, the size of my forearm at least.

I thought "You know, I bet I'm dreaming this. However, just in case..." and I went looking for my ruler so that I could measure this bug. I found the ruler, and the bug was two and a half inches long when I measured it (it had been at least six while flying, which made me deeply suspicious.)

Then these ducks came walking across the deck. They were brown ducks, but they were molting, and their body feathers were coming in huge and poofy and the violent carrot orange of a drag-queen's feather boa. "Orange ducks!" I thought. "Surely there can't be many of them in the field guide!" On the back of each head was a small white marking. I found my Sibley guide and began flipping through it, looking frantically for orange ducks with brown heads and a white mark on back of their head. "Gotta remember the field marks, gotta remember the field marks..."

And then I woke up, without ever locating the ducks in the guide. But I suspect I may have birds on the brain.