jdotmi: (Default)
...is negated by the Vorpal Axe of Company Slaying!

If anyone was wondering where I disappeared to in LJ/Dreamwidth land, now you know.

Borders going into Liquidation.

It's rather ironic that I link to the article on the website born of the rotted husk of The Ann Arbor News, one of the papers of a place I used to work at where I was let go when they were eliminating the division I worked in.

Work blocked LJ (but not Dreamwidth! Cross-posting for the win) a long while ago, and I was just too worn out when I got home to come on and post anything.

Now, time to start a new chapter. Well, after I find out when I'm really being let go. We do have a wind-down to do still.
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Well, tomorrow I start a brand new schedule at work. Our hours have changed from starting at 6 am to starting at 7:30 am. On the one hand, thank fucking god that I don't ever have to get up at 4:30 am ever again. On the other hand, getting out of work at 6:30 pm is going to fucking suck.

And we get a metric assload of new temps starting this week. Yes, the week of Thanksgiving. Yes, we are crazy, why do you ask? Fortunately, I won't be the one doing the training, which is good, because I'm going to be really freakin' busy as it is without doing the training. So we'll see how that goes.

For now? Not going to bed yet. I get like an extra hour and a half to sleep and I plan to abuse it, thank you very much.
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jdotmi: (William)
So, with my current work schedule I have to leave no later than 5:30 to get to work on time. My alarm is set for 4:30 and I'm normally out of bed just before 5. Plenty of time to shower, make breakfast, put my lunch together, and walk out the door. This morning I actually woke up around 3:30 thinking I had to check the time to make sure I got up on time. Realized the time and rolled over and went back to sleep. After a smattering of fucked up dreams I looked at the clock again.

5:18.

Shit.

So I jump out of bed, shower really quickly, throw my lunch together and get out the door on time. Actually made it in to work early, even! I am somewhat amused. The complete lack of traffic out there kinda helped with that, though. Holiday weekend and all that.

Yesterday, the higher ups at work decided they would be closing the home office at 1:00pm today and give everyone a paid half day off! Of course, essential personnel who had to stick around would, well, have to stick around, but they'd still get that free half day off before the end of the year. Guess what I'm considered? :-p Yeah. So stuck here.
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So, this is a rare public post in which I talk about work. I'm doing this because of something that has been percolating in my brain for, well, years. Names are omitted because it's work, y'all.

People who go into the computer industry aren't, as a whole, those you could consider People Persons. They may be geeky, cool, and great to have conversations with. When dealing with other people in a "Professional" manner, however, they just don't have the finesse or customer service skills that people are looking for. This can be really problematic. Once upon a time, it was fine since only computer people were really working with computer people. Now that's not the case. Everyone is using computers.

Now let's talk about Tech Support specifically. There are a lot of people who get into Tech Support because they love working with computers and they want to break into the IT industry. There is a problem with this, though. What many of these folks don't realize is they are actually getting into the Customer Service industry. Yes, you need some pretty specific skill sets for it, but it is still Customer Service. And there is a disproportionate number of techs out there who just do not have good Customer Service skills.

So, I don't like to brag (Spike: Who am I kidding? I LOVE to brag!), but I give good customer service. No, seriously. I know I'm good at it and I'm not going to sit here and be all "Gee, no, it was nothing, really" about it. Why? Because there is a widespread impression, which is not entirely unfounded, that most people in the Tech Support industry give shitty customer service. Yes, I get it, we deal with people daily who have no business dealing with anything that uses moving parts, but our job is to help them so that they can do their job. That's one part knowing how to fix the problem they're having and nine parts knowing how to communicate with them efficiently and nicely.

This morning, I got an email forwarded to me from my boss that was sent by someone I worked with yesterday. She told me on the phone that I was the nicest person she's dealt with in my department. I did the polite "Thank You"'s that you should do in a case like that. Compliments are always welcome, after all! Then she mentioned nobody else in my department was as nice as I am. Nobody.

Now, in a case like this you're supposed to do the apologizing and say things like, "oh I'm sure it was an isolated incident", but my response was pretty simple: "Yeah, I know. We're working on it." And it's true. It is something my department has been working on recently, and things have improved. But like every other Tech Support I've ever dealt with, we have a way to go.

So, here's what I think the most important thing anyone looking to get an immediate improvement on their customer service skills should do: Smile. Any seminar or training you get about customer service is going to include it, and very very few people actually do it. If you smile, people will hear it in your voice. That can turn an entire incident around from "Man, I hope I never have to talk to them again" to "Wow, that was good service!" It's not corny, it's not stupid, it's not schmaltzy. It's true. It's a bit of non-verbal communication that carries over into our verbal communication so directly and easily that not doing it is akin to shooting yourself in the foot. And, let's be honest here, I know a lot of people who are shooting themselves in the foot every time they answer the phone.
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Can't wait for this to actually come out here in the US. So far all the press on it has been excellent, so that's a definite plus.

Now back to being the only person here for an hour.
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Dinner tonight is sausage, peppers, and onions crack-pasta. It is very very tasty.

In less happy news, today's drive in to work sucked. Let me restate what I said on twitter/facebook: "So, apparently Mother Nature was all "HAHAHA, SNOW BITCHES!" on us this morning. It was like ice-capades on the highway. With retards. -_-"

Yeah. That wasn't fun. Left here at around 7:05 or 7:10. Got to work at 7:45. It's normally a 25 minute drive. Add to that today at work was all about catching up with stuff that couldn't happen last friday because of the holiday, and yeah. We had a good time. Really.

Well, off to visit with my Simsies. And maybe make a new neighborhood.
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jdotmi: (William)
After getting out of work yesterday, I went to join [livejournal.com profile] satyr_mi at our friend's place where we partook in a new hottub, which was nice but it was way too cold out, and had a weird (but good) fake chicken (vegetarian) dinner. We also watche District 9, which was awesome (but not while eating) and one of the Futurama movies. "Bender's Big Game" I believe was the name. Either way, hillarious movie and well worth watching again. We wound up staying out way too late, so when we got home I had the munchies, which I took care of, and then promptly passed out (around 2am) until the kitties decided it was time for me to feed them at 7am. I was not amused.

In other news, my computer is dying a slow, apparently commonplace, death. It doesn't like turning on unless I disconnect everything, pop out the CMOS batter, and beat it with a dead chicken a few times. Apparently the symptom (yellow flashing power light) can mean the CMOS battery is going, the power supply is going, or the motherboard is going. Gotta love highly specific symptoms like that, eh? Well, when we get our taxes completed we'll use the money that doesn't pay off my old dell bill to buy me a new computer methinks.

Well, back to destroying the lives of Sims now.
jdotmi: (Default)
I did not stay up last night to watch the ball drop on TV or anything special. After all, I had work today. Managed to get to bed before midnight, but didn't fall asleep until after. Maybe I shoulda kept watching TV anyway. Oh well.

Woke up this morning, since I had work and what not, to a kitty (William) snuggling up and demanding pettings. This was of the good. So he got his pettings for a bit, and then I got ready for work. That part was not so much of the good.

I stopped at McDonalds on the way in to work. THEY WERE NOT OPEN. So, now I'm sitting here with no breakfast, no caffeine and no patience. Great way to start 2010. Really, it is.

On the plus side, we've had all of 16 calls this morning. And we're fully staffed. Maybe not so much with the plus side, then.

Well, off I go back to see what stores are actually awake yet. And try to not gnaw the arms off of co-workers for lack of breakfast foodage.
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So, today was supposed to be the first day of work for my new manager. Apparently, he got a better offer yesterday evening. Yeah. For real. So no new manager for me. And a few more weeks of interviews for potential candidates, apparently. Great fun. Really.

In other news, I broke Keith's car. More specifically, the rear passenger window was known to be iffy, and it up and died on us after work. so it's being held in place with tape until we can drag it to a dealer to get fixed. We looked in the owner manual and noted that the glass probably broke where the pin connects to it, which means we aren't about to fix it ourselves.

Fun fun. Really.

And now, I go to bed with a massive food coma. Penne with alfredo. Mmmmm. Alfredo.
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Gah! Last minute Employee Appreciation announcement at work! Thursday, Friday, and Saturday!

Must. Go. Shopping.

It's a good thing we already had book money budgeted into Friday's paycheck as it is. Now I can add some DVDs to to the budget, too, since they'll be on the humungoid discount, too.
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http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/03/19/newspaper.decline.layoff/index.html

Apparently, the Ann Arbor News will be closing it's doors in July, going online only. I only worked in the building they're in for a short time, but I worked for their parent company for about 8 years. On the one hand, it makes me a bit sad. On the other hand, this is the same company overall that caused no small amount of financial crisis in my household.

So yeah, that word.
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Mar. 4th, 2009 09:01 am

Wa-wa

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Hooray! Water! Called the office yesterday before leaving work and they were like "oh yeah, water got fixed at like 8 this morning" and I was all "I TOLD YOU TO CALL ME BACK HELLO??" but whatever. We had water. First thing I did when I got home was take a nice hot shower. No more greasy for me!

Dinner last night was a baked shrimp and brocolli alfredo. It's also lunch today.

Star Ocean made me cry just before leaving Lemuris (the second planet). And now at least I understand why I should have aimed for 100% on one of the monsters there before beating the boss. Ah well. Can't get 100% on the bosses on one play-through anyway, so yeah.

WOrk is crazy this morning. Half the morning crew called off, so we're very much a skeleton crew this morning. Back to it I go.
jdotmi: (Default)
This should be on a greatest hits album or something at this point.
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Work blocked access to CNN, ABC, NBC, etc because everyone was trying to stream the innauguration. It's like they expect us to work or something here!

I watched it on the TV in the cafeteria. They even turned on the sound!
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Well, I'm stuck at work today. And it's dead as a doornail today. Whee. And stuff.

We got invited over to [livejournal.com profile] lilbearmi's place, so [livejournal.com profile] satyr_mi is going over today and I'm going after work. Can't stay late, though, cuz we both have work tomorrow.

Went to bed early last night. Was not in the mood to stay up and watch the ball drop, and going to bed early means I had no problems getting up this morning. Made myself a nice tasty breakfast and put my lunch together, since the cafeteria is closed today. Now I'm just waiting for lunch time. I got in half an hour early, so I'm leaving half an hour early to avoid overtime.

Well, break time is almost over, so back to work for me
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Well, cable came back late last night. Much to my excitement. Spent the day with Battlestar Galactica, Legally Blonde: The Musical, and Civilization IV. Really. That was my day. Well that and cooking. And I may have watched an episode of Color Splash which was conveniently waiting on the Tivo.

...

Okay so I easily amused myself without internet. Bite me. :-p (Not an offer, [livejournal.com profile] eligrrl)

Now it's back to the daily grind at work. We're somewhat busy today, so I'm getting back to it now that lunch is over.
Dec. 9th, 2008 08:36 am

Pot-Luck!

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Today is our department holiday pot-luck. My contribution is brownies. Brownies I bought at Costco, mind you, but still. Hopefully all the food is good and tasty and stuff like that. Otherwise I'll be very sad. Heh.

Have to go to the bank and to AAA tonight after work. Have to get automatic payments set back up at AAA and have to deposit a check at the bank. And AAA closes at 6. So, yeah, I'll be rushing a bit.

Anyrate, just a fast fly-by update. I'll try to post something more interesting around lunch time. Maybe I'll babble about WoW and City of Heroes. Because, ya know, I don't do that too much or anything.
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jdotmi: (Meme)
Since [livejournal.com profile] satyr_mi has started working here at Borders, I've been spending my entire lunch hour in the cafeteria with him and [livejournal.com profile] rubicontiger. Today he and I decided to head back to our desks and read (or browse) after eating instead of sitting there trying to strain to read the closed captioning on CNN Headline News. ([livejournal.com profile] rubicontiger had to leave early today)

Apparently, I make really good gravy. It's completely faked (make a roux, add chicken broth, salt n pepper, and seasonings, stir) but it's tasty at least. We've had mashed potatoes and gravy twice in the past two weeks, and I think if we weren't out of potatoes we'd be doing it again tonight. I suppose I could do rice and it might work with the gravy. Actually, I think I just decided dinner. Not rice-n-gravy, but chicken and rice somewhat stew style. Gotta use up the veggies somehow.

Employee Appreciation is just around the corner. Looking forward to getting my Christmas shopping done then. I'll actually be able to do Christmas shopping this year, unlike last year. Heh.

Spent $60 yesterday at the vet for cat food. x_x Should last a month, at least, but still. That's a lot of money for cat food! The kitties like it, though, and Daniel hasn't had any more problems, so I'm not complaining too much.

Well, I'm gonna get back to that browsing thing for the rest of my lunch.
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