My Week: Cold, Busy, Cold, Busy, Cold

It’s been another busy week for me – not in physically running around… no, wait, there was some of that – or in being cold all the time (just most of the time).

At work, they’ve implemented a pretty much required cross-train, cross-skilled policy, and basically with next to no training we’re taking “online” calls – these are calls in regard to existing reservations that were booked using the various online booking tools we have for corporate clients. So they occasionally require a little human intervention in the case of cancellations and changes.

In some ways, I actually like talking to the people from the other accounts better – they’re very friendly and it seems like they really like hearing a human voice while booking travel. It’s stressful not knowing a damn about how the account works, but all we really have to do is make the changes, document what we’ve done, make a couple of code changes, and issue tickets. For me, it’s a snap. Some of the other agents don’t do their own ticketing, and I’m hoping I don’t become the designated ticketer, but I bet that’s what happens.

Almost half the time, I get a call from someone on the account I normally handle, and wouldn’t you know it, the internal coding is a bit wacky and one of the scripts I use all the time doesn’t work. I keep complaining about this, but my leader seems to think it’s normal, when on other accounts, it does. So it’s not normal, and I wish I could get her to clean it up so that it’s fixed.

Also at work, we’re on a push to improve call stats (eyeroll) and other things. So I’ve decided that rather than fight it, join it. Because, irony of irony, sticking to the quality call program tends to keep me on task for the call stats, so I might as well.

It’s very, very difficult for me to stay on task, because I have so many different tasks competing for my attention, all of which kind of need to be monitored all the time. This is not a problem when there’s not some extra stressor, but now that I also take calls from the “other accounts” there is that little extra something. It helps that they’re pretty nice and that the calls typically can go fast.

When I leave for the day, I bundle up with a long hooded down coat, cashmere scarf that I wrap around so as to cover my lower face, a wacky plush hat with jingle bells that cover my ears, and gloves. If the temperature and windchill factor are low enough, I pull the hood up, which has faux fur that serves to tickle my face and not much else. I end up looking like a globular, multi-colored ninja. But the cold doesn’t get in my face, down my throat, kicking off my asthma, so the outfit “works” no matter how silly it may look.

That’s how my week went: bundle up, work, bundle up, home, with a detour on Wednesday and Thursday to make a laundry run for the shelter, first to pick up and then to swap and drop. Plus choir practice… I did the swap before getting there, and it seemed like it took forever for someone to come and let me in at the hospital. The guy kept saying I was supposed to do it all myself, too… just like this other guy that was there with a truck for another shelter in the same program. They were walking all the laundry sets down the ramp 3 or 4 at a time, not even bothering with the door but stepping around the column by the laundry dock. It’s a tricky bit of balancing where you have to sidestep around while holding packages of laundry. No way.

They looked to be picking up at least 40 or 50 sets – I only had to get 17 this time to make up my count. Still, that’s winter in the American suburbs; we have our homeless problem, but it’s hard to see unless you actually know where the shelters are or work at one. Most put out a sign indicating the entrance to the shelter, and then put it away until the next week. Thursday, I actually did the “drop” on an extended lunch hour, and stayed at work an extra hour to cover the end of day, which turned out to be all hairy in the last few minutes.

Friday, after work, I needed to get gas because David had reminded me to keep the tank topped up during the coldest weather. So I drove toward one of my three stations that I use (I almost always use Mobil because the keychain fob payment system is so very convenient). First station was packed up, so I went on to another one, which was also packed up. Looped around a couple of times, went to a third station, which was also busy, and after a short wait I drew up to a pump at last. I started it going and went around cleaning the windows… and usually when I do this, the pump is close to cutoff when I get all the way around with the squeegee/sponge thing. Not this time! The numbers were changing very, very slowly. I started laughing with the woman on the other side, who appeared to be Japanese or Korean. She was laughing with her daughter, too, so we pantomimed “cold” and “come one, come on, too slow!” for a while. It helped to pass the time, but it took at least 5 or 10 minutes longer to finish up and get out with there.

Saturday, I could take a breath. I had already done the press releases for the big visit early in the week, so I played around online, but also put together a Facebook group page for Holy Moly. Oh, and I watched the whole video feed of the Remain Episcopal event in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, while chatting at Father Jake’s. Also while sitting in the Second Life Anglican Cathedral. It was a multitasker of a day.

It’s fun playing around with Facebook – not only for connecting with friends, but also there’s a lot of Episcopalian online-type chums who’ve just discovered it too, so it’s been kind of exciting befriending them and making contact with them.

Today, at Holy Moly, we had some excitement too. I ended up staying for both services just because there was a rehearsal for the big day after the second service. There was lots of laughter, a little girl threw up in front of the choir, Pat Kalicki stood in for Bishop Katharine in the run-through wearing a paper bishop’s mitre, and there was lots of chaos and general anarchy.

The mess was quickly cleaned up after the throwing-up incidend, which happened just before the peace. A lot of people never even noticed it. Hope we don’t have anything like that next week… and hope the bad weather we’re getting at the beginning of the week mellows out and warms up!

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4 thoughts on “My Week: Cold, Busy, Cold, Busy, Cold

  1. Might I convince you to rethink your patronage of Mobil? They were fine until they were acquired by Exxon, at which time Mobil’s existing employment nondiscrimination policy was revised to exclude gays and lesbians. ExxonMobil earns a big fat 0 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality index (heck, even Wal-Mart gets a sad 40; Exxon’s that backwards), while both Chevron and BP/Arco earn perfect scores of 100. Exxon also has yet to pay a 1994 court-awarded $5 billion settlement to residents, fisherman, and small business owners directly affected by the Valdez disaster; the settlement has since been cut in half, but Exxon insists that their responsibilities ended with the superficial cleanup of the site. Instead of making good on their court-ordered obligations—which in 2008 dollars amount to a couple of weeks’ clear profit for the company—the world’s second-richest corporation has filed appeal after appeal, with taxpayers footing the bill, and our corporate-friendly Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case this spring. In short, ExxonMobil is on the short list for the most brazenly crass corporation in the world. Pass it on.

  2. These are totally valid reasons to look for another gasoline provider, as I’ve been thinking for a while that I wasn’t crazy about Mobil’s stand on the environment, I just liked their dang key fob.

    I have my own reasons for not liking BP – mostly because of their recent attempt to dump a lot of junk in Lake Michigan, from the Indiana side of the state line. And I’m having trouble finding a Chevron station in the area. But Marathon seems to be not as evil as most Big Oil companies.

  3. Pingback: » $3.31 Gas at Marathon Blogula Rasa: Reality-based in spite of my best efforts

  4. Pingback: Blogyear In Review

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