Tag Archives: work

Weekly Update #40

I know it’s been about a week since I last posted. Depression is a real motivation killer for me. All I’ve wanted to do basically all week is sleep and play video games. Which is more or less what I’ve actually done with my time.

At work, I started floorwalking, which is basically me answering questions as the new hires take phone calls for a few weeks before they’re on their own. I enjoy it quite a bit. It’s actually the favorite part of my job now. I enjoy helping the new hires and sharing my knowledge. Thursday, I was asked to stay an hour later than I’m usually scheduled with the promise that on Friday I would leave an hour earlier than I’m usually scheduled. Friday comes around and I get pulled from the phones to floorwalk again. When 3:45 rolls up on the clock, I practically begged to stay longer.

I’m also bonusing finally at work, too. An extra dollar an hour! My team lead is encouraging me to apply for the same position – team lead – since some spots are apparently opening up. I would very much like to floorwalk more permanently or move up in the company to the team lead position. I feel like I have the skills to effectively do either of those jobs and I just want someone to take a chance on me. No, I don’t have the experience, but how am I going to get any if no one gives me the opportunity to gain the experience? I hope the higher ups can see the potential in me like my last two team leads have.

I started cross stitching again. It’s been probably around four or five months since I last stitched something completely from scratch. I know I finished my first cross stitch not too long ago, but that was finishing something. I’m feeling more normal now that I’m stitching. And I can’t just put it down for six more months before finishing it – I’m stitching for Christmas gifts. I’m excited to give them to the recipients!

And to bring it full circle, outside of work and stitching, I’ve been sleeping and playing Borderlands with M. We plan to play through Borderlands 2 and then the Pre-Sequel. We’ve just made it to New Haven. Not bad for a week’s worth of playing after M gets off work! I play the Hunter and M picked the Siren. We actually work really well together, although it does annoy me sometimes how M needs to explore every nook and cranny when I just want to move on to the next mission.

Do any of you play video games with your significant others? Do you play well together or not so much?

Anyway, that’s it for me. As you may have realized, posting schedule is out the window for the time being. Keep it tuned in, though, I have some cool things in the works!

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Weekly Update #36

Okay, I think I’m more or less back on track with my posts. Thank you guys for bearing with me. The health issues in my family have fixed themselves more or less, it seems. And the internet issue has been more than fixed.

I started a new schedule this past week. Instead of working 11:30 PM to 8 PM, the second shift at APAC, I now work 8 AM to 4:30 PM. It means getting up at the ungodly hour of 6 AM, but it also means feeling like I have more time in my day. I’m actually very excited for this new schedule. Once I adjust to functioning so early in the morning and I’m not constantly exhausted, I’m very much looking forward to using that free time after work in better ways.

M and I went to go see Guardians of the Galaxy on Wednesday. It was very good! I highly recommend it! It’s not the average superhero movie. It’s not as straightforward as other “hero-saves-the-universe” movies. Each character has an interesting and compelling backstory, and this first movie is a great introduction to the characters. The sequel is slated for release in 2017 and I cannot wait! Groot and Rocket are my favorite. I do wish that Gamora’s character had been treated a little differently, though. She’s supposed to be this bad-ass character but sort of gets sidelined into a damsel in distress. Not too happy about that one.

Next Saturday, M and I are driving up to Minneapolis for a little vacation. I’m pumped to see all of my friends again as well as for M to meet them all. I will post as consistently as possible while I’m away. Then, two weeks from today, my cousin is getting married in Wisconsin. M and I will be attending that as well.

And that pretty much does it for new and exciting things in my life. Until next time, my dear readers!

Weekly Update #35

Today, my dear readers, started off pretty poorly. I occasionally go long stretches where I have trouble sleeping – which I am unfortunately in right now – and then this morning Disco was being especially needy. Poor kitten, his food bowl was half empty and we just can’t have that! Then, the little punk decided to knock a bunch of stuff into some very hard to reach places. It was not fun to move heavy furniture around to get the necklace and other various items the furry terror knocked off.

M and I are attending a wedding the first weekend in September, so we had to go shopping for outfits for the both of us. M was easy. He just needed a nice dress shirt. We went to several stores looking for a dress of some sort for me and had zero luck. It always frustrates me when I see so many cute dresses, but can’t find my size. Eventually, I was able to find several cute outfits at Target, and not just for the wedding.

The highlight of my day was the dinner that M and I invited our respective parents to. We figured it was about time they met each other. The dinner went well, I think. I hope, anyway. It seemed like it went well…

Other than that, it’s been a pretty normal week.

I’m late in posting because right after dinner yesterday, we went straight to game and that ran until 11 PM. I was asleep the moment my head hit the pillow. But I’m typing this on my lunch break at work – that’s how much I love you, my dear readers.

Weekly Update #32

This week has been a bit of an exciting week! Work has been going, and I’m taking steps to further that portion of my career. M bought me a ring. Insurance is confusing. And I got to talk to my best friend for the first time in forever!

Anne, my bestie, lives in Japan. She teaches English and is often busy with photography projects as well. Our schedules don’t often allow for hours of chatting. It did when I wasn’t working, but now that I work nights, not so much. The daylight hours between here and Nagoya are about 12 hours off, so her mornings and my nights line up. And since I work nights now, that opportunity is no more. But it was really nice to catch up with her. I’ve known Anne since 2006, which would be about 8 years now, I think. That’s a long time for me to remain close friends with someone. I’m just kinda bad at keeping in touch with people if they’re not living in my immediate vicinity. Anyway, I’m starting to get off topic. The point was that it was nice to talk to her.

Insurance is confusing, as I have previously stated. I was dropped from my parents plan at the beginning of the month and the plan I signed up for through work was supposed to kick in. There were some issues with documentation and also somehow I’m also on Medicaid now? I keep getting welcome letters and cards from a bunch of different insurance companies. I haven’t had time to sit down and sort out what’s what. But that’s exactly what I have to do tomorrow because I need to get some refills on my meds. So that will be a fun morning on the phone with various insurance companies and then 8 hours on the phone as a representative of an insurance company.

M bought me a ring on Wednesday. Not an engagement ring. Not yet. Just a promise ring, for lack of a better term. Because of our respective debts, we aren’t where we want to be in our life together and this ring is sort of a promise that things are moving forward, even if they are moving slowly. We had to get the ring resized, so I get to go pick it up on Tuesday. I’m very excited to wear it! It means a lot to me that M thought that much about how I’ve been saying I’m frustrated with our current place in life and decided to do something to remind me that we will get to where we want to go. We will. Eventually.

And that’s pretty much been my week.

Review: Posh Pocket Word Search

Sometimes it gets a bit slow at work between calls or even when I have to sit on hold waiting for another department or supervisor to get on the line. I bought the Posh Pocket Word Search to alleviate the boredom that comes with listening to the same 20-second loop of terribly produced Muzak while waiting for the correct department to pick up.  It’s done a pretty great job so far.

I love the portability of this little book! It fits right in my pocket and doesn’t take much space on my desk at work or in my purse. The only problem I have with it physically is that the elastic used to hold the book shut never really stayed in place. I fixed that with a little glue and a couple of thoughtfully placed buttons I had laying around.

Other than that, the cover is pretty, the font isn’t unreadably tiny, and so far the themes of the individual searches have been pretty fun. The only other complaint I have is that sometimes the words within the themes can be repetitive. How many times do I really want to find the word “apple”? Not as many times as the publishers of Posh Pocket seems to think.

Overall, I would recommend this book of word searches. If you want a little something to take on the bus or train to work, or if you have downtime during your workday, I would definitely spend the $8.00. I’ve had mine for about a month and I’m about one-forth of the way through, if that. It absolutely works for what I bought it for. And if you’re not a word search kind of person, Posh Pocket has other activity books like sudoku and brain teasers.

Weekly Update #30

This week, I shook things up a bit. I actually did things outside of work and hanging out with my boyfriend! Crazy, I know, right?

I’ve been getting pulled here and there for little tasks to assist my TL. I’m taking this as a good sign that hopefully in the near future I will be given more responsibility and more time off of the phones. I would very much like to be off of the phones. End goal in working in the call center is to get off the phones.

On Wednesday, me, my family, and M got together for a combined birthday dinner for me and my mother. Our birthdays are a week apart. We ended up going to Red Robin and because M kindly drove, I was able to have a couple of Orange Blitzes. They taste like liquid creamsicles and are gloriously alcoholic. Kate got a little buzzed. It was pretty sweet.

Then, on Saturday night, a bunch of us from work went out to Buffalo Wild Wings. Since some of us didn’t get off until 11:00, we didn’t meet up until 11:30. Which is actually pretty late for me. I’m usually asleep, or at the very least in bed, by 10:00. But it was nice to go out with friends since M was spending time with his family since he took overtime on his birthday this week.

Today, we celebrated M’s birthday by going to lunch with his family, then spent some time wandering around the local mall until it was time for the weekly tabletop gaming session. Which is actually where I am now, waiting for everyone to get here and/or update character sheets.

Looks like we’re getting ready to start. I’ll have to end it here, dear readers. Check back on Tuesday for some character development fun!

Introvert In A Call Center Part 2

It’s time for a topic revisit from when I first started working at a call center.  If you recall from part 1 of this topic, I was having a hard time coping with literally being paid to be social for 8 hours a day and needing time to myself, as an introvert.  I’m back for part 2 now to let you all, my dear readers, know how I’ve been handling a job where all I do is talk on the phone all day.

The first thing I had to learn and take to heart is that I cannot internalize things the callers say to me or even the things they call me.  For example, just last week I had a caller who called me a fucking moron because I told her she did not have a Medicare account with us.  The call didn’t last much longer than that, but it was upsetting.  Even when I’ve had to deal with people like that day in and day out, it will always be upsetting.  But you know what?  I had to deal with that entitled asshole of a customer for less than 10 minutes.  She has to deal with her insurance issues for hours, days, and hopefully even weeks.  She’s not worth my time outside of work to worry about.

The trick is, when you get a call that upsets you, it’s totally fine to take a minute or two after the call and take a few deep breaths.  Take a long swig of water or soda or coffee or whatever it is you drink.  Go take a bathroom break, even if all you do is get away from the phone for a few minutes.  If someone calls you out on it, all you have to do is say you had a bad call.  I promise, everyone who has ever worked at a call center will understand and let you take a couple of moments to calm down and let it go.

The other side of the coin is that you need to take the kind things customers say to heart.  If someone is thanking you for helping them, even if all you did was click a few buttons and get their medication refilled, they are being sincere.  It may not seem like a big deal to you, but sharing that one little piece of information like that they can get up to a 14 day supply at the local pharmacy while waiting for their 90 day supply through the mail order pharmacy can make someone’s day, even their week.

Yes, more often than not, you’ll get calls where the caller won’t even realize they’re yelling at a real person, but those calls were the caller realizes it and then goes a step farther by acknowledging the fact that you are indeed a human being are going to make the job bearable.

If you’re worried about the physical act of having to answer the phone every time it rings, the whole process does become automatic.  Also, you don’t even physically answer the phones, the call just sort of comes in.  No real way to avoid it.  At my job, it’s this little beep-beep and then we’re on with our “Thank you for calling.  This is Kate.  How can I help you?”  It gets easier and easier the more you repeat the process.  I’ve been at my job for 8 months now, and each time I take a call, I begin automatically.  In fact, I move through the majority of my calls pretty much on autopilot.

Working at a job where all you do is talk on the phones, making and taking phone calls outside of work becomes even more of a daunting task.  It is nice, though, when you can relate to the person answering the phone at your bank or when you call the electric company.  It makes those calls seem less like you’re talking to some stranger and more like you’re talking to a comrade-in-arms (because, let’s face it, it’s a war on those phones – fighting customers who think they’re right but aren’t, trying to help those that have been wronged by the system, and moving through the seemingly constant verbal barrage of insults and complaints).

You’re friends, family, and loved ones will at least attempt to understand you need a good hour or more of silence or minimal conversation upon arriving home.  I’m lucky my boyfriend works in the same call center I do.  We have a mutual understanding that the drive home will only consist of very basic “what do you want for dinners” and whatever music is playing on the radio.  You may need to explain to family or roommates once or twice that all you do all day is talk, you need time to not talk.  And I mean that – you need physical time to rest your vocal chords.  You will get sore throat after sore throat and loose your voice on a monthly, even weekly basis.  Once whoever you live with sees the physical side effects of literally talking for 8 hours straight, they’ll let you rest up your voice a bit before asking again how your day was and the like.

So far, being an introvert at a call center isn’t an impossible thing to do.  It does just take some time to get used to it all and to learn coping mechanisms for dealing with the constant socialization.  Expect more posts on the topic as I learn more about it through first hand experience.

Weekly Update #27

Another week gone by,  another weekly update post.  This week was the same as most weeks.  Work, work, and more work.

I’ve been really grumpy lately for no reason I can really figure out.  I get really irritated really easily over the smallest things.  I don’t know if I’m just getting burnt out on work or what.  But in a few weeks, I have an extra day off – I got PTO for my birthday.  It’ll be a nice little break, and hopefully I’ll have enough PTO soon to take a whole week off.  That’ll be nice.

It may help that I had myself a nice cry today.  My friend and I went to go see The Fault In Our Stars.  She originally lent me the book, so it was only natural that we went  together.  All the tissues in the world would not have been enough for all the tears that we shed between us.    If you’ve read the book, or are fond of crying for basically two and a half hours straight, then I would definitely recommend TFIOS.

Sorry, my lovely readers, that this post is getting up so late.  Since I’ve gotten home from the movie, all M and I have done is marathon Orange Is The New Black.  Like I’m sure most of you know, Season Two is out on Netflix.  I’ve watched the first two episodes, and now I’m getting M into the show.  We’re marathoning Season One as I type this.  I don’t think we’re going to get a whole lot of sleep tonight.  Netflix always sucks us in.

Weekly Update #25

Another week come and gone, dear readers.  Work exhausts me, as always.  Not much happening outside of work, other than all the time I spend with M, which is nothing new.

M and I have been seriously discussing the possibility of moving in together in the near future.  “Near Future” meaning sometime in the next six months.  It’s quite exciting to discuss concrete plans for our future.  We were going through some of my old books the other day (we’re all about trading in books now, apparently) and he was geeking out over some title and I said, “Well, all of my books are now your books.  We’re gonna get married someday, so all this will be yours, too.”  And M just looks at me for a long moment and goes, “I’m so gonna marry the shit outta you.”  I’m so lucky to have found him.

There was some talk between my team lead and another team lead at work about the possibility of me floor walking for the next training class that comes out of abay (the first few weeks they take calls).  At the time, I’d just been about a month out of abay myself and the confidence wasn’t there, but I’m planning on following up with my team lead about it today.  That, and the whole ready replacement thing.  I’d like to know what the status of all of that is.  Depending on the answers I get, it might motivate me to either work harder at my current job, or work harder at finding another job.

Speaking of working harder at my current job, everyone on the floor is being asked to consider a schedule change.  Apparently, we’re gonna be staying open until 11 PM.  An eight-hour shift would be 2:30 PM to 11:00 PM.  Um, no thanks.  For multiple reasons.  I’m usually falling asleep around 10-10:30 anyway (much to M’s chagrin), and I like getting off at the same time as M.  We can leave work together, usually we can just take one car to and from work.  Even though it’s an extra $25/week, it just wasn’t worth it to me.  I mean, cheers to the people who did take the change and are getting that extra money, but I don’t think this change is going to last very long.

Anyway, I still have about 45 minutes to kill before I have to leave for work, so I’m gonna do some cleaning.  Like a responsible adult.  Or whatever.

Weekly Update #24

I’ve had a streak of bad days recently.  It’s just one little annoying thing after another that adds up to one big frustrating ball of upset-ness.  Luckily, I have M around to cheer me up and keep me from burning things to the ground.  By the way, burning things to the ground is my go-to stress reliever.  Not really.  But sometimes.

Anyway, I’ve been using my mornings for productivity recently.  Usually I’m more productive at night, but work just drains so much energy out of me that laying on the couch watching whatever TV show or movie on Netflix, cuddled up with M is about all I can manage when I get home.  But since M leaves for work earlier than I do, I have a few hours in the AM to get things done before I have to get ready and go to work myself.  And I’ve found that I start my days feeling better about life if I get things done in the mornings.  I mean, work generally kills those good vibes, but it’s still nice to show up to work feeling like life isn’t terrible.

Speaking of work, my team lead is having me apply for Ready Replacement again.  I just picked up and filled out the application last night.  Updated my resume this morning to go along with it.  So, fingers crossed on that.  When I was first offered the potential opportunity for the Ready Replacement, I was thinking I’d do it just to get off the phones occasionally.  But the more I think about it, the more I really hope I land this position.  Not only will it get me off the phones now and then, but it’ll maybe even lead to a permanent TL position in the future.  I’ve never had a management position before (outside of running my own photography business), and I’d really like the opportunity to see what I can do in a structured management position like that.  I honestly don’t plan on spending the rest of my career at APAC, but having that on my resume would definitely not hurt.  And why not be the best employee I can be while I’m here?

Also, starting today, my new schedule starts.  Now, instead of having Monday/Wednesday off, I’ll have Sunday/Wednesday off.  It’ll break up my week better and allow me two days to spend with M, but I am definitely not looking forward to working close on Mondays now.  But this Sunday is Easter and while I’m not religious and don’t celebrate that aspect of the holiday, I do recognize that it’s a day for family.  I will be having brunch with M’s family in the AM, then in the afternoon, my parents have invited me and M for an early dinner (since we still have game on Sunday, as far as I know).  Since I’m writing this post ahead of time, I can’t tell you how either meal goes, but rest assured I’ll definitely write about it during the week.

If you’re religious and celebrate Easter, have a happy one!  And if not, enjoy the weekend anyway, my dear readers!