Thursday, May 14, 2015

And off to work we go

So you know I’ve tried a lot of different ways to make money. Taking a traditional job isn’t easy. I can’t stand for long periods of time, so Wal-Mart or other cashier type jobs really aren’t good for me. I can’t get into an office for anything but maybe reception, but that would be difficult also. In my 50’s now and I get the ‘age’ thing, and I even sometimes got the ‘you’re over qualified’ thing. I can’t get an accounting job because I don’t know the computer systems they use and it’s really pointless, I think, to go to school to learn the systems, which would take a lot of time and more money than I can afford. Because I don’t have a job. I can’t pay for that.

So!

One day a lady in our neighborhood posted a job opportunity for working at home so I gave her a call to see what it was all about. I don’t want to be trapped in a scam, and since she lives just two streets away, I wanted to talk to her about it.

She was very nice and seemed very forthright, so I took the info she gave me and did my research.

Long story, short; I am now in training, in my home, to be a Customer Service Rep for Comcast!

I know. I know. Comcast, right?

I am an independent contractor with a company who contracts to Comcast and many, many other big companies wanting to bring their customer service back to the United States because, well, we all know about getting THAT person on the phone.

I’ve been a Comcast customer for years and years and know for myself. And I’ve had issues, BIG issues with them in the past, but, hey, if nothing else, it’s pretty good job security, huh? There will be no shortage of calls being routed to me.

The training is going well so far. I have 6 weeks of class every day from 9 to 2 and homework. After my training finishes and I start taking calls I will have the option to choose the hours I want to work in half-hour increments, any time I want, as long as I fulfill the required hours needed that I am responsible for answering.

I have to admit the first week was wrought with stress and frustration. Lots of technical issues that are sometimes resolved and then the next day they are not again. There are several systems I have to get into for training and there will be more systems to get into when I’m actually taking calls and if they don’t fire up when they are supposed to I get just.a.little.frustrated.

I’m learning to live with those issues and working around them, but it doesn’t make them less frustrating.

Some times I have no sound

.No sound

This is not good when I’m trying to watch a video, or listen to a power-point presentation. More often than not, there is a Closed Caption option and I pull that up and type and type and type the information.

Been getting a lot of refresher typing practice.

My fingers hurt.

Although, that is an option, it isn’t what I prefer.

It often makes me feel like this, and I have to get up and leave the room.

screaming at computer

Once in class and systems are running I am okay.

I’m doing pretty well with class and I have tons of notes and am learning a lot. With all the information available to Customer Service people with Comcast, I am truly amazed and disheartened to have gotten such bad service in the past.

So we shall see how this goes. I’m pretty optimistic. Or I’m delusional. I don’t know.

Don’t worry. I only know a few people who live in the area I will be getting calls from, and that won’t happen until the middle of June.

In the meantime, I need to practice,

“Thank you for calling Comcast! This is Deanna! How may I help you!”

Go ahead, yell at me.

I can take it.

aaarghh

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Where Have I Been?

May started out busy, busy. First I’ll tell you about the fun stuff!

May is full of birthdays and the first one on our calendar was for Hailey..

BGB-Birthday Girl BowlingIMG_3626_2015-05-02_195208

You guessed it, we went bowling. Well, Bill bowled with the birthday girl, Mary and I didn’t. We had the company of our two favorite little people that weekend, so they joined us. Thank you, Hailey for letting the kids come celebrate your birthday!

Group shot at the bowling alley

Say hello to Katie! Hi Katie!!! Hailey’s mom is awesome. She’s a great mom and a good neighbor. It was good to see her with a big smile on her face.

Jayden and Kenzee had a good time. Bill had taken Jayden bowling once, so he was an old pro. Kenzee had never been, but Bill told her he would take good care of her.

It was hard getting pictures of anyone bowling, except for the back of them. I’m sure the management would have disapproved if I had tip-toed up and down the lanes trying to get some shots from the other direction. Don’t think the people bowling on the adjacent lane would have appreciated it, either.

Bowling!IMG_3615_2015-05-02_192043There it goes!Still going!Bill, what are you telling herIMG_3612_2015-05-02_191952IMG_3611_2015-05-02_191951All done!IMG_3608_2015-05-02_191240

Jayden bowled quite a bit, but Kenzee had enough pretty quick. That was okay, though. She ended up here;

Mary and Kenzee

with Mary for most of the time we were there. When Jayden had his fill of flinging the ball we took them to the arcade to play some games. I hadn’t been in an arcade in years! This one is, of course, completely high-tech. No pennies or nickels, or any coins, for that matter. You buy a card loaded with credits and you swipe it to play the games. The ‘tickets’ you win are loaded on the game card and you redeem them at the counter. You know that glass case full of all those things that kids think are awesome. Even kids today love to get those prizes. And they’re still the same crappy things we used to get when we redeemed our actual paper tickets that were spit out of the game we were playing.

When the cards were empty of money and the bowling was finished we headed over to Longhorn to have dinner.

Birthday dinner at Longhorn Steak HouseIMG_3652_2015-05-02_214537

Tom, Laurel and baby Emma were there,

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along with some other friends of Katie’s that were just awesome! I was so happy to meet them! I have to admit I don’t remember Guy’s wife’s name, but I remember his name because he was so funny interacting with Mary, Jayden and Kenzee gave Lauren and Hailey a run for their money, too. He sat across from Jayden and had him involved in conversation and laughter the whole time. Kenzee wasn’t too sure for most of the night, but I think she warmed up to him quite well.

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Kenzee had asked me how they get the animals on the wall, so I told her she could go ask Guy. “I bet he’d know!” So off she went, around the table and asked him. He looked at me after he learned what she wanted to know and I told him “G-Rated, please!”

He had quite a lengthy explanation and Kenzee was quite enthralled with the discussion, until he said, “And we could do that to you!” She held her own, though, and made it quite clear he would do no such thing… and kind of hi-tailed it around to our side of the table, safely perching herself between Mary and I.

We all had a really good time. It was loud; it was crowded; but it was good to get out for a special occasion.

And the cake was really good…

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Cat Conundrum

I’ve always loved cats.

No, really!

Smokey is the first one I remember. My parents had him when they got married. I remember when he ran off. My mom searched the yard and the neighborhood for days, calling his name, hoping he would appear. He never did.

It was a while before we got another cat.

Fritz would be my first kitten experience.

fritz on cooler

Fritz was a great kitty to be my first kitten experience. He taught us kittens had claws. And I still have the scars to prove it.

Quite a few cats have come and gone for one reason or another, but my favorite cat since Fritz was this guy.

Boris

Boris is the son of a little kitty Dayna got when she graduated from preschool, Perdita. HIs daddy was a neighbor cat we called Big Orange, because he was big and orange and sweet and friendly. He was born in the garage at our house in Sacramento and was with us through every move from California to Georgia.

He was an awesome cat.

I was convinced that orange cats were the best cats ever.

Until we got this….

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Oh, he looks innocent. He likes to lay on the desk when the sun is coming in through the window. What you don’t see when you leave the room is that he loves to chew on things. Long, skinny, electrical things that attach to devices that we’ve all come to love. Yeah, that computer cord is going to need to be replaced soon.

He is an adorable cat. He can be cute and funny and do all the things I love about cats.

Then the oThEr Garfield comes out.

That Garfield loves to bite Oreo.

Oreo Toes

When the food bowl is empty, or he’s not getting his way, or he’s just bored, Garfield hunts Oreo, chases him and grabs a mouthful of fur. Oreo screams and no matter how many times we tell Oreo he needs to man up and slap the little orange moron, he just doesn’t get it.

Lately, though, Garfield has decided he wants outside again. He was an outside cat, but when we got him we kept him inside. Since we had his front claws removed, it’s too dangerous for him to be outside and not be able to really protect himself if he needed to.

But. He. Wants. Out.

Whenever we go out the door, we check to see if he is nearby. We open the door and we hear his little collar bell jingle away as he races toward the door.

From the outside, if there is anyone ever watching, it would appear very strange. We get out the door as quickly as possible and shut the door, hoping we aren’t catching a cat foot or nose in the door as it slams shut.

A lot of times, he gets out and the chase begins.

He usually runs under a car because he knows we’re going to drag him back into the house.

Lately though, I told Mary to resist yelling at him and see what he does. If he doesn’t think he is in trouble maybe we won’t have to crawl under half a dozen vehicles as he darts from one to another to retain his freedom. Well, Mary won’t have to crawl under half a dozen vehicles.

So, now, this is what happens.

Garfield GrazingGarfield GrazingGarfield Grazing

He eats grass.

Garfield GrazingGarfield GrazingGarfield Grazing

He could have ToLd us he wanted to eat grass!

Occasionally, he’ll scoot over to the neighbor’s patio and roll around on it for a minute or two, but he hasn’t darted off to the underside of a car or truck in a few days.

One day he sat and watched a bird sitting in the grass about 50 feet away. Didn’t try and chase it, just watched it.

He is just SO determined, though!

Translation: He’s an ass.

He darts through the door upstairs onto the patio.

Yeah. And that’s this shot.

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After which, with a twist and back claws trying to cling to a surface, the little jerk fell from the balcony onto a bush. He was at the front door when I went down to see where he’d run off to.

Did it prevent him from going to the other side of the rail?

Not. One. Bit.

Twice. Two more times, so far,  he has jingled his little ass between my feet as I open the door and runs right to the same spot. I reach over the rail and grab his tail and hall his little butt back over, dropping him unceremoniously on the floor inside the house.

Add in the yowling that occurs at the door every thirty minutes for thirty minutes and I’m ready to strangle the little bugger.

Then he does stuff like this.

Sleepy kitty

And he’s just so darn cute.

Sleepy kitty

But it’s only because he’s sleeping.

I can’t even talk Oreo into hating him.

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Little bastard.