joiedecombat: (psst!)
If you're going to use a work of fiction to deconstruct and criticize the conventions of a genre - especially if you set up a fake-out by presenting it initially as a standard example of the genre and then doing a "gotcha" reveal fifteen minutes in and proceeding from there - it's kind of a requirement to actually deconstruct those conventions and not just have the characters complain about them while unironically acting out those exact same conventions.

I mean, if it's done well I'm a great fan of having the story I'm reading turn out to not be the story I thought I was reading. And I frequently love it when characters turn out to not be the people you thought they were, especially when it gives me the opportunity to revisit the whole thing from an entirely new perspective once the reveal occurs. But not when the reveal takes the form of "The story you set out to read is shallow and fake. Were you getting to like those characters? Guess what! They're all actually nothing like that. See, this guy's name isn't even Pierre, it's Josh!" Without actually being any less predictable or shallow than the original genre.



Jun. 30th, 2007 03:41 pm
joiedecombat: (kill it with FIRE)
Two "oh my God, you must be joking" calls in a row!

First the woman who called in absolutely outraged because she is being penalized for excessive returns on her account - and by "excessive" I mean that in the past less than four years she'd actually charged less than five thousand dollars but somehow contrived to return more than eleven thousand, and had actually paid only a bit over eight hundred - and saying that she plans to sue the company because she was given a hard time over claiming a credit balance refund in the amount of $245 because she has made three returns but no purchases over the past twelve months...

...then the woman who came into a store with a statement dated 3/31/04 wanting to claim the credit balance it reflected, and who, when I advised her that it would have been refunded after three statements, persisted in asking questions about what she should do in order to be able to claim the credit. Which was $50.20. Somehow I managed not to tell her that what she should do is accept that after more than three years, that ship has pretty much sailed.

Plus a store associate giving a customer a stupidly hard time about trying to get him to look up her account number, and demanding that I give her whatever information I had because it was not part of his duties - never mind that only one of our lines is permitted to give out account numbers, and I only have the extension that the associates dial in to it, because it has to be an associate who calls in so that they can verify picture ID...

The world is full of assholes today.
joiedecombat: (bombarded)
"May I place you on hold to transfer your call?" is not a rhetorical question.

The clue to that was that I asked three times.
joiedecombat: (rage)
A brief note from a customer service phone monkey, to anyone who may ever need to call any kind of customer service for any reason:

If you find yourself needing to do business over the phone, or needing to call for customer service, please do everyone a favor and do not sit there eating while you are talking on the phone. Trust me, we can hear you. It sounds gross. Would you sit there chomping on nachos while doing business face-to-face at the bank? Stop it.

I'm not talking about coming back from placing a customer on hold and hearing eating noises, mind you; I'm talking about listening to them chewing while they are talking to me. And it never fails to baffle me. Why do that? Do they really think that because I can't see them, I can't tell?


Crossposted to [ profile] customers_suck
joiedecombat: (...)
Funny the things that'll send your mood spiraling into the toilet.

God, I hate people who get overly literal about polite pleasantries. Yes, yes, too bad I couldn't wave my magic wand and make a gift card magically appear in your hand, but I did offer to connect you to the store where you made your purchases so that they could correct whatever error was made and get your gift card to you. You declined. When I ask if there is anything else I can help you with, therefore, the correct answer is not to reply in a syrupy, patronising voice, "Did you help me with anything?"

Once again I'm left wondering why people seem to believe it's perfectly okay to say crap like that. I could hear "ha ha I have the moral high ground" oozing out of her voice.
joiedecombat: (bombarded)
I am about to start answering gift card help desk calls with "rocket science help desk." Because apparently that's what this is.

joiedecombat: (Rogue - Urge To Kill Rising)
Okay, it's been all over LJ - I heard about it from [ profile] persephoneflame - but, wow. Just... wow.

With a side of OMG WTF BBQ.

New federal guidelines ask all females capable of conceiving a baby to treat themselves -- and to be treated by the health care system -- as pre-pregnant, regardless of whether they plan to get pregnant anytime soon.

Words fail me. I just - I cannot fathom how this is considered acceptable. I mean, I understand the desire to decrease the infant mortality rate. But you do not do it by acting like the possibility that a woman might, one of these days, get pregnant is more important than her preferences and intentions are - regardless of whether she is sexually active, lesbian, or celibate; regardless of whether or not she is actively trying to avoid getting pregnant.

I am willing to accept that there is some room to argue the well-being of an unborn child over the preferences of the mother - to a point - but when you start acting like potential children not even conceived are more important than a woman's free will and control over her own life, that is going way too far. The message here may be well-meant, but it still reads "the most important thing about you is your ability to bear children." And alongside that message is the one [ profile] persephoneflame stated more clearly than I can, involving blaming women for the infant mortality rate instead of looking at other factors of the damn healthcare system.

I am not a baby factory. I have no intentions of having children; I am not maternal. I am damn well celibate, and while it is distantly possible that God's gift to women might appear out of nowhere one of these days and sweep me off my feet and into a torrid affair, the most likely chance of me getting pregnant at this point in my life would be if I were raped - which I also go out of my way to avoid, thanks - and if that were to happen, I would have bigger goddamn problems.

I am fucking well not pre-pregnant.

Damn, but this is the angriest I have been in a while now. Attitudes like this make me consider sterilization. Except that I probably wouldn't be allowed. Maybe I'll just punch someone instead.
joiedecombat: (Default)
I hate the world.

Not sure why.
joiedecombat: (Rogue - Urge To Kill Rising)
Wow. who put bitchy in the water today?

Everything in the whole world is pissing me off. If I go rarr at anyone, please accept my apologies and know that it's not you.

Unless you're one of the customers who's been calling me and generally being stupid. Then it might be you.
joiedecombat: (Rogue - Urge To Kill Rising)
Two questions for the day:

1) WTF is with today and people who are fundamentally incapable of grasping the concept of a monthly billing cycle? If you get a statement in the beginning of April that shows an amount due even though you thought you paid your account in full at the end of March, the time to ask "hey, what's with this remaining amount" is not a week after that statement's due date. And if you are dumb enough to wait until after your statement showed the amount was due to ask about it, you should not be surprised when we tell you that no, we cannot simply roll that amount due onto your next due date so that you will not be considered past due or receive any late fees or interest charges. People like this make me regret being able to waive late fees and interest charges.

Similarly, if you receive a statement in March showing that you have an amount due in April, and you do not make a payment, and then you receive another statement showing a) no payment received and b) a new payment due with a new due date, that does not mean that the previous amount is not now past due and that you should not receive a late fee so long as you make your payment by the new due date. This is not how it works.


2) On a lesser note, who told the Gundam SEED fandom that "what if Murrue was pregnant before Jachin Due?" was a good and interesting plotline? Stop it.

That is all.
joiedecombat: (death)
When you know that the exit onto the smoker's patio is equipped with an ear-piercing alarm which goes off if the door is opened without an ID being scanned, or if the door stays open too long, FOR GOD'S SAKE CLOSE THE DOOR BEFORE WE ALL GO DEAF. That is all.


May. 12th, 2004 07:02 pm
joiedecombat: (Default)
So. I work for an insurance office. I've only had the job a few months, and so I'm far from an expert on insurance in general; my job is generally to field phone calls to other people in the office who know what's going on. I also take payments and give basic auto quotes.

I've come to dread giving quotes. Not because it's difficult in itself; no, what I dread is the phone call that begins "I want a quote on some insurance," because nine times out of ten the person on the other end has no earthly idea what they want, and prying information out of them is like pulling teeth. For the love of God, people, if you ever call an insurance agency for a quote, take the time to acquire at least a vague notion of what you want before you ask someone to give you a price.

I am so, so sick of people who call my office and ask for a quote on insurance for such and such a car as though I have a chart in front of me and I can instantly rattle off a number right then.

My calls generally run something like this:
Caller: "I wanna get a quote on some car insurance."
Me: "What kind of car do you want to have quoted?"
This is where I'm supposed to input year, make, and model. Most callers generally leave out at least one of these, forcing me to prompt them until they tell me the rest of the information.
Then I have to figure out the age, gender, and marital status of the driver, which usually isn't too hard.
Then it gets tricky.
Me: "What kind of coverage do you want?"
Caller: "Full."
Me: "...Okay. How much liability coverage do you need?"
Caller: "...I dunno."
Insert thumbnail explanation of liability coverage: $x per person up to $x per accident for bodily injury and $x per accident for property damage.
Caller: "That sounds good."
Me: "Okay, but how much liability do you want?"
Caller: " much does it cost?"
Me: "I can't give you the price quote until you've chosen your coverages. Right now I'll put you down for our minimum, and if that's not enough we can go back and change it, okay?"
Caller: "Okay."
Me: "Do you want medical coverage?"
Lather, rinse, repeat ad nauseam, until I'm rolling my eyes and restraining the urge to channel [ profile] funwithrage and snarl into the phone, "What do you want?"

I do not insist that everyone know everything about insurance. Hell, I don't understand some of it myself. But if these people are making me pick their coverages for them, how can they possibly be getting the coverage they actually need? If all you know about insurance is that you need some, go to an insurance office! Talk to an agent! Find out what the hell you need! Do not call me and make me try to figure out how to quote you!

Even worse are the people who call my office and do this to me at 4:57 in the afternoon, when our office closes at 5:00.

Like today.

joiedecombat: (Default)
Things like this are why I get so annoyed at the prevalence of stallions as mounts for characters in fantasy fiction, fanfic, and RP:

WARSAW (Reuters) - A sexually excited stallion bit a Polish man to death when he tried to calm the beast, which had become uncontrollably aroused by a nearby mare, police said.

"The 24-year-old man, identified as Robert R., was bitten when he tried to calm his horse, which had become unsettled by the presence of a mare in the vicinity," a duty officer in the Baltic port of Szczecin told Reuters.

The horse went wild and began straining and bucking while pulling a farm cart through the village.

An autopsy would determine whether the direct cause of death was a severed jugular vein or damaged spine, the officer added.

Sure, stallions can be trained into complete manageability. With a lot of time and extensive effort and attention on the part of the trainer. Emphasis heavily on "extensive." It is not common.

And don't give me any of that "it's a warhorse, we want the aggression!" crap either. You try managing a unit of cavalry when everyone's mounts are bent on killing each other because everybody's riding stallions and stallions are naturally antagonistic to other stallions because hello competition. Not to mention the pandemonium when someone rode up on a mare in season.

joiedecombat: (Default)
I am supposed to go to lunch at noon. It's currently 12:15. I cannot go to
lunch until people *stop coming in the freaking office and needing things I
can't take care of* so that they have to sit at my desk and wait for Ashley
to get done with the people who came in before them.

joiedecombat: (Default)
If you call your column Critic's Corner, it would be advisable to actually
critique something instead of just telling me what's on TV.

I get pissy about USA Today and content when it's all I can browse.
joiedecombat: (Default)
I am in a pisser of a mood. And I'm not sure why, exactly, but I'm sick of hearing about the job my brother's fiancee is getting, and I'm sick of listening to people talk on the phone, I'm really sick of listening to slurpy kissing and eating noises, and I'm very sick of my brother's laptop malfunctioning. I'm feeling bitchy and I just want to talk to someone for a little while, but nobody's talking, either because they're busy or idle or just not online right now.



Mar. 26th, 2003 09:04 am
joiedecombat: (Default)
A few days back there was a student article in our university newspaper basically saying that all of this anti-French nonsense is pointless and silly, an opinion I agree with. In the latest edition there is a letter to the editor replying to the article. The full text is here. The salient quote:

"He suggests that Canada not supporting us is a problem. We don't need Canada and never have. Mr. Odom also says, 'Mexico doesn't support us.' WHO CARES? Canada and Mexico only exist as separate countries because we let them."

I can't properly express how monstrously arrogant this statement is. Furthermore, it's indicative of a much larger problem with our country as a whole. We damn well better care what Canada and Mexico think. They're our neighbors. When we're done in the Middle East, we still have to live next to them. Unless you bright and shining patriots think it's time to start bombing them, too?

Not to mention that they happen to be the only land routes into our country, so even if we're going to be arrogant fucks who are still right even when the world says we're wrong, we ought to think twice before we tell them to fuck off just in case someone gets tired of our lording around at everyone and decides to do some smacking down. Considering that we've already pretty much announced to the world that we don't give a damn about the UN and were only going along with it because it was convenient, I'd hesitate to alienate our two only physical neighbors.


So running away to Canada.
joiedecombat: (Default)
Stuff like this is why I don't support Bush or military action in Iraq.


Mar. 20th, 2003 11:21 am
joiedecombat: (Default)
Walked back from class across the drill field. Counted twelve people on cell phones.

I don't get it.

What are they all talking about? What could possibly be important enough to have a conversation about while you're walking somewhere? I mean, I have a cell phone. I hardly ever use it. Mostly for long distance calls 'cause it's prepaid, or when I need to know something that can't wait until I'm near a phone. It's pretty much reserved for emergencies, only I haven't had any that have required it.

Then again, given the impressive online times I've been racking up, maybe I shouldn't criticize.

A society of communication junkies. Whee.

Don't mind me, Ethics class always makes me a little introspective. We discussed covering war today, natch. I got to gripe about being kicked around for not supporting military action in Iraq. Stammered and fumbled like a go-tard when called upon to explain the contents of my homework assignment; no wonder I don't talk on the phone much. Bweh.

Well, anyhow.

Speaking of griping: they're calling the bombing operation in Baghdad "Shock and Awe"? Sounds like reactions to a fireworks display, which is fitting, 'cause the footage last night on CBS sounded like one. It didn't look like one; they didn't show any explosions, just an attractive street with a pretty dawn sky that occasionally had tiny dark things zip across it.

If my information (from my Ethics professor, whose stance on the whole business is as yet unknown) is correct, only a small portion of the attack used those highly accurate targeted missiles. The rest were "bunker busters" dropped from stealth bombers.

Hell of a fireworks display. It's only just started and I'm already tired of the sanitized imagery we're getting from the media. Shock and awe, my ass. Maybe Joe Public would be a little less inclined to rattle the saber if he actually saw some stuff blowing up and people getting hurt.

Then again, Joe Public would probably enjoy that. Ugh.

And the next person who accuses me of being unpatriotic and cowardly can bite me. I love my country. For the most part, I love living here. But I think we need to be collectively taken down a couple pegs until we stop trying to control the whole world. I don't even know what we're bombing Iraq for. I've got a brother in Air Force officer's training, and I'd just as soon he didn't go anywhere near the Persian Gulf, k thx.

That is all.


joiedecombat: (Default)

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