Friday, May 25, 2007

Towel Day

It's that time of year again!

When I have anything interesting to report about this, I will. I shall update this post a bit later and reminisce about the past six years of celebrating Towel Day. Actually, sod it, I'll just copy what I sent in to the Towel Testimonials page on the official Towel Day website a few years ago:

It was a day like any other. I had been watching TV for some time and then finally decided to do something more constructive with my day, so I switched it off, and picked up my mobile phone. That's when I got an SMS from a friend in England: "Douglas Adams is dead". I asked the standard questions, and was told what had happened. I was in shock, went straight to the computer, and closed down my two websites in memorandum. Later that night, my mother and I were preparing dinner, and I told her I had got an SMS from my friend, and then I started crying. She thought something had happened to my friend's family, but I told her "Douglas Adams is dead!". She looked at me and said "Who?", and when I told her who he was she pointed out that I didn't know him personally and all that, but it somehow didn't matter. For a lot of fans, that didn't matter. We had lost Douglas and were in shock and mourning.

There was talk on the Internet of a Towel Day in rememberance of him, set to May 25, and the thought of NOT participating never even crossed my mind. Of course I would pay my tribute! Thus, I walked around with a towel in my
school bag for I think the end of the semester. Not displayed all the time, but it was there.

In 2002, I was going to Vänersborg to meet up with some friends on May 25, and I had a towel lying around my neck on the train. People looked, but I didn't care. At the train station in Vänersborg, the group of friends came to meet me. The two boys in the group had their towels with them.

In 2003, unfortunately, it was a Sunday, and I don't recall leaving the house at all that day. I had a towel with me anyway, though! In 2004, I was going to go to Gothenburg, but ended up going around Stenungsund instead - towel properly displayed from my hand bag! My mum asked why I was carrying a towel. I told her. "Ahh, that writer," she said, and left it at that.

To not celebrate Towel Day is still not an option. I've been pushing for it this year, sending out reminders to people, and they've been positive about it. Reading Daniel's testimonial, I've decided to keep the towel in my bag. I noticed back in 2001 that it was very useful to carry with at all times, so I will definitely start doing that again.

TraXy - who knows where her towel is!
To update it, as it seems to be written in 2005, I can say that in 2005, I was reminded of it at work, and fortunately had a towel in my bag, which I immediately took out and displayed. Last year (2006) I completely forgot and was deeply ashamed. Ended up pinning a paper napkin to my coat saying something like "temporary towel", explaining the situation. Ho hum. So this year, now that I have remembered it, I have put a towel in my bag as we're going around places carding in the morning. You can't stop the towel!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Script Frenzy!

June 1-30, it's NaNoWriMo all over again... kind of. Except this time, the goal is a 20 000-word screenplay! :) I'm game. Are you?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Which superhero are you?

Your results:
You are Superman

You are mild-mannered, good, strong and you love to help others.

Superman 75%
Spider-Man 75%
Green Lantern 70%
Robin 67%
Wonder Woman 57%
Supergirl 52%
The Hulk 45%
Iron Man 40%
Catwoman 35%
The Flash 35%
Batman 35%

Click here to take the "Which Superhero am I?" quiz...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Monitor update

The Tech Guys just phoned to arrange re-delivery of the monitor. It's been fixed already. And they only picked it up yesterday, at 11:47! Done already! That's quick. Hopefully it's fixed now. Only waited three weeks for it, after all...

To be continued...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Always think for yourself

Customer call-back

Guess what?

Around noon, I actually received a phone call from The Tech Guys regarding the booking of that monitor. Tomorrow, is that all right? In the words of Mulder: Sure, fine, whatever. Just make sure they actually come to pick it up this time...

To be continued...

Also have had two spam callers today, which pisses me off. The first one was someone calling from France about an exhibition that would be on in our area on May 24. Porcelain, apparently. He wanted to speak to the man of the house, advised he was not around. Even though I said "oh no, we're busy that day, no can do", he would still call back later. Gah.

The second one was from eFinancial or something like that - they've called before. Every time, I've advised them that we're listed with the Telephone Preference Service, we do not wish to receive calls like that. This lady actually said she was just providing information, not selling anything. SAME SHIT DIFFERENT NAME! Providing information about a personal loan... not interested!! Sod the fuck off!

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Tech Guys Saga

As it's kind of come up, I'm going to spend this whole post getting some stuff off my chest. If you hadn't guessed it yet, I'm a former employee of The Tech Guys. Yes, that was the callcentre responsible for plunging me into a depression and who I had to resign from in order to keep my sanity and stay healthy.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with The Tech Guys Saga.

The Tech Guys, which up until the end of last year some time was called PC ServiceCall, and a few years prior to that, it was called Mastercare. You see, they seem to be changing their name every time the general public has a bit too negative view of the company. I guess it's easier to change the company name than it is to make the changes needed for the company to function like they should. I mean, why on earth sort out the problems of an organisation where one hand doesn't seem to know what the other one is doing? Name changes are much better, less work.

Rather than biting the bullet themselves, DSGi sold PCSC to a callcentre empire called Capita in the spring of 2006, and as far as us employees could make out, let them take the blame for some controversial changes. "It had to be done, and DSG didn't want to get the aggro themselves," someone explained to me when I mentioned how badly they handled shift changes in the UK teams, which was one of the things that was pissing me off at the time.

DSGi, or DSG International - trading in the UK as PC World, Currys,, The Link and Dixons, trading in Sweden as Elgiganten and PC City (rest of Scandinavia as Elkjøp, Gigantti, Elgiganten, and Lefdal, amongst others) - a company where it was said you sometimes felt you were just a number, but then they'd do something to make you feel like an individual... and Capita... to them, you never feel like you're anything but a number.

When there were initial talks of Capita taking over PCSC, I joked about it, saying maybe it was like "Capita(l) punishment". Another apt term we came up with was "Crapita". Both turned out to be painfully accurate, as far as we were concerned. We were shown videos of happy people whose companies had been taken over by Capita, and how great it all would be to be taken over. New opportunities and family values and whatnot. We all thought it sounded pretty nifty, but reality turned out to be a little different.

The first thing they did when taking over were changing shift patterns. You got to have your say beforehand, though, so they could take your personal needs into consideration. These considerations were then pretty much thrown out of the window, and they lost around (I'm guessing) ⅓ of the call handlers, who said enough is enough.

Things were not quite as bad in the Nordic camp, but... well, there were some changes there too. From the summer of 2006 to the time I left in March 2007, we had replaced about ¾ of the team. I had been there for two years, and there were only about five other people left from those days when I quit. One of them, who had been there since the Nordic department started finished a week or two before me. Around the same time, two of the four team leaders resigned as well. One of them, who had been my team leader in the past, had been there since the start of Nordics as well. Yet finally, all at once, they seemed to have had enough...

A company who does things right, such as treating their employes like human beings and with a bit of respect, not to mention does a good job for customers... well, they shouldn't have a problem keeping staff on for more than a month or so. Oh yes, but then they'd of course have to be treating people with respect, dignity and things like that, no matter if it's a customer or an employee, which they to my mind never figured out how to do, as long as I worked there. Some people didn't even last a month, and otehrs became as frustrated as me with the place after only a month or two, and I had been there for over a year. It's not a good place to be.

And now I'm free, and I'm never going back to that place ever again. To finish up the rant, I present you with the poem I wrote for my goodbye letter to my co-workers.

seek me where no dress codes apply
where the AUP is whatever I say it to be
where being ill is not a breech of contract
where true words can roam free
where the breaks are whenever
where my phone don't require a login
and an IVR doesn't even exist
find me at peace
fulfilling my purpose

© 2007



As I've mentioned before, my camera was replaced, with a spankin' new S5600 which is working fine, it would appear, so yay!

But, alas, this is another chapter in the epic TECH GUYS SAGA!

On the weekend when I was away in Leicestershire (went to stay over with Arnie and her family and wuvly dogs and went to another ACT1, which was great fun), one of our two Xerox monitors decided it was time to pack it in. They were purchased at the same time as my laptop, just before Christmas 2005, on the "Computers @ Home" scheme. They're great things, 19" flatscreens. Mine is still working, the other one decided you could press the button to switch it on... and then it makes a buzzing noise and shuts down. It shows the Xerox logo, then "no signal" and then bzzzz, dead.

Phoned that Sunday, April 22, to book it. Was advised as it's a business agreement (guess how surprised the PC World guy was when I said "oh, and I want Coverplan on that!" ;)), I would need to speak to business, so got their number. They were only open normal business hours, i.e. not on a Sunday. Phoned the business line that Monday (April 23), they said "even if it's a business agreement, it's the domestic line that deals with monitors"... so I had to phone the normal number again...

Got it booked in finally. Was told I'd receive a call within 24 hours to book a date to come pick the monitor up. Nothing. Was advised to phone later that afternoon, as it could be 36 hours rather than 24, and it was still "being processed". Still nothing, was advised to wait until Friday, and if not having heard anything then, phone back.

Phoned back on the Saturday, as I didn't hear anything all week. It was re-booked again... and still nothing. Phoned last Friday, they were going to pick it up on Tuesday, which they didn't, so it was re-booked under a new booking number (in case there was some technical glitch with the first one). You guessed it, nothing.

Phoned again, a woman was going to investigate it. She phoned Parceline, they had no knowledge of them being supposed to be popping by our house. Her words suggested to me I was not the first person this was happening to, as she said bookings seemed to get stuck with a third party company and not being processed and passed on to Parceline. Apparently, The Tech Guys book the job, the job is handed over to a third party company whose name I can't recall but it began with an M (no, not Mastercare), and they arrange with Parceline to come and pick the item up for repair. Anyhoo, she passed on the details in an email to her team leader ("it's like my supervisor" - gasp, I had NO idea! Who'd o' thought?) and said as soon as they heard anything, I would hear from them. That was two days ago...

Soooo... now, I've phoned up Coverplan directly, partly to check with the pay-as-you-go deal on my camera, because as far as I know, if an item's replaced, you lose the warranty policy - I could have it changed to fit the new camera, or I could cancel it, which I did. The other part asking about the monitor. Explained the situation, he took my number, was going to call them up and see what's going on and ask them to call me. They might, or they might not. I'm not getting my hopes up...

Wow, I knew there was a reason for people slagging off that company. Turns out I was right on all accounts as to why. Go fig.

Me iz clever

I did an IQ test. Been a while now.

IQ Test Score

Did it again, today:

IQ Test Score

I gets cleverer every day! :D