sarasvati: A white lotus flower floating on water. (Default)
2011-08-03 09:55 am

Haven't updated this in a long time

So many things have happened since I last posted anything. Time to do a recap, I guess.

  • I quit Atelka. I couldn't take it anymore. Things kept piling up and piling up and getting worse. At the moment, there are exactly 4 people left from my training class, and I know 2 of those people are going to be leaving by September. There's maybe 5 people from the second training class. Each class started out with about 30 people, and we've all been there for less than a year. That's a terrible track record. But to make matters worse (and yet more interesting), the HR person who openly sympathized with me and my opinions of the place was fired about a week after I left. Yeah. I think I got out of there at the right time.

  • Fortunately, my new job starts in the first week of September. I've applied for EI benefits to get me by until then. I'm looking forward to the new job. It pays $13.25 an hour in training, then $14.25 an hour once I hit the floor. That'll make it the most I've ever earned at a job before shift bonuses. Very excited! Especially because there's the very real possibility of the centre going 24/7, and they already know I'm interested in an overnight position. That will bump my hourly wage to $15.25 an hour, and leave me relatively free to do other things while not taking calls. Whether this means I'll be studying or just reading for enjoyment, I don't know, but at least the option's there.

  • My finger has healed, at least as much as I ever think it will. It's stiff as anything in the mornings, and swells up when it's hot, but I've regained pretty much full mobility and strength.

  • Still doing the book blog. Still have more books than I can reasonably read in a month, but at least another free month will help me to get through some of the backlog, the way it did when my finger was injured and I could do nothing but read.

  • I've made the decision that I'm going to try to get into Osaka University of the Arts. It will require a lot of preparation (got to master the Japanese language first, after all) and saving (yeah, I dread to think about how much money it'll cost, but fortunately the new job will allow me to save more money than I could have before, so that's a plus), but early research is key. Turns out that I can arrange decent housing through the school, and that people on a student visa can, with permission, work a certain number of hours each week, which will be very beneficial. If I can manage to get a part time job, then I won't have to be quite so worried about money. But regardless, I won't be able to even apply for at least five years, since I figure that it'll take me that long to save up. (Barring large windfalls, like winning the lottery or something.)

    So, that's my life in a nutshell. I'm out of hell, into purgatory, and awaiting heaven. :p Not a bad place to be, considering where I came from!
  • sarasvati: Squashed Teddie from Persona 4, looking angry (evil Teddie)
    2011-06-30 12:09 pm
    Entry tags:

    Can't take much more of this.

    Had some wonderfully good news today, which was that a company I interviewed with called me back and said that they want to offer me a job. There's a delay in the starting date, so they're going to withhold making a formal offer until things can be confirmed, but essentially, I got the job.

    Not a moment too soon, because only an hour or so after I got that call, my current employer called to ask me why I wasn't back at work yet, because the doctor's note I gave them says I should have been back on June 25. I said no, I had a first note that put me out until then, but I also got another note 3 days after that which put me out for 21 days, which would mean I'd be back on July 5th. I gave that note to my supervisor. He photocopied it for me for my own records.

    Turns out he forgot to give that note to HR. Two and a half weeks ago. When he gave them the first note, because I brought both in at the same time. So records got fucked up, and he didn't think to give HR that note until directly confronted about it. This is, sadly, just another fuck-up on a long list of fuck-ups that he's been involved in since... well, getting hired, let alone twice getting promoted.

    Not to mention, if I was supposed to been back this past Monday (closest work day to the 25th), why call me now, on Thursday? Why not call me on Monday, or Tuesday?

    I almost hope I have to get surgery on my hand at this rate, because that will keep out off work just long enough to bring me to the approximate start date of the new job, meaning I wouldn't have to go back to that infuriating shithole again. People on the inside are telling me that it's gotten work since I've been away. People can't take their scheduled breaks now without getting a supervisor's permission first. They refuse you when you ask to take an extra 5-minute unpaid break to go to the bathroom if you suddenly need to go. You can have medication on the floor form acute medical conditions only if they're in clear display and view on your desk, which also means that anyone passing by your desk can know what you're taking, potentially figure out your medical history, and possibly try to steal your meds from you.

    Yeah. Having my hand sliced open and having to go through more weeks of pain actually sound preferable to going back to that hellhole.

    And the elation I felt over finding out I'm due to be a part of a new company's team is now overshadowed by the supreme idiocy of a company I'll no longer bother to hide the name of. Seriously. If you ever consider working for Atelka, don't. Just... don't.
    sarasvati: A white lotus flower floating on water. (Default)
    2011-06-11 09:19 am
    Entry tags:

    Not how I wanted to get off work...

    Excuse any typos here. I have only one good hand to use right now...

    Yesterday, I broke my finger. A minor enough injury, you think. Aha, here's how it's not so minor. I broke it in such a way that a fragment snapped off and actually being held away from the main bone by the ligament, and it requires me to see a reconstructive surgeon to fix it. I'll also probably have arthritis in that finger from now on, because of where and how the break was.

    I'm off work for at least 2 weeks and will probably also need to do physio to help this thing heal. I see the surgeon on Monday.

    I'm wearing a temporary cast that goes almost to my elbow this weekend, to support the finger. I've also been given narcotics and muscle relaxants to help with the pain. I want to use them sparingly, though.

    Anyway, since I can't do anything now that requires both hand (go on, make that "typing with one hand" joke, you know you want to), I'll probably fill the hours with lots and lots of reading. And trying not to think about how I'll be paying the rent without having worked for money.

    But damn, the world really isn't built for the one-handed! I can't even open my pill bottles without help right now. I guess it could be worse, though. I could be going through this and still need my cane to get around. No idea what I'd do then!
    sarasvati: (persona phone)
    2011-06-06 09:44 am
    Entry tags:

    Dear Celexa:

    While I greatly appreciate what you're going to be doing for my mental and emotional state in the near future, do you really have to give me almost all of your side effects along with that promise?

    When I first took you, you made me sleepy. Really. Freaking. Sleepy. This time, you seem to be making me excited and irrtable in addition to making me sleepy. Seriously. What the hell, Celexa?

    Also, the nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea? I can really do without that stuff, too. And the dry mouth makes me feel like I've been sucking on cotton balls all day.

    So now I have to dread barfing at work today, in addition to having to have another argument with management about my pay. Joyful.

    No love at the moment,
    sarasvati: A white lotus flower floating on water. (Default)
    2011-06-01 04:16 pm
    Entry tags:

    (no subject)

    Panic attack 1, yesterday, made me leave work.

    Panic attack 2, today, drove me to the doctor, because I just can't fucking take this anymore.

    I'm now back on antidepressants and out of work until Monday. And my doctor, because he's not a moron, knows my family history well enough to ask me when the last time I had my thyroid checked was. My father's thyroid is dead, and that can be hereditary, so it's worth checking. He also wants a CBC, as well as tests for liver and kidney function. Far more than Dr. Fuckwad did when I went to her with depressive behaviour, that's for sure.

    Makes me wonder if my thyroid really has been declining for years. Last time I had it tested was with Dr. Fuckwad, and when I asked her the results, she glanced at them, said they were fine, and then when I asked what the next step was (I was seeing her about fatigue issues at the time), couldn't even remember why she'd sent me for tests in the first place. For all I know, my thyroid was starting to decline then and she didn't catch it. Thankfully, my current doctor is kind of awesome. I've only seen him twice, but I like him. Competant, and knows enough not to talk down to patients when it becomes obvious that they know some of what they're talking about when describing symptoms and potential treatments.

    Not exactly looking forward to starting citalopram again, but if it stops my mood swings and panic attacks, I'll do it. Most of my problems with life right now aren't things that will go away with meds. Meds won't fix the pay issues at work, or stop people from treating me like shit, or get me a new job. But they will help me deal with my reactions to those things, which I know are off and have been off for a long time. I guess there's an upside to having done depression treatment before. I'm not naive enough to expect what won't happen.
    sarasvati: Greyscale image of the Digimon Kaiser. (kaiser-mode)
    2011-05-31 08:35 am
    Entry tags:

    Too tired to keep smiling

    When that supervisor told me that he told payroll that I needed that 16 hours of pay before the next paycheque, I believed him. I still believe him. I believe that he told them that, and that he honestly believed they would care.

    Evidently, he was wrong, because it's the last day of the month, and the money's not in my account. Fortunately, out landlady always ends up cashing the rent cheque late, so what I was short on my last paycheque because of sick time should be made up on the pay I'll get this Thursday.

    Assuming, of course, that they did that right. More than half of me expects that on Thursday, I will be arguing not only for the pay that they should have given me two months ago, but also for my vacation pay that will have somehow not gotten calculated properly.

    I'm too tired of all this stuff to go in there with a smile on my face and pretend that it's all okay. I'm having panic attacks so badly that I don't want to sleep again, because sleeping means that I'm not conscious of time passing, which means that tomorrow gets here that much faster and I have to go back to work. I shake thinking about having to go outside, not just to go to work, but in general. If I have to do it, I balk, because it's not a choice for me, and I can't choose to stay inside if it's too much for me to do otherwise.

    I don't want to have to keep doing this. But I can't seem to get any bites from other companies, and setting up a plan where I can sustainably work from home will take years, and I'm not sure I can put up with months of this, let alone years. I'd find a way to go back on EI if I could, but that wouldn't pay enough to cover my expenses and would run out, and it took me over a year to find the job I currently have; there'd be no guarantee I could find another job before the EI benefits ran out.

    Besides, doing that, even if it would give me enough to get by, wouldn't give me enough to save up so that I could do the library technician course that I'm planning on starting on January. Unless EI would cover that too, which I doubt. I'm basically backed by circumstance into this shit-hole that doesn't give a damn abouts its employees enough to pay them properly.

    I really hate it when people pull the whole, "You should be grateful you even have a job" crap on me. The implication there is that I should like being fucked over like this. Or at least that I have no cause to complain. The idea that anything is better than nothing, so I should just shut up. And yes, to an extent, that's correct. I'd rather be employed than unemployed, but it's not because I enjoy the work I do. I'd rather have enough money to survive by doing what I enjoy, which would be legitimate work in its own right. But I am not thankful that my current employer, much like my last employer, isn't paying me properly. I'm not happy to think that I could be making enough money save a couple of hundred a month, except that I'm never sure I'll be paid properly and so I can't count on anything that should be coming. I'm not thankful that this job is directly responsible for making me think I need to be back on medication to handle my anxiety. What part of this should I be thankful for without any reserve? I'm not being paid properly. I fear going in for my shifts. I was made to act as a pseudo-supervisor for over a month, taking half of the responsibilities without traininbg or pay increase, because they couldn't be bothered to hire a proper sup for the team. I'd be far more appreciative of this job if I saw a signs that the company cared even an equal amount for their employees as they do for their clients...

    Half an hour until I have to get ready and leave for the day... Starting to shake again, and I can't afford to call in...
    sarasvati: A white lotus flower floating on water. (Default)
    2011-05-28 08:45 am
    Entry tags:

    (no subject)

    Ugh, bad pain day. I got six hours of sleep last night due to waking up with cramped legs again. Normally that happens if it's cold all night and I spend my sleeping hours curled into a ball for warmth, but it's been warm enough lately to stretch out, and there's no reason my muscles should be cramped and sore enough to wake me up after too little sleep.

    Also, the worst case of dry-mouth I've had that doesn't involve having eaten a bunch of salty food right before bed. Bleh. Not a good start to the day. Thankfully I don't have to go out anywhere, so i can stay at home and recovery; still feeling less than great over the lung infection that's clearing up. It took its toll on my lungs; they don't have the capacity they did beforehand, so I've got to do all that careful building-up of lung strength again while trying not to cough. Not fun.

    I really hate days like this. The only thing worse than then coming on weekends is them coming on days where I have to go to work, since then I'm in pain, low on sleep, and have to just push past it and work for 8 hours. At least when I can stay at home, I can take care of myself as needed.
    sarasvati: A white lotus flower floating on water. (Default)
    2011-05-27 12:04 pm
    Entry tags:


    So, almost 2 months after my pay initially got borked, someone has finally stepped up to the plate and worked with me to get it fixed. It only took talking to 3 supervisors (one of them twice), the Operations Manager (3 times), the Human Resources person (once, who told me to speak to a sup or the Ops Manager), and a final report to the Labour Board to get them to do something, but something has been done. The sup who actually worked with me reviewed the records, saw that indeed I did work for all the hours I claimed I had, had no idea how I was paid for considerably less than that, and told Payroll to give me the money.

    Originally, he told me it would be on my next paycheque. I told him flat out that while I appreciate his help, that just wasn't good enough. Legally, a place has 7 days to fix pay fuck-ups before I'm within my rights to demand they cut me a cheque there and then. I was pretty patient with this, accepting, "It'll be on your next cheque" 3 times already, and because of the wait, I was now short on rent money this month. He immediately sent an email to Payroll telling them to give me the money ASAP, and told me it should most likely be in my bank account this coming Monday.

    And if it isn't, there will be hell to pay. I've put up with this for far too long, and I'm tired of it. Tired of the stress it causes, tired of, in spite of the fact that I'm making more than I need to survive, still living paycheque-to-paycheque because there's never a guarantee that my pay will be right and that I won't have to wait even longer for someone to fix the problem. It's pathetic.

    I am looking into other jobs, still. Problem is, most jobs available will be a step back for me, and I don't want to have to do that unless I absolutely have to. Entry-level call centre jobs where I'll be back on the phones and will have less seniority there than where I am now. I've already wrangled a promotion out of this place once, and am working on trying to get a Quality job so I can spend my shift monitoring calls instead of taking them, which would be awesome and is something that I think I'm better suited to than what I've got right now, fun as my job can sometimes be.

    I mostly have my fingers crossed, though, for a work-from-home job that's actually legit. A certain hotel chain has most of their agents work from home unless they live in a certain city, which I do not. They ship me off to said city for a month of training, put me up in a hotel and everything, and then send me back home to work from the comfort of wherever I have a computer with an Internet connection. I can have a little office area set up in the craft room easily enough, and their pay is about as much as I'm currently making, plus I'd get to work in a comfortable place where no stupid rules would prevent me from having my meds with me or prevent me from knitting or sewing in between calls. I've sent them my resume, and now am just hoping that they call me back.

    Doing a job like that would be amazing, not just for the obvious comfort reasons, not just because it would save me money on transportation, but because I plan to, in January, start a distance education program to become a library technician. Working from home would allow me a better chance to coordinate my courseload and my workload, which could mean I could get through everything in 3 years instead of 4, allowing me to again get a better job that much sooner.

    For the first time in my life, I feel like I really have a plan for my future. Not just a series of vague, "I want to do this," ideas that may or may not pan out, but a set of steps to get to where I want to be. Goals, I haz them! And it feels nice. Feels like I might actually be able to get somewhere good instead of just getting by, hoping for something better to come along. I'm actually making it happen, or at least working toward making it happen.

    Shame it took me until I'm almost 27 to do all this. I wish I'd realised my strengths and habits half a decade ago, and maybe by now I could actually be somewhere better instead of just looking forward to something better. But unless my big break is to invent a time machine, all I can do is just keep moving forward and working toward my goals. It's pointless to look too far back on a regretful past. Doing so just takes time away that I could be using to get ahead.
    sarasvati: Squashed Teddie from Persona 4, looking angry (evil Teddie)
    2011-05-18 10:28 am
    Entry tags:


    It's no surprise to me that I'm sick again. It's gone from a stuffy nose and a swollen tonsil (just one, mind you) to barely being able to talk and feeling tight-chested and occasionally like I'm breathing in chalk dust. This started shortly after I finished a course of antibiotics for another illness, mind you, so I'm fairly certain this one's viral and there's little I can do but wait it out.

    Which is a pain in the ass, since I'm on vacation this week. Sitting up is more of a chore than it ought to be. I spent most of yesterday watching the first half of House, season 4, and working on some cross-stitch embroidery.

    It's also been raining for days. It stopped yesterday, only to start again at night, and it's not raining now but it's cloudy and the forecast calls for more of it later on.

    Waiting fo0r my order from The Book Depository, which is bringing a cookbook, a craft book, and a YA dystopian novel that I've been wanting to read for over a month now. Also waiting for my order from GameStop, which has the Persona 3 remake for the PSP and the original Persona remake for the same system. The one in which they removed the removal of all references to Japan. Well, all references but Shinto shrines, for some reason. But yeah, in the remake, they essentially rebuilt the game from the ground up, left the character images the same as they started out (in the initial PSX release, they were whitied up so much some of them bordered on looking undead), and from everything I hear, made the game flow better. I've got the PSX game; it's slow, kind of clunky, and didn't manage to keep my attention for very long, so I'm hoping the better edition will, well, do better.

    And now I think I might lie down for a while, since I keep feeling flashes of heat under the skin of my face, and I really don't want to have to battle a fever on top of everything else that my body's currently trying to handle.

    (Oh yes, and by the way? Remember when I didn't get paid for 16 hours of a workweek over a month ago? Yeah, I'm still waiting for that money. Somebody was supposed to call me on Monday to sort it out. They didn't. I don't expect it to be on tomorrow's paycheque. Which means that when I get back in on Monday I am going to tear a fucking strip off somebody.)
    sarasvati: (persona phone)
    2011-04-30 01:47 pm
    Entry tags:

    Cooking Saturday!

    I planned earlier in the week to make baked beans for Daniel, because he really likes them. He's not alone, either; I really like them, and the first time I made them I followed no recipe but for the vague instructions you get by practically having Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series nigh-on memorized.

    Doing them differently this time, though. Where I normally add pieces of sausage to the mix (cheap packs of sausages are my friends when I make this stuff), this time Daniel wanted bacon, so bacon we shall have. Not sure how it'll affect the flavour, but here's hoping it'll still be good.

    Anyway, by the time I'd filled the casserole dish to go in the oven, I still had way too many boiled beans; I'd put too many on to soak last night! I refuse to waste them, so I've made an impromptu soup. Into the pot with the beans went slices carrots, 1/3 of an onion (chopped, of course), 1.5 tablespoons of freeze-dried garlic pieces, chopped bacon, salt, pepper, a little bit of celery seed, a bay leaf, and some Worcestershire sauce. It smells awesome, and I hope it'll end up tasting just as good, since I've never made anything like this before and didn't bother to check any recipes, instead just throwing things in and judging by taste and smell. Keeping my fingers crossed!

    So there's our food right through to Monday, and possibly longer if you count the leftover pea-and-ham soup I made the other day. (Though Daniel informs me that it doesn't microwave very well, which is a shame, but at least it's still edible.)

    Total cost of the baked beans and the soup, food which will feed both of us for 3-4 meals each? About $10, I'm guessing. So, somewhere between $1.25 and $1.67 per serving.

    And some people say it's too expensive to cook from scratch anymore! I can't find pre-packaged meals that cheap unless they're on sale and heavily discounted, and they're nowhere near as filling, tasty, or healthy as what I just made. Mostly, cooking from scratch costs time, and on Saturdays when Daniel's working and I'm alone in the apartment, I have that to spare. Aside from doing laundry and a little bit of straightening up, I'm not doing anything but reading right now, and most of the time it takes that stuff to cook is time where it can just be left to its own devices while I do other things.

    If I'd thought ahead, I'd have made a batch of mint chocolate pinwheel cookies, too, but I only thought of that a moment ago, the oven's now occupied, and Daniel will be home before it'll be free, and I prefer cooking by myself to cooking while somebody else is around. So maybe next time. I don't know when Daniel's next working a Saturday shift, but there's always the chance that he'll be out some night and I can whip up something tasty as a surprise. Like those ham-and-cheese rolls I planned a while ago but never made. Or the sausage that I'm stockpiling bits and pieces of scrap meat for.

    Now I wish I had the entire day to myself to spend in the kitchen! But since I don't, I'll just enjoy my remaining alone time and read more of Tabitha Suzuma's Forbidden.
    sarasvati: A white lotus flower floating on water. (Default)
    2011-04-26 01:27 pm

    Blah, I say.

    Today isn't a bad pain day so much as a bad strength day. I woke up feeling my joints kind of stiff and sore, and the muscles in my legs feeling wobbly. It takes far longer than it should to get from the living room to the kitchen or dining room, because I've got to step carefully and stay close to walls. Haven't fallen yet, and I don't think I will or anything, but it's easier when I can have a hand on the wall to push myself along a little bit.

    Gods, when exactly did my life go to pot? I actually thought I was getting better. For a couple of weeks, I had more strength in my legs and I though I was coming out the other side of... whatever the hell's causing these problems. Stress or illness or whatever. But then today hits and it's hard to walk again and I do not relish the thought of going to work tonight when I can only move slowly.

    Thankfully I'll be sitting a lot, but still, this is a pain to go through at all.

    I don't want to miss a day at work. Sure, Friday was a holiday and so I can, in theory, take a day off this week and still not suffer from loss of pay. On the other hand, I'm in training this week, and even though it's easy stuff, I doubt they'll look kindly on me for taking a day off during it.

    Also, I can't rely on them to pay me properly at all. 2 paycheques ago, I was missing 16 hours. I reported it to a sup, who said that it should be fixed on my next paycheque, which it wasn't because apparently she didn't actually do anything about it. Someone else is investigating it now, and I swear to fuck if they tell me to wait until my next paycheque I'll tell them where they can shove it. Legally they have 7 days to fix pay fuck-ups before I'm allowed to march in there and demand they cut me a cheque right then. That $100 would go a long way to, oh, say, buying groceries.

    But my point is that even with the holiday pay, knowing my luck they'll forget to add it on if I take a day off this week, and then I'll be out a day's pay and have to wait longer to get yet another problem fixed, and I can't do that. I can't trust them to pay me properly anymore, I can't calculate ahead of time how much I'm going to get and how much of anything I can afford, and so I certainly can't afford to be slack and actually let myself rest and hopefully recover.

    Probably wouldn't recover anyway, not in any meaningful way. I may as well hobble to work and do what I can.

    Damn, do I ever need a work-from-home job at this rate. Seriously, can't I be paid more for doing book reviews? Eh, that's not feasible anyway. To make what I'm making now, I'd have to be paid about $50 per review and read 5-6 books a week. Doable if that's my full-time job, but nobody pays that much for a review unless they're paying for a guaranteed positive review, and I'm not going to compromise my integrity for it. Besides, they can get positive reviews for free from just about anyone else. And I'm certainly not pulling in $50 a day from ad revenue, that's for damn sure!

    Shame. But them's the breaks.
    sarasvati: A white lotus flower floating on water. (Default)
    2011-04-19 11:30 am
    Entry tags:

    On resumes

    Last night, I was discussing the issue of resumes with Daniel, how we both need to redo ours and beef them up a little bit. I mentioned that I already had sort of beefed mine up, claiming something that while is technically true, it can be inferred that I did way more than I actually did. I said I assisted with organizing fun events and activities for employees. In reality, I walked around and asked everyone if they wanted to do a Secret Santa swap.

    Daniel said that's not enough, at least according to what he's heard from people who've actually attended courses on how to make your resume look awesome. The trick today, apparently, is to enhance your resume to make it look like you've done more than you have. But everybody knows this. So if you're completely honest on your resume, people assume that's actually the beefed up version and that you're actually sub-par in reality. If you'd really done all you've claimed, you'd have claimed you did more.

    Yeah, that hurts my brain to figure out too. It's the sort of twisty turnly logic that corporations love, I guess.

    So it got me thinking: what could I technically claim on my resume if people assume that I'm going to beef up my skills and experience? I made a list. In bold is what I can claim. In italics is what really happened.

    I have participated in pet rescue and am a green activist.
    Someone couldn't take care of their pet rat and so I offered to give him a home. A coworker of Daniel's could keep their pet bird and so we took him in too. I recycle and try not to waste food.

    I have training experience.
    My sup asked me to coach some agents who weren't quite getting stuff. This lasted for two days, though mostly because my sup forgot to keep scheduling those agents time off the phone to be retrained.

    I have helped to teach and train the mentally challenged.
    I wouldn't give up on trying to help a women with learning disabilities when we both had the same temp job and everyone else told me to leave her alone. It didn't make a bit of difference in the end. I guess it might also count that I once helped as a mediator between one girl who was autistic and a friend of hers who just wasn't quite getting that mindset. On a message board. Does that make me a social worker?

    I'm an experienced freelance writer.
    I wrote for HubPages. I keep a blog. I do the book reviews.

    I'm a published knitwear designer.
    I designed and submitted 2 free patterns to an online catalogue. People liked them, but the patterns never got famous or anything.

    I have experience in journalism.
    I interviewed an author for my bookblog. And that interview was me sending them questions by email and reposting her answers.

    Singer, actor, dancer.
    High school and church choirs and musicals, mostly, as well as a brief stint doing a 24-hours-from-conception-to-performance improv skit a few years ago. I still sing at home, mostly when I'm alone, though. I guess DDR could also count. :p

    My photography work has appeared in publications.
    Those publications were my freelance articles on HubPages.

    Proficient with various forms of social media and marketing.
    I use Facebook and Twitter to promote by bookblog. Oooooh!

    Languages spoken? French, Japanese, Mandarin, and Sindarin.
    Yeah, I think this one goes without saying. Though claiming Mandarin as a spoken language could backfire on me in this city, since we have a good amount of Chinese people who come here for university. Same thing with French, because while I can muddle my way through it, Canada's official bilingual and I could land a job that actually requires me to speak it a lot. I figure anyone who knows what Sindarin is will be amused that I claim it, and anyone who doesn't know will probably keep silent to avoid looking stupid.

    And this is the stuff that people want to see on a 27 year old's resume. Half of this stuff wouldn't be of any use in any job I could get, but simply claiming it would help get me a job, because it makes me look awesome, even if it's ne.arly all exaggeration
    sarasvati: A picture of a sign featuring vegetables and the text, "Welcome friends, I am POTATO." (I am potato)
    2011-04-17 10:41 am
    Entry tags:

    (no subject)

    So for my bookblog, I decide to create a fun little meme based on 30 Days of Video Games, which I call 30 Days of Genre I make the intro post, make Day 1's post... and then find that within a couple of hours the hits to my blog have just exploded as word started to spread about the meme and its topics. People all over were getting in on it. Somebody created a Twitter hashtag for it to help group all the link together. All because a friend who runs another bookblog went, "Hey, this is nifty, I think I'll spread the word."

    It's gone from 30 hits being a decent day to 30 hits being a steady morning, and we're only on Day 5 of the meme. It's a little bit mind-boggling. I'm used to thinking of myself as somebody who stays in the background, who gets a little attention but will never be able to compete with the big players. And suddenly there are some big players who are linking back to me and increasing my site traffic and I still can't quite wrap my head around it.

    Not complaining. Just goggling. :p

    In more amusing news, I got a little bit snarky with a customer on a sup call the other day. Quite frankly, I kind of think the guy had it coming, and while I probably should have held my tongue and said something more polite, I just couldn't be bothered. I'm too tired of the bullshit there to put up with it being slung from another angle, and the customer wasn't listening to reason..

    Let me set the scene. The company I work for bills for their Internet service per circuit, which means if you've got one Internet connection coming in, you get one invoice. It seems pretty straightforward that way.

    However, this one customer called in and his story was thus: He has an ADSL connection, 1.5/384, and that connection is split over 3 condo buildings. Now my first thought it to feel pity for his tenants, because split that connection 3 ways and you're going to get slow speeds. Not as bad as dial-up or IDSL, but still pretty damn slow. Anyway, because it was split over 3 buildings, the guy wanted to be sent his bill in 3 equal parts, so he could bill each building seperately.

    Here's our conversation:

    Me - I'm sorry, sir, but since you have only one circuit on one account, we can only send you one invoice. If you wanted to get multiple accounts and multiple connections, then you could absolutely get multiple invoices, but where you've just got the one, you'll only get one bill.
    Guy - Well, somebody there should be able to split it up.
    Me - Sir, you have one line and you'll get one bill. That's how it works.
    Guy - You should be able to change it for me.
    Me - Sir, it's automated. Our system will detect that you have one line and thus only send you one bill. What you're asking cannot be done.
    Guy - It's all done by computers, so I can't see why you can't just do that for me.
    Me - *fed up* Okay, sir, I'll be blunt with you. While what you're asking is theoretically possible, I don't possess enough knowledge of coding to reprogram our entire billing system for you.
    Guy - *grumpy mumbling* Well somebody in your company must be able to.
    Me - Sir, there's nobody here who can complete your request. Is there anything else I can help you with?
    Guy - Fine! But I'm going to report your response to my manager.

    Ooh, big threat there.

    Maybe I shouldn't have said that to him, and even the guy who I took the sup call from, who is known for being rude to customers, couldn't believe I'd said that, but I was just sick of it. I wanted to get across to him just how ridiculous his request was, especially when he'd been told multiple times that it can't be done. It would involve recoding the billing system. Whoever in the company can do that probably makes about as much in an hour as this guy pays for Internet each month, and I wasn't going to escalate the request to Corporate because this guy was too lazy to break out a calculator. I get that paperwork has to be submitted in a certain way, but when you involve outside companies who bill differently, you might just have to suck it up and deal. And nothing I was saying was getting through to him. I'd tried explaining things. So had the previous agent I took the call from. And according to the notes on the account, so had two other people, earlier in the week. One circuit, one invoice. End of freaking story. Stop calling.

    You can tell I've had enough when I stop caring about getting in trouble. The worst they can do is write me up and tell me I can't be a Tier 2 agent anymore. Which bumps me back to being on the phones, which just gives me one more excuse to get out of there, which I'm already working on doing anyway.

    And I highly doubt I'll even get written up. I flat-out told the supervisor what I said to the guy, and she laughed. Nobody's been doing quality monitoring for about a month now because one guy quit, one was out for bereavement, and the other's out on disability and is waiting for surgery. Nobody's replaced these people, or even started looking for replacements, so agents are doing a ton of stuff wrong and there's nobody to hear the calls properly and coach them appropriately. The company just doesn't give a shit. Neither do I.

    And now I'm going to go eat a strawberry turnover and read a book. It's raining outside, and I feel like endulging in warm comfy things while I can.
    sarasvati: A white lotus flower floating on water. (Default)
    2011-04-09 03:07 pm

    30 Days of Video Games - Day 1

    I know it's been going around for some times now, but I figure it's about time that I just bit the bullet and participated in that 30 Days of Video Games meme. It might be fun to look back on some things, especially seeing as how the warm weather always makes me want to break out the game systems. (I blame that on all those summers spent gaming in high school and shortly after...)

    So, here we go!

    Day 1 - Very First Video Game )
    sarasvati: Greyscale image of the Digimon Kaiser. (kaiser-mode)
    2011-04-08 01:31 pm


    Sometimes people I know are smart say some incredibly idiotic things. Like this little gem I found on a friend's Facebook wall a few moments ago:

    TERMS USED BY A WOMAN. (1) FINE - this is the word women use to end an argument when they know they are RIGHT & YOU need to SHUT UP. (2) NOTHING - means SOMETHING & u need to be WORRIED (3) GO AHEAD - this is a dare not permission DO NOT DO IT. (4) WHATEVER - is a woman's way of saying F**K YOU. (5) THAT'S OK - she is thinking long & hard on HOW & WHEN you will pay for your mistake. Re post if u agree!


    The problem with this sort of thing is that both men and women think it's funny for different reasons. Men think it's funny because hurr hurr, women are always saying stupid crap and not meaning it, and women think it's funny because hurr hurr, men should know better that whatever we say means the opposite.

    (Except for when it clearly means exactly what it sounds like, and all men should instantly know the difference.)

    Way to portray women as irrational morons! Way to glorify a negative streotype! Seriously, what the hell is wrong with people? This isn't funny. It's insulting. It's one side saying that women are irrational and backwards, and the other side agreeing and turning it into a big joke.

    This sort of thing is why women are still fighting for respect. This sort of thing is what makes women and what they say get dismissed, because who can take them seriously when even women admit that what they say isn't what they mean? This is not something to glorify. It's not something to laugh at. It's something to break down and stop. It's neither funny nor cute, nor endearing. It's a pain in the ass, and every person who perpetuates this is piling problem upon problem.

    This is just made worse when you consider that these same things are being said by women who also (rightfully) talk about how "no means no." So what are people to infer from this? That no means no, unless it means yes, and sometimes yes means no, and by damn you'd better make the right fucking judgment call or else I'll call the cops?! Yeah, because that gets women a whole buttload of respect too...

    You can't say one thing, make a joke about how you always mean the opposite, and then expect people to take you seriously. You just can't.
    sarasvati: A white lotus flower floating on water. (Default)
    2011-04-07 11:21 am
    Entry tags:

    The worst day for pain

    Last night at work, my legs started to ache. Very badly. Standing up didn't help, sitting down didn't help, stretching my legs in all different directions didn't help. I was glad, at least, that nobody really needed my help in a way that required me to get up and hobble over to them.

    By the time I got home, they hurt so badly that getting up the stairs was more thanks to hauling myself up the railing and just lifting my feet when I needed to, rather than any actual stair-climbing. I downed a muscle relaxant and some painkillers just so that I could sleep.

    My legs are still very stiff and sore this morning. Not as badly as last night, thankfully, but I'm still walking very slowly and leaning on walls when I can. If they don't get better before work, I'm going to have to seriously consider taking my cane with me for stability.

    They've never hurt this badly before. This is getting ridiculous. I know I've been unsteady on my feet recently, and that my legs have ached and been stiff in the mornings, but I've never gone through this level of pain with them.

    And yes, I'm still afraid to go to the doctor. Last time I saw my doctor, it was to request stress leave. This was the first time I saw him, and he was a bit reluctant to give me leave because he didn't know me well enough to know how much I needed it, but I really don't want to have to go back to him with another complaint that's huge like this. Even if it has been over a year since the stress leave thing. People keep telling me that this stuff is likely caused by stress, after all, and I can't afford to take stress leave (my workplace apparently has a nice history of firing people who go on stress or medical leave before their probationary period is up), nor do I want to look weak in front of a doctor like that. "Yes, doctor, I appear to be so stressed out by the normal things that everyone else goes through every day that I'm losing the ability to walk normally..." Makes a great second impression.

    Playing Ragnarok is helping my stress levels come down somewhat, letting me make it through days without feeling so snappish, because I get to take out my frustration on little pixels in the shape of monsters. Very therapeutic. Maybe if I keep that up for a few weeks, and it is all just stress-related, I'll stop being in so much pain and I can get through life relatively normally again.
    sarasvati: A white lotus flower floating on water. (Default)
    2011-04-05 02:44 pm


    I've started playing Ragnarok Online again. Official servers this time, even, instead of the private ones. The private ones were nice, but it bothered me that I couldn't find that one that didn't have the drops and experience boosted by an insane amount. I don't want 75 times the drop percentages and 100 times the experience earned. I certainly don't want 3000 times all that, as some servers have. I don't want to be at level 50 within my first hour of play. That kind of power-leveling can be fun, but it's often not what I'm in the mood for. So I'm playing on Valkyrie server, not wanting to shell out actual money to play at the moment. Premium servers be hanged. So if you see a character named Jazriyah, or eventually Razreesh, that'd be me. Feel free to say hi.

    My shifts at work this week are 4 to midnight, which gives me ample time to do my work quietly and alone. And, when it's slow enough that there's no work to actually be done, it gives me time to read. I'll probably end up finishing Cory Doctorow's For the Win tonight, if all goes well. I'm really enjoying it, so I'll be sad to see it end, but I definitely think it's one that I'll be buying my own copy of at some point, so there's no harm in reading it again.

    I do wish I had more time at home to read K J Parker's The Hammer, though. It's shaping up to be quite a good novel!

    I've been in a knitting mood again lately, too. Kind of a general stitching mood, really. I'm still working on my geisha cross-stitch pattern, albeit slowly, and I want to start work on the Swedish weaving afghan for Daniel, but I think I'll work on that in the summer, in the back room where Daniel can't see what I'm doing and so it'll be a surprise.

    I also should be writing. But I should be doing that most days, and I don't. The problem is that there are too many things I want to work on at the same time, and if I do them all, I get nowhere in all of them instead of just making myself sit down and get somewhere in one of them.

    Legs are still weak and shaky, and I'm trying to hide that from people a lot. Some days are better than others. Dropping my pen because my hands don't cooperate is also annoying, but at least that can happen to anyone and isn't quite so embarassing as walking unsteadily. My head's also been twitching more, but I already know that my Tourette's acts up when my stress level is high, so I'm not overly concerned with that, even though it's as embarassing as walking like I'm drunk...

    Enough babble. Have to go to work and earn another $75 for the day.
    sarasvati: A white lotus flower floating on water. (Default)
    2011-04-01 08:06 am

    (no subject)

    It's almost pointless to rant about work anymore. I'm sure people are just getting tired of hearing me bitch about how much I hate it there, all the wrong things that happen. And even when I fight against it, stand up for myself, other things throw themselves into my path and start the cycle anew and it feels like I'm just getting nowhere. I'm dreading going in today, but that's nothing new. I'm still looking for another job and having no luck, and that's not new either.

    I just feel so worn down. I've hit that point of mental and emotional fucked-uppedness that I'm starting to be paranoid over whether the paranoid thoughts I'm having are even justified. Paranoia over paranoia. You know I'm pretty far gone when.

    Instead, I'm going to say that I've started writing again, that I wish my computer wasn't having memory problems so that I could go back to playing Ragnarok Online, that my bookblog is still doing well, and that I'm still playing Pokemon Black in little snippets of the day where I can find some spare moments.

    My life in a nutshell. I wish there was more of it.
    sarasvati: A white lotus flower floating on water. (Default)
    2011-03-22 07:28 am

    (no subject)

    Ended up taking yesterday off work because I felt too cruddy. I feel better today, at least better enough that I can't justify taking another day off, but the fatigue hasn't gone anywhere. I slept for 8 hours last night and feel like I could go back to bed right now and sleep for another 8 more, if I didn't have to go to work.

    Found a surprise package on my doorstep yesterday, from Amanda at Floor-to-Ceiling Books. Turns out she sent me one of the books she had from World Book Night, and didn't tell me she was going to, so that was a pretty nice surprise to come across!

    Went to an introductory class on divination techniques on Sunday night, run by the ever-awesome TL. It was nice to see Van and Judy there, too, since I haven't seen them in quite a while,. Came away with a pendulum (which I apparently work very well with) and a set of L-rods (which I don't work quite so well with) and some good memories of making rod jokes. Everyone loves a good rod joke.

    I keep thinking I have more to say, but every time I go to type something, my brain just blanks out and I hit a wall of mental fog. I'll buy myself some hot chocolate or something before work, if I can, and hopefully that will wake me up, because I can't work through brain fog like this. It's hard enough pushing through normal days when pain and wonkiness hit, but the run-down feeling of too little rest is going to make it all that much harder. Ugh, seriously, can't I just telecommute? At least then I could work in comfy pajamas and wouldn't have to take the bus every day.
    sarasvati: A white lotus flower floating on water. (Default)
    2011-03-19 03:42 pm

    (no subject)

    I decided to do the responsible thing today: I paid off my library fines.

    Yeah, that's a bigger deal than it first sounds. See, my fines were over $100. That's what happens when you borrow a bunch of books and then forget to return them for mumblemumble years.

    I took the books back, at least the ones that I could find, and after the cost of them was taken off, the total fine, plus the charge for a new library card, came to just under $50. And it was worth every penny. I've been meaning to pay off those fines for years, but always forget until I have no spare money. I wanted to be sure not to forget again.

    So I got some new books out to celebrate! Cory Doctorow's For the Win, China Mieville's Un Lun Dun, Brenna Yovanoff's The Replacement, and Conor Kostick's Epic. And a book of Celtic cross-stitch patterns, because there's a gorgeous pattern that I want to tweak and turn into a small rug. The original pattern is of birds surrounded by a thick knotwork border, but the book also has a pattern for some similarly sized dragons, which I think will look better than the birds, and I'm sure Daniel would like dragons better anyway.

    Picked up a geisha cross-stitch kit the other day, too. Not sure why the eyes are a very vivid blue, but I plan to change them to brown, and do some colour blending to get the highlights on the hair to look less awkward.

    There's a half-off sale at Fabricville on Tuesday night, so I'm going to go and get some monks cloth to make afghans. Swedish weaving's turned out to be a lot of fun, and I've got a lot of yarn that needs to be used up, and what better way to do it than to make some nice afghans? Or if they won't do as afghans for some reason, then just wall hangings. I've always been fond of wall hangings. But when the price of monks cloth is $23 per metre, waiting for 50% off sales is probably the only way I'll be able to justify getting some, no matter how nice they end up looking!

    Springtime always makes me want to do so much! Sewing, knitting, reading, playing video games, going for long walks. And I thought I had time management problems before!