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February 10, 2018

Eleven Years

Yes, it has been a couple of years since I checked in but this is a special occasion and needs to be noted.  Yes, you've probably lost interest but I am going to post this just the same.

Eleven YEARS!  Can you believe it? I left my hometown, my place of birth, on April 30, 2007. I arrived in Memphis, TN, on May 1, 2007. I moved into Serendipity at the end of May 2007.  What a tale I have to tell.

Some days I feel as if I am pioneer woman or exile moving to a strange land. I've seen wildlife that I've only seen in the zoo.  A hawk with a wing span the width of my outstretched arms made an aborted landing in the backyard, leaving his prey behind.  Nope, I didn't try to see what the poor thing was.  I made my way to the backdoor lickety split.  He didn't return but a turkey buzzard did and proceeded to devour whatever it was.

I've had fox cubs, spent a fortune on having the groundhog family removed, possums, snakes, the largest spiders you ever saw, an invasion of lady bugs, the smallest ants in the world, you name it and they have come through Serendipity at least once.

Repairs are still underway but you wouldn't recognize the place. And just as I thought I was done, I found that the back porch, mudroom, whatever, must be replaced.  Damn.

Still raising hell as needed. Taking the Master Gardener's class. We'll see if I learn when to harvest a zucchini.

That's it for the moment.  You pray for me; I'll pray for you.

Take care.

February 11, 2015

Shouldn't Be This Hard

Hmm, that applies to a lot of things. This, however, refers to my experience working as a call center operator.

The opportunity to make a little cash on the side was inviting.  Who doesn't need a little extra "sumpin'-sumpin'"? So the option was a good one.  After all, I am not in the market for a full-time position; I really like being able to do what I want, when I want. And, answering the phone can't be all that hard, right?

Now, a positive to this venture is that you're also able to work from home.  Requisites are: No crying babies; barking dogs; excessive noise, etc.,  I have a dog; therefore working out of the center in Ripley was necessary.

I won't name the company but they have a million ways to ensure that you FAIL to achieve their goals and yours. Scripts are way too long; there are too many upsells (additional offers for the uninformed); dropped calls; no calls.  Did I mention that you only get paid for the number of minutes that you are on the phone? So you may have been available for three hours but only received one call which may, or may not, allow you to get paid. Shall I continue? This venture is solely for the purpose of buying the "wants," flowers, cigs, etc., so, the miserly check for two weeks' effort dampened my enthusiasm for showing on a regular basis.  I had other things to occupy my time rather than carve out time, dress and travel to the center, and sit waiting for a phone to ring. I went AWOL from July until December.

As usual, the bulb went off belatedly (as in late December).  Patches is asleep during the midnight hour.  Why not install an extra line and take calls while he's safely locked away?  I can roll out of the bed, take calls in the comfort of my home, and still have my day to do with as I wish. Line installed. Hmm, only $2.00 extra?  Surely, I can cover that expense. Naturally, a specific phone set and headphones were needed but, hey, I'll make that back, right? Sounds like a plan.

Mid-January, and I'm back to work.  The first few days saw limited calls.  Is this worth it? Then I noticed, in my jammed inbox, a notice to all agents that they needed to be recertified to take calls.  35 minutes later, I'm certified, and waiting.  The calls are rolling in and I'm happy, happy, happy.

But I should have known that Murphy's Law would strike sooner than later and more than once.

First strike:  Received a compliance event for talking too long.  Before you jump to conclusions (because you know that I like to talk), the elderly caller became totally confused and I had to keep repeating the terms and conditions.  She definitely needed the product that she originally called in for.  What to do?  Hang up?  Try for the sale but make sure that she understands?  Well, girls and boys, I tried for the sale which she ultimately turned down. And, I talked too long.  Sheesh. I was in deep depression for the entire day.

Strike two:  Patches appeared by my side during a call.  What the what?  I'd let him out to relieve himself and in my fog (we are talking 4 a.m.), I forgot to secure the latch on his cage AND close the adjoining doors.  You can imagine the prayers being sent up that he wouldn't bark. You can also envision my hustling him back to his quarters at the end of the call. 

I noticed that the computer moved slowly so have started shutting it down the night before.  Checked it around midnight the night before and realized that there was NO service: internet; cable; phone.  Oh, Lord, help me Jesus. Service returned just before I was to log in at 4 a.m.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

But that was only the prelude to what was to come.  This morning, up and ready, coffee, cigs at hand.  Booted up the computer, internet is working fine.  Logged in.  Service is fine and then, POOF. The internet is DOWN!  Are you kidding me?  Run for the mobile jet-pack and it is not working.  Oh, yeah, need money and time added.  Verizon asks: "When is the last time that you used it?"  "You'll need a new sim card, as well."  Lawd, have mercy.  The minutes are ticking and I am missing my commit time. STRIKE THREE!  

One hour and 50 minutes later, service is restored. I have missed one hour and 50 minutes of an opportunity to make money.  AND, I am going to be penalized for not keeping my schedule. Did I mention that I hate Time Warner Cable?  Not my fault, you say? The call center company's viewpoint is that it wasn't their equipment that had a problem.  Point.  Can't be argued.

Lawd, I'm only trying to pick up a little cash on the side.  Shouldn't be this hard.

Be Safe. Be Blessed.



January 23, 2015

Cooking For A Crowd

It was my turn to provide lunch for The Friends of the Lauderdale County Library Board's monthly meeting. The name, alone, is a mouthful and I'm sure that a good mouthful is what they expect.

We know from past experience that:
  1.  Cooking for more than four or six at a time takes me for-ev-er
  2.  I will hyperventilate over whether it will taste good
  3. I will worry as to whether there will be enough
  4. Forget something
  5.  I have spent too much time (and money) on this event.
Made a list and checked it twice.  Moved the hairdresser appointment to the afternoon.  Pulled out bowls and utensils and made sure that they were clean. Packed up stuff, table cloths, paper plates, etc., to tote across the street. "Across the street?  Why didn't you ask that they hold it at the house?"   Ummm, nope.

It's a simple menu...right?  Quiche, soup, salad, punch, cheesecake, pound cake, breads. Please refer to item #1.  Because it takes me for-ev-er, past experience said to get an early start.  That meant do everything possible on Monday.  So, early it is. Chopping and dicing, butter, cream cheese, and eggs are on the counter.  Making homemade potato soup. Potatoes are peeled, diced, and in the crock pot.  Wow, peeling potatoes and cutting them into bite-size pieces is work.  Wonder if I could have used mashed potatoes?   One quiche in the oven; the second is waiting to go in.

I should have enough graham cracker crumbs for the cheesecake crust and cake flour to make the cake. What is this?  WEEVILS in the cake flour? Damn it, everything, beans, flour, sugar, rice, you name it, is in airtight containers...except for the cake flour! Oh well, back to the store.

Cheesecake in the oven.  Have I been in the kitchen ALL day?  Yep.  I told you that it takes me for-ev-er.  Still have the pound cake to make. There must be something that I can do where I can sit down and take a load off.  The back is starting to hurt, as well as the feet.  What happened to my rug at the sink? What happened to the pizza pan? What happened to...?

Up early on Tuesday morning. Have to make the salad, reheat the quiche and soup. Double check the utensils, yada. I found enough boxes and bags to carry everything, even a small centerpiece. I am bone-tired and the back is KILLING me.  The car is packed. I certainly hope that there is a space close to the door and that there is rolling cart available. Space available, yes. Cart, no. Fortunately, I was able to get some help in unloading and setting up.

It's SHOW TIME!  "Smells good."  "Never had salmon quiche before." "What salad dressing did you use?"  And, naturally, there was too much food.  But a roll of foil and paper plates made short shrift of that. The only things to return home (besides dirty containers) were the remains of the potato soup and some pound cake.

Thank goodness for the help of the contractor in unloading when I got home.  Otherwise, the stuff would still be in the car.

I've had my turn.  Next time...pizza delivery!

Be Safe.  Be Blessed.