Thursday, July 31, 2008


So I've been an ATL* for the past 3 weeks. I suppose it could be a rewarding experience, with a different team. The #1 job I've had for the last 3 weeks is just keeping them on the phones and not wandering around. I mean, you work in a call centre, people! How hard is it to sit at your desk and do your damn job?
I've given out numerous warnings, had meetings, created action plans and logged more jobs** than I can count. I even had a dream about logging jobs. I was sitting at the computer, logging like 15 jobs in a row and one of the team members kept asking me questions, and I, knowing it was a dream somehow, and angry at myself for having a dream where I do this, lept upon him and beat him bloody. let it be known that I knew it was a dream and I was trying to wake myself up. But it was very satisfying.
Does that make me a sociopath?
Anyway, I think i could be a Team Leader for realsies. Just not for this team. Also, I think the constant pressure to sell sell sell would get to me in under a week. I have a hard time motivating staff to sell, as I myself am not terribly motivated to sell. I'm happy to help my team, and solve their problems and develop them, but pushing them to sell seems beyond me. Everything I try seems so forced and cliched. Oh well.
We'll see.

*Acting Team Leader
**Logging jobs is tracking lates, sicks, exceptions from phone time, technical issues, and pretty much anything else out of the ordinary.
Sincerely, Internet's...
Lucas Brown
Now completely legal (in the states he's not banned)!

Monday, July 21, 2008

So tech guy came out.

Called twice, once from his office, once from exchange. Signs were leading towards faulty modem. He gets here. Runs a reset, no joy. He checks the line on his modem, gets full signal. Looks like faulty modem. He's just packing up when he looks at the splitter by the modem. He notices the splitter is closer to the modem than it is to the wall. He reads the writing.

"Hmmm," he says. "looks like your splitter is backwards."

I tell him it's always been like that, and it worked until last week. He flips it. Resets again.

It fuckin' works.

Apparently the backwards splitter meant I couldn't get line sync after a reset. Problem solved.

So. Wasn't the modem.

I'm happy the Net's back. What i'm NOT happy with is thus:

Why the bollocks couldn't PHONE tech support ask a few questions?!? Like "have you reset the modem?" Or ANYTHING?!?!?

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I stepped out of a bottle shop at 11:20 this morning with a bottle of bourbon and a bottle of gin and was confronted by a blue-shirted, guitar-playing, hymn-singing, flag-waving crowd of World Youth Day pilgrims. I froze like a deer in the headlights as they passed around me. It was freakin' wierd.
Sincerely, Internet's...
Lucas Brown
Now completely legal (in the states he's not banned)!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

After the Dark Knight showing tonight, I was, as Tanja brought to my attention, a bit verbose. Upon reflecting, I realised I was way more than that. I was a talkative prat. I ran roughshod over other peoples' opinions and enjoyment of the film, so keen was I to share my views.

I have realised this is a habit of mine. Not just with films. I talk over people. I don't let them finish. I monopolise conversations. I am loud and occasionally obnoxious.

I am, in short a jerk.

What the hell is wrong with me?

I'm sorry.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Would you like to pre-order?

The album pre-order has always seemed like a sure thing to me.  I can understand why you would pre-order something from a store: quantities are limited. If the store is getting 20 copies of the album, you want to make sure you get one of those.  You want it right away. But I ask you this, readers...
What is the point of my pre-ordering album releases from iTunes?
I ask because I got an email offering to let me preorder the new Beck CD. I'm interested, as I like Beck. But why the hell would I pre-order? iTunes, being a digital medium, is never going to run out of stock. Of course, the one pre-order bonus they offered was that I could buy the whole album, then get one track right away, a month before release, but it was already out as a single.  Plus I'll get it anyway when the album comes out. I see why, from a business standpoint, they'd like to be able to show the bosses that yes, we've pre-sold this many albums, but still. Seems useless for me.
Sincerely, Internet's...
Lucas Brown
Now completely legal (in the states he's not banned)!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

So yeah.

So our home internetz ain't working as of 5:30 Thursday evening. We thought it was due to Microsoft update that clashed with the firewall, but it's not. That's only certain firewalls. Not ours. Our line is still programmed. The account is still active. We just can't get a connection. The DSL light on the modem is intermittedly flashing. Activity light is off. I'm going to have to do the unthinkable. I'm going to have to call Bigpond Technical Support. Last time I did, I got the kind of rube of an agent we all hate. Hopefully I can sound authoritative enough for him to actually attempt to fix my modem. Sigh. Why can't shit work?
Sincerely, Internet's...
Lucas Brown
Now completely legal (in the states he's not banned)!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Skills, Intuitive or Otherwise

Stuart McLean was talknig about intuitive skills on one of his radio broadcast. he defined an intuitive skill as something you can do without thinknig about it that has not been actively studied. His example of this was one I too am able to decide: he kicked a coin that was lying on the street. He was able to discern from the noise the coin made while skittering along the street what its denomination was. It was a dime. It sent my brain rocketing back to a video we watched in Health about the brain. In the video, the protagonist fell off her bike into mud. Elbows deep in the mud, her grasping fingers found something. Although it's usually not a good idea to look at something you've found in the mud, the girl knows without looking that it's a dollar coin. The video explains that being able to use tactile senses to identify common objects is a naturally occuring intuitive sense, such as when you reach into your pocket and know which coins to grab. Stuart also posits he has the intuitive ability to find the bathroom in any cafe without asking and being able to know which exit off the highway leads to a gas station. It got me thinking about my intuitive skills, and my skills in general:
Skills I think are intuitive:
  • The ability to find quiet spots in the city, such as parks, benches, backstreets, alternate routes and hidden cafes and bars. I blame this on having to walk to school for the better part of my academic career.
  • The ability to overidentify with songs, TV shows, books, or comic books of an emotional nature (especially the sad and bleak) to the point where they effect the rest of my day. I think of it as a contagious mood. Recent examples include reading Wanted and hating it, myself and the world (see previous entry); being at the gym and getting a few The Pogues/Eels-the-whole-world-is-down-on-me-songs on my iPod, and wanting to put the weights down and sit in a corner away fromeveryone; watching the first ten minutes of 28 Weeks Later and feeling bleak and hopeless; reading the ending of an Ultimate Spider-Man trade on the bus (the one where he and MJ plan their grown-up "special fancy date" which coincides with the same day Peter, while encountering Dr. Strange, is attacked by a demon, making him live out his worst fears, most of which involve MJ dying. He escapes, goes home, and sits by himself, shell-shocked, and won't even answer the door when MJ knocks, instead leaving her standing in the rain in her fancy dress, mumbling in a tiny voice "but this was our special date." Ouch.) and having it gut me for the rest of the day.
  • The ability to be a peacemaker. Adrian and Tanja were discussing this on Sunday. I have the uncanny ability to pick my moment and verbally dive between two people just before one of them is about to explode and inflict bodily harm.
  • The ability to find liquor stores that sell fancy imported beer.
  • The ability to, upon hearing a song, to recall details of a specific situation in which I heard that song before (not the first time, just one of the times). Example: I can hear "I Wish I Was Queer So I Could Get Chicks" by the Bloodhound Gang and am transported back to Grade 11, sitting on the floor of my room in the basement of the house in Southwood Park with my friend Jason, playing the snow level of GoldenEye on his N64 that he had brought over and set up on the floor of my room with miles of cords, while simultaneously talking on the phone with my friend Miranda who didn't know Jason at the time, but wanted to meet him. And that song was playing.
  • The ability to be liked by people I don't like. See a certain redheaded person at work (actually, quite a few people at work), a T-burger, an Outback Adventure Ken. I cut these people down on a regular basis, but they think I'm just kidding around. I'm usually not. But they think I'm their best friend.
  • Back rubs. I'm good at them. Don't ask me how.
Skills I'm intuitively BAD at: 
  • Shopping for non-standard hats such as caps or beanies/tuques. I will inevitably buy something that will tear, look bad, or inexplicable stop fitting and start giving me headaches no matter how much I adjust it.
  • In workplace situations, thinking I'm more popular than I actually am. This is becoming less of a problem lately as I'm getting more realistic, but at Insight, Borders and Salesforce, I've planned events where I've gotten 20-30 responses of "I'm definitely coming" and 4 or less people turn up. And being my overplanning self, I'm usually both overprepared (food and beverage-wise) and bitterly disappointed. Quick examples: Any Halloween party ever, my last few birthdays (despite my last one being great, Tanja invited way more people that didn't show and it was a damned surprise party).
  • Cooking from a cookbook. There are recipes that I can do, through practice, but as Tanja knows better than anyone, if I'm making something from a cookbook for the first time I will stress over every detail and declaim at least 3 times that "I've ruined it!" and she'll have to step in and save me from myself. Sometimes it turns out edible (Aussie Berko) sometimes not (Migas).
  • Shopping for casual purchases over $20 when I'm on my own. I can't just pick it up and buy it. I believe this also stems from when I was young. I used to hate picking Lego sets or toys from a range because I would feel bad for the ones I didn't pick. This has been replaced by finance-based neuroses. I have to wander around the store with it in my hand, or, in extreme cases, tack by it on the shelf 4 or 5 times while debating in my head (whether or not I can afford it this week, or whether Tanja will give me a serve for buying things I don't need, or if I'll really like it once I get it home, etc, etc) before finally biting the bullet and buying it while feeling not relieved, but slightly guilty. DVD box sets, clothes, shoes, books, and knickknacks are particularly susceptible to this. Basically anything I don't especially *need*.
A Skill That I'm Unsure Where To Put:
  • Recall. Memory. I used to joke that it was photographic, but really, it's not. It's just oddly good with some things, and dismal with others. I pretty much remember anything I write down, to the point where if I write myself a note, I'll remember without checking the note. I nearly remember things I read (more strongly if I read them on the computer), such as being able to recite the history of nearly every Marvel comics character after reading the entirety of Mutatis Mutandis. I can go through entire swathes of movie quotes, especially if they're conversations between characters. But if Tanja tells me to hang the laundry out before I leave, I can forget absolutely until she mentions it. I lose my glasses/phone/iPod in a empty room. I can remember, repeat and write down phone/account numbers on the fly, no matter how fast someone says them to me, but I can't remember how many days ago I did something(hence my frequent use of the very Canadian phrase "the other day") or a person's name after they introduce themselves.
So yeah.
Sincerely, Internet's...
Lucas Brown
Now completely legal (in the states he's not banned)!

I have a new site to be hooked on.

It's a true Hydra site in that upon reading it, you end up (while reading) opening up 15 other windows to check later. This is where I started. Fans of Transformers, Buffy, Angel, Doctor Who, Red Dwarf, The Simpsons, anime, professional wrestling and any other nerdcore niche will love this. Just go read.

Yesterday at lunch and last night I lost an hour to this page without meaning to. It sucks you in, man!