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I’d Prefer To Pretend There’s A Stork Involved

, , , , , , , | Friendly | January 6, 2023

I’ve sadly been struggling to conceive for a while now — my fault for waiting too long for Mr. Right before accepting that wasn’t happening and deciding to be a single mother by choice. It’s at the point where I’m going to have to do IVF to have any chance of becoming a mother.

I’ve decided I want my child to know something about his biological father, so I’ve asked a close personal friend to be my sperm donor for the IVF. He says he’s honored to help and can’t wait to babysit if I ever need it.

Since the clinic is a few hours away and I’m paranoid about getting stuck in traffic or something and missing my chance, I’ve insisted that my friend let me pay for a hotel room close to the clinic so we can drive up the night before.

I am talking with my friend/donor about the logistics when he says this.

Friend: “So, do you know what night I go to a sleazy hotel with you to get you pregnant yet?”

Me: *Laughing* “Could you say that any creepier?”

Friend: “Sure, if you insist. Are you ready to pay a bunch of money so you can sleep with a strange man you don’t love just to get pregnant yet?”

Your Internet MAY Be Disconnected, But Their Brains Already Are

, , , , , | Working | January 4, 2023

I work from home, so I need my Internet to be able to actually work. One day, I notice an email from my Internet company stating that they’re going to be doing Internet work and I will experience up to two consecutive hours of downtime with intermittent downtime throughout the rest of the day. The time of the day when it’s expected to start isn’t mentioned, and the email was sent about five business days ahead of the event.

While my employer is understanding that stuff can happen suddenly, when there’s going to be extended downtime, they prefer notification so that we can keep an eye on staffing if needed. Plus, I sometimes deal with sensitive information, so going to a coffee shop for Internet isn’t really a good option. Because I am working when I get this email, I log onto the chat feature for my Internet company, hoping to get some more information.

Chat Robot: “How can I help you today?”

Me: “I’m reaching out about this email that I received stating there’s going to be maintenance done next week. I’m hoping I can get a more specific timeframe.”

Chat Robot: “I’m having trouble understanding your question. Please try to use fewer words.”

Me: “Agent.”

It takes me entering “Agent” like four times before it finally transfers me to someone.

Agent #1: “Hello, how can I help you today?”

Me: “Hi. I got an email that you guys are going to be doing work on the Internet in the area next week that’s going to mean at least two hours of downtime. The email didn’t indicate when this is going to start, and I need to be able to let my manager know.”

Agent #1: “Let me check your account. Can I get your full name and address, please?”

Me: “Don’t you have that already since I signed into my account?”

Agent #1: “I need this information to check your account.”

I provide my name and address information.

Agent #1: “I’m not currently seeing an outage in your area. Are you currently having access issues?”

Me: “I’m not trying to report an outage. I’m asking about this email that you guys sent stating that there’s going to be an outage. I’d like to be able to let my manager know when my Internet’s going to be out.”

Agent #1: “There’s no outage in the area. Let me test the line.”

Me: *Head-desk* “I’m not trying to report an outage. My Internet is currently fine. I just want some more information regarding this email that you sent stating there’s going to be an outage.”

I copy the body of the email and paste it into the chat.

Me: “All I’m asking is for the time that this is going to occur because that is not indicated in this email.”

Agent #1: “Hmm… Let me transfer you to another agent.”

Me: “…”

Agent #2: “Hello, how can I help you today?”

Me: “I just want to get some information about an email you sent stating that there’s going to be an outage next week. It didn’t include any estimated start time, and I’d like to be able to advise my manager.”

Agent #2: “I’m not currently seeing an outage in your area, but let me test the line.”

Me: “Just to be clear: there is not currently an outage. I’m asking about an outage that you guys have scheduled. I just want more clarification on this as it’s going to affect my ability to work, and I would like to keep my manager informed.”

Agent #2: “Yes, I see that you’re asking about this upcoming outage. I’m not currently seeing any outages in your area. Let me look at this and, if need be, I can dispatch a technician to check locally.”

Me: *Head-wall* “Look, my Internet is currently fine. I wouldn’t be able to chat with you otherwise. I’m not reaching out about a current outage. I just want information on this outage that you said was happening next week because it’s going to prevent me from working, and I just need to be able to plan accordingly.”

Agent #2: “I see. Well, we will, of course, credit your account $10 for this inconvenience, but let me just test the line really quick as I don’t currently see any outages in your area.”

I’m done explaining to him and just want to end the conversation.

Me: “Great, thank you.”

Agent #2: “I have added a note on your account regarding the credit and added a note about this outage. Please let us know if you have any issues.”

Me: “Thank you.”

Agent #2: “Before you disconnect, let me see if your account qualifies for any discounts. What’s your phone plan currently?”

Me: “I’m not looking to change my phone plan.”

Agent #2: “Okay, I see here that I can upgrade your Internet. It will drop your bill about $30 a month, and you’ll see increased upload and download speeds.”

I’m mildly interested but also wary because I don’t want to get caught in some weird contract.

Me: “What’s the catch?”

Agent #2: “I’m just trying to save you $30 a month.”

Me: “Right, but this isn’t something where you’re going to randomly throttle the speeds or randomly turn around and raise the rent $50 or something like that, is it?”

Agent #2: “Nothing like that. I’m just trying to save you $30 a month.”

Me: “Okay, let’s do it.”

Agent #2: “Okay, bear with me while I update your account.”

I do slightly blame myself for not thinking this through, but whatever this guy did ended up rebooting my router… while I was on a call with a user. I guess I should have thought it through, but honestly, I figured he’d, you know, warn me since that’s usually a polite thing to do.

My Internet finally came back up, and the chat session had expired anyway, so I just logged out. I was able to get a hold of my user and help her out.

I told my manager that there was supposed to be an outage, but I had no idea when, so there was a possibility I’d just randomly disconnect. But so far, the outage hasn’t actually occurred unless they managed to do the work overnight and didn’t bother to tell anyone.

Now I’m waiting for the day I can switch ISPs.

Eat Your Heart Out, Apple Pay

, , , , | Right | December 27, 2022

I am assisting a customer doing some online shopping on our site. She is having some software issues, so I am trying to help.

Me: “Okay, and can I take your credit card details?”

Caller: “Can’t you read it?”

Me: “No, should I be able to read it?”

Caller: “Well, yeah, I put it in the disk drive.”

The software problem was actually a hardware problem!

Really Duct That One Up

, , , , , | Working | December 26, 2022

I am the moderator of my neighbourhood’s social media group. It’s very casual and mostly gets used for lost pets and neighbourhood events.

However, I am very strict as a moderator, particularly as one of the other neighbourhoods close by had their social media group end up in the national news for how toxic it was (because the moderators had a totally hands-off approach). No advertising, no harassment, and you have to live in or near the neighbourhood to join.

The group runs really well, but there is one consistent devil I have to contend with: duct cleaning. A particular duct cleaning company has decided that their advertising strategy is to create a fake profile every month, join every neighbourhood group, and then post an ad for their company on all the groups at once. I invariably take them down, as I’m sure the other groups do, but I guess they figure enough people see it that it is still free advertising.

I’ve tried to spot the fake profiles, but they are either using each of their employee’s profiles one by one or are setting them up far enough in advance that they don’t get flagged as new or fake accounts.

Eventually, I got sick of the constant posts and fiddled around in the settings until I found the post filter. I set it up so that any post that so much as used the word “duct” would be automatically declined and the poster suspended for a month.

Excited about my new filter, I posted on the page that any post with the word “duct” would be declined. And then, I got declined and suspended for using the word “duct”… by the filter I had just set up.

Oh, well. At least it works.

It’s A Whole Week Of Mondays

, , , , , , , | Right | December 18, 2022

Our online store is running through its annual Cyber Monday sales. Despite the name, the sales actually last all week. We have a small call centre for those who need to speak to an advisor.

Today is Sunday, the last day of our week-long sales. I answer the phone.

Customer: “I bought one of your coats on Cyber Monday. It arrived and I wore it to church today. One of the church ladies liked it and asked me where I bought it. I told them it was your site.”

Me: “Thank you for recommending us, madam, but did you have a query?”

Customer: “Well… why is it still on sale?! It was only supposed to be on sale on Monday! That’s why they call it Cyber Monday!

Me: “Our sales last all week, madam. Today is actually the last day of the sale.”

Customer: “But that’s not fair! She shouldn’t be able to buy the coat for the same price as I did! I was there on Cyber Monday! Anyone else shopping after that day should pay full price!”

Me: “Oh, well, we like to ensure that as many of our customers can enjoy our sales as possible, so we—”

Customer: “No! It’s not fair! Put it back to full price before she buys it! I won’t have her getting the same deal as me!”

Me: “I… can’t end the sale until midnight tonight, madam. There’s nothing I can do.”

Customer: “Ugh, useless! If I go to church next week and she’s wearing the same coat as me, you’ll be in trouble!”