January 9th, 2009
|02:42 pm - Writing: Ume|
Dashed off in ten minutes, between calls.
Someone brought a bucket of plums to work - 'Plums, free to good mouth'. I take three. They are ridiculously overripe, one bird-pecked, but the scent is rich and warm, and as I bite into one, juice dribbles thickly. I giggle, wiping the juice off with a hand.
The phone beeps, and I quickly wipe my hands. I dash off the familiar greeting, but there is silence on the end of the line. Plum juice is still thick in my mouth, and behind the too-sweet ripeness is the tang of the pip and the firmer flesh. I lick my lips, waiting for a response, but there is none. "As you are not responding, I will have to terminate this call..."
I steal another bite of plum, revelling in the sticky syrup, and the phone beeps again.
Current Mood: blah
March 5th, 2008
|02:19 pm - Excessive Information|
Right... so a guy who has insurance with our people calls up because he hit a dog last night, and was concerned that his car might be damaged. Ok, sure. I'll transfer you through to insurance, you may want to go see your local mechanic...
He didn't need to explain the incident again.
Most especially, I did not need to know that the incident was terminated by the dog's owner cutting its throat with a Stanley knife.
Current Mood: sick
January 26th, 2008
|02:28 pm - I LIVE!|
Sooo... life goes on. Nothing particularly interesting, except that I still can't do a full pull-up and am consistently not making the goal times for the runs, which pisses me off something chronic. I've switched from doing the long walk/runs to work constantly to half-and-half walk/run to work and short, intense runs (approx 3km) at the local Reserve. Managed to twinge my ankle a couple of days ago, so yesterday was a walk to work, and today was a run at the Reserve - 2.4km in 16mins - 2mins over, dammit.
Flatmates away for Auckland Anniversary Weekend, so I have the house and two cats to myself. This may not be a good thing, given Whiskey still finds it amusing to wake me up at 6am for no reason whatsoever - usually by either sitting on my windowsill and making the venetians bend and crackle, or by sitting on my face. Gingernut is a good deal more civilised.
I'm going to a wedding in Tauranga on the 9th February, and have got a dress for it... a gorgeous green dress, designer, and costing way, way too much... if not for the fact that it is absolutely stunning, and makes me look a million dollars. :) I shall take pictures.
Work is a trifle ho-hum, but never boring. Finally got a uniform, rather smart, black trousers and pinstripe black shirt with the AA logo. The pants are a pain in the ass (literally), only lined halfway down, so the lining inevitably rides up and annoys.
Yet more work stories:
- The very sweet old lady whose indicators were flashing and she couldn't turn them off.
"Wait... are those the hazard lights?"
"I don't know, dear, I'm not very good with cars."
"Look for a button with a red triangle on your dashboard. Is it on?"
"Ah, yes it is... (pause) ...they've gone off! Thank you very much, dear."
- Yet more members of our Defence Force, who variously don't have car jacks/have flat batteries from leaving the lights on/have locked their keys in the car...
- One of our calltakers, on a caffeine high, answering every call in a different voice/accent. Never say we don't have fun. :P
- One of our calltakers, calling up from the parking lot, "Um, Erin, can you get one of the SPs out here? I've got a flat battery..."
- The number of people, who, when asked 'Manual or Automatic', answer 'Yes'.
Anyhoo, nothing else interesting to report.
November 8th, 2007
|08:19 pm - Recommended Reading|
Hm, I haven't been very active as of late. Thought I'd just post and say 'hi!' and tell you lot what I've been up to lately. That would amount to:
Also Visiting Annoying Relatives and Painting Models, in lesser amounts.
So yeah, not a huge amount to write about, really. :) So I thought I'd post up my latest reading list, in order to make me look more busy, and add High Literary... um... Standards?... to my journal. That last is highly doubtful, given the caliber of my most recent reading, but, well, y'know, at least I've been doing something
Anyhoo, the list.
David Weber - Honor Harrington: The Short Victorious War
I don't know if I've said this before, but the Honor Harrington series is nothing short of awesome,
on numeous levels. The characters are well fleshed out - both 'good guys', 'bad guys', and those undecided - and are easily connected to. Honor (the title's heroine, of course) is both accessible and interesting - with failings and foibles to prevent possible Mary-Sue-ishness. Weber's characteristic attention to detail is sufficient to flesh out the world to a level that makes it realistic, and yet it doesn't overwhelm. Sweeping space opera with human drama, this is the best of both worlds, and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes sci-fi, especially war sci-fi. On Basilisk Station
is the first in the series.
Timothy Zahn - Star Wars, The Thrawn Trilogy: Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, The Last Command
Okay, so I've read this before, but I still love it. Five years on from the Battle of Endor, the Empire is fighting for its survival and the New Republic is fighting to retain coherency. Zahn does excellent character work on both the old favourites and new characters that are rapidly becoming favourites: Grand Admiral Thrawn and Mara Jade are introduced in this trilogy. It's a trilogy that continues the story of Star Wars
perfectly, and well worth reading for any fan or 'just-interested'.
Shelly Mazzanoble - Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress: A Girl's Guide to Dungeons And Dragons
Well, the title's pretty self-explanatory. And it's well worth a read for those girls who're either already dungeon-crawlers, or those interested in it. I'm quite happy to lend out the copy to show to friends so you can persuade them to join you in a good dungeon-bash. :) Mazzanoble deals with the (often-touchy/geeky/misunderstood) subject of D&D with humour and interest, giving information and showing exactly why us chicks in chainmail like to join the guys in the game. She's a woman who quite unashamedly is a girly-girl, proud of it, and yet still has great fun being a 'part-time sorceress'. A bit of an American tilt to the language and examples, which is occasionally a little annoying to my Kiwi tastes, but it's enthusiastic and interesting.
Julian Stockwin - Seaflower
An excellent continuation of the Kydd
series, this chronicles the ascent of a young apprentice taken by the Press Gang from a simple sailor up into the officer ranks. Full of detail about seagoing life and well-written in terms of character development, Stockwin brings Nelson's Navy to life. Unlike some authors in the genre, Stockwin tends to focus strongly on life on the sea, not just the climactic battles. Seaflower
is even better than the first two in the series (Kydd
), improving on the good points and cutting down the (very few) bad points. Good, solid reading for those who enjoy the genre, and a good read for those who only dip into it occasionally. Kydd
is the first in the series.
So that's what's been on my reading-pile lately. None of the classics, but a lot of enjoyable reading. :)
Another thing I've been doing a lot of reading of lately is webcomics. It takes up very little time between calls, and thus is ideal work-reading. :) A few I
enjoy laugh at
read are:Penny Arcade
: Okay, so everyone knows PA. :)Questionable Content
: the art improves (lots), the storyline's interesting, and the jokes, well, I like 'em a lot.Oh My Gods!
: Good fun for the pagans out there, and generally amusing for those who know about that kinda stuff.Weregeek
: The descent of a young man into the world of geekdom. Huge amounts of fun.Looking For Group
: Based in D&D/WoW, this is a good story and excellent art. You will either love or hate Richard.Dresden Codak
: Weird, wild, wonderful, and occasionally just plain wacky, this is your dose of oddness for the day.Little Gamers
: Fresh from Sweden, with profanity, gaming, ninjas, and the PokingStick (tm). Random laughs.Bunny: The Book Of Random
: Weird and amusing and occasionally a trifle obscure. Take in small doses.Fallen
: Not precisely a webcomic, more a manga, but well worth a look. Well-crafted and interesting.XKCD
: A study in stickfigures. Surprising, weird, interesting, occasionally very touching.
Hm, so that's the update. Anything else I can't think of right now. :)
October 30th, 2007
|01:18 pm - Healthy as a horse, that's me!|
...really, if the lights at a railway crossing are going continuously, the first person I think of calling is not the AA.
Anyhoo, no more work gripes. It was just so utterly random I had to put it in.
Next bit is girl-specific, so guys, you might wanna look away. Skip down to the blue words. Anyone who has fear of needles (like yours truly), skip down to the red words.
Yesterday I had my first pap smear. Lots of talking with the gynaecologist about family history and so on (which pretty much isn't, thank the gods), and then lying down and being instructed to tuck my feet up near my hips, and flatten my thighs down as much as I can. Me being rather flexible, this is easy, and the nurse remarked on it. Gymnastics and ballet do that to a girl. Yay flexibility! :P
It wasn't painful in the slightest, just a wee bit... odd... feeling. I've had sex more uncomfortable. Anyone who's scared of smears because they think they hurt, fear not - it's just a bit of pressure. But then, the gynae I went to is very good.
Okay, guys, you can start reading again.
After that, Deb took me into Medlab, and I had a blood test. The trainee nurse, when told I was scared of needles, very sensibly went and got the senior nurse. I was lying there, talking about my job to distract myself, when I felt that horrible dizziness - I have a vague recollection of saying, "I'm going," and apparently I did actually say it.
A brief moment of blackness and weird fever-dreams, and then I'm waking up on the bed, the nurse holding my hand, and saying, "Ah, you're back."
Needle-phobics, all is safe! Re-start reading.
I spent the rest of the day feeling weak as a kitten, sleeping and reading - got through the entirety of Dark Force Rising, the second book of the Thrawn trilogy - and generally feeling pretty useless. Ah well, I get the results in 10 days or so, so we'll see what happens there.
Back to work today - a weekful of 7am starts is gonna be fun, and then I'm going to my parents in Tauranga. Three days of RDO, too! Oh well, it's not so bad... really... must convince myself...
Ah well, I'll deal. And possibly go mad in the attempt. More mad. Whatever. *shrug*
October 28th, 2007
|02:23 pm - Hmm...|
*sigh* Today at work, I have had some odd calls. Gotta wonder sometimes...
Annoying: Being called 'sweetie' every second sentence.
Humourous: A lady calling, missing her keys, and then cancelling the callout about five minutes later. The keys were in the ignition.
Facepalm: The real-estate agent calling to say that he'd locked the keys in a house he'd just visited, and could we please help? He was very polite, so I gave him the number for the local locksmith.
Just weird: Getting a call, listening, and realising that squeaking of springs and panting quite possibly indicate that the owner of the phone called by accident, and it's a good idea to hang up now. Yes, I am implying what you think I am.
Embarrassing: Giggling at Questionable Content, and having to suddenly curb said giggling to attend to a member. And said member saying, "Hey, are you giggling?".
O_o; : A truckie with a ten-tonne truck calling to say that he had a flat tyre, and needed help changing it.
Heartwarming: An elderly lady on the Rimutakas, calling in a flat tyre, then calling back five minutes later to say that a guy had pulled over and helped her out.
Overall, I gotta say I do actually like this job, however much bitching I may do.
October 18th, 2007
|05:22 pm - Work. Again.|
There are some incredible idiots that ring us up, but there are moments that make it all worth it.
- Random laughs such as spending a minute trying to figure out where 'Ediburger' Street is, only to realise that they mean 'Edinburgh'.
- Someone ringing up with a car that won't start, saying "I'll try it one last time," and there is a growl of engine noise in the background. "Okay, never mind..."
- When someone rings up to say thank you for getting there really quickly. Makes our day!
- Finding exactly where someone is, way out in the wop-wops, after spending 5mins trying.
- And lastly - and most importantly - those members who are co-operative, listen, and give details accurately. You make our job a joy. Thank you so much.
(In case you can't guess, I had lots of the abovementioned wonderful members to deal with today. It was a good day. *squee* :D )
October 7th, 2007
|05:38 pm - Expansion Of Previous: An Approximation Of A Conversation|
Self: "Welcome to AA Roadservice, you're speaking with Erin."
Male Caller: "Um, hi. Um, I need someone to come out and give me a hand."
*looking at screen, eyebrows raise* "I'm speaking to Mr - er, Private Skippy*?"
"Yep, that's right."
"Excellent. Can you confirm your date of birth, sir?"
*a snerk from the other end of the phone* "April 1st, 1980*"
"And what's wrong with your car?"
"I need a tyre change - I've got one of those spacesaver ones. I got a new tyre, and I need to get it back on. I've got the other nuts off, but I can't undo the big central one. Could you get someone out?"
*raises eyebrows further, and somehow manages not to laugh* "Er, of course. Er, and you're at your home address? Kakariki Base, Signals Division*?"
"Yeah. Should have me on Tripoli Avenue, in the base. Giza Barracks*."
*moment of brief silence* "Um... Are you sure? I mean, okay. Er. Right. You'll have to go down to the security gates, to meet him, of course -"
"Aw, nah, should be okay. I've had one of the AA guys come out before, and they let him in no trouble."
*a further moment of stunned silence* "But - wouldn't it be a good idea...? We can call you on the way - "
"Nah, it'll be fine."
*blinks, and attempts to lose stunned-mullet look* "...alright... Er, what make and model of car?"
"It's a white Nissan Pulsar*..." *reels off details*
"And your contact number is...?"
"Okay. We should be able to have someone out there in about an hour, to Kakariki Base, Tripoli Avenue, Giza Barracks, for the white Nissan Pulsar. Sure you don't want us to call on the way?"
"It'll be good. Great. Seeya then."
"Thank you for calling, sir."
Thereafter there was a long minute of me contemplating what his Sergeant would do to him, then his officers, then Army friends of mine, and then spending five minutes laughing my ass off at an Army guy who couldn't change a tyre, or doesn't have the common sense to take it to the nearest mechanic mate or the motor pool. Such as these defend our shores.
*Details changed for safety/privacy. Well, duh. I don't want SAS coming through my window at 3am.
Current Mood: worried
|04:38 pm - The Milk of Human Weirdness...|
Lessons Learned Today:
- A vanful of crazy-drunk Tongan guys is not necessarily bad, if they give you and your bike a ride to work. The driver may be sober, and they may not hit on you, even once, and there is bound to be lots of very tuneful singing.
- The combination of last day of the holidays, the All Blacks game, and Bathurst means people were travelling, and thus breaking down.
- Being in barracks on a military base doesn't necessarily mean you'll be able to find someone to help you change a tyre, and you may have to call the AA. This will cause the AA calltaker to laugh at you once she's hung up.
- Road signs are there to tell you where the hell you are.
- Remember work breaks.
- They don't let bikes on buses, not even if you're willing to pay extra.
- Be polite to other road users, and aware of your surroundings.
- Besides a bicycle pump, it's good to have plasters.
- Cyclists, thou shalt look upon Polite Motor Vehicle Users as Blessed of the Lord Thy Road, and appreciate them, for they be scarce on the ground, and rare unto the point of being Harbingers of the End Times.
- Gravel is EVIL.
- Exercise causes a weird mix of endorphins and pain.
- Opsite SecondSkin does not stick on knees.
- Hugs are good.
Current Mood: sore
October 4th, 2007
|01:04 pm - Shenanigans At Work|
So, the random stuff that goes on between calls...
Quote of the Day: "BASK in my GLORY! MWAHAHAHA!"
Giggling over webcomics which nobody else gets. That, or nobody else wants to get.
Melwyn was waiting for the dispatcher, and was humming pop songs. The end of the conversation I coud hear was thus: "Whoops! Sorry! ... Um, yeah, that was Rihanna..." LOL!
We have a member called Mrs Thynn. (Unless you've read the Sacred Diaries of Adrian Plass, this will not be funny).
Writing smut-tastic fic, and nobody giving a toss.
The orange that travelled the entire way around the SRC (callcentre). For no reason other than because it was the last one in the fruitbasket, and nobody particularly wanted to eat it.
Tewai's observation that with the 'G' on the 'Brag Board' being yellow, it didn't really show up on the whiteboard, and it looked like it was supposed to be a 'Bra Board'!
...AND we still manage to provide excellent service! Three member compliments today!
Current Mood: bouncy
Current Music: The airconditioning...