Wednesday, August 22, 2007

an unsolicited blogpost; a.k.a., a PSA

I am not in the mood to take adverse reactions to this, thanks. Comments not welcomed on this post.

A Few Helpful Hints, a.k.a., Take This and Be Thankful
How to Most Painlessly and Effectively Avoid Research Calls

1. Put your name on the Do Not Call list. This is for telemarketers (people who sell you things via telephone), and does not apply to research.

2. Once you have done this, if you get a phone call from someone you don't know, unless something is wildly amiss, they are not telemarketers. Answer the phone; ignoring their calls will ensure they call back at least once a day either until their project is over or until you show some indication that you would prefer not to participate. If you don't mind that, do whatever you want. Assuming you answer, be polite to them and assume they have something relatively valid to say. For example, many institutions use independent research firms (who may show up as private callers or introduce themselves on the phone as from the research firm) to take complaints from customers who have shown in some way (i.e., through their activity with the company) that they may be unhappy. Their call may be directly pertinent to you.

3. Hear the intro out. Find out what they want. The intros are designed to be short and will take very little of your time. Do not hang up on them: they will usually call back. (Also, if you continue to ignore their calls, again - you have not given a verbal refusal, for all they know you're on vacation or in the shower, and they will call back.) If you are not interested in participating, refuse, and ask (politely, as so many do, you'd be surprised) to have your number taken off their call lists. (Research firms have their own do-not-call lists; as the Do Not Call laws exempt these firms - making any threats to sue a futile and laughable offense to all in the call center ["I'm getting sued again today! Who wants to be my lawyer this time?? Hooray!"], the firms have their own lists. If you make this request you will henceforth be removed from all call projects coming from this firm. Any form of "Please put me on your do not call list" is a magic phrase that will almost certainly quickly shut up any caller and cancel any further attempts to ask you to complete any studies in the future.

Thank you, and have a nice day.

Monday, August 20, 2007

I believe!

I have tried to watch so many meteor showers in my day. Really. I've had lots of shooting stars pointed out to me, and still had never actually seen anything. I finally declared watching meteor showers a futile endeavor, renounced my belief that they exist to the human eye and, well, gave it up for dead, so to speak.

However, I was convinced by more than one person (most of them relatively attractive, which never hurts) to go up to Vivian Park last Sunday night and watched the meteor shower, from about 11:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (I was going to get up at 3:30 to go, which I agreed to because of the pure adventurous nature of getting up at 3:30 a.m. to head up the canyon, but my phone [alarm] died; it was a good thing I'd gone up a little early.)

For the first time in my life, I saw - not even just one - but tens of shooting stars. Some followed by really strong trails of debris, even - long trails of white, undoubtedly astronomic Wendy's cups and used Kleenex being shaken off these meteors as they shot across the sky.

Anyway, yes, Virginia - shooting stars do exist!

"...You taught me the names of the stars overhead that I wrote down in my ledger
Though all I knew of the rote universe were those Pleiades loosed in December
I promised you I‘d set them to verse so I'd always remember

That the meteorite is a source of the light
And the meteor's just what we see
And the meteoroid is a stone that's devoid of the fire that propelled it to thee

And the meteorite's just what causes the light
And the meteor's how it's perceived
And the meteoroid's a bone thrown from the void that lies quiet in offering to thee ..." --"Emily," Joanna Newsom

Sunday, August 19, 2007

just an announcement

I finished Harry Potter 7 today. (Yeah, I know I was slow - I started rereading #5 a week or two before #7 came out. I didn't remember much at all from #5-6, so I knew #7 would be better if I took care of that first.)

Man, that was good.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

the State of the Union

I work in a call center now (we aren't telemarketers, just research).

When did it become okay, in America, to hang up on people, ever? What do these people's kids think when they see their parents hang up on us? What on earth does that teach?

I do confess, however, I did hang up on a guy once. I mean, in this job. He only got out half of his "g*d*" before I was gone. I hold that this was probable cause.