Thursday, March 23, 2006

End of Week Stuff

What a way to end the week....I say this in a positive way believe it or not. Tonight was my last shift before starting holidays until April 2nd, and I had a really good night.

At the end of each quarter, each sales group has an awards ceremony, at which the centre's top performers are rewarded and recognized for their efforts. A couple of nights ago, my supervisor came to me and said that I would be off the phones on Wednesday from 7:30 - 8:00 beause she wanted me to be her guest at the awards ceremony. This was the first "invitation" I'd ever received since starting there. I was quite happy about this because there are always snacks, and each ceremony has its own theme that the supervisors running it come up with. The food always coincides with the theme. This one was a St. Patrick's Day theme, therefore the food they Kind of gross, but cute at the same time. They had cream puffs and someone filled them with green whipped cream. Nice to look at, but nasty to eat.

Anyway, when it was my supervisor's turn to speak/hand out an award, it was for ME! I was so cheesed. It was a "Client Experience" award from a call I had many weeks ago where the client had been with the bank for 68 years. So, I mentioned to the client that I thought this was amazing. He then told me that he has been a client of the bank since he was 11 years old and his mother opened the account for him, and he's never banked anywhere else. I told him that I was impressed at how long he has been with us, and made a bit of an ordeal over it. The client was pretty happy at the end of our conversation. Anyway, at the time, my supervisor thought this was great, and she was so happy that I would think to bring this up with a customer ("you can't buy advertising like that!!"). So, this is what I was rewarded for. It wasn't a big tangeable prize, but I received a little certificate, had my picture taken (barf), and got a little recognition within the centre. So, it kind of made my night.

There are so many prizes and awards to be won within this company, and the ultimate is a cruise that everyone has the opportunity of winning. The prize is a trip for two, all expenses paid for 10 days on a Caribbean Cruise. There are about 8 employees from our centre who went this year (the cruise is always in January), and this is my ultimate goal. I was thinking that I should not leave the company until I've gone on one cruise. That could take years, but whatever. A cruise?? That has been my dream since I was about 13 years old.

Anyway, I suppose I could have condensed that whole story quite a bit, but that's just not my style. Unless I'm talking about my foul-mouthed three-year-old. Who is getting sick by the way, because I'm starting holidays. Isn't that always how it goes?????????????

I am now heading off for my short little slumber and dream about Children's Hospital........


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

When's The Snow Gonna Melt?

I didn't realize it until about midnight that yesterday was the first day of spring. It was kind of spring-ish outside. Everything was melty and dirty, but there sure is a hell of alot of snow that still needs to disappear. I am sooooo sick of it already. I know we've had it easy this winter, but come's the end of March and we're nowhere near green grass yet. The cold temperatures hit at the end of February, and some cruel, cruel joke is being played on us now..."Let's just drag it out as long as we possibly can...Manitobans don't need's just going to be winter again in a few months anyway. Why go through the hassle?"

I don't know who I'm quoting, but I'm imagining whoever decided to prolong winter like this is saying that and laughing really hard right now.

One part of me makes me think spring is around the corner. My aching knees. That usually happens when a weather change is soon happening, and from what I understand, it's going to be +4 on Saturday. Usually the weather change I'm referring to is from cold to warm. It's a good thing, but I suffer a little.

God, I sound like I'm 90.

On a more positive note, it took me literally three minutes to get home from work tonight. I pulled out of my parking spot at work at 1:08, and turned the car off in the driveway at 1:11. AWESOME! I love that. That's probably the only part of my shift I'm loving right now.

One more night and I'm on holidays until April 1st. Think I'm excited? I'm not sure yet. I'll let you know at this time tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006


...brought home her report card from school today, and I couldn't be more impressed. Her marks all went up from her last report, and the teacher's comments were amazing! It wasn't like that so much during the first term, but what a HUGE improvement this time. Not that her last one was bad by any means, but this is her teacher's first class after graduating from university (or "teacher's college" according to more historic times), so I think she was also trying to settle in and establish herself a little bit. In other words, Kelsey's class is an experiment to her. I'm just kidding...

I wasn't actually sure why there are 4 possible grades that can be given out, 1 being the lowest, and 4 being the highest, when we have always been told by teachers, "we don't give out 4s". Why not? Why have them then? Nothing like restricting a kid's confidence. (She got one 4 on this report, by the way).

I have had a few issues with Kelsey's schooling this year, and this is the first year that has happened. I don't think I'm being unreasonable with my opinions, but at the same time I don't want to be "one of those parents". So, I will pick and choose what I formally bring to anyone's attention. I like to stir the pot every now and then, but not if it will have a negative impact on Kelsey.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the years ahead once she's out of Riverview and has more exposure to various teaching styles. I know not all of them will be ideal (reference Mr. Dunbar's Grade 11 English class for anyone who remembers that fiasco), but it will prove interesting to see how she is able to handle the variations. I know Kelsey will always do well in school (no pressure), but I really think she needs to grow from where she's at now. I'm not saying she's too good for the school she's in, but she needs a change, and she'll be more than ready after next year.

When I think about what I just said, that will mean I have a child in frickin JUNIOR HIGH!!!!! I'm about to throw up at the thought of that. But, as long as she stays focused, and involved in at least basketball, she'll do alright. I do have a certain level of expectation of Kelsey, but nothing unreasonable that will turn her off of school by the time she's 14.

Anyway, I was very proud of her today, and she will be rewarded for her hard work.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Some Bitch Kid

This is another Jake story that I can't stop laughing about every time I think about it.

This morning he was looking at a CD case that was cracked (I know, that's probably a surprise to everyone...a CRACKED CD case). Anyway, he asks me, "Who cracked this?" I said, "I'm not sure. Who do you think?" His three-year-old response: "Pwobwy some bitch kid".

Yes. That's right. Some bitch kid cracked our CD case.

What Does A Migraine Feel Like?

I'm pretty sure I had one this weekend. I woke up with a "headache" on Saturday morning, and my first thought was "Fuck! Now my day is going to suck ass!" Or something like that... I don't get headaches often, but I knew this one was a doozy. It was kind of a burning sensation going on in the left side of my head. A deep, intense burning sensation. I took 3 Tylenol right away, which didn't even touch it. As the morning progressed, so did the pain. About 2 hours later, I took 3 more pills hoping like crazy it would at least take the edge off, but no such luck. I was starting to panic because Kelsey was involved in Hoopfest at the U of W on Saturday afternoon, and the last thing I felt like doing was being in a huge gym filled with hundreds of kids screaming and playing basketball, and hearing the coaches yelling at everyone all at different times. I think I would have felt this way regardless of the headache. Anyway, I didn't want to miss it, so away we went. With every word I spoke and every step I took the pain got more and more intense. In the gym I thought I was going to die. The pain was now in my eye as well as my head, so I was doing GREAT at this point. Oh yeah, I felt nauseated too. Anyway, it took just over an hour to finish up, and while we were in the car I realized we weren't headed for home, we were going to the end of season wind-up at the coach's house. That was even more appealing than being in the gym. Anyway, it was a little more relaxed there, but it didn't help the head at all. I came home after this and took yet another 3 Tylenol. I thought for SURE this would do it. Thinking this, we packed up the kids (we had one extra since Kelsey had a friend sleeping over that night) and headed to Wal-Mart to do some shopping. Why didn't I stay home? I thought to myself, "I'm such an idiot". I just wanted to be at home, in my bed.

We finished up there, headed home, fed the kids, put one to bed, and then I got into my pajamas and got comfy on the couch. I STILL had the horrible headache. I took an Advil Gelcap at this point, and it finally took the edge off, so I figured I was out of the woods at this point. I was even laughing at stuff on TV. I was so happy....until it started to come back about half an hour later. I almost started to cry at this point. I was so pissed off that my whole day was consumed by this asshole headache I had, and that it was my last day off before going back to work. Kenny sent me to bed, and I fell asleep about one second after I closed my eyes. I woke up 13 hours later. Still with a headache, but nothing like the day before.

Was this a migraine?

I'm not totally sure, but I think so.

I'm telling you, the next time I wake up with one of those, I am NOT getting out of bed for anything. I don't care what is going on, I'm staying put until it's gone. It was not worth suffering.

I just hope this isn't the start of some evil cycle of bad headaches. I don't have time for that kind of crap. Not that anyone else does either, but it's just not something I'm hoping for.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Dreaded Sunday

You know how in my previous posts I've done on Wednesdays, how happy I sound because it's the start of my weekend? Now take that level of excitement, but reverse the feeling of joy into the feeling of sadness. That's how I feel on Sunday afternoons. I have to return to work for my gruelling 4 day week. Yes, I know, 4 days doesn't sound too bad, actually it may sound somewhat pleasant to most people, but for those who don't know, the shift I work SUCKS.

I cannot wait until May 1, which will be the beginning of me never having to work Sundays again, as long as I stay at this job. (I'll probably never take a job anywhere if they have Sunday hours anyway). I want to be able to cook a nice dinner, spend the evening with the family, and once the kids are in bed, Sunday night is my favourite night to watch a movie. It always has been. But, for now I must suffer through it and do what I have to do.

Supper is cooking as I'm typing this, and I have to leave for work in approximately 40 minutes. Yuck.

Anyway, time to check on the potatoes.......

Saturday, March 11, 2006


When you say you're going to do something, do it. When you say you're going to be somewhere at a certain time, don't be late. If you're picking someone up, don't make them wait. And on the other side of the coin, if someone's picking you up, dont' make them wait. Other people might be relying on you, or rearranging their lives for you as well. Or, if you are going to be late, LET SOMEONE KNOW!!!

There are the people in this world who are consistently late ALL the time. Do they not know how long it takes to get somewhere? Do they not know how long it takes to get their family out the door? Do they have clocks or watches? Or do they just plain not know how to tell time?

Other people can be seriously affected by the lack of concern others show when it comes to being somewhere on time. It can be very frustrating and annoying, and it's just plain inconsiderate.

If you're late for something once, you should remember what made you late that time so it doesn't happen again.

I know shit happens and sometimes it can't be helped. But what is up with the people are always late, without fail, every time there is an event, or getting their kids to school, or whatever the occasion?

I would never want to be known for being perpetually late.

That would just be embarrassing.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Here We Are Again...

It's that time of the week again. The much anticipated weekend.

It's going to seem like something is missing since Kelsey doesn't have basketball on Saturday. We do however, have registration for the Spring League, which doesn't start until mid-April. But, her team from the Winter League is registered for HoopFest which takes place at the Duckworth Centre on March 18th. I am so looking forward to that. I think she'll have a blast. It's kind of like a skills competition, and from what I gather it's an all-day affair, so it should be fun. After that I guess she'll have a couple of Saturdays off and then we'll be at it again. I love it though. I think she's found her thing finally, well, since swimming has been discontinued (she already knows how to swim so why continue with lessons any further than age 8?) Anyway, I am so happy that she's found basketball and she truly does enjoy it. Her last two playoff games were so exciting, and they weren't even playing in the championships. It was very intense nonetheless. She played so awesome, and between the two games she played that day, scored TEN, yes TEN, baskets. It would have been eleven, but one was not counted for some reason. She was even setting picks, and everything she did just looked so natural.

Anyway, she's looking very forward to playing in the spring, and I think we're going to enroll her in basketball camp at the U of W this summer. It will be a week long session, 8 hours per day. I think it woul be so beneficial to her. I really think she'd learn alot. I even heard an ad on the radio for it today. There are teams that she can actually try out for, but I'm not sure I want to start getting her that competitive quite yet. She's only 11. There's lots of time for that. We'll see how this next session goes.

We took Jake bowling the other day for the first time, so maybe that will be his sport. We can all congregate at the local alley and cheer him on the same way we cheer Kelsey on at basketball, "Comeon Jake!! You can do it! Spare it up!! Spare it UUUUUUUPP!!"

Seriously though, he had fun. It took over an hour to play a game, and he had to use the same ball each time, so we had to wait for it to come back before he could roll his next turn. On a couple of turns, the ball stopped dead in the middle of the lane, so I had to walk down the platform (NOT on the alley itself because I'm sure I would have been shot), and retrieve the ball. It was pretty funny. Next time you see him, ask him how he bowls. He'll show you.

I'm going out with a friend (Gwendolyn, or more commonly known as Gwen) on Friday night for appetizers and a drink or two or twenty. I'm not sure where we're going, but it's just going to be the two of us. We work at the same place, so we're getting together for drinks and rants. I'm looking forward to it. I just have to remember how I felt all day last Saturday after I drank a bottle of wine the night before. I had a whole lot of regrets that day, let me tell you. I don't want to feel like that and waste a whole day again. Mind you, our Saturday was so busy last week, I didn't have time to feel shitty.

Friday during the day is going to be busy. Jake has a doctor's appointment, and then Kelsey's choir is singing in the afternoon. Then I have to come home and get ready for my date.

I can't remember what we're doing on Saturday. Seriously. I've drawn a blank, but I'm sure it's important. And fun.

Whatever I end up doing the rest of the weekend will include a whole lot of sleep. I need to catch up so badly.

On that note, I am heading off to bed right now for my 4.2 hours of sleep.


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Unappreciated World of Working in Customer Service

It was very very quiet at work tonight. By that I mean there was on average, about one call every 20 minutes per representative working in Winnipeg. That's just unheard of, but it's been like that for the past two nights. I know why, but I won't get into it because it won't mean a thing to any of you. It's just a big change from the last two weeks during RSP season.

Anyway, all night the people who sit in my area pretty much "screwed the pooch" all night because there weren't many calls coming in. Usually late at night, the general type of call is to pay one or two bills, or just to get an account balance. Most people don't usually call their bank at that time of night with a big issue. Unless they're crazy. So, I took a call at 12:53 a.m., and the customer wanted to know every transaction in her account, including date, location, type of transaction and the amount from February 22 until today. And of course, there were pages and pages of transactions. So, I started listing off what was in front of me, and each time I told her a transaction, she'd say, "pardon?" So, clenching my teeth, I'd repeat what I had just told her.

My shift ends at 1:00 a.m., and by that time, I'm more than ready to go home. The clock was ticking away. My teammates left for the night, waving good-bye as they walked away from the vicinity, and there I sat trying to "help" this customer (did she really need this information right now??). There was one co-worker still there at the time, so I even turned to her to somewhat complain (without the customer knowing, of course). So, finally at 1:15 we were finished.

Then something happened that has never happened to me at my current job, and rarely happens to anyone where I work.

The customer thanked me for being so patient. She asked me for my name because I guess she didn't catch it at the start of the call, but I can't begrudge her because who really does retain that information anyway? Then she asked if I had a supervisor she could speak to tell them what a great job I did.

I felt so bad. I told her that my supervisor had left for the night, but if she would like, I could transfer her into her voice mail. The customer agreed to this, and I thanked her because that just doesn't happen in every day life, whether you've done a stellar job for someone, or just a good job. Anyway, she told me I deserved it because I work hard. How bad did I feel for complaining? I mean, she didn't know it was the end of my shift. She was calling the bank because she knows we're open ALL THE TIME, and she needed help. I had to remind myself of this for a few reasons. Number one, it's just not nice to be like that. Number two, maybe I've called somewhere in the past where the person on the other end was rolling their eyes or thought that I was stupid for something I've needed help with. And number three...I don't know. I guess there are only two reasons.

I know I didn't sound frustrated when I was talking to her, but there have been times when I've called somewhere and received a very condescending tone from the other end of the phone, and I just don't want to come across that way.

The people who answer phones for a living, or work in the customer service industry, have to keep one very important thing in mind, and that is each caller or customer they deal with doesn't know that you've answered the very same question they're asking you about a hundred times before them.

Sometimes it's hard to bear this in mind, but it is so crucial. As a customer, you never want someone to make you feel like you're bothering them, and as an employee, it's just bad karma to try and make someone feel that way.

What my customer did tonight is something more of us should do. Our first instinct is to call the manager of the pizza place to complain about service, delivery time, driver's attitude, etc. Why isn't it our first instinct to call to commend someone on a job well done, or praise a company for a fantastic product?

I think the world would be a happier place if we took the time do spread compliments rather than complaints. Or VD.

Seriously though, I'm going to start making it a priority to pass on to a manager of a store or restaurant that their employee was great.

What goes around, comes around..........

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Geico and Dairy Queen

This Geico commercial totally cracks me up. Seriously. It's funny. The cavemen are so pissed off, and the looks on their faces is hilarious. Are there any other funny commercials being aired right now? There is one that totally grosses me out and I could barf every time I see it. You all know which one I'm talking about...that's right...the Dairy Queen Popcorn Shrimp commercial. It's a cartoon-like commercial and it implies that the characters (mom and dad shrimp) actually ate their children by mistake. So very wrong, and so very gross. If you've seen it, you know what I mean. Or is it just me?

Anyway, there's my rant for the week.

Once again, my weekend is upon me, and I couldn't be happier. This week has been very stressful with it being the final days before the 2005 RSP deadline. It was extremely busy, but it's now over, and now hopefully things will get back to normal at least somewhat.

This weekend brings shopping, basketball, laundry, errands, birthday parties, and with any luck I'll catch up on some rest. I'm not counting on that though. If I can have one night of more than 4 hours of sleep, I will consider that catch-up. I'm sure I'm not the only one who will be glad when May 1 is finally here.

Doesn't it seem like May is a lifetime away? It just feels like winter is never going to end, and it just had to snow yesterday to make it all so much better. We're finally into March, and that does mean the end is near, but we still have a bit to get through. I guess that's why we appreciate our summers so much. The end of May usually brings "Charbecue", but we didn't have it last year, and it's still up in the air for this year. We'll see what happens over the next several weeks and then we'll decide on having it or not. I'll keep you all posted. Maybe this will be the year we print t-shirts for everyone who comes. "I survived Charbecue '06"...or something to that effect.

On another note, Happy Anniversary to Chris & Denise on February 28th. Two years! Feels like yesterday. Remember how nice it was on your wedding day? It was a beautiful day!

That's it for me, for probably another week.

Sweet dreams.....