Archive for the ‘Canada’ Category

If you call a call center, for the sake of the guy or gal on the other end, please don’t be inebriated. I know calling to get something repaired can be boring, but if you cooperate, we can get through this quickly. Please.

Me: Can I get your serial number please?

Caller: It’s 123rrr987

Me: Ok, so is that 123rrr987?

Caller: Hmmmm.

Me: Ok, so that’s RRR, right?

Caller: Yeah, 3R

Me: Wait. Is that, like 3 R or R R R.

Caller: It’s like three Rs.

Me: But, it that, R R R or three and then the letter R.

Caller: Yeah, it’s three Rs.

Me: Ok… but is it…

Me: (pause)

Me: Yeah… Ok, I’ll just put what I’ve got in the system and see if it works.


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There are some things that ban be tough when your whole job is on low quality phone lines. At times, Bs and Vs, Ds and Ts, Cs and Gs and such letters sound exactly the same. It can lead to exchanges like this one. The caller in this case was of Spanish heritage.

Me : Can I have your email address?

Caller : It’s bocadillo@example.com

Me: Ok, so that’s “b” like boy “o” “c”?

Caller: It’s B like bocadillo.

Me: Ok, but is that first letter B banana or D like dinosaur?

Caller : It’s B. Like bocadillo.

Me: Right, but is it B like banana or D like dinosaur?

Caller : Yeah, it’s B (b sounds just like d over a bad phone connection. So I have no idea what he said)!

Me: (pause)

Me: Ok. But, like, what letter is it? Is it B or D?

Caller: It’s B like boy.

Me: Right! Thank you!

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Last Meal

Ok, so at work, we’re not supposed to eat fish because apparently someone has mad allergies and could go into shock if he/she is exposed to even the smell of fish. I know, a bit wacky right? But apparently, once, someone microwaved fish and the person went into shock from like 30 meters away. In another room. Basically it’s pretty serious. So here I am, at lunch, eating some delicious scalloped potatoes and I see something (I couldn’t remember exactly what was in the casserole) I thought was cheese. I was salmon. So I’m like “Oh. No.” Right at that moment my eyes dart around the room and I start looking for someone with the symptoms of dying. It was terrible. I was eating quickly so as to reduce lethal exposure for my hapless victim. Due to my haste, a tiny spec landed on the table. ON THE TABLE! The contagion of death had begun. So I wipe the sesame seed-sized debris from the table and at this point any loud noise or abrupt movement puts me on edge. It was terrible. After my meal (it was to die for, by the way), I walked back to my cubicle. Like a fool, I touched the door handle with the grim reaper’s hand! It was too much. Now I’m basically 100% percent certain someone will drop dead at some point today. No way around it. God. So I was sitting there (I washed my hands using the alcohol based cleaner, but I had to touch the spout thing, so, I don’t know…) thinking about my mistake and I was actually (honestly) thinking that my breath was now lethal. Like, if I say hello to the wrong person, they’ll kneel over and die. Stressed me out so hard. Anyway, that was my lunch.

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If this happens at the start of your call, chances are good that this will be a long one.

Caller: Where are you?

Me: I’m in Charlottetown.

Caller: Is that in New Brunswick?

Me: No, it’s in Prince Edward Island?

Caller: Is that by Caraquet (at town in northern New Brunswick)?

Me: No, like, Prince Edward Island. The province.

Caller: Oh yeah. I know.

The caller was from Quebec, one province away from Charlottetown, the capital of Prince Edward Island; one of Canada’s ten provinces.

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Man, I’ve been really bad at this blog thing. It’s been what, two weeks since the last update? Sorry. I’d like to say I’ve been busy doing super awesome things, but I’d be lying. I did find a full-time job though, so that’s good.

Because I don’t want to get sued or fired, I’ll use clever double-speak to hide my employer’s true identity. Let’s just say I work at a call center for a tech company and I do warranty support.

As you might expect, hilarity often ensues as it did in my first call ever.

(after getting the formalities out of the way)

Caller: There are some programs on my receipt that I didn’t download. I asked my 18 year old son if he downloaded them, and he says he didn’t. Is there a way to get a refund for these?

Me: We’ll I’ll see what I can do. Can I get the names of the programs please?

Caller: Sure, you’ve got Stick It, I bought that, Sex Strip, Beautiful Boobs and A+ Pickup Lines. My son says he downloaded A+ Pickup Lines, but not the other ones.

Me: Ok, well, I mean, it’s possible someone hacked into your account and downloaded Sex Strip and Beautiful Boobs, I’ll look into that, but I mean, it’s a possibility that, you know, your 18 year old son may have possibly downloads those programs…. But, I mean, I’ll check with the billing department for you.

Caller: Yeah, please check. I swear, if he downloaded those things, I’ll kill him….

I think this job will have its good moments….

(I wonder what kind of hits I’ll get from posting those words on here.)

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Now that I know people from Charlottetown, I’m starting to realize how cool a place it is. Maybe it’s because it’s small (32 000 in the actual city) and isolated (because, well, it’s on an island) but there’s actually a really cool thriving scene here. It seems like everyone at work plays music. It’s possible it’s just because the call center job attracts musicians, but most of the people there play instruments. There are a few live venues that tend (from what I hear) to have cool bands play sets. Nothing big, but there’s more than enough local talent to keep the atmosphere lively. My coworker also said that although the music scene may seem very exclusive, it’s quite welcoming. If you’re down with the scene, the scene is down with you.

So you’ve got this cool music scene and a pretty good comic book scene. For such a small town, it’s a wonder that there’s enough business for two comic book shops. And these places seem pretty happening. Every time I walk in front of them, they always have people inside. I work with a girl who is involved with a “non-profit organization” as she first put it, which turned out to be Animaritime, a local Japanese animation convention. They try to get all anime fans together and promote local talent. Pretty cool. Lots of local involvement in the art scene ’round here.

There also appears to be a good literary community. There are two used bookstores downtown with a good selection of books and I’m pretty sure there’s another one somewhere else.

Just the idea that places and scenes like that can exist in a small place like Charlottetown is so cool.  It might not be the right place for me right now (just a bit too isolate), but it doesn’t take away that this place is pretty neat once you get to know it and it’s folks.

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I didn’t think I’d get too much of a culture shock coming back to PEI after Korea since I had been traveling for a while. Apparently I was wrong. I’m currently trying to find a job here. I’ve only been in Charlottetown for about 5 working days now and the need for a job is really getting to me. I miss everyone in Korea too much. Same goes for everyone I met while traveling. Some more than others. I miss the adventure, being close to everything, being surprised. Exploring and seeing something new every weekend. I’ll readjust, I’m sure, but right now it’s really bringing me down. I’ll do some more updates on the end of my trip in a few days when I get back into the swing of things.

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