Month: September 2017

Status of the Realm: 03 September 2017

So I thought I would try to add a more frequent update section, filled with items that don’t necessarily merit their own, complete posts. These could be things that I am working on, what I have experienced, or other items of note. I’ll do my best to make it at least once a week, twice if my projects are progressing along at a faster than previously expected rate or more noteworthy items happen during the week.

Why not just use a Facebook/Twitter/IG smattering to do this? I’m not really looking for thumbs of approval, nor do I feel like keeping them all to myself. Since any updates I push here appear on at least two of the previously mentioned items, it just makes more sense to do it here and save the effort for the more important tasks at hand.

To-Do: Create SotR banner(s). Due 1 Oct 17

Items of Note, 3 Sep 2017

UMich (33) v. Florida (17)

The Good:

• I liked the alternative uniform colors for both teams, especially UMich. Uncertain as to whether or not I would like to get a jersey in that color, might be a bit too bright in person, burn maize permanently into retinas of many an unwilling passersby, disapproving tuts possible.

• Defense for UMich was definitely present, stopping many plays that would have resulted in a steamroller win for Florida.

• Fantastic turnout of UMich fans, despite greater distance of travel required.

• A far more interesting game than PSU (52) v. Akron (0), which was being abandoned by dedicated PSU fans

The Meh:

• Easily preventable INTs cost more points than they should have; first week jitters in new season suspected cause.

• While understandable, neutral location for game prevents students/alumni of either school being able to easily attend.

• Status of Viewership/Team-Based Sartorial Curse still unknown, further research required

The Bad:

• Rules/regulations of Debatable Quality continue to be debatable in quality, slowing down overall flow of game. Seriously, when even the paid commentators are noticing the phenomenon is happening, something is seriously wrong.

100% MSPaint Work Update

While the first for this location, work continues on my first serious attempt at creating a work of art entirely within MSPaint. While not much at this point in time (see detail snippets for more information), work steadily rolls on, with the intended result being a work worth of any dual 1080P monitor setup, as was originally intended. While still very rough at this point in time, only time will tell what it truly ends up being.

100% MSPaint Detail 2
Spooky skull, on a tower perhaps? 09032017
Dubious Sun, Striped Landscape, Seussian Nightmare
Purple Liquid of Sorts
So Much Red










Song/Site of the Moment:


The Song of the Moment is not a song at all, but a band instead. Being stupidly late to discover things, like i was for Ghost, Gost, Carpenter Brut and others, this one really takes the cake, especially being as large of a Rammstein fan as I am. I present my latest discovered-obscenely-late find of KMFDM. Yes, KMFDM, considered by many to be industrial contemporaries of bands like Rammstein, Megaherz and Oomph, all of which I listen to quite frequently. I’m not certain why I took so long to start, really. Since it is neither a particular song or a relatively new band, I won’t bother to link to one particular song, as their discography is huge.

However, as I was writing the above, I did remember a song that I have been listening to increasingly more the last few days. Fronted by a QuickBooks-using accountant and hailing from the Dallas area, Ctrl+Alt+Delete is probably my favorite song by them at the moment.

While it has potential to be a catchy song, I am of the opinion that Rescue the Mouse needs to work on creating their own sound, which I am confident will come about as they not only tour more, but also spend more time in the studio. I would hate to see them forever trapped in Adult Alternative Land, sharing space with the likes of Seether and Nickelback. Very few bands truly deserve such a fate and Rescue the Mouse is not one of them.


Today’s Site of the Moment is for those intrepid consumers who value a good deal over what the box or its contents look like. Cosmetic/arrangement in the box, that is (very few, I imagine, would pay money for broken/mangled and disheveled items/cables/etc., no matter how good the deal was), not functionality wise. Enter, whose mission it is to scour the depths of for used/open box listings, allowing you to browse for deals that may not look as pretty as a completely new, aesthetically pleasing virgin retail purchase but will function just the same.

AHT, ACW and TNPS: Working in a Call Center

A year ago, after having my hours drastically reduced, typical during the Florida summer, I applied for a technical support position for a popular accounting suite. At first, there was hesitation, as it meant working in a call center. Not exactly a job that you go to school for, but neither is working at a gun store. Did well at the interview and was given a job that same day.

Three months of training, from the basics of the application to how to take, document and use the tools during the call. Not much attention given to the in-depth, inner workings of anything more advanced than basic functions of conducting/recording transactions. “You’ll learn it as you go along,” said the training/leadership staff, “otherwise you can ask those around you. You have great resources on hand to help when you get stuck.”

Such was not always the case. When official documentation ran dry or was non-existent, we turned to what most everyone uses: Dr. Google, with help from Sr. Bing and M. Yahoo.

I wish I could have just hung up.

There were days and calls where this was exactly what I wanted to do. Not enough accounting knowledge, too little documentation about a particular behavior or issue. Rude customers demanding the moon for nothing or expecting far more than I had been prepared to support. As much as I’d like to say this was not the norm, it happened far more than I’d like.

Perhaps our expertise had been oversold, or maybe the customer had greater expectations than we were able to deliver. Long-termers would probably advise that I was not about the “call-center life” as though it were a badge of honor. Perhaps they are correct, as I never saw myself working in a call center in the first place.

Fortunately, I learned a fair amount during my tenure. I was never rude to those who answered the phone when calling in, but now I’m even nicer, having walked many a mile in their shoes. I speak slower, with more clarity when giving information to prevent mistakes when transcribing. I have also noticed that my overall interactions are far more pleasant.

So what can you learn from my experience?

  • The person on the line is human. While I understand that you are in a hurry, the fact that you’re calling for phone support means you will be talking to a human, at least for the foreseeable future. Just because you don’t know them and your chances of meeting them are small, doesn’t mean that you have the right to be nasty to them. Calling them names and insulting their intelligence is uncalled for and does nothing to aid in the resolution of whatever issue you’re experiencing.
  • Patience is key to issue resolution. Maybe they are new to the job or not intimately familiar with your issue and require more time to determine the root cause. One of the biggest issues I used to encounter was someone wanting to talk to someone who was intimately familiar with a particular subject area. At least for what I was supporting, there was no one for me to transfer them to. We didn’t have specialists who knew more about a particular subject than anyone else. Sure, there was a department just for accountants, which I still couldn’t send them to if they didn’t have the appropriate membership.
  • Supervisors are not the end-all-be-all of issue resolution. They may know something, provided it was a direct promotion, but for the most part, when it comes to issue resolution, asking to speak to a supervisor is not a guaranteed resolution. Most of the time, they’ll bring you back down, reassure you and pass you back to the agent you were upset with in the first place. Very rarely do they have access to something your original representative does not.

Ultimately, patience is key. Without it, all you end up with is frustration. If it gets to that point, you’re better off just hanging up and calling back when you’re willing to be more cooperative.