Saturday, February 4, 2012

Why I Read At Work

Over the last couple of years I've realized that I get more reading done while I'm working than anywhere else. There's too much at home to distract me: the television and the endless entertainment given by Netflix, my computer and the wonderful array of blogs about books, and of course Ivan, who can simply be called The Cat Who Hated the Kindle.

At work there are no such distractions, actually there are few distractions at all. I can just open the Kindle, set it next to my desk and in minutes I'm whisked away to whatever world I want. And when the boss walks by, that nifty round button at the bottom of the Kindle quickly turns the screen black.

If you haven't noticed- I'm an exemplary employee.

More recently though I've realized the reason behind my drive to read while reading. Beyond the fact that I would just rather be reading, I also have found that my job actually makes me more than just a little nutty and while I'm there reading helps prolong the eventual (and inevitable) snap in my brain that transforms me from a mildly irritable, foul mouthed, wench to a more than slightly homicidal, disgruntled, testicle munching troll.

Now, don't get me wrong. I understand that I am not alone in my frustrations in my job, but I have an outlet to release these frustrations and I plan on taking complete advantage of it.

I work as a telemarketer. No, I am not the one that calls your house to sell you a credit card as you're sitting down to eat a lovely meal with your family (not that anyone still does that). I work for a decent sized company that publishes some information. Because I want to continue to work there after I publish this post, I will not be including the name of our company or any of our products.

I have been working there for roughly three years, which for the job is a long time I'm referred to as a 'vet' - which simply means that I am too lazy to find a job that doesn't make me want to kill anything that crosses my path, including adorable small dogs and all of my coworkers.

When I started this job I was a telemarketer in the truest sense of the word. I made cold calls to people and did my best to make them believe I had a product that the just couldn't do their job without, even though they had been for the last 15 years.

After about two years I got promoted. The new job was easier, made me more money, and meant that all-in-all I had to do less work. Less frustration right? Wrong. Now the list of people I dream of slaying as I lay my head down next to my bat-shit-crazy cat includes 98% of our customers.

See-now I call those customers who were lucky enough to have purchased our products. My job? Ask them if they want to do it again.

In my experience the longer a customer has been with us, the lower the IQ.

Here are just a few examples of what my team deals with on a day to day basis. And because I love them, and Mike is away, all of our products will be represented by sex toys.

Example 1: 2 Year Customer

ME: hi there Susan, my name is Sharyla from Sex Toys R Us
SUSAN: Yes!?!? What do youuuu want?!?
ME: Well Susan, you've been receiving our fuzzy handcuffs twice a month for the last 2 years and-
SUSAN: Oh no I have not!
ME: Uh...yes you have.
SUSAN: Most certainly not.
ME: Are you sure? They are silver with red and white fuzz all over them.
SUSAN: I'm positive I do not receive those, I swear on my dogs life!
ME: paid 300 dollars a year to receive our fuzzy handcuffs of awesome....soo...ummm..
SUSAN: *heavy sigh* Well...let me look.
                             ~sounds of handcuffs rustling on her desk~
SUSAN: ALL I have are sets of these handcuff things.
ME: Are they silver?
ME: Do they have fuzz?
ME: Is that fuzz by any chance red and white?
ME: yeah...that'd be what I'm talking about. You've been getting those twice a month for 2 yea-
SUSAN: OH YEAH!! For like 2 years!!! I LOVE THESE they make my life AWESOME!!

Example 2: 4 Year Customer
ME: Hello there John, this is Sharyla from Sex Toys R Us, you've been receiving our neon green butt plug for the last 4 years....
JOHN: Yes.
ME: Okay, well we were calling to let you know your subscription is up and to ask if it's been helpful
JOHN: I don't know.
ME: You don't know? You've been receiving that neon green butt plug 2 times a month for 4 years...
JOHN: Yeah...but I haven't used the last 2 I received so I don't know.
ME: Right....uh...were the previous 90 helpful?
JOHN: OH YEAH!!! They really rocked my world!
ME: ::sigh of relief:: Oh good, I'm glad John. Do you want to renew your subscription?
JOHN: No, I don't think so...I never did use the last 2...
ME: LOVED them. 90 of them!
JOHN: I just don't know if they are useful.....
Example 3: (this includes my coworker, who we will all call Samita) 3 Year Customer:
SAMITA: Hi Jenny, this is Samita from Sex Toys R Us. You've been receiving our Naughty girls Do Tahoe Adult DVD's for the last 3 Years...
JENNY: WELL! I was and I paid for it last year but then you just quit sending them! Since you didn't send them, I don't want to renew!
JENNY: Um, NO. We moved 6 months ago!
SAMITA: Did you call our customer service department and let them know of the address change?
SAMITA: Right...well that'd be why you haven't been getting your porn. Do you want to renew?
JENNY: No. You're company quit sending them to me, and even though I love them and can't live without them, I don't want to continue to do business with you because you are not psychic and didn't change the address.
But my friends, what is worse than our customers, their secretaries. Now, don't get me wrong, they're doing the job they are meant to do, but so are we. We are naturally at odds, like the lion and the wildebeest, oil and water, or Wal-Mart shoppers and clothing.
It is IMPORTANT to know, so you don't hate me, that I am SUPER nice to all administrative assistants OUTSIDE of my work. But while I'm sitting in front of that computer 6-8 hours a day, I want them all to just...die.

Here are some sweet examples of the lovely wench-faces ladies, and sometimes men on the other end of my line:

Example 1:
ME: Hi! Is Ray Jenkin's in?
SEC: No, he no longer works here
ME: Oh, I'm sorry. Who took over his position?
SEC: I'll transfer
                       As our fearless leader always says THIS WILL NEVER BE THEIR NAME

Example 2:
ME: Hi! Is Stewart Stankerpants in?
SEC: May I ask who's calling?
ME: Sharyla, from Sex Toys R Us.
SEC: Okay, please hold
                         one minute later
SEC: What was your name again?
ME: Sharyla
SEC: From?
ME: Sex Toys R Us
SEC: Okay
                       two minutes later
SEC: What company are you from?
ME: *very slowly* Sex...Toys...R...Us
SEC: Can you hold?
ME: Yes...............
                      one minute later
SEC: And how do you spell your name?
SEC: Okay
                     transfers to voice mail

Example 3: 2 Year Customer
(Again with Samita, but this is MY personal favorite)
SAMITA: HI- is Mike Jones available?
SEC: Can I ask who is calling?
SAMITA: Samita, from Sex Toys R Us
SEC: He doesn't take these kinds of calls.
SAMITA: I'm calling regarding his current account ma'am
SEC: I'll transfer you to voice mail
SAMITA: Ma'am, if he is busy I can just try back. I can't leave a message because I work off a direct dial line.
SEC: Well I'll just keep transferring you to voice mail
SAMITA: Ma'am I NEED to speak with him.
SEC: Why?
SAMITA: Because he has a PAID account with us.
SEC: No he doesn't.
SAMITA: Um...yes ma'am, he does.
SEC: What for then?
SAMITA: He's received the Blow Up Sheep & Lube Kit twice a month for the last 2 years.
SEC: *laughs* Oh, well I've been throwing that away EVERYtime it comes.
SAMITA: Well...I hope not, because he's paid $300 dollars a year for it for the last two years.
SEC: Ohhhhhh he has has he??
SAMITA: Yes...yes he has.
SEC: ......oh.....well...I''ll just have to talk with him about that.
SAMITA: Yeah...I'll just try back another time.

And this my dear readers, this is why I read at work. Sometimes it's the only thing that keeps me from screaming into the phone:

So I want to thank the authors out there who can take me to other worlds, where the kickass heroine can defend herself with a big shiny sharp sword, or the hero is a 6'5" monster of AWESOME full of sexual tension and just the right amount of emotional deficiencies.

I want to thank the bloggers who help me find awesome books, by posting rockin' reviews, and coming over here to our blog to tell us how awesome our reviews are.

And just so that everyone knows. I must be a sadist because I love my job.


  1. Hahaha-- I love this! A great laugh to start the morning. I would love to be able to read at work. But as a preK teacher, I think this would be frowned about a bit. :)

    1. Yeah, they probably wouldn't like that much. I am very lucky, not only do I read while working, I also do homework, and sometimes when I'm feeling childish, I color.

  2. I completely understand!! So I think I should write up something about why I read at work... Lol...

  3. ha, I can relate :) I get plenty of reading done at work too. It helps keep me sane.

    1. It helps SOOOO Much. Eventually though, I find myself asking "Why oh why do these people I call expect me to answer them when they say Hello." This is when I have to put the Kindle away.

  4. LOL, I'm the same :) No customers for me thankfully, I deal with just 0's and 1's, programming all day long, but I take sneaky Kindle sanity breaks too :) I read all through my lunch hour too, although I often have to stick a post-it note on my head saying "AT LUNCH LEAVE ME ALONE" so I don't get bugged by people...

  5. Oh wow, I would be so frustrated with those customers!!!

  6. What a great blog, though you have this old lady asking, what is a butt plug?

  7. YOU rock my world dear daughter. Sooooooooo funny.
    Everyone should know: it's even funnier to watch her tell this while sitting on your couch. Her eye twitches and everyting ;-)

  8. Lol, omg... those calls were hilarious to read about! If I were on the other side, I'm not sure if I'd managed not to laugh. I know my friend recently started working with a similar job and she admits she has trouble keeping a straight face more than once! But I'm sure it definitely gets old too. I get what you mean though, even though I don't actually work, but I do pretty much the same things in school.

  9. my favorite is talking to mr. "please hold" thats a great guy, or the one i told our mother about
    "HI, i need to speak to Mr. Doe please"
    sec: oh WE'RE not interested
    "oh im sorry, how are you Mr.Doe?"
    sec: say whaaaa?
    "may i speak with mr. doe"
    sec:....yeah...ill transfer you (still confused)

    another great playout

    "HI, i need to speak to Mr. Doe please"
    sec: oh WE'RE not interested
    "..not interested in what?"

  10. I know how you feel. I work at the visitor center at a National Park. I cannot tell you how many times I want to bang my head against the counter.
    Book Sniffers Anonymous

  11. Stopping by for the book blogger love-a-thon! =)

    I would be making MANY facepalms at work if I had to put up with situations like that. It would tempt me to read at work 24/7, but then I suppose nothing would get done. *sigh* ;)

  12. I think I my have just peed! This post was absolutely HILARIOUS! I deal with idiotic people every day but since it is retail, can't exactly whip a book out of my pocket and lock myself in a dressing room (although it does sound rather nice!). I am glad you can turn your very obvious frustration with stupid people into a hilarious post though! Definitely entertaining :)

  13. This post was so funny!!! I definitely read at times when I'm not supposed to. Glad I'm not alone!

  14. I'm glad books provide a reprieve while you're at work! I always sneak mine in during lunch, but other than that, I can't get away with it.

  15. Seriously, SO funny! And also, I'm sorry you have to deal with stupid people all of the time. If it makes you feel better, I work in a book store and have had this happen, on numerous occasions:

    Me: Hello, is there something I can help you find today?
    Cust: Yeah, I'm looking for a book.
    Me: Alright, great! What's the title?
    Cust: I don't know.
    Me: The author's name?
    Cust: I don't know.
    Me: What is the book about?
    Cust: I'm not sure.
    Me: Can you tell me anything about the book?
    Cust: It has a blue cover.

    No lie. At least you get to escape with reading. I'm surrounded by books, but I can't enjoy them while at work. Love this post, thanks for sharing :0)

  16. This is hilarious on so many levels - I'm so glad you can read and get taken away from the crappy customers you deal with. I read at my work too (similar situations - lots of calls to what I'm going to assume are incompetent and illiterate people; as well as a lot of waiting on a slow website my boss steadfastly refuses to stop using because I assume he either owns stock or perhaps just owns the site as a whole and isn't telling us) and it's possibly the only thing that makes me realize i still have a brain. Real life people are infuriating, so book people are a great getaway.

    Hopping through from the Love-A-Thon!

  17. Hehe! This made me laugh... a LOT. And I know it to be so true! I have a story from my IT teacher who used to be a helpdesk call operator and his favourite story is when someone rang and was like "My computer isn't working."
    IT teacher: "Is it swtiched on?"
    Customer: "Um.. I don't know, how do I tell?"
    IT teacher: "Is there a green light on the side of the tower?"
    Customer: "No."
    IT teacher: "Is it plugged in?"
    Customer: "I can't see, we're in the middle of a power cut."

    SOME people!

    But YAY for books! :D I think that reading to make us less angry and scary is brilliant! Authors are the best people in the world!

    Thanks for posting this! I'm from the Love-A-Thon, and you just gained a follower :D Looking forward to more from you in the future!


  18. *shew* I'm not the only one! Haha. That reads at work AND has customers like this! :)

  19. I apprehend that book befitting is a allocation of accounting. Book befitting is recording diplomacy while accounting is recording, advertisement and apologue of cyberbanking information.


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