May 20, 2010

Silly week

This week brought a lot of silliness. Mostly my own silliness, but some of it other peoples'. I put my foot in it, not once but twice. And dealt with a lot of frustrating situations. But at least I still get to "read books". So I should count myself lucky.

Long story short: I made the classic mistake - twice - of sending messages to the wrong recipient. Not necessarily such a disaster, except that the first email contained a bunch of personal banking information, and instead of copying my brother on it, I copied a friend with the same name. Luckily, this friend is a very close and trusted friend and upon my desperate text to please destroy the email, he did so immediately. But still, whoopsie.

The second incident was a bit more embarrassing. I sent a text about a person I was bitching about to said person. Instead of to my hubbie. Double whoopsie. Luckily, again, I wasn't being a complete cow in the text - more just stating facts of things that had gone wrong that day. Even so, I still blushed deeply when I realized my error. I was alone in the house, so other than my dog, no one saw my embarrassment, but I felt bad. I followed up with about 10 texts to my target, apologizing in many creative ways.

The rest of the week consisted of frustrating situations dealing with people who claim to work in customer services for various companies. None of whom actually served me, except for the really nice IT guy in my office - but then, he's from Hong Kong and not from Montreal. I'm starting to get a sense of the culture here, and in many ways it's fairly French/European: any request even remotely out of the ordinary or any request that looks like it might require some effort is politely, but firmly, brushed off. No one wants to take on the responsibility of actually solving your problem. Which left me running around in circles, all day. In fact, it was 4pm before I made it to my office today. Unsurprisingly, I no longer had any kind of motivation to work by then.

Still, I consider myself fortunate. My ride back from the conference with my colleagues made me realize that people who have kids never have time for anything. "You play video games?" one asked me, incredulously. And it wasn't to do with being shocked at my nerdiness, I realized. Rather, it was a shock that I'd have time to play video games. (I make time - academics never have time for anything otherwise). My colleagues' amazement was swiftly followed with a "You read books?? I'm so jealous." (Apparently, they're under the impression that books take even more time than video games -- which is largely untrue for any role-playing game such as FFXII).

I gathered that neither of them, in the last five or six years or so, had read anything for pleasure. Makes one reconsider ...

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