Wednesday, March 5, 2008

24 hours of HI-LARITY

Yesterday, as I mentioned, I got my shiny new giant monitor at work. The tech guy who came to do the "rollout" (heh) installed mine, then moved into the cubicle behind mine. Thinking he was hard at work, I began my usual routine of Go Fug Yourself reading. Then he says, in his booming tough tech-guy voice, looming over the cubicle wall, Is that Anna Wintour? Heh. I was so busted, but then, so was he.

I called my former internet provider this morning to cancel my service, as I switched to a slightly slower but significantly cheaper service from another company. The new Internet plan I have, from Telus, says you need a Telus home phone line, but this is not really the case--I know, because I don't have one, and yet my teh Interwebs is working. The CSR from my old company was REALLY trying to convince me that my new Internet was not going to work.

CSR: But it says here on the website that you need a home phone line from Telus!
Jocelyn: Yeah, but I already hooked it up, AND IT WORKS!
CSR: Are you sure Telus isn't going to charge you extra fees because you don't have a home Telus phone line? I would recommend that you call them back and confirm. Because once ten days have gone you're locked into their contract...
Jocelyn: Look, I understand that trying to retain customers is part of your job, but I've made up my mind and I'm certain I want to cancel my ***** account.
CSR: Well, we do want to retain customers, but [patronizingly] we also want to educate them.
Like, wait, WHAT???

The funny part is that while all this was going on, my cubicle neighbour was IMing me: "Really? Are you sure you want to cancel? ARE YOU SURE?" When the CSR and I got to the part about the phone line, he messaged me this thorough explanation of how the modem uses the phone line even though I don't have home phone service. It was pretty hilarious. I wished I could somehow get the CSR to talk to my co-worker: "Look, can I just put my co-worker on the line? He'll explain it to you. He has only heard my end of this conversation, yet he knows exactly what is going on. Kthanxbai."

Almost as if they are reading my mind, the LA Times has an article on the phenomenon of made-up memoirs.
One reason has to do with public taste. In the United States and, increasingly, in parts of Western Europe, the only unchallenged moral authority has become that of victims. This should not be read as an expression of sympathy toward the injured; instead, it's really an extension of the culture of narcissism's influence into the world of letters. It's a view that asserts that only those who have experienced pain or torment have a right speak of it, though others may participate vicariously through their eyes. Hence our insatiable desire for tell-all memoirs of every savage and degrading form of abuse -- as long as the account comes directly from those who suffered it.

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