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01-05-01 - Conversations with Clod

(Note:  This telephone conversation is not a word-for-word transcript.  It is based on notes taken from a phone call I received while I was working as a receptionist, but I feel it is fairly accurate.)

(Another note:  Reading this conversation pains me.  Literally.  It causes an uncomfortable sensation, kind of like a constriction, in my chest.)

Me:  "Good afternoon, City Sewer Department."
Caller:  "Yes, is this the City Sewer Department?"
"Yes, it is."
"Yes. Ah..."
"Okay, hereís the thing. What I, what I, who am I talking in to?"
"This is Chris."
"Chris, listen here."
"Now. I have two types of pipes running to my house. Right?"
"Uh... you.. have two pipes... running to your house?"
"Two pipes. Is that right?"
"Well, I donít know sir."
"I have two pipes running to my... I pay the city..."
"I have a service... the Water Bureau, ah, they pipe the water in and out of my house."
"Sir, why donít you just ask me the ques-"
"Now, now, the Water Bureau runs the water in and out of my house. That-"
"Sir, sir, if... if you have a question-"
"Iím just trying to... Look, the Water Bureau..."
"Sir... Yes?"
"They run the water into and out of my house."
"And that is a service."
"Did you need to speak to the Water Bureau? I can connect you."
"Sir? This is the City Sewer. I can connect you to the Water Bureau. Sir?"
"The Water Bureau provides me... with a service."
"Sir, I- ah... yeah, okay?"
"Now. I pay the Water Bureau for that service."
"Because it is an actual service. They are doing a service for me."
"Now. They send me a bill-"
"And I pay it. Got no problem paying for it. They provide me with a service. You follow?"
"Now. I also get a bill from the City Sewer."
"I get billed for the City Sewer for storm water discharge. Okay?"
"Yes. So you have a question-"
"I get billed for-"
"-about your sewer bill-"
"-storm water discharge and-"
"-I can transfer you to one of-"
"Now hold on-"
"-our customer service rep-"
"Now hold on! Iím trying to explain this to you."
"Right, well I-"
"I am trying to explain-"
"I have other lines-"
"Now. I get billed for rain drain discharge. Okay?"
"Yeah. Yeah."
"Now, here is the thing."
"Here it is."
"I donít, I got, I donít use the storm drains."
"Well, customer serv-"
"You see?"
"The rain water from my property doesnít drain to the city sewers."
"Okay, and youíre getting billed for it."
"Youíre getting billed for storm drain and you donít have any. You donít..."
"You feel... sir?"
"You feel that you are being unfairly billed for something youíre not using."
"Heh-heh-heh. Son..."
"Is that right?"
"Son... whatís your name?"
"Sir, ah... ah..."
"You see, son, theyíre billing me."
"But thereís no service."
"Right, well, a customer service repres-"
"I am not finished."
"Sir, a, a customer... ah... yes? Yes?"
"I am not finished."
"See, theyíre billing me and theyíre not, thereís no service there."
"You see."
"I mean, heh-heh, why am I paying for that?"
"I... right."
"Why should I... the water drains into, into my property. I got no, it doesnít drain into the sewer! Heh! Heh-heh! I mean, why am I paying for that?"
"Can I give you to a customer service representative?"
"Well, no. I want to know why I should pay for this. Itís no service to me! I donít, heh-heh! I donít use the service? You see?"
"Yes, I understand. But I need-"
"Itís not a service!"
"Right. I get you."
"So, whatís gonna be done? Iím not gonna keep on, keep paying for it!"
"Right, I-I canít help you myself, you need to speak to-"
"Well, I donít want-"
"Sir, I am just the receptionist. I canít-"
"My account number is zero four-"
"Sir. Sir."
"three one, uh?"
"Sir. I cannot access your account."
"Iím just, I just answer the phones here. I canít make changes to your account. The only people that can do that are our customer service representatives."
"Oh... cuz Iím not gonna keep paying for this."
"Yes. Sir? Let me transfer you to customer service. Todd is one of our representatives, heíll-"
"Todd. Heíll be able to hel-"
"Oh, and thatís not all! I mean, Iíve lived here for twenty-three years, and-"
"Sir. Please, sir..."
"I mean, I just started getting charged for this, but-"
"Sir. God, please, sir, just let me... Todd..."
"Well, let me ask you this. Let me ask you this."
"Uhh... yeah..."
"Iíve lived here for twenty-three years."
"In that time, I have never been billed for storm water discharge. So, my worry is... you there?"
"My worry is, theyíll send me a bill for the last twenty-three years! Heh-heh-heh-heh-heh!"
"Okay, so you see, I gotta, it, uh... it has to be changed. My bill. Iím not, Iím not..."
"I mean, heh, heh-heh! I mean, twenty-three years! Thatís just, Iím not-"
"Sir, listen to me. I canít... uhhhh... please let me give you to customer service. Todd. Heíll be able to help you. Okay? Hold on."
"Now, Iím not talking about, hello? Iím not-"
"Hold on sir, Iím transferring you to Todd, one of our-"
"I donít ha-"
"Yeah, hang on."
"Itís not a serv-"



01-04-01 - 7:14am

good morning.



01-03-01 - Workaday Word

I was chatting with zompist online the other day, and he was showing us the interesting keywords that people punch into search engines that lead them to his website (, and it reminded me I hadn't checked mine in a while.

(By the way, if you haven't yet, you should go poke around zomp's site.  He's a funny guy with a big brain.  Fans of his phrasebook will enjoy this recent addition as well.)

Here of some of the more popular keyword searches that have inadvertently led people to my site.  And, in the interest of keeping these wayward surfers here, I have attempted to provide some information relevant to their searches.

deep smurf - Deep Smurf was the anonymous informant in the famous Gargamel-gate saga.  Although his identity has never been revealed, it has been speculated that Deep Smurf was Haigy Smurf, Searsy Smurf, or possibly former Assistant Attorney General Henry Petersen.

flatulence and space - Propulsion.  Noble gasses.  Uranus.  Mix and match, create your own joke!

naked sporty women - You know, I get a lot of hits from combinations involving "nude women" of one kind or another (hiccupping, bike-riding, swimming, calculating the speed of theoretical particles, etc).  While I'm certainly guilty of advancing female stereotypes on this website, and indeed of searching for nude women on the internet, we must remember that women are more than just sexual objects and fashion-obsessed shopaholics.  I, for one, will try harder to pay them the respect they deserve.

women kick testicles - Those darn women, huh?  You were probably between her and a 10% off sale at Nordy's!  Haw haw!

mister rogers arrest - Mr. McFeely was delivering more than the mail, it seems.  Luckily, it's house arrest, boys and girls!  Now take those awful dirty shoes OFF!  DO IT!

replacements for eggs - Well... how about ping pong balls?  Same color, roughly the same shape.  Don't waste time sitting on them, though.  Nothing hatches.  Nothing.  Sigh.

prevent forehead wrinkles - Try this:

illegal naughty muffins - If you're looking for illegal naughty muffins, friend, then look no further tha-- my GOD YOU PEOPLE ARE SO WEIRD.

he stares at my wedgie - Can you blame him?  It's friggin' mesmerizing.

smelly slips - The sequel to Ayn Rand's book "Atlas Shrugged."  While it was snubbed by critics, consumers, and the media, the film version, starring Adam Sandler and Tom Green, will never, ever be made.

latest accountant joke - Did you hear about the accountant who was implementing a specific identification inventory valuation method?  He didn't have his adoption taxpayer identification number!!!

who moved my cheese stupid - Thank you.  Whoever you are.  Thank you.

chris hates you - And he stares at your wedgie, too.



01-02-01 - Entertainment Weakly

Those poor celebrities.  They have it tough.  Not only do they have to put up with frenzied fans, pushy paparazzi, ruthless rumors, and other forms of alliterative abuse, but they're saddled with the burden of millions and millions of dollars.

When these things begin to become a hassle, why don't they bring in a temp?  Namely, me?  Here are some celebrities I'm fairly sure I could stand in for with little or no trouble.

Comedian, songwriter, and political satirist Mark Russell.

Talk about an easy job.  From what I can tell, he makes a living by taking existing songs and inserting topical political keywords into them.  Could I do this?  Sure!

"Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the ELECTION RECOUNT...

Oh what fun it is to ride, on a one-horse open PREGNANT CHAD..."


"It's beginning to look a lot like REPUBLICAN... everywhere we PREGNANT CHAD..."


"Rudolph, the red-nosed DEMOCRAT... had a very shiny KATHERINE HARRIS... and if you ever BUTTERFLY BALLOT... you would even say it PREGNANT CHAD..."

Piece of cake.

Professional golfer and hat-waver Tiger Woods.

Yeah, he plays golf, which I do about as well as write clever politically-themed Christmas carols.  But does anyone ever actually SEE him play golf?  I don't.  All I see are the highlights on the news, which consist of: a) a shot of a ball rolling into a cup, b) voice-over commentators reaching orgasm while describing to each other how incredible Tiger Woods is, and c) a shot of Tiger Woods waving his cap.  Hell, I can wave a cap around.  Throw in a fist-pump now and then, and I practically AM Tiger Woods.

One thing I don't really get is how Tiger can be a millionaire in the first place.  I can sort of understand why a pro football or baseball player could make that kind of money, after all, they've got a stadium full of thousands and thousands of people who have bought tickets and merchandise and thirty-dollar hot dogs, plus big bucks from television revenues.  But where is the golf money coming from?  I see crowds standing around watching the golfers, but how much can they charge for that?  Two bucks a head?  I guess a lot of people watch golf on TV too, because it's always on.  Still, there's these "skins" matches, where each hole is worth about seventy grand or eighty grand, but where is that money coming from, exactly?  Huh?  Tell me!

Note:  Don't really tell me.

Uber-sweaty movie star and down-home hick Matthew McConaughey.

Can someone tell me why this guy is so sweaty?  Does he have some sort of glandular problem?  Is he just nervous about being on camera?  Whatever the reason, it seems to be in his contract that he be glistening for 95% of his screen time.  The other 5% he's really glistening.

Sure, I know the picture is from U-571, which takes place on a hot, leaky submarine, which would lead to both excessive perspiration and ample seawater dousing, but I think that's exactly why he took the role in the first place.  Jackpot!  Not that he needs to be in a sub to sweat, just watch any of his films and you'll see pretty much the same.  Except maybe Contact, where he is just barely dry.

Other than sweating, he also spends a lot of time swiveling around those big eyes of his.  I guess his neck doesn't move or something.

Okay, I don't have any sort of temping angle here.  I can't really see myself filling in for him.  My eyes aren't big and swively, so I can't help him there, and I'm not inherently sweaty (although I could probably slather myself with some sort of glycerin).

I really just wanted to point out how soggy the guy always looks.  Other words I wanted to use to describe him were: moist, damp, shiny, clammy, sodden, dripping, and sopping.  

So many adjectives, so little space.



01-01-01 - Worst Steps


Do you see what I did there?  I took the words of "Happy New Year" and substituted related words for a wacky, inappropriate holiday message!  Ha ha!  Yes, that's just the sort of madcap humor and inspired lunacy you can expect now that Not My Desk is back online!  Hold on to your funny bones, folks!

Anyway, we're back.  We'll be updating semi-regularly, responding to our e-mail, and blathering on about temping stuff and stuff that's not temping stuff.  Today:  Stuff that's not temping stuff.

I got a haircut the other day at one of those cheapie Supercuts places.  Those places are great because they generally cut your hair in about 43 seconds, saving you from having to make halting conversation with someone who doesn't speak English.  The downside is that they really don't know what they're doing, and they don't style your hair, or even dry it after they cut it, which forces you to do the "Haircut Shuffle" on the way home.

The Haircut Shuffle is the hurried walk of a guy who just had his hair cut and is aware that half of his hair is plastered to his skull while the other half is sticking up at odd angles.  The thing about the Haircut Shuffle is that your arms get more of a workout than your legs do, because you're constantly trying to smooth your hair out and brush itchy clippings from your neck with both hands while you walk (the most common move is the "What-The-Fuck-Did-They-Do-To-The-Back-Of-My-Head" tentative patting gesture). You also walk at a brisk pace (or clip, HA HA) and constantly try to see how stupid you look in every remotely reflective surface, such as store windows, puddles, the face of your watch, brick walls, etc.  Don't worry, you really do look stupid.

Another facet of the Haircut Shuffle is total avoidance of other people.  The Supercuts I use is right next to a trendy coffee shop (natch) and there's always a crowd of trendy people standing outside waiting to look at my stupid hair.  And who can blame them?  It's entertaining.  If you ever have an hour to kill, I'd suggest setting up shop at a bench outside one of these haircut places, and watching customers come out.

The Haircut Shuffle is only one of several walks I've done recently.  Another is called "Fast-Food, Fast-Move", in which I am heading toward the door of a fast-food "restaurant", and notice that a family of seven is slightly ahead of me.  I know that if I get in line behind them, they will take four hours to order, having to placate the children with happy meals and allow time to explain to grandma what's in a chicken sandwich (chicken) twenty or thirty times.

Of course, you can't run to the door to beat them, that would be childish, so you have to speed-walk, often around cars in the parking lot, to make sure you get there first.  The idea is not call attention to the fact that you're trying to beat them to the door, which entails walking nonchalantly at speeds of up to forty-five miles per hour.  This can be tricky, especially if you attempt to have your hands stuffed casually in your pockets.

This walk is similar to the "Sidewalk-Roundabout", which is when you're trying to pass someone on a sidewalk who is walking only slightly slower than you are.  You know if you can just get ahead of them, you'll make it to your destination five or six seconds sooner.  You also know that if you try to pass on the sidewalk, they will suddenly angle themselves in your direction and you'll have that uncomfortable stutter-step slow-down, so you will often have to veer off into the street, braving traffic to get ahead of them (sometimes you can take advantage of the extra space of a driveway to make your move).

(Speaking of sidewalks, when someone is walking close behind you on a sidewalk for a few blocks, do you feel all self-conscious like I do?  You know they're staring at you, either at the back of your head or at your butt.  Are you walking funny?  What if you trip?  And you really need to adjust your underwear but can't when they're behind you.  Why don't they just pass you or at least cross the street or take a turn somewhere?  Now you'll have to stop to pretend to tie your shoe to get them to pass.  Bastards.)

Then, there's the "One-Step, Two-Step", which is when you're going to climb a staircase, and you haven't made up your mind as to whether you'll be climbing the steps one at a time, or two at a time.  The result is a sort of hesitant half-leap, followed by a spastic stumble as the toe of your shoe snags on the top of the first step, causing you to pitch forward and make a sound similar to "Ungfh", while grabbing at a banister or fellow step-climber to steady yourself.  Once this move is made, you are forced to take the steps two at a time to escape the area as soon as possible.  God forbid you're holding a cup of coffee.

Finally, there's the "Trash Dash", utilized when you have to take a huge bag of trash out to the curb or dumpster.  While it weighs a ton and is hard to carry with just one hand, you desperately want to avoid brushing the bag against your leg or bumping it with your knee.  So you have to lean way to one side to balance yourself and shuffle your feet along as fast as you can.  The degree of stinkiness of the trash can also be a contributing factor, causing you to turn your head to one side and squint your eyes, making navigation even more difficult.

Tomorrow: Celebrity Temping!



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