Adventures in Internet

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A few months back, my internet wasn’t working. The lights were on, but as the kids say, no one was home. I wasn’t too concerned, as it’s not common, but not uncommon, either. This was a Friday and I ran some errands and then went to relax on my bed with a book, rather enjoying the excuse of not being able to work or worry about the world spinning off its axis. Or missing out on pictures of some shit I didn’t need to see.

I ended up falling asleep and didn’t wake up until later in the afternoon. I decided to not worry until the next day and rather enjoyed myself with some wine on my balcony, watching my world go by.

The next I called my internet provider and was told they were doing an upgrade and I have to return my modem for a new, better shinier one. I packed up my modem and hiked down to the shopping plaza where I pay the bill.

I was a bit hung over and thought the free air would help. Of course, by fresh air, I mean stench of garbage and black clouds of exhaust in the heat. There was a lot of confusion trying to communicate until a woman in line got out her phone and helped us out with her interpreter’s app.

Not long after a woman came along who spoke English and she finally told me I had to go to the main office. This was the last thing I wanted to do all hungover on a Saturday morning. There was a young man in line who worked at the mall as a driver and he told our interpreter he would drive me there for 100 pesos. She said it’s a moto.

That is a motorcycle taxi.  used to take them in Sosua but I hadn’t here. I have graduated to public cabs. Anyhow, I agreed and off we went.

Holy heart attack, Batman! The weaving through the traffic and cutting between cars was quite enough to wake me up thank you very much. At one point we went between a semi truck and a van and I had to check twice to make sure I still had my kneecaps. When we got close enough to see the building he cut through a parking lot, realized it was closed and then just drove over the concrete parking blocks to get back to the main road.

I decided that was close enough and got off. I hiked up the hill to the office and was shocked to the core to see at least 60 people there. Everyone there with their modems. I took a number and then stood against the wall. Finally, a seat became available and I got to sit down for my three-hour wait, My three-hour wait. Sing it to the theme of Gilligan’s Island.

They had brought out extra chairs to accommodate everyone but people showed up with two and three children in tow. It was brutal, but I was sitting and it was air-conditioned. At one point, the young lad behind me was talking on his phone in English so I asked if he would help me when my turn came, just in case.

It was a long afternoon of waiting and waiting and I had no phone, no book and no water.

Turns out English wasn’t the problem. It was me not having my passport. It had never occurred to me I would need it. After a lot of pleading they let me off with an expired Ontario Driver’s licence.

Once I was out I was so relieved it was all over that it dawned on me I hadn’t really thought about how I would get home. I walked.

Fast forward to last week. I went down to the plaza to pay my bill at the kiosk and the lad there pointed out he didn’t have a computer. I went away and came back a few days later to find the kiosk gutted and a note on the front. The only part I could make out was ‘sorry for the inconvenience’. They aren’t.

The closest place for me to pay the bill is at the main office, which is not convenient. At all. I’m not walking all that way and it’s two cars to get there and then two more to get home.

I went to pay my phone yesterday, a different company and asked the lad there if he spoke English. He did.

Long story short, they two lads that were here to do my installation spent a lot of time picking cat hair out of their eyes, noses and mouths. But at least I will be able to pay the bill across the street.

Interesting side note. They called me today to confirm my address and all that, and I missed the call because I had no idea how to answer my phone. I got a new phone in July and this is the first call I had. Sad, lonely cat lady.

My Poppy

It’s Veteran’s Day. It’s also my dad’s birthday. He’s not been with us to celebrate for seven years now. It’s not a birthday you easily forget.

My dad had a myriad of health problems throughout his life. One, in particular, was his eyesight in his later years.

At this time, he was around 80 years old and had to have medical and eye tests done to keep driving.

At his eye appointment, the doctor said there was a strange dark mass behind his eye and he recommended my father to a specialist.

Even hearing this news caused me a great deal of worry. It’s not something anyone needs to hear, let alone live with.

I remember when the date of the specialist’s appointment arrived. I was worried sick all day. I had to wait several hours before calling him due to the time change.

When I finally called, my dad, in a very grave voice said, ‘I have some really bad news’. Seriously? My blood froze and I stopped breathing. For those few seconds, I imagined all of ‘worst case scenarios’ coming true.

What is it, Dad? I was almost too frightened to hear the answer.

‘He took my driver’s license away’

It took me a second or two, then I  laughed a bit out of sheer relief.

‘He’s a bastard’! he screamed down the phone.

It’s all about perspective. Cancer might have been bad news but losing the license was a loss of his freedom and independence. He lived in an apartment building with other seniors and he was reigning ‘cool guy with a car’.

I suggested perhaps if he was to have eye treatments that driving wasn’t likely the best idea but he wasn’t hearing any of it.

He ended up having laser treatments and did get his license back for a few more years. I often think about that, the ways we reacted to the same situation.

In the words of Louie Prima, ‘Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think.

 

My parents on their way to a movie date.  Enjoying themselves.

 

Mom and Dad

 

 

Butterflies Are Free

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I’ve had butterflies on the mind lately. Mostly because they are absolutely everywhere here. I actually had a swarm of them while walking through the park last week and again the other day walking to the store.

it’s quite incredible, to be honest. We have a lot of trees and flowers coming on this time of year, plus I noticed the mango tree on the corner just heavy with fruit. Fruit, I might add, ends up squashed on the road.

Then, the other day, looking for a wine stopper (not for saving wine, just to re-cork it and keep ut cold) I came across this metal butterfly. It’s a bottle decoration that someone gave me years ago. I don’t think I ever really used it,

It’s one of those large, metal butterflies with a metal ring at the bottom that you put over the neck of a bottle. Like everything else, it’s turned rusty in my drawer. I took it out and left it on the counter.

Today, I grabbed it and tossed it into my grocery bag. I was walking through the park on my way to the bank. I thought, I’ll leave it in the park. I don’t dislike but I don’t use it and don’t see the reason for cleaning it up. Of course, I immediately forgot about it.

I didn’t have my camera, which is my phone, as I never take it with me. You will just have to trust me, the park was particularly spectacular today. In the front part were a lot of young boys and men practicing baseball and exercising.

It wasn’t until the young lad at the grocery store was packing my groceries that the butterfly fell out. I kept it out and then put it on top of the big bag of cat food. As I walked back home, retracing my steps, I pulled it out of the bag looking for the perfect place to put it.

There are plenty of benches but I wanted to give it a better send off than that. I don’t remember who gave it to me, but I’m pretty sure it was Mona, who hasn’t actually spoken to me in a few years now.

I was considering a low branch on one of the many trees when I came upon a partial fence or barrier. It’s really just a lot of spikes, all rusted the same colour as my butterfly. I stuck it right on top of one and it was absolutely perfect. I loved how it looked on there,  like it was part of the stake all along. I wished briefly I had been able to take a picture and made a mental note to look for it on my next trip through.

Simple Pleasures

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This is one of my favourite views. I’m home, on my porch with wine. It gives me so much pleasure to be able to sit on my balcony and just relax. It’s noisy, busy, beautiful, mine.

Sitting here, sipping wine as the sun goes down and the city comes alive. I can’t really afford wine right now but things are inexpensive, so I treated myself. Just because I needed a night on the porch.

Today, everything has been shit, but I’m making today to be everything fucking amazing.

 

Love

It Was Fun While it Lasted

That’s right. Said ‘goodbye’ to another job yesterday.

We no longer require your services

You’re out of here

This is as far as we can go

Fuck off

off

It was bound to happen. In fact, last we met I had had an incident with some twat. I figured the ice was getting a bit thinner underfoot then.

I had brushed off the resume and started paying more attention to my daily job alerts. yes, I still had them coming. I know myself all too well.

I tried really hard not to ‘clap back’ as the kids say. It’s just too tempting.

First is the returning of work with all these cunty, sanctimonious comments. I’d had enough last time.

Then the facebook communication page. It’s fucking amazing to me how many 20 somethings suffer from PTSD.

“OMG! I can’t access the website I need and it triggered my PTSD!” Said one. Seriously. Never left Nebraska, but there it is. perhaps there was that incident with the cow in the cornfield.

I don’t mean to make light, because she may well have all kinds of trauma, but when they all piled all with their, ‘mee too’ bullshit, I was out.

I won’t go into the sordid details but of course, I was in the wrong. No matter.

It just happened yesterday but as soon as I got the email, I felt the cold clamp of fear and dread start tightening its grip.

It never leaves; it just hides in waiting. Waiting for us to trip and it can pounce.

I’m trying to remain optimistic, it’s early days, yet. But I think a bit of panic is needed to get the fire started.

I don’t think I have the wherewithal to visit that dark place again.

But I have felt things shifting in my universe and my solar plexus and so I’m not all that surprised or even upset.

The money aspect is the worst. That panic. Not again.

Just My Work Rant

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It’s been five months at my new job and I still have it! My average was always about three. I’m saved because I don’t share office space with them. Man, oh, man, would that suck!

Our office is Facebook. As most of my co-workers seem to be 20-40, they love to share on Facebook. Mostly, they love to brag, kiss-up or cry. 

Cry because someone was mean to them. And by mean, I mean corrected them. So desperate for us to pat them on the back and kiss their boo-boos. 

The bragging, as far as I can tell, is the need for more pats on the back for doing their job. ‘I just wrote an article!’ Jezuz wept. 

The kissing-up drives me nuts most of all. ‘Just a shout-out to the great quality control team, you’re all so wonderful… *insert ass-kissing noises*’  

I’ve been getting really pissed off with one of the QC people. She’s not on Facebook, or at least, not on the page. I imagine her as her worst. She sends my stiff back all the time with suggestions. 

Initially, I would do it but then I started to realize she was likely just trying to get her numbers up. There are monetary awards for highest producing on each team.

She also has no idea how to politely give a critique. I have, in fact, been considering filing a complaint about her. She has been downright rude and hurtful to me, and I’m not exactly thin-skinned. We hate her. 

Last Sunday, after a very slow week, she sent back one of my articles with one of her asshole suggestions. I returned the article with a comment, ‘No Thank You.’  Get. This. She fucking complained about me!

Well! That got me fired up. I thanked them for the information and then sent a blast right back, with all the crap she’s been pulling over the past few months. Ha! In your fat Iowa face! (I have no idea where she is from. I’m sure she’s a lovely girl with people who love her.) (Not the point)

All the comments we make are stored, so the content manager went through them and got back to me later. She actually apologized to me and said her and the head content guy would be addressing it, as her language was in fact, inappropriate. Ha! Take that, you insipid cow!

Usually, her comments would suggest she lives a very sheltered life, likely safe in the arms of Jesus. Good for her, but not on my work, you don’t. 

I wanted to go to their little Facebook ass-kissing party with a few home truths but refrained. It’s enough she’s probably crying int a pint of ice cream. Well, so what? She made me drink.

I make it a point to avoid the page and yes, I could just leave but it’s our communication system.   I took it off my newsfeed and only check it for updates, but it is mostly a sea of selfies, pictures of where they are writing from (brag) self-congratulations and crying because someone called their work shit. (I’ve seen some, it is)

I don’t usually last long reading the comments and posts. As soon as I see one of the aforementioned offenders, I’m out. Usually with an ‘Oh, Shut Up” or ‘Oh, Fuck Off, Already” Then I go back to my regularly scheduled life.

Overall, I love the job. They hired a bunch of new writers, perhaps expecting a lot more work, maybe clearing off some of the less productive ones.  I can’t go to the Facebook page and say what I really want, so I’ll do it here. As long as I can make a living without getting fired for telling some twat in Iowa to get fucked, we’re fine.

Write When You Find Work

Did I use this one already? No matter. It’s been well over 3 months since I started my online writing job and I still have it! Woot! Woot!

The job itself is somewhat unremarkable, other than it’s saved me, I like it and I can do it.  It’s blog writing for marketing purposes for other people. I churn it out, get paid every week and don’t get a byline. But that’s fine. All of it. Way fine. I don’t know if I’d want my name on most of it, as it’s mostly boring and verging on clickbait.

Working online is fabulous. I have actually been doing it for a few years now, but I worked for sites that charged exorbitant fees on top of shit wages. With this job, I make my rent and bills within a few days.

If I worked in an office or a physical space with these people, I wouldn’t have lasted a day. Maybe two days tops.

Our main way of communicating is through a page on Facebook. Also, most of the people who work here are 20 somethings. A bunch more of 30 somethings. These are the ones all over the Facebook page.

If they get an article rejected by the client, or even told they were less than perfect like mummy does, they rush to facebook crying about. I mean, they act as if they’d been shot. So hard done by. They are so fast to complain and then wait for all the tut-tutting and there-thering, it’s shockingly pathetic.

They love to complain and they also love to beg for applause for actually doing their job. I mean, for fuck sakes. I lost count how many times someone had to mention they took one of the harder or less interesting topics to write about. All the little twats clap and cheer. Bitch, Please. It’s. The. Job.

One of my favourites is they all rush on and ask about how to concentrate on the work. Well, stay off facebook might be a good start.

We have writers, topic makers and quality control people. The QC, as they are dubbed, can be right annoying. It’s the 20 years olds showing off because they have a diploma from agricultural college and live in a state where you can’t even buy alcohol.

They love to pick your shit apart and send it back. A few times they have been downright insulting. My natural instinct is to tell them to go fuck themselves, but I can’t lose the job. I do, however, snark back.

I’ve been heckled as a comic in some pretty seedy rooms, so having a chubby twat in middle America who was homeschooled tell me my article didn’t blow her skirt up, I’m not upset.

One woman told me to tame it down, and take the ‘flirt’ out. No thank you. It was about the sexiest shirts for me.

My less than frequent trips to the page is me shouting, ‘ Oh, Shut Up’ a lot.  I don’t comment or get involved. I did at first and was met with complete silence.

I get it, though. I do. We all have our lives to live and people shouldn’t hold theirs up to anyone else’s. There are a few people who work here like me, who live in a different country.

Unlike me, they are there spreading the good word of Jesus. My Jesus, or Hayzeus, drives a cab. Sells fruit.

Some post pictures of their scenery or view of where they are working, one put a picture of her lap and laptop from her plane seat. It’s meant to make other’s jealous.

They love the memes. I hate the fucking memes.

But, I am really relieved to have it. It seemed to swoop in at the last minute like a Prince Charming on a white horse.

I work when I want, I take time off. I sit on my crappy couch, sweating in my underpants, and it’s fabulous.

I’ve paid back everyone who helped me, (almost) and I still get giddy when I’m able to walk home with all my groceries.

groceryshopping

I will complain here and to my friends but refrain from commenting on facebook. I had to complain to the top guy about one of the quality control bitches who was well out of line and she’s no longer with us.

Some bitch told me the other day my writing was dry and boring. It was an article about how to save energy. I told her it was just my personality and I was surprised she didn’t call the article, ‘fat’, as well.

I also said I was under the impression the article was meant to be informative, not bring the reader to orgasm.

She didn’t send it back.

Write on!