A return to stability, an ideal for living, and a new resident

typed for your pleasure on 23 May 2014, at 7.07 pm

Sdtrk: ‘A A A A A A R’ by Two daughters

It may be too premature to tell at this juncture, but it seems that Deafening silence Plus is back to a state of DEFCON 5. What that means is that I’m employed again. *overenthusiastic thumbs up*
Frankly, the entire ordeal has been a fucking nightmare, and has probably taken about a year off my life with worry. I’ve never been keen on rollercoasters, and securing employment, let alone decent employment, was needlessly difficult. By the time things ended, I was working with six separate temp agencies, who couldn’t seem to get me anything in the field I really desired — data entry — and the best two or three of them could offer were positions in call centres, or in sales. As you’ll already know, I’d spent nearly twenty years in various call centres, and returning to one would be akin to taking a Vietnam veteran back through time to 1970, to spend some additional time ‘in the shit’; the best outcome for that person would more than likely be suicide.

Oftentimes either I wouldn’t be able to find something suitable, or there were instances where a place would want to set up an interview, which I’d attend, and whatever prospective employer would end up choosing someone else. One of my favourite bits was when I went to an interview and totally aced it, but ultimately, I was told I’d have to cut my ponytail off and not wear earrings in order to get the position. It’d be one thing if it was something I really wanted, but this was for a call centre that was paying $10 per hour. Even the temp agent who organised the interview was baffled at their Fifties-era dress code requirements, so what does that say?
No wait, I take that back: the best bit had to have been when a temp agent scheduled an interview; it went well, they told me I was hired and report to work in a week, but between then and the start date, the agent then informed me that the employer had a hiring freeze take place, and I wouldn’t be able to start when I was due to. That happened twice. With two different temp agencies, serving two different employers.

Thankfully, however, I’ve had a full-time job now since late April! I work for a place… wait for it… doing data entry! It’s Monday through Friday in the morning — actually, they have flex time, wherein I can come in as early as 7.30 or as late as 9am — and I’m in a room with eight other people, entering data and doing imaging for a national health-related company. It’s dead easy and stress-free, I can wear my headphones, and it’s five minutes away from a place that sells sushi. Plus, it’s the highest paying job I’ve ever had, so needless to say, it’s a pretty fantastic gig. The only downside to it is that it’s a 20-25min drive to work, and with insidious rush hour traffic, it’s nearly an hour home. Sure, I’m catching up on my podcasts, but ergh. I’m going to try my damnedest to start getting to work at 7.30am, so I can circumvent traffic both ways. That’s gonna take some training, as nearly seven months of being on the dole has eroded any concept of a ‘normal’ wake-up time. But it’s nice being at a stage of my life where I actually like what I do at work! The drive, however… not so much. It’s all for a good cause, though; i.e, me keeping a roof over my head.

Apart from freaking out due to lack of job prospects, what else have I been up to, you axe? Among other pursuits, I watched all of Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, a passel of episodes of the fantastic QI on YouTube, put a sizeable dent in my ‘anime that needs to be watched’ list, as well as seeing ‘The Lego Movie‘, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel‘, ‘The Raid 2: Berandal‘, and Gareth Edwards’ ‘Godzilla‘ in the theatres with the miscreants I normally hang out with, so there’s that. (Each one of those films is highly recommended, in case you were wondering).
Also I bought a copy of the reissue of Joy division’s debut EP ‘An ideal for living’ on Record Store Day! After all, I had my orders.

Despite the fact that I have a modest vinyl collection, composed mostly of stereo demonstration records, we don’t really have space for a proper hi-fi here at Deafening silence Plus, so the EP is currently being displayed in our record frame in our flat’s ‘hallway’, as seen here.


MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

Upon reflection, I should’ve bought two extra copies, now that I see people on eBay flogging them from $40 – $60 apiece…

And the other major event was that my third Synthetik flatmate, Muriel Noonan, arrived home on 31 March! She’s from Coventry, used to work in a library, and is made by Textile Doll, the company from Latvia that I’ve mentioned a handful of times on ‘Shouting etc etc’. Expect a full review on her when I manage to get my post-work time sorted, but she likes it here, which is good, as we like having her here!

So that’s pretty much what’s been up with what’s goin’ down / In every city, in ev-er-y town. As I’m fond of saying, I have to get the barrels up to speed before I’m posting on what passes for a regular basis round here, but now that I’m no longer freaking out every other day for fear that I’ll have to move back in with my father for the second time, I should be posting again again! ‘Woo’, with an additional ‘Yay’

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

My First Day At Work, by Davecat, aged five on September 3rd, 2005

Greetings from Banalville (pop. 52,687) on June 15th, 2006


This is where I get to tell you lot about my new job

typed for your pleasure on 17 November 2012, at 1.57 am

Sdtrk: ‘Sun eater 1′ by Noise/girl

If readers such as yourself have been following my Twitter feed, you might well be aware that I have a new job that’s much less soul-crushing than what I’m accustomed to! Err, you might know this; I didn’t really make a big deal about it. If you are somehow medically unable to use Twitter, well… I have a new job! It’s much less soul-crushing than what I’m accustomed to! There; now you’re caught up.

For the past half year, I’d been working with a temp service agency ever since the job I’d had (hereafter referred to as Aclims), ever since was… different than what I was initially told it would be. My resume is top-heavy with call centre positions — eighteen years’ worth, which is reason enough for starting an intimate relationship with heroin — and as a consequence, when potential employers see it, they say ‘Hey, here’s someone who obviously loves being on the phone!’ Every other week, I’d call the various temp agents, and they’d either say that the only places with positions available were call centres, or that no-one in the industries I wanted to get into were hiring. Since I went through so many agents, who apparently weren’t keen on comparing notes, every time we’d speak, they’d ask what I was looking for. ‘Data entry, imaging, proofreading, library work, things like that. I’m completely burnt out on call centres.’ Then that agent would disappear after a month, and someone new would call, with an exciting position at a call centre. That happened more often than I care to recall.
Imagine my surprise, then, when the latest agent offered me something that revolved round data entry, with very little to no opportunities to be on the phone, at the same pay scale as what I was making at Aclims! A dream come true? I’d sure as hell find out!

On the 26th of last month, after undergoing a 40min interview at the office of New Job, I was told that yes, I’d be doing data entry and nothing but. I wouldn’t even be on the phone! In fact, the only two downsides to the position would be the drive into downtown Detroit, which is something I’ve not done in years, and that it literally would be a temporary position. My task would be to enter raw data into their Intranet, so that it could be converted to the new system they’re about to implement, and the goal for that was February 2013. I’d asked if there’d be other data entry positions available after that deadline, and Ms P_______ said there wouldn’t be, unfortunately.
I was faced, then, with a quandary: remain at my current job, which every day nudges me closer to a messy-yet-effective ritual suicide, or start a new job that brings much more satisfaction, but for a limited time only? Well, you already know the answer; it’s there in the title.

Like most places of employment, Aclims prefers a two-week notice before quitting, but New Job would have me starting on 5 Nov. I went into Aclims on Monday, with the intention of working that day, the following day, and quitting Wednesday, but by the time I got upstairs, I couldn’t be arsed to even begin my last workdays there, and told my team leader that today would be my last day, so I could move on to greener, less-phone-related pastures. All told, I was going to need that week off to try to get used to waking up at a decent time…

As of today, it’s been ten days, and so far, I’d say this is the second best job I’ve ever had! I have an HID BADGE to get into the building and a DRAWER that requires a KEY to unlock it and I have POST-IT NOTES and ONE OF THOSE SHELF THINGS ON AN ARM WHERE YOU CAN PUT YOUR KEYBOARD and I am DRUNK WITH POWER. I’m in at 8am, beating most of the traffic, and out of there no later than 4pm, beating most of the traffic. Most importantly, I’m pretty much left to my own devices to listen to my Google Music library, and enter just under 7000 names and critical notes from several stacks of paper into the system. Rather makes me feel like one of the transcribers of the Domesday Book doing that, only I’m using a computer, and not a quill pen.
Of course, I’ll undoubtedly have to start scrambling for employment come January, but as I’m literally the only person in the office assigned this task, who knows if I myself can meet this deadline? Who can say if it doesn’t, say… stretch to April?? After all, I’m just one bloke! I’m reminded of the teenage girls hired to transcribe hours of tape to type out the draft for Andy Warhol’s a, A Novel. I think Gerard Malanga said that it seemed they were really taking their time about things — if you’ve read a, A Novel, you’ll know they weren’t especially careful about spellchecking or formatting — but Gerard speculated they were going slowly so they could hang out at the Factory longer. Can’t really blame ‘em!

Brief as the assignment may be, it’s definitely nice not having a throbbing pit of dread in my stomach every time I get ready for work. Good job, New Job!

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

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Honestly, sometimes they write themselves

typed for your pleasure on 23 September 2012, at 6.06 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Happy house’ by Siouxsie and the Banshees

My current job, much like my last job, is another call centre, quelle surprise. It’s a helpdesky-type job, and in order to speak to our staffers, clients have to go through an automated phone system, which apparently a lot of people aren’t keen on. As a result, I speak to all manner of humans over the course of a workweek. Which of course is the perfect job for someone who is people-averse such as myself, naturally! But it’s not all bad; as an example; this exchange occurred at the end of one call a number of days ago…

RUSTIC: Well, thanks a lot for helping me! Now just make sure when you transfer me, it’s to a person. I’m sick of those automated systems.
ME: Ha ha! Well, machines are good. Machines are our future. (deadpan)
RUSTIC (laughing, speaking somewhat under his breath): …is your wife a machine?
ME: Ha ha ha! Ha ha! Haaahh yesss.

Best thing that happened to me all day

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

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My specialty is ‘grocery shopping’ / Not thinking far enough ahead

typed for your pleasure on 12 July 2011, at 10.48 am

Sdtrk: ‘Model home’ by Group Rhoda

EDIT (12 July 2011): Clearing out some driftwood here. As you’ll quickly gather, I’d written this post some time ago, when I was employed at B**********. I can smile about it now, but at the time it was terrible. Or have I got that in reverse?

So this comprised my workday a few days ago:

R: Are you bringing anything for potluck?
ME: Chips!
R: What’s your specialty?
ME (bewildered): Ahh… chips?

Later that same day, I made a call to a person named Walterina. Walterina, huh? I can just imagine the conversation her parents had, shortly after her mum knew she was pregnant…

FATHER: If it’s a boy, we’ll call him Walter!
MOTHER: But what if it’s a girl, dear?
FATHER: Ha ha! It won’t be a girl.

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

YES I'M AWAKE / Too bad she never met Kevin Bacon on January 31st, 2008

Greetings from Banalville (pop. 52,687) on June 15th, 2006


What’s been up, buttercup? / Circus Minimus: The other Big O

typed for your pleasure on 28 April 2011, at 1.44 am

Sdtrk: ‘Foehn winds’ by Horrid red

I feel I must offer you all this gaily-coloured basket of cheese wheels apologies, for my reduced lack of posts lately. (Haven’t I said this before? Don’t answer that) For one, I blame Twitter, as its siren song of only 140 characters provides a swift immediacy that a lazy fucker like myself often finds hard to resist. Another, the Missus and I have been busy. Not gettin’ busy – although I’d be a liar if I said we weren’t up that type of activity — but we had a twin media salvo take place on the week-end of the 16th and 17th of this month, the report of which I’ve been steadily working on, and which will be posted before the sun burns out.
But the biggest reason for this current slowdown — and if you follow my Twitter feed, you already know — would be that I was fired from my recent job on the 7th of April. Which was inevitable, I suppose. They cited it as a combination of my number of transfers dropping, which I credit due to the fact that the decent leads we were getting were growing more scarce, plus I ‘just didn’t seem like [you] wanted to be here anymore’. Well, when you have a schedule that’s constantly changing for the worse, reduced hours, reduced pay, and having your health benefits (and free bagels on Monday) being taken away from you, it’s a little hard to remain upbeat about things, job-wise. So I’ve signed on the dole again, and I’m trying to drag myself out of my complacency. WOO YAY

Anyway! What else has been conspiring round Deafening silence Plus, you ask? Do you recall how some poor misguided soul under the employ of ‘Dr’ Phil had asked if I’d wanted to make an appearance on their show, because they apparently weren’t privy to the fact that they’d already previously enquired? Ah heh heh.

from: “Mason, Keya”
to: pulsedemon [at] gmail.com
date: Mon, Apr 18, 2011 at 7:24 PM
subject: Ask Oprah’s All Stars

Hi Dave,

We spoke a few months ago about making an appearance on Dr. Phil which you were not interested in. I am now working on another show called Ask Oprah’s All Stars. It’s Oprah’s new show on OWN. I would love to get in touch with you to tell you a little more about it and see if you would be interested in participating. It is a much lighter and fun show. Give me a call so I can tell you more about it.

You can reach me at [phone number]

Keya Mason
Ask Oprah’s All Stars – Associate Producer
Mae West Building
5555 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038

Curiously enough, she’d also CC’d her Email to ‘davecat@davecat.com’ and ‘davecat469@gmail.com’, whoever those poor unfortunates are.
I’ve always viewed Oprah through ambivalence-tinted glasses: I’m not keen on her, but I don’t hate her. Someone’s got to entertain daytime television watchers, and all told, she’s the least poisonous of that crowd. The Onion always manages to get good material out of her, but they get good material out of everything. I was aware that Oprah’s show is (currently?) in its final season, but I had no idea she was extending her reign with this network and another show called ‘Ask Oprah’s All Stars’, for crying out loud. Again, hey, if people dig that sort of thing, fine. But once again, daytime telly = not the best place to discuss the ideals of the iDollator community, Synthetik developments and rights, etc etc. So days later, I Emailed Keya back:

from: pulsedemon [at] gmail.com
to: “Mason, Keya”
date: Mon, Apr 25, 2011 at 9:16 PM
subject: Re: Ask Oprah’s All Stars

Hello again Keya —

Thanks for contacting me! Sorry it’s taken a bit for me to get back to you, but I was made redundant by my job earlier this month, so I’m signing on for unemployment, as well as looking for work, and playing catch-up with everything else as well…

At any rate, thank you for the offer! However, what with my recent unemployment busyness, as well as a cluster of other scheduled appearances that Sidore and I will be participating in this Summer, I honestly don’t think we’ll have the time to take part in your programme. These days, I’m trying to get the interviews we take part in to not focus so much on the Missus and I, but of Synthetik humans in general, so we have to pick and choose, as you can imagine. Sorry!

Again, thanks for the offer, and take care!

Cheers,
Davecat, with valued assistance from Sidore

Maybe I was exaggerating a wee bit with the line about the other appearances Shi-chan and I will be making, but we’re not halfway through the year yet, so anything can happen. Or nothing, for that matter! If I could see into the future, I’d be at the racetrack more often.
Did that put our Keya off? Not in the slightest:

from: “Mason, Keya”
to: pulsedemon [at] gmail.com
date: Mon, Apr 25, 2011 at 9:21 PM
subject: RE: Ask Oprah’s All Stars

Well if possible I’d like to talk to you about the possibility of the show. Perhaps you have a simple question you could ask Dr. Phil, Suze Orman, or Dr. Oz via webcam or video. There are many ways to possibly work an appearance into the show.

Let me know. Give me a call at [phone number]

Thanks
Keya Mason
Ask Oprah’s All Stars – Associate Producer
Mae West Building
5555 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038

You have to admire her dogged tenacity, if nothing else. And I just now noticed that they’re located in the Mae West building! When did she get a building? Is it a ribald, bawdy structure?
I responded thus:

from: pulsedemon [at] gmail.com
to: “Mason, Keya”
date: Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 12:59 PM
subject: Re: Ask Oprah’s All Stars

Hey Keya —

But I don’t really have any questions for any of those people! Furthermore, I had to look up who Dr Oz and Suze Orman are, as I haven’t watched broadcast television in years. And being honest, I’m not all that keen on Dr Phil, as he tends to be one of the many medical ‘experts’ who choose to pathologise eccentricity and individuality, for the sake of making an attention-grabbing show. Being on a show such as this would be, frankly, a pointless exercise for myself and the Missus at best, and a losing battle for the iDollator community at worst.

Again, I’d like to thank you for the enquiry, and have an excellent day!

Cheers,
Davecat

I mean, really. A question that I could ask them?? First off, I genuinely had to look these humans up: Suze Orman is some sort of finance expert, and Dr Oz is a health expert, and not an Eighties hair metal band from California, as I’d previously assumed. Under normal circumstances, I’d assumed that they’d be asking me questions, not the other way round.
Actually, here; I’ve got some simple questions I just thought of: ‘Ms Orman, how can someone best finance an Actroid or Geminoid of their very own, particularly if the purchaser is currently between jobs?’ or ‘Dr Oz, would consistently lifting one’s Doll be a decent basis for a workout regimen?’ or ‘Dr Phil, why are you such a judgemental shitwick?’ You know.

Is that the lot of them, finally? Have the entire battery of ill-suited daytime chat show hosts asked me now? I sure hope so

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

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They hit the Eject button for me / Viva Lost Wages

typed for your pleasure on 12 January 2010, at 3.27 am

Sdtrk: ‘Notre Prof d’Anglais’ by Chantal Kelly

Ah-hem. Some news in brief!

Last Tuesday, I was unceremoniously fired from my mentally and morally offensive job, after three years of sterling service. ‘Consistently rude and terse to customers’, was their cowardly excuse for letting me go. Frankly, I’m surprised that it took as long as it did. I’m in the midst of rejoining the dole queue, but I’m trying not to let it get me down. As much as I hated that job — and believe me, I fucking loathed that job — I enjoyed receiving money from it. I’m viewing this event as the much-needed arse-kicking I… err, needed… in order to get something that isn’t as hideous and/or pays more. Since the past year and a half, I’d been looking into changing employment, but this should really get me motivated. I’m just not entirely keen on jumping without a parachute, but I’m hoping it turns out for the better real soon…

Just after that, iDollators Euchre, CJD, Mahtek and I attended the AVN expo in Las Vegas, from the 07th to the 11th of this month. It’s safe to say that we had a hell of a time! I managed to compile notes, in between walking up and down Vegas’ main drag and fondling Doll jubbleys, so expect a couple of posts describing the meetup, in protracted detail, relatively soon! Technically, I’ve really no excuse for dragging my heels! It’s not like I have a job to report to or anything!
Sneak preview: one of the many, many highlights of those four and a half days was meeting sexpot photographer of sexpot Dolls, Stacy Leigh! Her sassy firecracker attitude makes me think that meeting her is about as close as I’m gonna get to meeting one of Warhol’s Silver Dream Factory superstars.


photo by Mrs ARDO, who is a star in her own right as well

And would you believe I was interviewed for an article for the Las Vegas Weekly whilst out there? It’s true.

So as I have a bollockload of notes and photos, I’ll attempt to sort the lot out this week and get it all finished!…
Now, let’s see about this godforsaken ‘jetlag’ that I keep hearing so much about. Personally, I don’t believe it really exisZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz

EDIT (13 Jan): Just got a date confirmation: the episode of National Geographic’s ‘Taboo’ series that we’re in, ‘Strange love‘, will be aired on Wednesday, 10 February, at 10pm. Which will undoubtedly be spread all over the Intersnet about a week later, but there you have it

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

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Chirp chirp / Truer words were never before spoke

typed for your pleasure on 28 September 2009, at 5.38 pm

Sdtrk: ‘F for fake’ by Wallpaper

*flips through stack of papers* According to my records, it seems that I’ve been using Twitter, the microblogging service everyone loves to hate, for exactly one year, which is a surprise to me as it is to you, more than likely. To be honest, I didn’t think I’d get that much use out of it! But it’s not a bad little service if you use it right, apart from all that timewasting I manage to do with it, when I could be writing legitimate posts. Ah heh.
It’s actually connected me with more than a few fab individuals with similar interests; or, at the very least, people who are willing to put up with me going on about how I’ll be joining the lads for another tokusatsu-watching session, or whatever videogame that’s captured our collective fancies that eve. Also, I like to view my Twitter feed as like the secret Davecat Fan Club newsletter of sorts, cos with it, I can share stuff with my followers that might not necessarily get posted to ‘Shouting etc etc’, or, thanks to this blog’s WP-to-Twitter plugin, they’re always the first to know of any new posts that get published, which they can ignore at their leisure.

One of the personalities I follow is actor and writer Stephen Fry, a man who has been likened to a contemporary Oscar Wilde due to his breezy and witty approach to things, wrote a post to his blog in defence of Twitter:

The clue’s in the name of the service: Twitter. It’s not called Roar, Assert, Debate or Reason, it’s called Twitter. As in the chirruping of birds. Apparently, according to Pears (the soapmakers presumably – certainly their “study” is froth and bubble) 40% of Twitter is “pointless babble”, (http://is.gd/2mKSg) which means of course that a full 60% of Twitter discourse is NOT pointless babble, which is disappointing. Very disappointing. I would have hoped 100% of Twitter was fully free of earnestness, usefulness and commercial intent.
the rest of the article is here

Twitter does a rather good job of conveying information and ideas in a pretty expedient and fun manner. You can keep your Mybook or your Facespace; I’ll stick with the birds instead.

Speaking of Wilde, yes, I’m reading my copy of ‘The Soul of Man under Socialism‘ again, as it’s a fantastic essay. Also, I’m in need of new books.

A great deal of nonsense is being written and talked nowadays about the dignity of manual labour. There is nothing necessary dignified about manual labour at all, and most of it is absolutely degrading. It is mentally and morally injurious to man to do anything in which he does not find pleasure, and many forms of labour are quite pleasureless activities, and should be regarded as such. To sweep a slushy crossing for eight hours on a day when the east wind is blowing is a disgusting occupation. To sweep it with mental, moral, or physical dignity seems to me to be impossible. To sweep it with joy would be appalling. Man is made for something better than disturbing dirt.

Try to tell me he’s wrong! Try to tell him he’s wrong! The answer is simple:
you can’t

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