Sunday, March 20, 2011

Work ramblings

I get in these blogging frenzies and then neglect to write anything for this while it lasts.

Before I share my work ramblings, life updates! Of which there are not many. Starting tomorrow I'm living in Arlington with Ev for the week because her Aunt is on vacation, which will simultaneously be glorious and horrible because in week when we have to not be roommates again I will be very sad. Only like three more months until we are actually roommates again. Thank the lord. I saw Katie way more than normal this week which had the same exact effect. Three months. Three months. I MISS MY FRIENDS.

I also miss the summer. All of these things came to a head on Friday, when the weather was literally perfect, I got out of work early, and proceeded to get started on the Corona, when I realized that all I want to do is sit on my imaginary porch in my imaginary house with my future (not imaginary) roommates, maybe getting tan, DEFINITELY drinking Corona. And it's March. So I can't. It was pretend summer. I was so depressed. Seasonal affective disorder is officially affective until it's actually 75+ every day.

Anyway. On the horizon this week is auditionnnnn! Hooray! Say lots of prayers and cross lots of fingers that it goes well! I'm starting to get antsy and I need something new to do, and this show is probably exactly what I'm looking for. So we'll see. I should hopefully know in a week.

Now my promised work ramblings.

Apparently I look like a child. Last night was our March Concert for the FSO (and it was AWESOME, Matti Raekallio is so fantastic and the nicest man of all time), and I was sitting at our information table before the concert to answer questions, help direct people, etc, when a woman comes up to me and goes "Can you help me? I'm looking for someone who works in the office." I told her that she was in luck because I actually work in the office, and she gave me a skeptical look and said " son is looking for an internship this summer, can you direct me to someone who can give me information for him?" "Well actually ma'am I can help you with that!" "Ok well he's looking for something for this summer because he's majoring in music right now...can you maybe forward his name on to the people who know more about internships?"

At this point I'm annoyed because she's clearly not listening to anything I've been saying, so I said "Ma'am why don't I give you my card and he can send me his questions?" "And you'll send it to the right people?" "I actually am the person who is handling interns. "You? But you can't even be out of high school!"


FOR REAL? Look I know I look young, but come on. I do not look 17. So I smiled and said "Oh, yes, I am. In fact I work full time for the Symphony. Here's my business card. That's me. The Operations Manager." She literally looked stunned. She probably thinks I'm an 18 year old working in an office without a degree. Ridiculous.

I guess I don't always look like a child though, because last night I was also hit on by a 70 year old woman. Not even kidding. I was standing by the ticket scanners and this woman walks up, and while she's waiting to be let into the Concert Hall, she gives me a full up-and-down, and says "Well don't you look YUMMY!"

Um what? Ridiculous. Working at the FSO has been hilarious to say the least. I wasn't going to share this story initially because I've actually been unofficially asked to guest blog (I KNOW! WHAT?!), but like I said, it's unofficial and I'm not sure when or if it will even happen, so I'm not going to save this story because it's too ridiculous.

So on Tuesday at work a woman who shall remain nameless (but whose name is burned in my brain and who I may or may not have looked up on Facebook) calls the office. I answer, and it turns out she had a question about the special promotion we were running that day. Tuesday was a two-for-one deal where you could buy a B or C section ticket and get a second ticket for free (for Saturday's concert). This was sent out to our 5400+ person email list, and within the email was a link that took you directly to the website we set up for this promotion. In the past we've used for all our promotions, but we run into a lot of problems with them, plus people still have to pay ticketing fees. So instead we decided to completely do the promotion ourselves through a website that allows us to create an "event" where people purchase specific tickets (we're doing the same thing for next year's Subscriptions). Long story short, the link in this email took you directly to the site, but it wasn't posted on our website since we only wanted it to go to our email list patrons.

Back to my bff on the phone. This is basically how the conversation went:

Woman: I'm a little confused at this special deal you have running today.

Let me interrupt by saying that this woman had a Brooklyn accent (I know it well) and sounded exactly like my INSANE broker when I lived there this summer. You know, the crazy woman who called me two or three times a day about my apartment. The woman whose voice sends shivers of horror through my body. That one. Well this woman sounded just like her. Strike one.

Me: Ok! Well let me see if I can help you.
Woman: I'm looking at the prices but I don't see where it says what my seats are going to be.
(Imagine this in a Brooklyn accent)
Me: Well ma'am I'm pretty sure that you can't select your individual seats on this website. (Because you can't, that's part of the promotion is that you choose your section and get what's best available)
Woman: What?! That's absolutely ridiculous. Can I just go to the box office then?
Me: I'm not sure, but I think it's only online. But you might be able to go to the box office! Hold on, I can check on that for you.
Woman: (exasperated gasp) Why WOULDN'T I be able to go to the box office? This is ridiculous. You don't know anything.
Me: .....hold on. Let me go check.

I put her on hold, and ask Tara, our patron services manager, who confirms that it is in fact an online deal.

Me: Yes, I'm sorry ma'am, it is only an online offer.
Woman: You have got to be kidding me. Do you know how ridiculous that is?
Me: Yes well I'm sorry ma'am, it's only online.
Woman: Well I am on the website and I don't see where it shows what my seats are going to be.
Me: Well ma'am that's because we're not assigning ticket seats until tomorrow. You can't choose your seats like normal because it's a special promotion.
Woman: What in heaven's name...this is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. So how do I know where I'm sitting?
Me: Well you can select your section so that you know the general vicinity of your seats, and if you'd like to tell me your preference I will write it down, and tomorrow we will do our best to make sure your seat is in your preferred area.
Woman: But this doesn't even tell me which seats are available.
Me: Well where would you like to sit?
Woman: What's available?
Me: ........well...there are a lot of seats currently available. Which section would you like to sit in?
Woman: Orchestra A is apparently not an option, which is I guess Orchestra B.
Me: Let me put you on hold while I see what is open in Orchestra B.
Woman: UGH FINE.

I then ask Tara what seats are left in Orchestra B. She tells me there are a few on the left but that there are still a lot on the right.

Me: Hi, ma'am? There are a few seats on the the Orchestra B left, but a lot of empty seats on Orchestra B right.
Woman: (a moment of anger filled silence) But. Which. Seats. Are. They.
Me:'am there are a lot of seats. I can't list all of them. Why don't you tell me where you would like to sit?
Woman: I want to sit as close to Orchestra A as possible. AND NOT IN THE FRONT ROW.
Me: Ok, I'm writing that down. (I also got her contact info at this point)
Woman: Ok so now I just buy these seats. In Orchestra B. On this website.
Me: Yes.
Woman: But they're not guaranteed. So basically I'm walking into this blindly and giving you my money and you won't even know if I'm sitting where I want?
Me: Yes ma'am, we will do our very best, but your preference is not guaranteed.
Woman: This is absolutely ridiculous. Fine. How do I do this? All I'm seeing is Best Available.

This sets off alarm bells in my head, because our promotion website had no drop down that said Best Available...but does.

Me: should have four options, Orchestra B and C, and Grand Tier B and C. Ma'am are you on
Woman: I don't know. How would I know that?!
Me: Okay, how did you get on this website?
Woman: I went to your website and clicked on the Buy Tickets words.
Me: Ok ma'am you are actually on the wrong website, the promotional link was in your email.

I wanted to say "Yeah, you right." and hang up, but I didn't think that would be very professional...

Me: I'm very sorry ma'am, but if you go back to your email, you will find the link to the website right there.
Woman: I don't HAVE the email. I DELETED it.

I also kept my comments about how maybe you should wait to delete a promotional email until after you've purchased tickets to myself...

Me: Ok, well how about this, how about I read you the web address of the website and you can just manually type it into the address bar on your browser?

This of course was my fatal mistake. Little did I know, the sentence I had just said to her may have well have been in African based on how much she understood. But what she said was:

Woman: Fine. Hold on. I need to open google.

I was confused about why she was opening google, but I kept it to myself.

Woman: Ok. So I just type it in?
Me: Yes.
Woman: Ok. Go ahead.

I proceed to spell out the entire web address for her.

Me: Ok it's h, t, t, p,
Woman: WAIT. Ok h, t, t, p...
Me: ...colon
Woman: colon
Me: backslash, backslash
Woman: Hold on, hold on..............backslash, backslash
Me: Fairfax, symphony, dot
Me: Yes ma'am, all one word...

And so on and so forth. But hands down my favorite part of the conversation was the very end of the address, which I can't remember but basically had-to-be-written-like-this, meaning it involved the use of a hyphen.

Me: (VERY exasperated but trying to hide it, because spelling this website had taken approximately two minutes already) f, s, o, hyphen
Me:'s next to the zero ma'am.
Woman: Oh. Next to the zero. Ok. f, s, o, hyphen...

Once she finally has it all, she says:

Woman: Ok now hold on. I want to write this all down by hand just in case.

JUST IN CASE? JUST IN CASE WHAT?! She proceeds to read the entire website BACK to me, while writing it down on paper. She then presses enter...and it doesn't work.

Woman: (unbelievably she knew this whole internet "fad" would never work out eventually) "The page you are searching for does. not. exist." (I can't believe she didn't insert a little haha here, it would have fit in perfectly with her tone of voice)
Me: Ok...are you sure you spelled everything correctly? Are you sure you did a backslash and not a forward slash?
Me: I'm sorry ma'am but I know the link does work.
Woman: Read it to me again. Letter by letter.

At this point Tara, who feels terrible that I'm having to deal with PSYCHO on the phone, has come to my desk and whispered "Do you need me to take this call? Can we just email her the link? I still have the email saved."

Me: Ma'am, would it just be easier if I re-emailed you the link?
Woman: NO! I want to type it.
Me: Ok...go ahead...let's check it...letter by letter...
Woman: h
Me: Yes.
Woman: t
Me: Yes.
Woman: t
Me: Yes.
Woman: p
Me: Yes.
Woman: Colon.
Me: (banging my head on my desk) Yes.
Woman: Backslash, backslash
Me: Yes.
Woman: f, a, i, oh I see what happened. I left out the r in Fairfax.
Me: (PISSED) Ok. Let's try it again.
Woman: No. I'm going to keep reading it to you. Just to be sure.

She then proceeded to spell the ENTIRE website for me, LETTER BY LETTER...TWICE. When she was FINALLY done, she was ready to try it again. Mind you, she is still being unbelievably rude, like the only thing I have to do I spend a half an hour on the phone helping her buy cheap tickets.

Woman: now do I press enter?
Me: Yes.
Woman: Ok there is one search result (confirmation that she in fact GOOGLED the website, she did not type it into the address bar)...F-S-O Two for One Special, March fifteen, two zero one one (which btw, translates in March 15, 2011...why she read it at two zero one one I'll never know...)
Me: Yes, that's it.
Woman: So now what do I do?
Me: it.
Woman: I just click it?
Me: just click it.
Woman: Ok. It says FSO Two for One Special. It's green.
Me: Ok that the right website.
Woman: It says Matti Raekallio, piano.
Me: Yup, that's it.
Woman: And it has some white too.
Me: Yes. That's definitely it.
Woman: Ok so now what do I do?
Me: (literally so pissed that I'm having to do this) Ok next to Orchestra B, you select your tickets.
Woman: But I don't get to know my seats?

It literally took all my willpower not to scream WE HAVE BEEN OVER THIS NO YOU DO NOT KNOW YOUR SEATS.

Me: Correct. Because we aren't assigning them until tomorrow.
Woman: And will I get my money back if I don't like my seats?
Me: Unfortunately not. But like I said, we can take your preference and do the best we can.
Woman: Well I want Orchestra B, in the middle. Rows M, N, O, or P. And close to Orchestra A. IN THE MIDDLE. I WILL NOT tolerate being in the first five rows. If you put me in the first five rows I will never come to a concert again.

I was tempted to tell her that would be fine with me, but again...not too professional...

Me: Ok ma'am. We will do what we can.
Woman: So now I just click check-out?
Me: Yes.
Woman: I'm clicking it. Nothing is happening.
Me: Well it should pop up with a box that says "Would you like to add a donation?" And then it takes you to your checkout, where you enter your credit card information.
Woman: Well I do NOT want to add a donation. And I'm clicking on check-out and nothing is happening.

Instead of trying to help her figure out why her pop-ups wouldn't work or what she was potentially doing wrong, I did what I should have done from the beginning:

Me: Well ma'am, it's working on my computer, how about you read me your credit card information and I'll do it from my computer?
Woman: Yes that will be fine.

Once I completed the order and assured her she would get an emailed receipt, I finally was able to get off the phone. And proceeded to scream. My coworkers understood. The next day, she called the office again, and when I saw her name come up on the caller ID, I screamed "NO NO NO YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME." Tara took the call. She's a nice person (turns out all crazy wanted was to know if she could get her tickets from the box office that day).

Who knew I had an endless supply of patience? I certainly didn't. Insanity. I think I'm going to be scarred forever.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Friday Shirt

I love clothes, that's no secret. But I have one pretty major vice when it comes to fashion...tie-dye. It's not that I find it particularly fashionable, I just love it. I have more tie-dye than a person needs EVER, but there's one shirt in particular that holds a special place in my heart...

The Friday Shirt.

I don't even remember when I got this shirt, but it's a GIANT tie-dye t-shirt my mom had made one year for Holy Family Festival. Everyone in the choir wore one. I lost mine a few weeks later (no idea how), but there were some leftover XL's, so I grabbed one of those...and the Friday Shirt was born. There are so many reasons why I love the Friday shirt, but the most important is that it's hands down the most comfortable shirt in the world. It's softer than usual t-shirts, and roomy enough that I'm never hot while sleeping. Like I said, I don't even know how long I've had it, but I've been sleeping in it (...among other things, I'm not disgusting, I do laundry) for at least six years.

The Friday Shirt's name came about in a pathetic way. The first year of college was a glorious time for Shannon, a time of self discovery and realization. Meaning I could wear pajamas to class and I wasn't going to get in trouble. And for someone with morning classes and NOT a morning personality, this was good, good news. But by the end of the year, after a particularly heinous combination of purple sweatpants, a green choir t-shirt, a Michigan hoodie, and a really nerdy Broadway hat (to cover the unwashed I was disgusting) that even made my voice teacher (who basically wore skirts made of wheat) gasp in horror, I decided maybe it was time to reel in the PJ look.

So for Sophomore year, I had a new plan: Regular clothes every day except Fridays. I only had Geneds on Fridays anyway, so it was a pretty good compromise. And since tie-dye shirt was the most comfortable of all shirts, I obviously saved it for the end of the week. I thought I was being pretty inconspicuous...but after a really choice combination one Friday morning (documented below), my friends caught on:
(I obviously have no shame if I'm willing to put this picture on display...also where are my shoes?)

And since we're all about naming everything ever, my shirt got a name...they went for simplicity: The Friday Shirt.

For a while it was just a few of us that referred to it as The Friday Shirt. Like a little inside joke. Until suddenly EVERYONE knew about and frequently referred to The Friday Shirt in daily conversations. It got to the point that the following summer, my coworkers, none of whom even went to JMU, called it The Friday Shirt. Eventually Friday Shirt stopped making public appearances, a)because I stopped having Friday classes and b)Junior Year I had a fashion breakthrough and was determined to look awesome every single day.

I hope I don't come off as embarrassed about this magical shirt. I am shameless about my love for it. So the more people who knew about it, the happier I was. I was spreading Friday Shirt love to the world.

But this summer I started to notice that the Friday Shirt was looking...sickly. More faded than in the past, with a few holes here and there. I guess when you wash a shirt so many times without retiring it, erosion begins to take its toll. But I didn't think much of it. The Friday Shirt is basically a part of who I am.

Except that the next time I washed it, the few holes here and there had turned into LARGE holes here and there. Suddenly I was forced to stop wearing it out of the house (or I would have started breaking indecency laws). My heart was heavy and I knew what had to be done...I had to find a replacement for the Friday Shirt. I wondered which of my other shirts were up to the challenge. Cat shirt was almost as comfortable, but even I had to draw the line at bringing that one into public view. And all my other shirts were not offensive to the eyes, but not up to the comfort level of TFS.

So as a natural shopper, I went on the hunt. I even tie-dyed my own shirt(s). But nothing was up to par.


Three weeks ago I went to JMU for Allison and DJ's recitals, and while I was there I decided to stop at Outpost (cheaper than the bookstore for JMU apparel, for all of you non-Dukes) because I wanted an alumni sticker for my car. And then I saw it.

I guess it's like falling in love, it comes when you least expect it. Because I saw this obnoxious purple and gold tie-dye shirt that said James Madison University, and thought "Well that's fun and I'm obviously going to buy it." It was fun...but I never imagined it would be able to rise to the level of TFS. It seemed like nothing could. I even bought it in a medium because I figured I would want to wear it for real, and why waste money on an XL t-shirt I that would never replace TFS?

I didn't even wear it for at least a week...but then...when I did...I knew I had found it. It's different from TFS in its own way, of course, but just as a wonderful. It's soft the way TFS shirt is, roomy the way TFS is, TIE-DYE the way TFS is. But still different. TFS part 2. I'm sure my friends will come up with their own name for it, considering it's quickly becoming a staple of my nighttime (...and Saturday and Sunday...) wardrobe.

I will never forget The Original Friday Shirt of course. And maybe sometimes I'll wear it, for old times sake. But it's not really safe enough to wash, and sewing it to fix it would just compromise the integrity of the shirt. I'm going to have to figure out a proper way to commemorate it. It will forever remind me of the good times of showing up five minutes late for Ear Training (when I went), camping in the middle of nowhere with nothing but hot dogs and beer, late night dance parties, and the multitude of trips and vacations it accompanied me on.

Here's to you Friday Shirt, here's to you.

Here's the state the Original Friday Shirt is currently in...note the holes, frayed neck, and especially the GIANT hole on the right that I can fit my entire head through:

And here is the NEW Friday Shirt (This is apparently a medium...but I'm looks the same exact size at TFS):

I can't believe I just wrote an entire blog about a t-shirt.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sarah Davis wins today

I just am going to post a chat between Sarah Davis and myself...too amazing to not share with the world:

me: i am seriously so bored
Sarah: a duck just chased me through my apartment parking lot
me: ............
Sarah: i parked, got out of the car, grabbed the bag of trash next to me, and brought it to the dumpster
and when i got back to my car, there was a fucking DUCK sitting on the drivers seat
and i SCREAM and FREAK OUT and the duck freaks out and jumps out and starts CHASING ME AROUND THE PARKING LOT
i was crying i was laughing so hard
but it wouldn't let me near my car
and so i had to ask a grown adult man with a child "Do you know how to get rid of ducks?" and he says "Sure!"
and proceeds to scream and stamp his feet running AT the duck
it was amazing
i wish so hard that i had a video camera
my stomach hurts from laughing so hard
this is not a real story
this is too glorious to be a real story
Sarah: it so is. i am so proud of it.
a duck climbed in my car
and it had orange feet and a purple head
i have proof
because i accidentally called myself and left myself a 3 minute long voicemail
and you can hear me scream in it, which is when i got back to the car
hold up
imma let you log into my gmail and listen to it (she has this crazy thing that sends her voicemails into her gmail, so she can listen there and they also TRANSCRIBE them...a source of great comedy)
me: WAH i am at work
Sarah: oh crap you're at work
i'll email you my login info
me: mmk
yeah i need to hear this
Sarah: if you abuse that power i will find you in the night
me: also you called yourself...perfection
Sarah: it's just mumble jumble for the first 2 and a half minutes
me: meh gmail isn't fun to hack
Sarah: and then it's like AAAAAAAAAH
hahahaha the scream is 2:19 into it (Listen to the message by clicking here!)
me: i fully plan on ripping the audio and editing it in garage band
Sarah: and i'm yelling "GOOO I'M NOT YOUR MOTHER!!!"
me: LOL
Sent at 4:18 PM on Wednesday
me: this is the greatest thing ever.
Sarah: i wish the voicemail were better
it was so good
but you can clearly hear me yelling at it for about 15 seconds which is enough
my phone was in my pocket
omg what a great day
me: hahahahahahaha i cannot stop laughing

Sarah: also on my list of pathetic things today, i just sewed a hole in my jeggins
because i am cheap and don't want to buy another 15 dollar pair from target
Sent at 4:39 PM on Wednesday
me: HAHAHAHAHAHA are DEF pulling me out of work boredom!
Sarah: the reason i was even in my car in the first place was to go to walgreens and buy a sewing kit for my jeggings
me: it just keeps getting betterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tell me how much you love me...please?

Hi loves.

Ok so Friday-Sunday of this weekend I'm going on a Retreat with a bunch of 7th graders and probably the most important thing we do all weekend is give letters. Letters that talk about why someone is important, how they're a gift, why you love them, etc.

Well friends, the facilitators are supposed to have letters too, so I'm asking you, if you have time, to write me one. It can be gushy. It can be funny. It can be five pages long. It can be one sentence. It can be a picture you made in Microsoft Paint (but who uses PCs anymore anyway?). It can be whatever you want. This is one of my favorite things ever, and hey, you never know, maybe I'll write you one back.

If you do decide to send me a letter, just email it to me at (you can put it in the body of the email or attach it, I don't care) by 4:30pm on Friday. I promise I won't read it until it's letter time on Retreat; I'll just print it out and bring it with me.

And if you write me one I promise I'll love you forever (although chances are I already do).