While at Quiznos, I overheard one of the strangest things. There was a young man on his cell phone in one of the booths. He had latino styled tattoos on one fore arm and Chinese lettering tattooed to the other. His sense of fashion was borrowed from street gangs and the kid looked like he was from LA or Miami.

He was trying in vain to explain where he was to whoever was on the other end.

Before I continue, find a map of Idaho and locate Coeur d'Alene. Even if you KNOW where Coeur d'Alene is, I would still appreciate it if you looked a map.

Moving on. The kid was describing his location, and the person he was talking to wan't getting it. He looked over at the girl working the cash register and asked:

I kid you not. "Is this North Idaho or south Idaho?"



Everybody freaks out when I wear a tie to work, I do not understand why. Our company dress code is business professional, though most come to work dressed business casual. And some show up shouldn't be allowed out in public casual or I'm ready for bed casual.

Unfortunately pajamas, beach wear, and Marylin Manson outfits are common place here. Sometimes I really wish HR would enforce the dress code. Personally I do try to look as professional as possible, but that doesn't always mean I'm wearing a tie.

Yet, when I do wear a tie people start preparing for Armageddon massive. Fear and loathing consumes those that see me on a daily basis.

Then they start asking questions.

"D'you got an interview today?"
"Up for a promotion?"
"Is some one getting fired?"
"Do we have cooperate visitors?"
"Am I in trouble?"
"Going to a wedding later?"
"Who died?"

WHAT!?! Am I not allowed to dress up every now and then? It's not like my normal attire consists of holey jeans and threadbare t-shirts and the shirt and tie is a rare deviance of previously set standards.

The crazy thing is: I try to wear a tie at least twice a week. And yes... people here freak out at least twice a week.


expect the unexpected

This has been a rather strange week. And I'm glad it is over.

The weather has been weird. The last weather report I saw before going to bed Tuesday night predicted lower 40's with a chance of rain and periods of strong wind. Wednesday morning after shoving my MP3 headphones into my ears I opened the door to a dusty snowfall. It was really eerie, kind of like the snowfall that bathed LA at the end of Crash. As I walked, the wind picked up and began to blow the snow sideways. The odd thing is the temperature never dipped below the freezing mark, so it was a wet sticky snow. By the time I got home from work the news meteorologists were reporting a winter storm advisory "going into effect sometime earlier today and lasting until any minute now."

My class is weird. Other than the sophomoric outbursts, frustrations and amusements, and homicidal temptations, they really are a great group. However I can not say the same for the curriculum I'm supposed to be teaching. The last seven weeks have been pure chaos for me and the other trainer that launched the department. There were supposed to be two final tests, one taken at the beginning of the fifth week and the other at the end of the seventh. Today is the end of week seven and the second final did not appear in our curriculum until three days ago. I was so excited to give it to my class so that we can be done and over with every thing. But to my dismay, I opened the link to final number two and... it was a carbon copy of the first final test. Out of fifty questions, only TWO were different. I called the guy who writes all of our curriculum and let him know what was going on. He said it would be fixed in a couple days; meanwhile my class was originally slated to graduate in a couple of days. Yesterday I got an e-mail saying that the final was not supposed to be on day 21 but should have been on day 35, the error has been fixed. Great, my class took the final two weeks ago, been working really hard to study for the second final that they were told was coming; now there is no second test. So, I just gave it to them again. Hopefully they do better. The other trainer and I both have protested the quality of the final, (it doesn't have much that pertains to our department's normal activity) so the guy that wrote our curriculum asked if we would rewrite it for future classes. Heck yeah, I'm down with that.

Since our classes are the first classes to use the curriculum, the students are ending up as guinea pigs. They haven't particularly appreciated that status, but they have managed to survive. Well, most of them have. On their first call, instead of saying "this call will be recorded and monitored for blah blah blah" one of my agents said "this call will be recorded and modified..." Another agent had a bit of a Freudian slip and inverted the 's' and 'k' in welcome disk, thankfully the customer did not notice.

The class graduates Tuesday. After that I'm not sure if I'm going back to my old department, staying in this one, or doing something completely unexpected. Whatever it is, I'm sure it will be good.