Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mind the jokes

"Mind the gap," says the pleasant sounding woman on the London Underground. This pleasant sounding woman, Emma Clarke, recently recorded some funny, spoof announcements about tourists, leering at women, sudoku, and other unpleasant aspects of traveling on the Tube. The word from Reuters earlier this week was that said humor, posted on Ms Clarke's website, had cost her her gig with the Underground.

Thanksgiving and O news

We had Thanksgiving in Belpre with a big crowd: Grandad, Dad, AP, Aunt Ann, Cousin E, his sister Michelle, her daughters Christine and Shelby, and Shelby's new baby, Christian (plus six dogs). Lots of time was spent watching and holding the babies (with perhaps a picture or two taken). Christian is only three weeks older than Owen, so it was fun to watch them together. Of course we had a delicious, traditional Thanksgiving meal. Less traditionally, we had some flooding in the basement. Kerry and I were driving Thursday morning and so missed the actual water, catching only the tail end of the wet carpet ripping-up and removal. However, though Michelle and Dad did the lion's share of the work, I did get to help in the laying of the Pergo floor and the re-moving of the furniture.

Owen has new skills and traits:

- He now has a sense of anticipation, mainly with respect to my hands. When we're playing, he'll sometimes get very excited when he sees my hands slowly drifting towards his face (where they can be grabbed and, hopefully, drawn into the mouth). Or, tickle, tickle, tickle - stop! with the hands put behind the back - brings big smiles when he knows the tickling will return.

- He can pass small objects from one hand to the other, and use the hands in tandem for holding larger objects.

- He can hold his body upright pretty well. (Boy, the things one finds newsworthy...) An exersaucer is in his near future.

- After weeks of trying, he can put his foot in his mouth (literally). And no sooner did one foot go in than he was trying to get both in simultaneously.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Hold your tongue

"This call may be recorded for training and quality purposes." Heard before almost any customer support phone conversation, I had never thought much about this warning/disclaimer. But did you know that, when such a phone call is recorded, very often the entire call is recorded, including your time on hold? I heard about an interview with a quality assurance/training guy whose job was to review these recorded phone calls. He said he heard all sorts of things while people were on hold and thought they were in private. Arguments, drug deals, and some things about which he just said that, had the call been live, he'd have dialed 911.

Apparently this is not a new thing, and I suppose it makes sense that the recording machine wouldn't necessarily know if you were on hold or not. One Internet wag suggests using the hold time to describe exactly how you feel about being placed on hold, in the hope that it is being recorded. Anyway, it's worth being aware of and may be a good reason to learn how to work the mute on your phone.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

My life as a pregnant woman

During the last trimester (or more) of her pregnancy, Kerry admitted to enjoying all the attention she got. I'm getting just a taste of that these days (without having to pee hourly) when I go out with O (eg, to the grocery store). People are generally interested to look and smile at him, and make a word or two of conversation with me. I know, saying hello to me is just the price of admission to look at him, but I don't mind; the reflected glow still feels nice.