Sunday, August 21, 2005

A Somewhat Odd Weekend Schedule:
We did ordering of comics for the month at the store today, which always throws my schedule off a bit. It was off even more this week, since we were short-handed (one of the employees is at GenCon) so I didn't get my usual tradeoff day off (Thursday for Sunday), but I did get some overtime pay (a rarity), which isn't a bad tradeoff.

At any rate, I'm always ready to get out of the store on Saturday night, but I'm especially ready when I have to close the store at 9:00 and then get up the next morning at 8:30 to go to ordering. So last night, the store got unusually busy from 8:30 to 9:00, and then literally one minute before the store closed, a guy came in, went to the bathroom and was in there for ten minutes after I closed and shooed everyone else out. A regular also showed up a little after 9:00 and asked if he could buy his week's comics, and he's a good customer, so of course I let him do that. So I was running about 15 minutes behind when I finally got everyone out and got the door locked.

While counting down the register, I got a phone call from one of these Internet relay places. They're a great idea, in theory, that a deaf person or someone who can't use the phone for whatever reason uses a relay to type messages which are then relayed to me, and they then type messages back. Like I said, it's a great tool... but this method of communication takes a lot more time, and when this was the phone call I got at 9:15 and I hadn't finished shutting the register down yet, I was mildly annoyed.

I became greatly annoyed when it became clear that the phone call was either a scam or a prank. The conversation went like this, once the relay was established. Imagine a two or three minute delay between each question and answer. It was also clear that whoever was typing was either not a native English speaker or a very slow typist. "Do you carry toys and games?" "Yes, we carry some toys and games." "Do you carry PS/2 and Game Boy Advance games and teddy bears?" "No, we mostly carry board and card games. No teddy bears." "Can you give me some brand names?" "I'm not sure I can help you. I should mention that I'm closed right now." "I need to buy some games and toys and have them shipped for my client in Nigeria. We will pay for them." Warning bells going off at this point. "We don't do shipping. I don't really think I can help you. Goodbye." Three minute wait, followed by me asking the relay person "Are we done, I really need to get my store closed down?" After a minute, she responded that the other end had said "OK, goodbye. Thank you!"

It was all a little genial to be a prank, and I suppose it's possible it was legitimate, but I think I basically endured the equivalent of voice spam. Which would have been annoying enough, but I was ready to leave anyway.

When I got home, as usual, I stayed up way too late (around 3:00, watching Arrested Development on Tivo, reading the Adam Strange: Planet Heist TPB, etc.) and had about five hours of sleep. So when I got home at around 4:30, I basically sat in the chair and fell asleep at around 5:30 and drifted in and out until, well, around now. Most likely I'll be up a while tonight as well, since my schedule is just bizarrely thrown off at this point. Tomorrow is errand day, though... need to take the car back to the mechanic (the low radiator fluid light is still blinking, even after the radiator flush), mow the lawn (it's about two weeks overdue), pay some bills and get some more reviews done.

For those of you who come here from Fourth Rail and just waded through this exceptionally boring personal story consisting mostly of whining and bitching, I'm sorry. The relevant portion is that because of my weird schedule, I haven't gotten many reviews done... a half-dozen Snapshots (which I traditionally hold for Thursday's update), a review of Tokyopop's MBQ Vol. 1 and half a review of The Life & Times of Scrooge McDuck. Don is out of town, so we'll have a Tuesday update instead of a Monday this week, and quite possibly nothing from me. I may instead save everything I've got to run on Thursday.

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