June 30, 2005
And this is further good news because he wants to discuss the problem he and I have recently experienced in our working relationship.
Mai was reportedly ordered raped in 2002 by a council of elders in Meerwala, her home village in the eastern Punjab province, as punishment for her brother's alleged affair with a woman from a higher caste family.
In Washington, a U.S. State Department spokesman said the perpetrators of the gang-rape must be brought to justice, adding that the United States is closely following the Mai case.
"The use of rape or sexual intimidation as a means of punishment or retribution, whether by individuals or by groups, is unacceptable in our view," spokesman Sean McCormack said.
The 33-year-old Mai won international renown after speaking openly about her ordeal in this deeply conservative Muslim nation, but Musharraf barred her from visiting the United States to tell her story, fearing the negative publicity would tarnish Pakistan's reputation.
Ok. First of all, raped?
Second of all, for her brother's 'crime?' "Hi, your brother got uppity and this rich lady got slutty, so we're going to rape you now."
Third, Pakistan's reputation?
Reputation for what? In my mind, Pakistan's reputation is as follows:
- Like India, but with more violent, crazy religious freaks.
- Like India, but no Alanis Morrisette.
Like India, but no nukes.
- Like India, but no steam engines.
- Fights with India all the frikkin' time.
- Reluctant to help catch Osama bin Laden.
I'm positive that there's more to
India Pakistan than that, but let's face facts: Pakistan doesn't have a great reputation in the first place. I sure as hell am not trying to go to the Indian subcontinent for ANY reason.
Of course, before when I refused to go there, I didn't know that I might be RAPED for someone else's crime. So, maybe he's right. The publicity would hurt their reputation.
Ok, but not only was she raped for something her brother did, which was so not a crime, (What are they going to do with the families of all those people who made videos of themselves with Paris Hilton?) but then she was restricted from travelling. They raped her and then they restricted her freedom of movement.
They violated her rights and then they violated her rights.
You are so effed up!
Update: El Capitan Noggle informed me that Pakistan has the nukes. Great. This means that if India makes them mad one more time, they might sink Ireland or something and then forbid Ireland from swimming up from the bottom of the ocean to protect the Pakistani reputation.
June 29, 2005
Since then, I've recommended them to several people and their service has gone to crap and I look like a schmuck for recommending them.
In addition, I'VE been getting bad service from them and it seems like they're taking down my site for "routing maintenance and upgrades" every five seconds. It kills me.
So, now they've sent out their yearly survey. Here's how I'm responding to question #22. "How can we improve the services we provide you?"
If you have to alert someone that you're shutting down their site and email and the admin tool AND FTP access, because they've exceeded their bandwidth, don't send an email message telling the customer to check the admin tool. Not only are all those things down, but you can't do anything in the admin tool that would help that situation.
Then, when the customer calls to ask why their site is down, don't condescend to them as if they shold know by the email you sent or make the voice that sounds like you're reading from a book when you inform them that you've turned off their site and they should have gotten the email.
Finally, when telling a customer that they have a problem, don't just say "you have a problem." If the site is down -- especially if you TOOK it down for some reason -- I think we can all agree that there is a problem, but it would be more helpful if your smarty tech guys would either help identify the specific issue or just be very quiet while the customer service lady audilby rolls her eyes at the customers, because that leaves fewer people for me to talk bad about in surveys like this.
I am an excellent customer. I make referrals. I leave good tips. But I require matching service.
Fat Cow sucks.
Update: The survey crashed while I was trying to fill it out. When I tried to click next it just kept saying, "You haven't answered all the questions on this page with an asterisk (*)." I looked back and yes I had. So, I clicked back to do over and I got this error message, "Sorry partner, the iSay survey is temporarily unavailable, we should be back in a jiffy though, please try back soon!" I tried to start over and I get the same message.
It was... exasperated.
I don't know if that's the right word.
She actually protested! There was a small tinge of begging in her voice, too.
I probably should have dropped more hints or warmed her up to the idea more slowly. I DID drop hints, though, and I DID mention that philosophy was something I was considering. Of course, I did also mention economics, but let's be real: am I EVER going to do that much math? Hell no.
But now my mom won't talk about this idea I have of pursuing a doctorate in philosophy or anything associated with it. When I tried to talk about how I would be getting roommates soon, she excused herself and hung up the phone.
She didn't hang up on me. She excused herself gracefully, but quickly.
That's unfortunate because come December she is in for a rude awakening because I probably cannot host Christmas here afterall. (Should have taken me up on the invite last year.) And come January, communication from me may break off entirely because I will be completely immersed in school.
If we can't talk about my life, I really don't feel like talking about her life. This relationship may becomes unbearably shallow.
I don't mean to be callous, but my mother seriously needs to get on board.
Ok. Deep breaths. I'm trying to be in touch with my emotions, so let's talk about how I feel for a second, ok?
After MUCH hemming and hawing over the complete disarray that is my academic transcript from my first undergraduate degree (If you're wondering: I graduated with a SINGLE degree with 157 credit hours. Most majors here only require 120 or, at most, 127.) we came up with our best and worst case scenarios, depending on what requirements my past coursework will meet.
I will have to take 7 upper level courses and none of them have to focus on any art created earlier than 1890.
I will have to take 10 upper level courses and none of them have to focus on any art created earlier than 1890.
She also informed me that if my core classes also satisfy my philosophy requirements, the most that can be expected of me over in the philosophy department is 10 upper level philosophy courses.
SO! Worst case scenario with my double major, I will have to take 20 courses. At 5 courses a semester, that will take me about a year and a half. If I move more slowly for the sake of actual learning, which might be wise considering the path I'm choosing, I'm looking at two years.
You might think I'm crazy for being relieved about this, but I was actually fearing that adding this other major would make my stay in undergraduate studies last into a third year.
The next thing I have to do: See if I can get back into the Honors program. Being in the Honors program at UGA might be good for lots of things, but the thing I most appreciate is being able to register ahead of everyone else, so I get first pick of classes.
Merry Christmas, SuperStupidMegaCorp!
132 work days until it's over. 1,056 work hours.
Barring any time off I take, of course.
I don't read many gay blogs regularly because the ones that focus on gay issues tend to be wildly liberal and the ones that aren't that way don't regularly comment on gay issues. Catch-22 or something.
But now and then I go and read Towleroad. He's super-liberal, but his blog has pictures of hot guys and I do get to find out about some of the outrageous things that people do while hating on gays. And of course there are the endless updates on that Brokeback Mountain movie.
So, he has this post on gay pride and how the media always shows the freaks and never the "normals."
A friend of mine actually made the same remark the other day when I asked him if he was going to Atlanta for Pride. He said he didn't like it and he hates how only the weirdos show up on TV. He was hitting on me so he said, "They never show guys like you, good-looking, professional, and masculine."
I've never had someone describe me as masculine before and I've had many people pointedly describe me as unprofessional in conduct, although my appearance is most often certainly professional.
I know what I think of this issue of showing the freaks on TV, though. That's where the news is and it's pretty funny news, too. If it was a parade of plain-janes it really wouldn't be worth a parade and the news really wouldn't care even if there was one. It'd be like watching my neighbors walk very slowly down the street playing (not too loudly) adult soft rock hits of the 80's and 90's. Two words: Phil Collins.
Who cares about that? Not me. I didn't even go to the freaky gay pride this year. I sure as hell am not going to drive all the way over to look at overweight accountants and balding gas station attendents. (Do they still have gas station attendents?)
If Gay Pride is intended to bring gay into the mainstream, I really don't think that a bawdy parade is the right approach. Maybe someone needs to sit down and get all these gays on the same page. Someone like the gay mafia.
Dear Gay Mafia:
Please handle your sh!t. The natives are getting out of control.
Gay Pride isn't intended to address the "nomalization of homosexuality," though. That part of the indirect goals, sure, but explicitly Gay Pride is a celebration of our freedom to be gay, to be different, to NOT be normal.
People everywhere have a right to be who and what they are without fear of having their rights to their life, person, and property, along with all the other incumbent rights that stem therefrom, violated. As long as they aren't violating those rights of others, EVERY person has a right to be unpopularly different.
Gay Pride is a celebration of that right. It is a recognition of some people (those folks at the Stonewall Inn in New York) who stood up and fought for that right. That fight was about the right to be different.
You have no right to be liked for being different.
But I understand many people want to be liked. Many people want gay people to be accepted. That's why we have all this propaganda and these arguments that the media should show some 'normal' gays.
Gay people, listen to me: you do not want the Gay Pride parade to be a parade of normal people. Not only is it boring, but it's ineffective for what you want to accomplish!
It just happens that the constant exposure of the freaks tends to deaden the nerves of those who would otherwise react violently to those things.
Listen to any conservative commentator, particularly Michael Savage, and they complain about how homosexuality is becoming this mainstream thing. They're worried about the increasing level of acceptance gays experience in popular culture. They rage on about the lack of outrage people have about gays doing things like teaching, acoounting, and pumping gas.
The freakshow is working, y'all. Don't fight it.
Thanks to the outrageous images we see of gay people, straight people meet 'normal' gay people and think, "They're not nearly as bad as you see on TV" and suddenly you're invited to help them with their uniforms and soap hard-to-reach areas.
So, don't let's stop the freaks on parade. We should encourage them by inventing bigger, sparklier fake eyelashes and body glitter tattoos.
June 28, 2005
This is at best grotesquely misleading and at worst a flat-out lie.
I wouldn't count myself as part of the "Bush lied. People died." crowd, but the more I hear this the more I have to question our president. I already suspected that his motivations in throwing this War in Iraq were not rational (I do not think his real reason is oil. Let's not be daft.) I'm also very displeased that we're STILL in Iraq.
I was willing to accept the Bush doctrine of going after every terrorist and terrorist-state (I am having some serious reservations about that these days as I consider more the role of the government in the context of international relations.) but I have never been willing to accept outright lies. Iraq's WMDs didn't matter to me. That it was a state run by a tyrant that played host to lots of different terrorists who attacked America and/or its allies was enough.
I do not need people lying to me. And if you say that Iraq was part of the 9/11 attacks on the WTC, you are lying, Mr. President.
I will have to keep my job for six more months, but I seriously don't know how I'm going to make it. Six months is both a long time and a short time. My job really, really sucks and I hate it almost more than I can express.
Fortunately, I know lots of words.
But I'm ready to get rolling on this school thing. I'm ready to sit in class with a bunch of pretty people under the age of twenty. It'll be like living on the WB. I'll get a part time job and sleep in almost every day! I'll have no money, but I'll have time to read and do stupid things like eat raccoons.
It's going to be so much fun.
And Jennifer and I are going to join the same sorority and date football players. God, I love football players.
What's up with that?
June 27, 2005
So, I'm going back to school to get a degree in Philosophy... and possibly a degree in Art History.
"Ok. I thought you were getting one useless degree before, but now you're going to spend money on TWO useless degrees?" you cry out in a voice that sounds remarkably like that of my mother.
Yes, it's true.
Why? Why? Why?
I suppose anything could happen, but it has been a dream of mine for some time to teach philosophy to artists. (If you've seen any modern art outside the walls of the Cordair Gallery you know why.) I've even thought about what it might take to start up an art school or found a college of art somewhere.
None of that may ever happen, but do you know what pieces of paper will assist me in getting to that point? An MBA, a MA (Art History), and a PhD in Philosophy.
The Masters in Art History will be the hard one to work into my plan. Ideally, I guess I would not take a break in my philosophy studies, but a break might be nice.
This peculiar combination of degrees and qualifications will also suit me to a number of other things that I really enjoy beyond a life strictly dedicated to academia.
Are there cheaper ways to go about this? I'm sure.
Could I pursue these studies on my own? Probably, but it's unlikely that I would -- I just know how I am. Also, people are weirdly impressed by papers with fancy letters on them. Further, this will give me insight and experience with those things from a certain perspective.
Isn't there a good chance that I will never realize any of my fantasies about schools and museums? Certainly. But getting there is as exciting to me as the end itself, which is something I've never been able to say about my career before.
Could it be that I am insane? I'm sure I'd be the last to know. Catch-22, right?
So, anyway, the future is bright. I see many possibilities. I'm excited about it all!
Lovely Wife is going to rent one of the bedrooms in my house. Any takers on the other one? My house is seriously way cool, y'all.
Dude. LEAVE! I'm doing something with every appearance of being important! MOVE!
If you're going to talk to someone, take your headphones off/earbuds out.
I don't seem to mind the one-ear cellie so much, but the both-ears-plugged-while-I'm-talking-to-you situation really makes me want to start issuing neck punches with wreckless abandon.
June 26, 2005
But I was just out in my yard digging holes and listening to Michael Savage. (I hate that guy but he's what's on my radio station right now.) They're replaying his Friday show and he's complaining about Gay Pride.
Michael Savage says that the tyrants and barbarians of the Middle East hate the United States "because of our social policies." He asserts that they do not want gay people exported into their households. They don't want parades of people in cages whipping themselves and all that. That's why they hate us.
I have news for Michael Savage and people who agree with his idiotic drivel on this count: The reduction of irrational, oppressive moralizing in America is not what led to gay people. There are already gay people in the Middle East. No, they don't have parades, because they would be shot, beaten, or bombed for such an attempt.
When Afghanistan was 'liberated' after 9/11, do you know what market experienced a huge boom? Pornography. I'm not claiming that Afghanistan is the new Amsterdam or anything, but apparently, there is a mentionable number of people in those places DO want all sorts of "perversion."
Porn may be obscene, but it's also none of your business what folks get into... unless it's you they're getting into and then it's none of my business.
I had a point. Oh yes! Gay Pride is not the disease but a symptom.
It is most certainly America's social policies that our enemies hate, but it is the social policy of Freedom. It is freedom that allows a bunch of heathens to throw a parade and dance about nearly naked in the streets of Atlanta.
Michael Savage prides himself on being able to look to the core of the issues. I have not observed this to be true and once again he has missed his target.
June 25, 2005
There probably won't be many of these posts because you may recall a while back I was nearly fired from my job for writing about it on my blog. At that time I decided that this blog would be reserved for my political/philosophical/economic/generally impersonal writing.
But now and then, I expect some topic will come up and some of my readers have some interest.
So, you might be asking where I've been. "Yes, where have you been?" you ask.
I've been working. I've been working at work and I've been working around my house. I have several large projects going on here at the Trey Givens homestead and I haven't had much time or energy to put into blogging.
In addition, I am plotting a rather major life change. I can't talk about that life change in any detail at the moment (See above.) so, you will either have to discover other means of finding out what it is or you will have to just wait until I can make the details public here.
So, if you're wondering where I am and what's going on, that's about it.
I'll let you know more later.
As you well know, there is some ongoing debate about what I will be when I grow up. I've considered switching companies and continuing my career in business, probably on the marketing/sales or technology side of things. I've considered trying to start my own business. I've also considered going back to school for a doctorate in economics or philosophy.
I've basically tried to set as few limits as possible on what I should consider as options for my future.
I have pretty much reached a conclusion: I'm going to pursue a doctorate in philosophy.
"I can't think of a doctoral degree more useless than that of philosophy unless you consider one in comparative literature," you say quite candidly, "What in the name of all that is beautiful in the world would possess you to give up a promising (and profitable) career in business to pursue philosophy? Academia makes me sick!"
Well, you make some valid points. But I have a saying: Life is too long to be miserable.
I'm frankly not very satisfied in business, but the persistent passion in my life is thinking, reading, and writing about ideas. I also really enjoy teaching. The life of a professor is fairly relaxed, and success is entirely dependent on my own productive capacity. Of course, I was recently told that it would take me "10 years of hell to get to that point."
I met with my old philosophy prof yesterday for lunch and we discussed what would be necessary in order to pursue this goal. The discussion was sobering, but also encouraging. He's the one who told me about the 10 years of hell.
The bad news: I will have to get a BA in philosophy before I can pursue an MA and PhD. I'm two years of philosophy course work and an unknown amount of language work away from being able to start on the five year graduate studies work I'll need.
The good news: I can start on the undergrad work almost immediately via independent study and I will be a Junior in the program by the time I have to go back to school full time in January.
The bad news: This will most certainly place me under some financial strain and I have very little time in which to prepare for that strain.
The good news: I don't have very much debt right now to worry about.
This is still all very iffy in my mind. I'm reluctant to say that this is real because it's not completely real to me yet -- I don't want to admit it yet -- and I have plenty of opportunities to back out.
The independent study courses will give me some small idea about pursuing the rest of my course work. And completing my BA in philosophy will give me a good idea if I want to continue. I have an MBA already, so it's not like I won't be able to find a job if I decide to back off of this plan.
Does anyone want to come live in my house with me? The rent is pretty reasonable and it's a very nice house.
June 24, 2005
The entity named Trey Givens has joined Munu! WOOHOO!
I owe Jim loads of thanks and some beers and stuff for coordinating everything and hooking all this up.
And of course Pixy Misa, I owe tons of thanks as well. I can't get beers to him, though, but I would if I could. So, he'll just have to accept my gratitude. It will be worth millions in a few years, just make sure you store it out of the sun and with one of those cards that reduces the acid.
It's kind of black and white around here, but that's fine. I'll get around to sprucing it up after a while.
You might be wondering, "Why the move?"
Well, my word press site was sucking wind. TONS of spam. Things kept breaking for reasons not entirely apparent to me. And for the past few weeks I haven't even been able to SEE the site.
So, I'm sorry, Jay, I had to move back to MT. I liked the Wordpress interface, but it just didn't work out for someone impatient like me.
June 23, 2005
Meanwhile, their responses cost the company money and result in compromised service for the clients. Why? Because they do not want to confront the unhappy reality of their own actions.
Here's an example:
Client X has been with my company for years. I've never spoken with them once. Suddenly, I was asked to help the sales team on a deal with this client. I delivered ahead of schedule the usual battery of information and recommendations.
The client came back and wanted some clarification and before I could give them that, someone else stepped in and took over. I was copied on all of the email exchanges, but I was no longer the point person on the deal. That's fine by me. I have plenty of other clients to support.
So, lots of phone and email conversations are going on. Suddenly, the client emails me and only me asking for information on the last email, which was directed to the person who took over.
It looks like there are still outstanding issues. The last update we had was the note that JOHN DOE sent out back to JANE VENDOR.
SUZY ACCOUNTMANAGER is really your contact for these things. I don't want to confuse things further by adding another chain of communication to the line, so I recommend that you continue to look to SUZY for information and follow up.
And then the shit hit the fan.
Apparently, the client was extremely displeased by this response. They went to my boss and my boss' boss complaining about it.
When I spoke with JOHN DOE, he said that I should consider the context and look at my response that way, although he agreed that my response was very professional.
Let me recap: my response is professional both in content and tone, but some how it is still unsatisfactory. You might think I'm blowing things out of proportion, but I really might be fired for this.
All because I didn't want to further dilute the chain of communication and chose to steer the client back into the channels they had been using up to this point.
JOHN DOE said that this client has caused problems like this in the past. Bear in mind that I don't know this client and I've never worked with them before, so I had no idea. JOHN DOE said that I should have realized from the numerous emails that were exchanged. Bear in mind that I was not the author of those emails and they did not contain any heated language and did not communicate any sense of urgency beyond what was already present in the project.
So, I had no way to know... but I might be fired for it.
And my boss doesn't know why I don't trust him.
To close, JOHN DOE recommended that I consider my email from the perspective of how I would like people to communicate with me. I think he meant to imply that promptly, professionally, and efficiently are the wrong answers. The problem is that I don't know any other way to get the job done.
I need to be adopted by Martha Stewart. Martha, if you're reading, I'll even call you mommy if you'd like. Just give me an $85K per annum allowance.
June 21, 2005
HEY ITS DIANNA, FROM THE DIRECTOR OF YAHOO, EVERYBODY SORRY FOR THE INTERRUPTION, BUT YAHOO IS CLOSING THE SYSTEM DOWN BECAUSE TOO MANY BOOTERS ARE TAKING UP ALL THE NAMES, WE ONLY HAVE 57 NAMES LEFT, IF U WOULD LIKE TO CLOSE YOUR ACCOUNT, DONT SEND THIS MESSAGE, IF YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR ACCCOUNT, SEND THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYONE ON YOUR LIST. THIS IS NO JOKE, YOU'LL BE SORRY IF YOU DONT SEND IT. THANKS DIRECTOR OF YAHOO, TIM BUISKI, WHOEVER DOESNT SEND THIS MESSAGE YOUR ACCOUNT WILL BE DEACTIVATED AND IT WILL COST $10.00 A MONTH TO USE IT. TO SEND TO EVERYONE ONE YOUR LIST RIGHT CLICK ON YOUR GROUP THEN CLICK SEND - - - ?????
Please, people! Just think for one second!
I've typically stated this as not knowing what I want to be when I grow up.
Well, my friend asked me rather pointedly, "What would you do if you were fearless?" Meaning, if you weren't concerned about how you would make your mortgage payment and pay the bills and all of that stuff, what would you pursue as your profession?
I immediately responded, "I would get my doctorate in philosophy, study art, and teach." It was an easy question for me because it's what I've dreamed of doing in my retirement after I had established my wealth in my career. It seems to ideal to me because the whole of my occupation would be dedicated to reading and writing and talking about ideas. Even if no one reads or listens back, this is incredibly appealing to me almost as an exercise in itself.
And he said, "Holy crap!" because he didn't know.
The oppressive lack of satisfaction in my present career brings this all to a head.
But the proposition of going back to school for another five years and accumulating more debt and living the student-level of poverty is daunting. And don't even get me started on how bleak the employment prospects for doctors of philosophy are.
Even so, now I said it out loud and I don't see a way to avoid it. My brain is preoccupied these days with how to make this happen.
He who has "why" to live for can bear almost any "how." - Friedrich Nietzsche
And some retarded people were throwing a party across the street. I didn't know they were retarded; I could just hear the music from the band the hired. The music was actually fine, so it lent a nice bluesy atmosphere to the young summer afternoon in which I napped.
Then I went and got a smoothie and walked back to the office.
It was an absolute delight.
June 17, 2005
First of all, I think that the guy interviewing me is someone I interviewed about two years ago. (I hope I was nice to him.)
And he was totally unprepared for the interview. He actually asked me several times what questions he should be asking me.
The pinnacle of the interview was when he asked me what I would not ordinarily say in an interview. I said, "That I'm absolutely perfect for this job. According to the job description and everything you've told me about the company, this is a perfect fit for both of us. I wouldn't ordinarily say that because it's up to you, but I'm very excited about what I've heard so far."
The interview went really well up to a point.
The point at which it went south was when he asked how much I want to make.
This is a tiny, tiny company and I believe I am too expensive. He didn't say for sure, but I got that impression rather distinctly. We'll see.
Oh, and I know you're not supposed to actually answer that question when posed, but I don't like playing games. I like it when people answer my questions directly, so I tend to answer other people directly. ("My biggest weakness is an inability to be indirect when necessary.")
So, anyway, good interview. But I'm still looking around.
Update: I just got the rejection note from the company. It was indeed my salary requirement that posed a problem. I've sent a note urging him to consider negotiating with benefits, incentives, bonuses and what not, but I'm not hopeful.
The hunts continues!
June 15, 2005
And then my ex-boyfriend's best friend's mom died the day before that.
It seems like lights are winking out all over the place these days. I'm getting to be that age, I suppose.
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