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Yesterday was weird, man. I'd been working less than five minutes…

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Yesterday was weird, man. I'd been working less than five minutes when the phones went down. At first I thought it was just me but then, from all around me, I heard an uneven chorus of, "Are you there? Can you hear me?" And so we could not work. Much later, we found out that a phone cable had been cut across the street.

I am not sure why they did not send us home or stack the day's schedule with offline activities like training, but instead they had us all sit there, prepared for the phones to come back online, for about six hours. The alert on the subject said 192 people were affected. I would have sent us home... except that in retrospect, I think they may pay out for it when they send us home, so it makes fiscal sense to keep us there and hope that at least some work is able to happen.

In any case, I used the first half of the day largely for research time, which was extremely valuable to me, as the more familiar I am with the material, the better I will do. I also spent a good chunk of this time talking to my hot coworker - also valuable, for a different set of values. He remains unattainable but extremely pleasant to behold, so that was fun. :) He's writing a book - of course he is, how could he not be! We went out to lunch and spoke of things geeky, as is our wont - a highlight of this instance was his taking a stand against my loathing of the movie Independence Day, which is a conversation I have periodically with folks. I don't mind, because it's actually pretty interesting how the defense varies from person to person. Plus, I really enjoy talking with him, so the topic doesn't really matter.

Right when everyone in our group was arriving back from lunch (unusually all taken on time, since no one had calls causing them to leave later), the fire alarms went off. I was and remain certain it was related to the phones, but we still had to troop outside and wait for the alarms to stop.

After we came back in, they were still working on the phone lines, so there was more waiting, during which the third weird thing of the day manifested for me - we've been upgraded from using IE6 to IE7. Apparently IE has tabbed browsing now. I don't love that, because even though it's a space saver, it's not intuitive, at least not after having (reluctantly, kicking and screaming all the way) learning to use tabs in Firefox. IE's tabs don't open into the most recent window accessed, but rather into the first browser page that was opened. I had five tabs open in my first window before I found where the hell they were opening.

I also did get a bit of offline activity - a coaching from my supervisor. It was a good call she'd chosen to review with me, so I was glad of that. The main concern about me is that my calls are taking too long. My quality scores are good, but I am too nice and let the customers talk for too long, so I need to introduce some briskness into my tone and take more control of each call. I also don't trust myself to know the answer, because the type of learning they have established does not work best for me, so I also need to get past that - I like to be SURE, and I just need to fake that for a while, and accept the risk of getting downgraded for a wrong answer in the interest of expediency. Overall, though, I felt pretty optimistic about it.

The phones finally came online during my coaching, at 10 after 6, so I went on as soon as we finished, for just over a quarter of what the shift was supposed to be.
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