Archive for January, 2013

Whatever You Say, Ma’am

In the course of my duties, I have to take calls from very angry people. Sometimes they become insulted when I start asking them questions so that I know how best to direct their call (I wouldn’t send a caller with a mortgage problem to one of the tellers, for example) but most are pretty good about it.

And then there’s this woman.

I answer the phone with my usual greeting and she immediately launches into Angry Tirade Mode. Apparently her teenaged daughter had received a package containing an electronic cigarette and her mother, Angry Woman, was certain that her precious child’s account had been hacked and some stranger had ordered the offending item – which they then shipped to her rather than themselves for some reason. And the girl had also received several emails regarding the shipment, letting her know when it had been shipped and when it would arrive, so they must have hacked her email as well.

Perhaps it’s just my cynical nature, but most people who steal account information use it to benefit themselves; if they are going to order products, they have them sent to their own house rather than using the accountholder’s name and address. This is how many thieves get caught. (If it’s a scam company, they usually don’t bother sending anything at all.) What I think happened is that the girl ordered the thing and, as teenagers often do, got caught by her mother so she just denied everything.

In the end both mother and child came into the branch, closed out all of their accounts, and opened new ones. If an account has been comprimised this is the best thing to do, but as anyone who has ever had to go through the process it is an enormous hassle to contact everyone you have an automatic payment set up with to give them the new account information.



Suddenly I feel better about my bountiful Fearless.

Lie Like A…

Bits and pieces of a rug!

Not quite the same ring to it, I guess.

While sorting through my junk, I came across a large diaper box that held eight skeins of yarn in blue, green, and cream. I purchased the box at a yard sale with the intention of making a cat bed – the yarn is all Red Heart SuperSaver, which has a fairly harsh hand – with it, tucked the box away, and promptly forgot about it. While looking over the yarn, it occurred to me that the colors would go well with my floor tiles. I had been toying with the idea of making a rug for the living room, to warm it up a bit, after seeing pictures online.

These are made with thick ropes of roving, unspun wool, and are probably quite warm and comfy.

So the cat bed yarn has been repurposed into a floor afghan/rug made of granny squares. I’ve made this my new carry-around project and take the blocks to work so I can work on them during lunch and break. I’ve had to buy one more skein and might possibly have to buy another to finish off the blocks.

My blocks. The one on the right is finished, the left needs a “ring” of two rows in the pale green.


Among many things, painting my new front door is on my to-do list. While it will not be this amazing, I hope to have it painted a dark blue one day soon.

 Blue Door: Casa Lis ~ Salamanca

Another One For The List

What list? The list of absolutely adorable baby animals, of course.

The face, those ears, the razor-sharp claws … Still adorable.

Step One

Truthfully, the first step for everything I do is “Remove cat.” I often have to do it several times.

Customer Disservice

Working with the public as I do, I’m used to having people come to me in a bad mood. Some folks are just sour from birth, it’s a fact of life, and I try not to let it bother me. One day late last week a customer came into [ghostbank] and marched right up to my desk. Before I could even open my mouth he launched into a tirade that went something like;


And so forth. It was really hard to make out individual words, but I managed to get the gist of things – at some point over the previous weekend, our ATM had kept his card and he wanted it back. This happens on occasion, usually for one of three things; there’s a problem with the machine, in which case it usually keeps every card, there’s a problem with the card or the account associated with the card, or the person didn’t retrieve their card in a timely manner and the machine took it back, which is a security feature that prevents people from forgetting their card and having it picked up by the next person to use the machine. I directed Mr. Speedy to the tellers, who are in charge of the cards collected from the ATMs we service.

I could hear him from across the lobby, talking faster and louder, as the teller kept telling him “I’m sorry but I can’t give you the card.” He said something that sounded like “Iwannaseethemanager!” and marched back across the lobby, past my desk, and stood in the doorway of my boss’s office. My boss was on the phone at the time, but could clearly see him since he was practically in his office, but continued with his call. The man started pacing and I was contemplating calling the police when the bossman hung up the phone. Mr. Speedy took this as a sign to immediately sit down and start talking, which he did.

Based on what I (and everyone else in the vicinity) could hear and what the teller who had tried to help him told me later at lunch, I know what happened. Over the weekend Mr. Speedy had used his card, which was from some obscure bank no one in the branch had ever heard of, at one of our ATMs and it had kept it. As it was not one of our cards we had no way to contact this person and no way of knowing if there was anything wrong with the card – as far as we knew, it could have been reported stolen. As is our SOP in such circumstances, we kept the card for two days in case the owner contacted us. If he had and could provide a letter from his bank stating it was okay to release the card, we would have gladly given it back. As he had waited nearly a week without so much as a phone call, the tellers followed procedures.

The card was shredded.

Mr. Speedy eventually left, swearing to sue us blind, but there wasn’t much else he could do. If he really needed the card that badly, he shouldn’t have waited so long to collect it.


Confucius Say

I was finishing up a delicious meal of Chinese food (chicken lo mein and dumplings) and broke open the fortune cookie to read the fortune.

“Stop searching forever, happiness is right next to you.”

Out of reflex, I looked beside me and saw … Fearless, asleep.

Like this. She was also snoring.

And she did look very happy, she was even making a little snorty noise and twitching.

Witness the twitching!

I must admit, she looks pretty happy. Well played, dessert – well played.

Visual Aid

This one’s more of a note to myself, but take a look at this mill in Germany’s Black Forest.

Doesn’t it just scream “story setting” to you?

We Have Floor!

In one room at least. After a weekend of patching, scraping, and spreading glue, I finally have a bedroom floor!

Patching concrete is tons of fun. Like icing a lumpy cake with mildly caustic frosting and trying to get it perfectly smooth.

Glue is down! (Finally. It took forever.)

Once the glue had set up so I could lay down the tile, things went pretty quickly. The hardest part was the fiddly bits around the edges and corners where the tiles had to be cut. The tile cuts easily, but it’s a lot of work. Mother Dearest selflessly helped me and did a lot of the edges, I helped out once I was done laying the whole tiles.

Beautiful, beautiful floor! And yes, I know that one is a slightly different color – it’s in upside down do it has a dull finish rather than a shiny one.

I could look at this all day.

The closet was a nightmare, very cramped and a lot of tiles had to be trimmed.

Thanks to a ciphering error on my part, the tiles had a very wide border on one side of the room and a very narrow one on the other. This also led to problems in the closet, where tiles had to be trimmed all the way around. I’m pretty sure Mother Dearest will have nightmares about being trapped in a closet with tile.

Ghostie’s glue-hand!
This stuff is super-sticky and does not like coming off skin.