Working tech support as a woman I think is mostly the same as for guys with a few very, very obnoxious, notable differences, one of the biggest being:

I get hit on. Yeah, over the phone. Ya, rly.

“So, where are you located? Oh. Really?”
I wish I made it up, cuz you’ve been kinda creepy this whole call.
“Oh, hey, my ex is from New England. I used to go on up in there all the time.”
“Ever come down here?”
“No? You should come down here some time.”
Hah… yah… for crying out loud, I’m a voice on the phone!

I’ve been getting this since I started on the phones.

Yesterday I got a super long pause after my customary call ending question, “Is there anything else I can help you with today?” The laughter following the pause wasn’t any more of a comfort. “Well, uh… you COULD but it’s not related to this stuff.” Oh. No. You. Didn’t.

The other day one of the guys got told,

“So you like to hike? You ever hike up here? Oh, yeah, maybe I’ll run into some time.”

For a moment I thought, how sexist of me to assume that the guys didn’t get the creepy flirting stuff.

Then I was told that she had started the call with a thinly veiled threat about how he better help her, and knowing where we were located, and how she could come down here and ask for him if she didn’t get helped.

Yowza. That’s a bit scary. I can’t say that I get yelled at or threatened much. I guess I kind of prefer the awkwardness of phone flirting.

This post’s screen shot is from the Gameboy Advance release of Final Fantasy 6. “I’m tech support, not some 900 number phone operator!”

Crushing Lesson

On one of my last posts: No, I’m Still Not Dating Anyone, Thanks For Asking, one of my readership said in the comments: “…you attract people to you that will teach you lessons.”

I like this idea. It’s optimistic. It’s saying that all of the bad relationships, as much as I feel like they broke me down, were maybe really allowing me to build myself back up into something stronger.

The opposite is probably also true: that we are drawn to people that have something to teach us. What is it that draws you to a person and why? Those answers might be more important than ever pursuing an actual relationship. I’d like to think there is some actual purpose to crush.

Crushes fade in as you meet someone and fade out often as you get to know a person. I’m sure some of these things that make up the small obsessions we call crushes are just intangible whims, shallow attraction, or simply pheromones, but some of them probably have a great deal to tell us about ourselves. Even shallow attraction teaches us something the moment it goes from attraction to repulsion.

Crushes are terrible and wonderful in some very different ways than an actual relationship. They are these weird partially imagined relationships we carry out mostly in our minds, imagined moments, made up memories, and why, why not, and what if? Those are fine and good to an extent, but I can become concerned at the barriers they put up, real and imagined. There’s a line I can cross when I start to get to know and like someone. Interaction suddenly goes from easy conversation and laughter to strained, worried, calculated longing. It swings back and forth like a pendulum that I’m trying to stop somehow even though I’m on top of it.

I wonder if I ruin the potential relationships and friendships sometimes in the actions of a crush. I know I’m not the only one who becomes dumber, flakier, less confident, and not so good with words all the sudden. I wish I could get over the crush so I could get on with a friendship, get to know a person better, and move on if there is nothing really there (which there likely isn’t anyways). It’s easier said than done.

This post’s screen shot is brought to you by Final Fantasy VI, Game Boy Advanced version. My name twin is being hit on by Setzer after being kidnapped and thrown into a room on his airship. What a romantic!

Today VS Tomorrow

Final Fantasy 6 Son of a Submariner
Here is a tip to all the young, aspiring bad guys out there. To be a truly crazy, evil, and scary villain, try addressing the protagonist (as he gets away in a castle submerging into the desert) like so. Only then will you show your evil wit. Take it from Kefka of Final Fantasy 3/6 (SNES/Playstation).

It gets old trying to predict the future. I enjoy working on things for the future, it’s the expecting and trying to make things turn out a certain way that can be a bit grating. I try to live keeping in mind that people die in silly, unbelievable ways ‘before their time’ all the time. Even if you’re taking care of the ‘macrocosm’ of your life, the big picture, if you forget about the ‘microcosm’, all the moments that make up your day (and essentially you) then you’re missing out on life. As helpful as a crystal ball could be, it’s not the point.

Trying for tomorrow is great, but no matter what we work for or how hard we try, it can be a bit of a problem to expect things to work out as a result. I encountered that in a rather big way when my big long term plans for Virgina did not work out and I ended up in back in Mass. I saved a lot of money the summer before for the move (and all the things that went with it). I was looking forward to it even before that, when I was in Newcastle, “It’s gonna be so great!”.

My eggs were mostly in that basket. I’m glad I managed to make time for fun this past summer, maybe my last summer in Portland ever. I had living situation issues, but then I just made sure I was gone from my living space and with friends as often as possible. I miss the guys and gals I hung with (my P-land pals), even the people I worked with and the job itself. I miss it in a nostalgic way, however, not a ‘now sucks’ manner. I also don’t regret working so hard because I did make time for fun. I’m trying to make it so I can look back fondly on this time too some day.

Just keep going. It’s all we can do. Work for tomorrow, but live for today knowing tomorrow could still up and decide it has other plans for you.

Trust, Even After Trying it’s Gone

Rex attacks with poison flour
Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest for the SNES. One of the crappiest Final Fantasy games ever made has some of the crappiest writers and translators at the wheel.

A warning to those who don’t know eating flour provided by undead dinosaurs may be potentially hazardous: an adventuring career maybe isn’t for you. This has been a video game public announcement.

What kind of adjective is “flamerous”? It certainly isn’t English.
– – – – –

Gawn and Treye sat down together in a cafe in a the small, industrial city of Worner, sleepy in its wintry shell. They hadn’t seen each other in months, though they live but miles apart. Treye had been calling Gawn off and on for weeks- as well as everyone else she knows in the city with little luck. Even friends with which Treye knew nothing but good times seem to have moved on to somewhere or something new and exclusive. Treye was getting sick of being positive about her loneliness, and her desire to vent was fast overcoming the desire not drive Gawn away. It had been three days since Treye spoke to anyone other than customers at work and voicemail boxes of friends. All of her recent attempts to try and meet new people were met with polite but cold reactions or hopes of sex.

Treye was about to give up on humanity and the act of putting trust in people. Still, she reached out to Gawn on more time hoping she’d be proven wrong.

Gawn tried to reassure Treye but also has a hard time disagreeing with her assessments.

“In all trust there is the possibility for betrayal,” admits Gawn.

“Then it is better not to trust,” Treye stared into her cup of black tea, hunched over it as if huddling for warmth..

“But… without trust there is no real friendship, no closeness, none of the emotional bonds that make life worth living…” Gawn lists passionately.

“These are the experiences and feelings that make up life itself,” agrees Treye.

“Exactly,” Gawn slapped the table, glad to be getting through.

“So… you put yourself at risk, and do so knowingly and willingly.”

“…every single time,” admitted Gawn, smiling.

“How do you know when to trust others and when to trust your doubt?” Treye pushes herself and her tea further across the table towards Gawn, “How can you separate paranoia from a real, deserving lack of trust?”

“Hopefully you trust yourself over others before the knife ends up in your back. Other than that, I really can’t give you an answer. Some people trust others until they give them sure reason not to. Some will even forgive and extend trust again and again.”

“How does one find a trustworthy individual?” Gawn seemed to have all the answers, and Treye hoped she could pull some to apply to her own life.

“The same way one finds an honest man.”


“I’m saying, one doesn’t. The capacity for betrayal is within all of us.”

“Not me,” Treye denied without a hint of pride or happiness at the proclamation.

“If that’s true, then I pity you. You are doomed to a lifetime of expectations that no one can fulfill and things given that no one can reciprocate.”

“Perhaps there is something wrong with me,” Treye squeezed the ceramic mug, “Sometimes I suspect I am not human.”

“Oh, you’re human all right- human enough to feel betrayed, rejected, isolated, like no one understands you-”

“So, I’m just a whiny cliche?” Treye chuckled at herself without a bit of humor.

“No, just human: individual, but part of a common experience of common emotions.”

“That’s where you’re wrong. People don’t feel the same way,” Treye paused, thinking before finding the words to explain, “Sure, we all get sad or angry, but one person’s depression is barely another person’s sadness. The same sad person maybe feels barely any anger”

“How would you know?”

“I know when I react honestly and deeply, there are times I’m told I should be in a mental institution or on a drug.”

“Yes… I guess some people are… sensitive,” Gawn conceded.

“And I’ve met other… sensitive… people and have found they understand me better, but are perhaps even more selfish that the norm. The can be more unsympathetic.”

“They’re trying and protect themselves maybe?”

“I could think of many reasons. In the end, it just is. The sensitive person is a victim in a cycle of their own creation making themselves more the victim by throwing themselves under trucks and into fires- that is unenjoyable, but comfortably selfish: the attention they attract, the band aid of other’s pity and self pity. Other people become competition,” Treye shakes her head bitterly.

“And you’re different..?”

“Yes. I know I hurt myself by giving trust to those who don’t deserve it, by not being able to connect with people that would treat me better, but I don’t advertise it like a beacon hoping for those to flock to me to ease the pain as well as allow it to continue so the flock stays.”

“Maybe you should. Maybe you just don’t because you’re afraid they won’t come.”

“No, I’m afraid of being disgusting and weak like them. I’m afraid of my own guilt,” admitted Treye.

“Oh, so bottle it up inside and try hard not to trust those you want to. There’s a logical solution,” Gawn rolled his eyes and nibbled at the left over crumbs of his scone.

“I guess I’m caught in a bit of a paradox.”

“If your values weren’t mixed up in this, I’d have a solution: throw your honesty, integrity, pride, loyalty out the door… Just be and accept.”

“What, like them? Those people don’t accept anything- they live in constant delusion. I’d rather be miserable than delude myself,”

“Would you rather be lonely than to try to trust again? To never connect or know someone else again?” Gawn was getting frustrated.

“It doesn’t matter much what I want. I’m lonely either way. Trust gives darkness a face to whisper to at least.”

“For a bit of pity for you?”

“No. Connection. For real, honest connection. Not ‘I feel bad for you’, but ‘I know what you mean, and hang in there.’.”

“You’re talking about wanting someone to care, understand, and accept you as you are,” Gawn was trying the best to be understanding and sympathetic, but was seeing the circular logic Treye was caught in.

“Yes. And I know I will find it again. It’s just painful knowing it never lasts. At the next inconvenient moment the connection ceases.”

“Um… can we maybe talk about this some other time? I mean, it’s been good talking but… I just have a lot of stuff to do, you know?” Gawn got up to leave. He put forth a forced smile and mentally asked for forgiveness.

“Yes. I understand. I know. Goodbye.”

Treye and Gawn never saw each other again.