Then the other junior check-in girl came up to me and asked me some questions. Namely, could I fill in for her on Tuesday. Oh, and Sunday. Sunday Evening. This left me with one day off: Wednesday.
So I checked in on Tuesday. On Tuesday, I had a reasonably calm day. I think. It seems to have been. I was dealing with paperwork all day long, and that's calm, unless there are alarums and excursions. There was joking around with the Pink Shirt Guy.
Wednesday was plasma and writing. I managed to get both done. I got started on some revision of 2003's NaNoWriMo. I was happy, aside from the Crazy Lady at the bus stop. Though even that was its own special type of surreal.
I wound up monitoring on Thursday, and there were Scary Monitor Things that happened. The Snarky Lady Supervisor had me monitoring the n00bs in concert with the current Eldest Monitor Lady (the mother of othercat's Nemesis, in those weird workplace coincidences); the n00bs did n00b things, and I rated them accordingly and gave helpful suggestions. The Snarky Lady Supervisor is impressed with the level of attention to detail and helpful stuff I can give, and from all reports, the new people were going over the monitor reports really trying to learn. I was happy. I felt so helpful and useful.
I checked in on Friday. The Dress Code Girl came in the door wearing something electric blue, low-cut to reveal a nice bit of cleavage, and with the bottom of the shirt at least a handspan away from the pants. "Pleeeeeaaaase try to remember the dress code!" I yowled as she swept in. And wouldn't you know it ... Stressy College Chick sent her home.
Right after this, as I was smirking smugly to myself, I noticed the Crazy Bus Stop Lady having an intense little chat with my elder clone on the topic of monitor reports, and the rest of the day just went out the window. I turned that brilliant pink color you only see in flowers and intensely embarrassed girls with the ivory Scotch/Irish/Finnish skin, and proceeded to first hide, then inform the rest of the workplace exactly why I was giggling. I discovered the meaning of my life when I was fourteen years old and at CTY: I was the one who saw the banana peel lying on the ground, then stepped on it on purpose, falling dramatically, hilariously, and properly so as not to hurt myself.
The irate respondent with the missing half-moose after that was just icing on the surreal.
I monitored on Saturday. I almost stormed out of work screaming and crying that evening, because the same level of detail that was deemed So Very Helpful by the Snarky Lady Supervisor with the trainees was deemed Unnecessarily Detailed, Too Long, Not Readable, and Obscure by the Cute Chick Supervisor, and I wanted to cry and hit things. Instead, I made a passive-aggressive post to my LJ via text messaging, and finished sharpening pencils.
I monitored Sunday morning, and lo, the crackheadedness abounded. The first bits were all right -- we were doing Computer to Paper comparisons on the current month's edition of live-dialing, and the survey I got handed was $ISSUE_SIDE_JOB. C to P involves a monitor finding a phone goon on a live survey, and following them through the whole survey, making sure that all the things in the paper version are in the computer version, and all the things that are NOT supposed to be there are in fact not there. (Occasionally questions are deleted, or text is changed.) It is an exercise in fu-fucking-tility to randomly zoom around from person to person looking for someone on a survey. So I evened the odds a little, pulled up telnet sessions enough to watch ALL the phone goons at once, and deliberately sat there NOT punched in to an audio feed. I stacked the telnet sessions in a vertical cascade with the top few lines of text visible, the lines of text displaying the question number. $ISSUE_SIDE_JOB is one of those ones that the household has to qualify for through a rather stringent set of screening questions. All numbers come up on the dialing screen. All live ones come up to the intro screen. All cooperative ones get to the first screening question. Most screen out there. Some get to the second screening question; by the time the third question is up there, it's time to pounce. It took me fifteen minutes of preparation (to figure out the system), and fifteen minutes of watching to get a nibble, but it was worth the effort: I got a computer-to-paper comparison completed on the first survey logged to that job in the day. And it wasn't by chance. I think I've just been volunteered for C to P tasks in the future, since I'm so efficient. Even better, I think I'll teach my methods to the Trader Joe's Queen Monitor (the Bunny Master's wife) -- if I can teach it to her, she can teach it to everyone else, since she knows she's horrible with computers, yet she's flexible enough to be taught how to learn new tricks on the computer, and she's less intimidating than I am.
That was fun. What followed was an education in I'm not sure what. Devoted readers may recall an Incident from a previous Sunday -- a phone goon who primarily worked Dayshift was treating an evening-shift-only job like a dayshift job, in ways that the client could become Very Upset over. Per the monitors' instructions when something is going that badly wrong, I called to have someone, anyone, get that woman off the phones so she could get talked to and the issue fixed now. Unfortunately, we were short-staffed that morning (that may in fact have been the morning when the Poser-Geek was not in due to having been canned, or was not in and shortly would be canned) and thus had four people in the bullpen area: the Shift Ops Super, needed for administrative tasks, the check-in, one supervisor running jobs, and the Trader Joe's Queen Monitor, who had been shanghaied off monitoring duty and set to walking the floor to assist people. Guess who they sent to pull the malfunctioning phone goon?
When the malfunctioning phone goon blew up at the walker in question, it set in motion a beautiful Rube Goldberg series of explosions, eventually involving the shift lead and then starting ripples with the monitor lead (there were computer system errors involved as well).
This time, things went ... much more according to plan and practice. (Yes, that line sounds familiar. Compliments to the good taste of those who place it.) I was staggered enough by the sheer cluelessness of the offenses that I wound up going to the Shift Ops Super before finishing writing up the report, which is almost unheard-of.
The survey in question is about computers, and asks about the things that people do with computers. Like, say, playing with IM. E-mail. Web-surfing. Do you do these things never, tried it once, occasionally (a few times a year) or regularly (a few times a month or more)? It helps, if the respondent is supposed to answer these questions with the provided answers, if you acquaint them with their range of responses beforehand. Gee. And if you're given a range of responses to pick from, one does not GUESS that "Yeah, I do that" is "regularly", nor that "No" is "Never tried it". One bloody well ASKS.
And then. What is the difference between these two statements?
a) My computer is connected to other devices.
b) My computer is connected to other devices, excluding other computers, but including items such as handhelds or printers.
If, say, one was interrupted while saying item b), at the first comma, by the person saying "Yes," what does the responsible survey-administration person do? Why, they make sure that it's hooked up to things that are NOT other computers, that's what they do! This lady? The reverse of a responsible survey-administration person. This question came up twice: once for one of the household's computers, once for the other. Did it get treated any differently either time? Of course not.
And then. If you have a scale from 1-10, where 1 is Disagree Completely, 5 is Agree Somewhat, and 10 is Agree Completely ... and you can use Any Bloody Whole Number in that range...
Where do the following responses fall?
No. Never. Absolutely. Maybe. I guess. Yes. Nah. Yes. Of course!
The Responsible Survey Goon would *ask*. This lady? 1. 1. 10. 5. 5. 10. 1. 10. 10. In her little head, she had a nice 3-point scale going. Never mind that the client had asked for a 10 point scale for a reason.
It took me twice the length of a typical monitoring session to handle this fiasco. I delivered the report to Pink Shirt Guy with the "[sincere recommendation] that she remain on dayshift." Pink Shirt Guy came back later to request clarification, and then again to borrow the tape of the session so that he could have a listen for himself. I was vindicated.
I learned later that this same woman had blown up at the dayshift supervisor on Friday over a bad monitor report she'd gotten. Gee.
After that, the rest of monitoring was not so bad. I went to do check-in around 2-ish. Two supervisors had gone missing (AWOL or vacation), one monitor had called out sick, two monitors weren't in because of scheduling issues, and then the fourth monitor had been hastily snagged by the bullpen to run jobs, as they were down two supervisors. That left ... me, to monitor. I didn't get a chance to. All the phone goons were gone by 8:30, I was still behind, and we finally got out of there at 10:30, with me squeaking just under the wire on my time (I had 15 minutes to spare of my 60 hours).
I would have developed a dreadful headache had I not snagged out a few minutes while the other supervisors were on break for a very crucial phone call. I helped assorted people out in between purring sweet nothings about the dreadful monitor session to the amused and semi-conscious ear of my best-beloved bondmate. (I picked a good bondmate, yes I did.)
Also: The long-awaited unwrapping of Allegra! The machine is tiny! I have much glee!