Saturday, March 24, 2007

Answering Phones

Dealing With The Special Breed

One of my jobs when I work a shift on the weekend is to answer the stray phone calls that everyone else in the newsroom avoids to pick up. Sometimes, like today, I hear the phone ring and say, I'll let it ring some more. Coincidentally, about an hour ago, I said that to myself. I had an excuse other than laziness: I was in the middle of writing a nasty e-mail to a co-worker; I was aiming for tears. Anyways, the phone rang and rang, and I finally decided to lift my receiver only so I could transfer the call and get back to writing hurt into life.

If you've never had the pleasure of working with journalists, then you may not know how to tolerate them. For the most part, journalists are regular people: capable of laughing, breathing and not taking themselves too seriously. But there is a group of journalists who Believe in Journalism, and believe in their own self-hype. The size of this group is no different than in any group of professionals where you'll come across arrogant, egomaniacal freaks.

In journalism, many of these egomaniacs are foreign correspondents or reporters on a foreign correspondence stint. Quite often, they'll call HQ in a moody blaze; they miss their family, their friends, their home, their favourite foods, their favourite illicit drugs, and so on. I have no sympathy for these people. The worst part though is that these foreign correspondents believe that when they call HQ everyone - everyone! - is waiting for their call. The truth: nah, not really. We've actually forgot they had left the country.

So, more than an hour ago, when I finally answered the phone, I should have expected a moody asshole. The Unnamed Foreign Correspondent in a War Zone calling said he wanted to be transferred to the world desk. I put him on hold, and proceeded to find out what the world desk's local extension was because I rarely ever transfer to the world desk; usually, people who want to speak to the world desk call the world desk.

After I found out the extension, I prepared to transfer the call and saw that the UFCWZ had hung up. Back to writing my e-mail-intended-to-hurt. Ring. Oh, it must be UFCWZ.

"CP Online."

"It's (UFCWZ)."

"Yes, let me transf--"

"Wait a minute."


"I've tried to call the world desk three times in the last five minutes. It's (UFCWZ) in (war zone: don't worry, UFCW is in little danger). Now, I want to be transferred to the world desk."

"O.K. I was about to transfer you the last time you called, but you hung up."

"I didn't."

"Oh, O.K."

The whole minute-long exchange between me and the moody UFCWZ ruined my mood: I had to put aside that cruel e-mail I was writing, and get back to doing my job. But if you analyze my conversation with the UFCWZ, you'll realize I did nothing wrong.

First, I could have missed the first two of the UFCWZ's calls because I was away from my desk. I wasn't, but the UFCWZ never asked if I was, which is a sign of his complete arrogance. Second, if the UFCWZ wanted to speak to the world desk, then he should call the world desk directly (yes, I made this point earlier). I have a hard time believing the UFCWZ went all the way to the war zone without the phone number he'd have to call most often. Third, who cares I didn't pick up? Only the UFCWZ. Since when did I care about him?

Now, with this out of the way, back to that e-mail.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

iPod Dead

August 2005 to March 2007

This morning I dropped my iPod answering the question: "How many times can you drop your iPod before it dies?"

Despite its case, despite the fall being small, my iPod could not survive.

I spent about 20 minutes today considering options of how to replace it; but the cost seems too steep at this time. After all, I'm going to be unemployed at the end of August. Must save.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Fucking Spam

O.K., I'm Only Posting This So I Could Title It "Fucking Spam"

Today, I received e-mail notification that "Anonymous" had commented on one of my posts.

The comment: "That's a great story. Waiting for more."

Then "Anonymous" left a link to presumably his or her blog. I did not click on the link, and will not provide it in this post.

Why? Well, not because "Anonymous" is some loser who has set up a cheap program to leave spam messages with links to his or her blog so he or she can receive more traffic and a higher rating on Google. No, that's not it.

My problem with that link is that I cannot trust the content of the blog, because the comment is factually wrong.

Here is the blog post in question:

Monday, July 17, 2006
Summer Cold

The Dreaded Return

Last summer, I managed to work four months in a freezer without getting a cold. Or at least I can't remember having a cold. Now that I'm working in an air-conditioned office space, I've contracted a dreaded summer cold.

It's great; really, I enjoy the excess mucous, the uncontrolled sneezing and the general horrible feeling.

I refuse, however, to take any sort of cold medication, lest I make it official that I do have a summer cold.

So, ignore this post. It doesn't exist.


Posted by Czobit at 3:39 PM

Problem 1: "That's a great story." The post is not a story. Only a few of my posts are stories; most stories I write are fabricated or highly exaggerated to show me in a good light. Also, that post is more akin to a rant, which is my preferred blog post style.

Problem 2: "Waiting for more." Sure, I've slowed down my blog post publishing but since that post was published way back in fucking July last year, I've posted 79 "more." Now, 80.

So, really, before I start clicking links and providing them to my loyal audience (are you still reading?), I need to be sure I'm not sending them into the waiting arms of a loser/liar/all-around-douche-bag.*

*Sorry, I didn't have another "L" word insult.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Post Discrepancy

Is This A Correction?

In my last post, I said it was #200. But when I added the post count to the left of the screen (178 for 2006 and 21 for 2007), the total was one short of that number. On the Blogger Dashboard it says 200 posts.

So, this is #201 according to the Dashboard, and #200 according to the actual blog you see.

As far as #200s go, this post is awful.

Thank you for reading.


Friday, March 09, 2007

Final Exam

The Last Day Is Set

On Thursday, April 19, I will have my final exam ever; this one is English 700. Sometime around 2 p.m. that afternoon I will cease to be a university student.

For a while, I will have to introduce myself like this: "Hi, my name is Michael Czobit. I'm a recovering journalism student."

(And for people who keep track of these things, this is post #200. I never thought I would stumble upon it.)