Virginia is for Haters

Ok, maybe not everyone who lives in Virginia is a hater, but at the moment it feels good to generalize so just roll with it. I find it incredibly hard to convey the overwhelming stress and anxiety that my job inflicts on me to others when they ask "how's the job?" Plus, usually when that question is asked the person is hoping for and expecting a one word answer to their small-talk question - "Fine."

For me, work is never fine, but the only person that gets to hear my never-ending stories about the various stupid, mean, abusive, and insane phone calls this office gets is my patient husband, Seth. Today, I took a call that reached an all-time low (or high, depending on how you look at it). I thought it might be a fun exercise to share the transcript of this call as it will hopefully help me deal with it, plus, it's a good way to demonstrate my daily work life.

As you may or may not know, recently, a judge found the National Park Service to be out of compliance with legal requirements to authorize and manage off-road vehicle (ORV) use at the Seashore. This has stirred up talks of closing certain seashores and may affect the Outer Banks. Now...on to the call I just took. Please read the "caller" lines with as much attitude as you can possibly muster to get the full effect.

ME: Governor Easley's Office.
Caller: Yes, I just spoke with someone who was very short with me and rude and who hung up on me. YOU need to know that.
Caller: I am calling about the closure of the Outer Banks and was just told that it was a federal issue and the Governor's Office doesn't care. I am calling from Virginia and I own a house on the Outer Banks and you people need to care because closing the beaches is going to cost tourism dollars!!!
ME: uh huh (my normal neutral "I'm listening" response)
Caller: blah blah blah blah. And I can tell by the tone in YOUR voice that YOU don't care either.
ME: Ma'am, it's not your place to tell me what I do and don't care about.
Caller: Yes it is! I can tell that all you want to do is get me off the phone just like the other lady I spoke to!!!!
ME: Well ma'am you're not being very kind....
Caller: YOU B@%$H!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At this point, I hang up on her since we do not tolerate callers who use profanity or are verbally abusive. I have had some MEAN people call before, but never has anyone called me a b@%$h at the top of her lungs before. In a rare move (meaning I've never done this before and we're not supposed to do this), I call her back. Her phone number had popped up on caller ID and I've gotten into the habit of immediately writing down the number no matter what they want because you never know what kind of turn a call is going to take. I call her back immediately:

Caller: HELLO?? (you could tell she was p-o'ed from just speaking to me.)
ME: Ma'am, don't you ever call here again and call me a b@%$h.

And I SLAMMED down the phone. I couldn't help but to call her back! There is NO excuse for ANY human being to EVER speak to a perfect stranger who has done NOTHING to him/her the way she spoke to not only me but 2 other staff in our office. My heart was beating out of my chest and my hands were shaking so bad, I dialed her number wrong the first time I tried and I couldn't type. The adrenaline rush was overwhelming to the point that it scared me. This has happened before and it's so scary it usually zaps me for the rest of the day. Every muscle in my body was quivering.

Now, I tell these stories and they just aren't the same as the actual experience, but there are some incredibly rude people in the world, it's just been my experience that some of the WORST are callers from Virginia. Go figure. Keep your nose in your own state's business and if you call NC to whine and cry about how you won't make $9 billion this summer by renting your posh Outer Banks beach house then I don't feel sorry for you. Plus, if you're too stupid to know the difference between the FEDERAL government and STATE government then you deserve to lose money on your summer rental. Maybe you should invest some of that money in an education for yourself instead of weekly manis and pedis with "the girls" after lunch at the country club.

Sorry, that was fun.


It's a Girl!

Now, before anyone goes and gets too excited, let me stop you short and say I'm referring to our dog, Three. For some reason when people see dogs they automatically refer them them as "he" as if all dogs on earth are males. I much prefer a female dog since there's not "stuff" to contend with when you want to flip them over for a good ole tummy rub. We have been getting tired of the "How old is HE?" and the "What's HIS name?" questions so we got Three a new *pink* collar this weekend and she's as cute as a button! She had the same pink collar only smaller a while back (pic), but she's since grown out of it and was wearing an NCSU collar (which is admittedly boyish). Her name tag was a pink heart, but that didn't stop the boy comments from coming. She's adorable now, and very happy in her pink collar. I was on the hunt for the cutest collar I could find, but it seems most of those are 1" collars which is just a big big for our 14 pound puppy. Hopefully now the pink collar will squash the urge for folks to call her "him." I'm still on the hunt for something cute and girly, but now I'm not in a rush!



My friend Anna tagged me! While I don't have too many friends that blog (that I know about), I'll give this a shot anyway.

Here are the rules: Tagees should write a blog post of eight random facts about themselves. At the end of the post, more bloggers are tagged. Go to their blog, leave a comment telling them they're tagged.

1. At age 29, I still sleep with a stuffed animal...and I'm proud of it! I've had my faux Snoopy since I was 2 1/2 and it was given to me by my uncle as a Christmas present. He's gone through several names, the latest of which is Diggle, which is really one of his old school names that resurfaced sometime after Seth and I started dating. Diggle was my first child and he's really a member of the family.

2. I've been to Australia. I went for 3 weeks during January of my Sophomore year in college. It was a Jan Term trip and about 25 students went. We travelled all over the country. It was my first international trip not to mention my first time flying. I chose the trip over getting a car and I'd say it was well-worth the wait! I highly recommend the trip if you can stand the super-long flights.

3. I'm scared of people. Meeting new folks is not one of my favorite things to do. In fact, I can't think of anything more awkward to do in life. It's always excruciating to meet new people and then be forced to hang out with them or spend the day with them (say at a new job or at a bridal or baby shower where you only know the honoree). I know, that's weird, but it's true.

4. I'm extremely motion-sensitive. This is an annoying fact about myself and it seems to have developed more as I get older. I find that riding in backseats of cars is challenging, and the strangest things can throw my motion sensors off which cause me to feel sick and ruin my day. haha.

5. I love to cook. I don't do it as much as I'd want to simply due to the fact that it would probably mean a trip to the grocery store and I can be lazy. I love watching the Food Network and usually find a desire to try cooking several of the dishes after watching it for hours. I get great satisfaction out of cooking something that people really find delicious.

6. My "Maid of Honor" was a man. Some people may have found this strange, but Seth and I thought it was neato. After Seth and I started dating, his friend George would randomly send me IMs that I never responded to because they were one-liners that made no sense. Later, we started chatting in real speak and discovered we had many similarites. Seth tells me I'm the female version of George minus some of the rage. haha. It was cool for us to have Patrick and George as our honor attendants because it was important that we be surrounded by people we knew we'd keep in touch with for the rest of our lives. Unless, of course, George decides to live in a cave...which probably isn't out of the question.

7. I am obsessed with California. I have no idea why, but I think it started when I was in 4th grade and my favorite show was The Facts of Life. I wrote my first fan mail to that show and wanted to visit California and meet the cast. Ever since then I've on and off wanted to move there or visit there and be a "California Girl." We honeymooned in San Francisco, but had originally wanted to go to LA, Beverly Hills, Newport and Laguna Beach. I'd still move there if given the chance - even if for a couple of years.

8. I have an iPhone. It rocks. Nuff said.

Who I'll tag:

(I don't know that many folks who blog).

Independence Day

I was careful to name this blog entry "Independence Day" rather than "July 4th" in honor of my dear hubby. He doesn't feel July 4th is an appropriate name for the holiday as we don't refer to Christmas as "December 25th."

We had a fairly nice day off - unfortunately it was smack in the middle of the week and that has turned out to be annoying. But...I'll take one day off over no days off any day. We didn't do much in the morning, took our big grocery store trip around 11:30 after eating an early lunch, then continued being lazy around the house until 3:30 or so when we headed to my mom and dad's.

Independence Day dinner was busy and numerous this year so that made it a little more fun and interesting. We had mom, dad, me, Seth, John, Shelly, the McFarlands (Keith, Brenda, and Skye) and Shelly's mom at dinner and of course my mom over prepared so there was plenty to eat. After dinner, Seth and I and Seth's family headed to the fairgrounds to watch fireworks. My family found a nice (still fairly secret) spot several years ago, so we tried that out with the McFarlands (who usually go to Regency Park) and we ended up having pretty much a perfect view of the fireworks. With not a ton of people around we had room to spread out without feeling like strangers were in our laps. We took Three and she seemed to have a good time. I thought she might bark at the booms, but she didn't seem phased. She sat in mine and Seth's laps the whole time and seemed to enjoy herself. The weather was perfect - I can't remember having a non-humid Independence Day in many moons (if ever!) It was a nice day off.

The rest of this week has been strange. I've been really tired the past 2 days - I think having that day off mid-week threw me off. There's only 3 of us in my section at work so I've been answering phones for 3 hours straight vs. my regular 1h 45m. Next week we've only got one person out so phones will improve a little bit. I'm still dreaming of that Independence Day when Seth and I are able to have our family over to our house for a cook-out after having spent all day lounging around the nice in-ground pool in our large and spacious backyard. I'd love to have a backyard that makes you question why you'd need to go anywhere else to enjoy the great outdoors.