On not fooling anyone

google-deepmind-artificial-intelligenceSo I got a phone call at work the other day.  I answered it and was greeted with a couple of seconds of silence before the person on the other end asked for some sort of manager– in charge of marketing, maybe?– that our specific store doesn’t have.  I explained that we’re corporately owned (this type of phone call, at least the initial part, happens more often than you’d think) and that not only did I not know the name of the person who was in charge of marketing, they likely weren’t called the “marketing manager,” and they were also almost certainly in Denver and not Indiana.

A brief moment of silence again.  “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand that,” the person on the other end says.  “Can you repeat your answer?”

Huh.

“I’m talking to a robot, aren’t I?” I said.

A brief moment of silence.

“No.  This is a living person,” the robot on the other end lies.  At which point I hung up on it and it didn’t call back.  I briefly regretted not asking it what the main ingredient was in tomato soup as a quick Turing test and then went on with my day.

Your question for today:  Even assuming that we live in a world where a voice-recognition computer program is the tool you want to use to determine who runs marketing for various local furniture stores, why would you a) program that computer to lie about being a computer when challenged, and if you choose to program the computer to lie, why would you program it to lie in such an unconvincing manner?  No actual living person would have answered like that.  Not one, anywhere.

Theories are welcome.

Eew gross

Here is a thing that one ought not to do:  Sneeze, abruptly, profusely and wetly, while driving to work in the morning.  Because the horrifying glob of gross that fires from your  mouthparts will hit your windshield at the farthest possible location from your face, and you won’t even find it for a few minutes, and then you’ll notice, and by the time you get to work it will have frozen to the windshield as well as to the dash underneath, and you will discover that cleaning it off with what you have on hand is impossible, and then your car will spend twelve hours outside and you will realize that you are stuck with a smeary blob of gross on your windshield until your car has time to warm up in your garage for a bit before you try to clean again.

The end.

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In which this shit is not normal

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So this is a thing that I just did.  And I’d like to pretend that it’s a thing that I just did for the first time, but the fact is it’s a thing that I do all the time, and it’s a sign that there’s something wrong with me in my brain-parts and I probably ought to be put somewhere where either I can’t get at society or society can’t get at me.  Your choice which.

It was a long day at work today.  Not a bad day, necessarily, but a long one, and I’ll trust you know the difference.  For two days in a row now the pattern has been thus: a morning full of self-directed cleaning/organizing/repricing sorts of tasks, with few customers, then my lunch arrives, then three hours of screaming madness, during which I am unable to find even the couple of minutes necessary to eat my lunch– and as someone who doesn’t take lunch breaks and before being at this job was a teacher I can assure you I eat my lunch at lightning speed, and then several hours of wondering where the fuck everyone went.  Today had the added bonus of there only being two of us in a store that has, oh, I dunno, sixty thousand square feet of floor space.

On the way home from work, listening to music, the chewing gum analogy frequently used by abstinence advocates just happened to float through my head for some reason.  I’m not a teacher anymore, I never once taught sex ed when I was teaching, and I’ve never actually had anyone attempt to instruct kids in this way when I was in a classroom.  And yet one minute after this idea floated in my head I found myself, still alone in the car, in a very loud argument with no one at all as if there was someone in my car who was attempting to convince schoolchildren that fucking before marriage was the same thing as chewing used gum.

Very very loud.

And there was no one there with me at all.

I mean, I won the argument, but at one point I let loose a primal howl of suppressed rage and stress that was at sufficient volume that the people in the car next to me at the stoplight heard it.

This happens more often than I’d care to admit.  I mean, it’s not always about abstinence education, right?  But I get into arguments with imaginary assholes in the car on the way home from work.  Loud.  Arguments.

Send help, please.

 

A brief work anecdote I forgot to tell yesterday

seriously-how-many-paint-chips-did-you-eat-as-a-childThis one’s new.

We all have emails at our jobs, like I’m sure a lot of you do, and also like I suspect a lot of work email accounts, they’re really locked down in terms of what we can send and/or receive.  Chief among these things: images, which is a serious pain in the ass because “send me a picture” is one of the first things you want to tell people when they call you and tell you something is damaged, and that means we have all had to create alternate work email addresses that can receive images.

Not the point.  Point is I have a work email.  It’s on my business cards.  I hand out lots of business cards, as you can probably imagine.

I checked said work email late yesterday evening for the first time in a couple of days (Saturday is my Monday, for the record) and had two emails from PayPal.  One of them was letting me know that I had money in my account, and the other was reminding me that I had money in my account.

My work email doesn’t have a PayPal account.  Why the fuck would I have a PayPal account under my work email?

It turns out that a customer who had come in and gotten a quote on some side chairs had decided to pay for them by sending me the money via PayPal.  Me, personally, at my work account.  There’s a note attached to the payment: “4 blahblah side chairs.”

How the fuck is anyone stupid enough to think this is how anything works?

How the fuck do I get through a conversation with this idiot without using the word “idiot”?  Because this person is an idiot and deserves to be called one.

Christ.

Free advice

If, like me, you don’t drink at all, and if, like me, despite not drinking at all you find yourself in a position where you’ve had a long fucking day and fuck it you want a glass of wine anyway, and the only wine in the house turns out to be mango wine, and your wife says to you “shake it up before you open it, so the mango doesn’t settle”…

don’t fucking listen to your wife.

That is all.