In Which A Dog Sharts On Jackie.

There are many reasons I love my job.  The company is awesome, the people are awesome, there are dogs and cats and sometimes bunnies and guinea pigs and really.  It is just a fabulous place to work.

Right now I am going to tell you why I love the Call Center in particular.  I am the Call Center Manager, so these are my people.  They also happen to be a particularly funny, sarcastic, witty, friendly, happy group of people, so that makes working with them THAT much better.

Recently one of our reps had a call with a person who was having a hard time hearing her.  This particular rep, like me, naturally speaks very loudly.  After about a minute on the phone, she was literally shouting for this person to hear her. Her name is Sammi.  HI SAMMI.  She is also short and has horses.

Sammi

Sammi had the luck of getting the hard of hearing person just as every other person in the call center ended their call, so her increasingly loud call had our full attention.  We also have an internal chat system, which everyone promptly used to mock Sammi. This went on for about 8 minutes.  It was like God himself approved of the harassment of poor Sammi, because not a single other call came in during that time.  The universe wanted us to be a part of that phone call.

I have copied and pasted that conversation below, with annotations so you have an idea of what happened on the phone call to elicit these responses. Bear in mind, anything that Sammi said was repeated by her several times at increasingly louder levels.

Sammi said to the Pet Parent “We never drop pets”.

Ann  3/31/2016 2:07:40 PM
do we drop pets?

Sammi said that we never reduce coverage due to a pet’s age or health.

Ann  3/31/2016 2:07:45 PM
I think we reduce coverage

Sammi repeated that we never reduce coverage.

Ann 3/31/2016 2:07:54 PM
nope, we definitely do

Ann 3/31/2016 2:07:58 PM
she’s said it 4 times, we for sure do

Milena 3/31/2016 2:08:00 PM
Poor Sammi

Sammi said again that we never drop pets from coverage. 

Brent 3/31/2016 2:08:08 PM
almost every pet i think

Ann 3/31/2016 2:08:14 PM
I always drop pets

Milena 3/31/2016 2:08:21 PM
You can never reduce coverage

Ann 3/31/2016 2:08:23 PM
lets me know whether they will survive the apocalypse.

Sammi said that coverage can be decreased to fit a person’s budget. 

Milena 3/31/2016 2:08:28 PM
We don’t like to fit budgets

Joseph 3/31/2016 2:08:38 PM
You all are WRONG. What we don’t do is eat meat on Sundays and every other Tuesday

Sammi said that she would reach out to the Pet Parent’s vet clinic for information, the vet is named Ireland – something. 

Ann 3/31/2016 2:08:41 PM
sammi is going to reach out to ireland

Ann 3/31/2016 2:08:50 PM
shit, that’s a long reach. sammi,you’re not that tall!

Brent 3/31/2016 2:08:54 PM
She must have long arms

Sammi said “No, you don’t have to do anything, we’ll get all the information”

Milena 3/31/2016 2:08:56 PM
The customer has to do everything

Jackie 3/31/2016 2:09:04 PM
OH MY GOD.
BETTY JUST SHARTED ALL OVER ME !
Jackie’s dog, Betty, sharted on her and this is unrelated to Sammi’s conversation.

Betty

Brent 3/31/2016 2:09:15 PM
HA!

Milena 3/31/2016 2:09:21 PM
I’m crying.

Ann 3/31/2016 2:09:36 PM
oh my god. first this person’s coverage is gonna be denied, and their pets dropped. now betty is sharting.

Sammi said that you can cancel at any time.

Brent 3/31/2016 2:11:01 PM
YOU CAN NEVER CANCEL EVER

Sammi asked if there was anything else she could help with.

Ann 3/31/2016 2:11:18 PM
there must be something else sammi can help with

Ann 3/31/2016 2:11:22 PM
because they still talkin’

Darcy 3/31/2016 2:11:29 PM
Hey, is Sammi here today?  I can’t tell.

Lindsey 3/31/2016 2:11:33 PM
hahahahahahahaah

Lindsey 3/31/2016 2:11:37 PM
sammi i’m sorry

Milena 3/31/2016 2:11:38 PM
She’s WFH (work from home) I think

Lindsey 3/31/2016 2:11:44 PM
yes we can still hear her though

Lindsey 3/31/2016 2:11:45 PM
from home

Ann 3/31/2016 2:11:45 PM
wow, really? it’s like she’s right here

Lindsey 3/31/2016 2:11:51 PM
that voice carries

Darcy 3/31/2016 2:11:52 PM
Omg, I’m dying

Ann 3/31/2016 2:11:55 PM
it’s such a good voice.

Darcy 3/31/2016 2:11:56 PM
Oh Sammi, we love you

Sammi said she’d mail a copy of the policy.

Ann 3/31/2016 2:12:02 PM
is she gonna mail a copy? I couldn’t understand.

Joseph 3/31/2016 2:12:09 PM
WOW you all are mean people. I have written evidence for Sammi I was not a part of this

It appeared as if the call was going to end, so people started throwing out suggestions to keep it going longer. 

Lindsey 3/31/2016 2:12:11 PM
can you read her the terms and conditions sammi?

Brent 3/31/2016 2:12:28 PM
TELL HER ABOUT THE WEBSITE!

Sammi 3/31/2016 2:12:33 PM
nope

Ann  3/31/2016 2:12:57 PM
Brent is on my level

Things looked hopeful (for us, not Sammi) because Sammi said something about other levels of coverage. 

Lindsey 3/31/2016 2:12:58 PM
sammi maybe quote her at all possible levels of coverage though

Then it looked like it was ending again, so more suggestions for extending it. 

Joseph 3/31/2016 2:12:58 PM
Talk about vet bill inflation

Darcy 3/31/2016 2:13:10 PM
I can’t even handle this, I am dying

Lindsey 3/31/2016 2:13:12 PM
explain how discounts stack

Joseph 3/31/2016 2:13:18 PM
give her your exstention. don’t forget to do that
give her mine and I’m on non speaking terms with you

Milena 3/31/2016 2:13:22 PM
Did you talk about ORC??

Brent 3/31/2016 2:13:24 PM
ask her about doing an MHR

Lindsey 3/31/2016 2:13:39 PM
explain how we go about paying the vet directly

Ann 3/31/2016 2:14:04 PM
DON’T END IT

The call ended and everyone in the Call Center stood up and gave her a standing ovation.  It was one of the most amazing moments ever.

We also do things like this when people are working from home, but we got free food in the office:
Cheese DipAnd when people are out celebrating Mike’s 50th birthday and we are still working the late shift in the Call Center, they post this picture on Facebook:
Fun BirthdayAnd we respond with this:
Happy BirthdayOne of the reasons I love these people is because we all said “Make cranky faces” and both Peter and Joey are smiling happily.  How can you not love that?

We are also sorting different dogs breeds into Hogwarts Houses on our internal message board thing.  Why?  Because we are awesome.

 

Joshua Bell.

As you may have noticed, the past 7 or 8 blogs I have written have been about my trip to NYC and the various actors I am obsessed with.  I think I have determined that my hobby is actually meeting famous people I love.  Meeting David Duchovny is what did it – I have never met someone THAT famous and it gave me the bug to just keep meeting people and make them be my friends.  My mission is to interact with them and not make a fool of myself, which so far, has not happened.  The worst meeting (and by that I mean the best for me, but the worst for me acting like a normal human) was Joshua Bell. 

I have loved Joshua Bell since I was 14.  He made me want to play the violin, and I did play the violin, and I thought someday he and I will play our violins together and laugh and drink coffee and hang out.  What actually happened was that, as you’ve read in many many posts, my wrists went ballistic and I stopped playing by the time I was about 22. This did not deter my love for Joshua Bell.  

I have seen him in concert about 8 times, and every time it is like a religious revelation of some sort.   His music does not make me relax, like most people would say classical music does for them – I become so tense that I hold my breath, I clench my fists, I sit forward on my seat….his intensity pulls me right in and I am unable to take my eyes off him or relax and “enjoy” his performance.  Oh, I enjoy it.  But there is nothing casual about it.  When he plays it is like his soul comes out of his instrument, and I feel that so much that my soul thinks it is playing as well.  I THINK I just wrote classical music porn, I am not sure.

I love when he plays the flashy stuff – fast pieces, complicated things like Kreisler or his work with Edgar Meyer  – but that is a showcase of absolute talent.  The things that get me are the less flashy/impressive pieces where you can see – you can ACTUALLY SEE – his heart come out in the form of music.  At one concert he played Meditation de Thais as an encore, and I have no words to describe what it was like to be sitting in the front row and to hear/see/feel him play that live.  You might not recognize the name, but you will probably recognize the piece when you hear it.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OymnJbjM_Bc

There is one piece that Joshua Bell has recorded that made me cry.  I am not a crier.  I do not just cry.  I was listening to the Angels and Demons soundtrack, loudly, and this song came up and it made me just start crying.  Joshua Bell performed all the violin bits of the soundtrack.  For real, though, put your earbuds in and turn up the volume and let this invade your soul.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMyT-Zuuy3w

So I saw Joshua Bell last week, and got to meet him afterwards.  I have met him before.  He always signs stuff at a table after his plays.  In the past, though, it was a very quick moving line and I said “Hi Joshua Bell” and then was shoved along.  This time I ended up being last in line and I had nothing for him to sign – plus, I am not a big fan of autographs, it is not the same as an actual interaction or picture.  So there I am and the lady running the thing says “Do you want me to take your picture with him?” because I was by myself and I said yes and gave her my phone.  I then proceeded to have my interaction with Joshua Bell.  Here is how it went, and this is, unfortunately, not an exaggeration.  I think you can actually SEE my specialness and his patience in the pictures. Also, just in case you are reading this and you do not know me personally – I am a unique person.  I am a bit…spazzy.  I get nervous and I stutter and I repeat things and I rock back and forth and rub my hands together.  Sometimes I randomly clap at someone to show them I appreciate them.  I also interrupt and abruptly end conversations because I am not sure what to do. 

Me:  Hi Joshua Bell
JB:  Hi!
Me:  Um…you…there was a…it was…there was a piano bench….I was wondering why you prefer…instead of a chair…the piano bench?
Note – he was not only playing but also conducting, and when he sat with the orchestra, he sat on a piano bench instead of a chair.
JB:  I like the piano bench because I am a little bit higher up so everyone else can see me, since I am also conducting.
Me:  Oh that’s what I thought I played the violin because of you.
JB:  Oh really?  That is….
Me:  Yeah but I do not play anymore because you know wrist surgeries and wrists and I cannot hold a violin now.
JB:  Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry, I….
Me:  But it is ok because you play the violin and I have seen you a lot and I have been a fan since I was 14 and thank you because you are amazing.
JB:  Thank you so much, that’s so…
Me:  Ok bye.
JB:  Oh!  Um, good luck…with everything! IMG_3561 IMG_3562 IMG_3563 And here is the text conversation I had with Lindsey at intermission: and again, for those of you who do not know me personally, this is funny because I do not date, I do not like naked people, I never want people to be naked and it is not sarcasm when I say that my “impure thought” was that I wanted to hug Joshua Bell.  IMG_3568  

What’s Your Name, Man? Alexander Hamilton.

I have been trying SO HARD not to be an obsessed Hamilton person – but I am.  I won a lottery ticket for a Wednesday matinee.  I was actually supposed to leave NYC on Wednesday, but because of snow, I decided to stay one more night.  IT WAS MEANT TO BE.  I sat in the damn front row, I saw Lin-Manuel Miranda, I saw Christopher Jackson, I saw freaking Leslie Odom Jr and Daveed Diggs and Phillipa Soo and Renee Elise Goldsberry and Jasmine Cephas Jones and Oak and Anthony Ramos and freaking Jonathan Groff who is so hot it is unreal and last but not least, Alex Lacamoire who is the musical director but really, is as much of a cast member as anyone else.

This show changed theater for me and I cannot quite explain why.  Part of it is the lack of the fourth wall for a good bit of the show – King George is basically onstage with himself and the audience, and there are quite a few points where Lin-Manuel is eyeballing the audience and interacting with his face.  You know, I mean, he does not speak directly to the audience, really, but his face does.  This is what a proper theater critic would write.  “His face interacts with the audience”.

The talent is extraordinary – how they can say words so fast and move at the same time and make facial expressions…I mean, I suppose that is called “acting”, but they do it so well.  You listen to it on the cast recording, but then they do it right in front of you without messing up.

In my picture with Jonathan Groff, right as I was about to take it I said “Yay Vocal Adrenaline” which I thought was pretty hilarious, and he laughed, but then it also caused him to make a dorky face in our picture.  Which is fine, because even with a dorky face, he is hot.

Also, the picture of Lin-Manuel is a cheat picture – it was taken by someone else on another night, and she texted it to me.

Also, I told my 12 year old niece, who I have properly made obsessed with Hamilton as well, if she can perform Guns and Ships at speed, with no mistakes, I will give her $100.  She is working on it. I did not successfully get my 10 year old niece obsessed.

Here are the Hamilton Pictures.

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Disaster!

I already wrote about Disaster! the first night I saw it, but then I went and saw it two more times, so this is a post of all of those pictures.  Bertram, every time, refused to interact with anyone at the stage door.  Also, the pictures of Adam and the nun (Jennifer Simard) are different from the ones in my original post, even though they basically look the same.  I totally asked for selfies with them again.  Because…Adam.

In no particular order: Rachel York, Seth Rudetsky, Kerry Butler, Adam Pascal, Jennifer Simard and the guy who played the chef who told me “If we’re taking a picture, I insist we make Disaster faces” and he was really funny and nice but I do not know his name.

And I mean, I could have written the names in the order of the pictures, but I did not and I have a strict rule of not changing anything I write so that I am held accountable for everything I say no matter how crazy it is, so the order in which I wrote those names COULD have matched the order of the pictures but because of my journalistic integrity, they do not.  Or something like that.

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Fun Home.

So much for writing blogs the day they happen….

After I left my hotel room, I Ubered to the Fun Home theater.  I had 30 minutes.  I am very diligent about getting to theaters the minute the house opens, I do not like to leave room for being late.  So I had a big decision – walk to the Starbucks for my third trip of the day, or not?  I walked.  Ahhh, Starbucks.

I was in the first row at Fun Home, which is in a round theater.  This means my feet were on the set (well, they COULD have been, but I am polite and did not do that).

IMG_3284

And guess what – remember Producer Guy from Disaster?  HE SAT NEXT TO ME AGAIN!  Him and his two lady friends.  We chatted (he ate peanuts) and I asked “So what are we seeing tomorrow?” which I thought was very funny of me.  They were very nice again, and we chatted and it was fun.

Fun Home was fantastic.  It was funny, emotional, and pretty.  The set was fantastic.  Entire rooms would drop into the floor, and other spots on the floor would open and up would come an entire new room.  I feel bad for “Middle Alison” who had to sing an entire song in tighty whitey 70’s ill fitting underwear.  THAT is what makes an actress good – if she has the guts to do that, she is good in my book.

It is very surreal seeing people you have seen on tv right in front of you.  The girl who played Little Alison was recently on a “Broadway at the White House” thing;  Big Alison (or is it Old Alison?  Or Adult Alison?  I don’t know) was on the Tony’s.  And, of course, Michael Cerveris, who I saw in Sweeney Todd a million years ago.  He wore a toupee in this show and it was weird.

Here are my stalking pictures.  Some highlights of my comments to the actors:

“You have silver in your hair and it is on purpose.  Mine is not on purpose.  Yours is cooler”

“You are SO TINY!  Do you even have any idea how TINY you are??  You are just SO CUTE!  AND SO LITTLE!”

“How old are you?” “12” “My niece is 12 and you look nothing like her”

“I saw you on the White House thing and now you are right here in person, that is just weird, isn’t it?” (to a freaking 12 year old child)

All three kids told me they thought my hair is really cool, and I said “Thank you, I like all of your hairs, too.  You guys are rocking the 70’s look.”

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