SOFT RIOT

Bridging another gap in this on-going recorded journal, the subject is switched again to focus on a place where a lot of time has been spent for the first half of this year. My skills in the visual world have landed me a segment of desk in a large open room with dozens of other people doing similar tasks on computer interfaces. Above shines a checkboard pattern of unapologetically cold fluorescent light bulbs, illuminating islands of workstations that exist for a purely functional nature, which the exception of minute personal adornments within those work areas to add a spluttering bit of life to them.

Not that there should be too much complaint, the colleagues are somewhat relaxed and congenial — many of them allowing small windows into their other life – their real life – that exists beneath the pressed white shirts and black polished shoes that may be interesting. These places of employment bring all different personalities and mindsets to a unilateral level to some degree. Who knows what lurks behind the facade one omits as a smoke screen for those eight or nine hours in this technological lab? Maybe she stays up late and writes short stories about some vague oncoming apocalypse? Maybe he spends all weekends high on designer street drugs to the relentless pounding of Dutch gabber techno? Maybe she spends evenings working on twisted, impulsive action paintings? Maybe he spends weekends sabotaging football matches?

It’s hard to say; and I don’t really have the emotional investment to find out these individual situations.

Across from me in a 10 o’clock position sits a small group of phone sales people. They ashew the more business like formalities and group themselves as more of a ruddy bunch — the type that go on messy pub crawls after the Friday shift. Their intelligence and ultimately their cynicism crack through their pre-written telephone scripts and sitting within an earshot of hearing them work, I hear moments of unbelievable humour and genius. Some of it border-line shocking, as much as dealing with customer service is concerned. They do have skills and I think they can read the humour of the receiver on the other end.

Without a discreet recording device to document these moments, I’ve written selected quotes down over the months. Here’s a selection for your enjoyment:

“Is this Steve, the Portuguese Jew’s house?”

“So you’re an unsafe driver?”
“Oh! You’re a race car driver! My mistake.”

“Ok, thanks again and have a nice life.”

“My name’s Adrian, ya know — like Rocky’s girlfriend.”

“Well, I can wait until you finish cutting that person’s bonnet…”

“That’s good because I’m inviting you to not advertise with us.”

“I wouldn’t stay pissed off, it’ll be there in two hours.”

“Would you hold on the line, baby, for a few minutes?”

“I don’t believe you sir… I believe that you’re likely downing a bottle of gin right now…”

“Hello, is that Mrs. Jackson?… Hooo! (In the style of of the hip-hop duo, Outkast).”

“I’m like the Boogieman that comes in your dreams, telling you to by adverts. They pay me to make you buy adverts. I’ll be forever there, chasing you within your dreams…”

“Hello, is this Kim Jong Un? I’m calling from the United Nations regarding the nuclear rocket you’re about to launch. You’ve been given the OK only if you place an advert with us… Oh, so no rocket then?”

“Thanks for your time and blessings to you, my child…”

“Hello, is a Doctor Kang there?”

“How was you weekend sir? Did you meet up with any controversial liaisons?”

“So you have lived here for over 150 years with your menopause…”

“By the tone of your voice I can ascertain that you are probably a dwarf…”