Friday, February 8, 2013

Something New....

As the discerning (and those with actual eyes) will no doubt notice, my layout has changed. A long time friend who, every time he visits my blog winces over the Internet. Today, our convo went something like this:

Him: What was your blog again?

Me: (website)

Him: (redacted)! We've got to get you updated! Your colors are seizure inducing!

Me: I like them...they remind me of a watermelon.

Him: seizuremelon...

I rather liked my amateur efforts at a header. I found it fresh and bright, and I especially liked my renaissance painting graphic of the noble looking lady stooping to listen at the tapestries.

That said, once he put the name of seizuremelon to it, I knew that he was right. So, what you see are his efforts. The lady up top does not have my brown eyes (which I like to think of as "coffee-colored"), but she does do a good job of inviting you in on tidbits of interest. I would have hired her.

If I held auditions.

If I had money.

So, let me know what you think!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

People These Days

I think most of you know by now that I reside in the general area of California's capitol, so I'll relate the following phone conversation with the real places mentioned.

Me: Veterinary Hospital, this is Redgirl!

Her: Hi. I just brought my dog home from surgery today, and we didn't think she'd need any pain medication, but now she's hurting and we probably need it now.

Uh huh. When we want to give you pain meds, you should probably accept, especially after surgery. That's when we cut into the body, you know....

Me: Okay, and which doctor did you see?

Her: Dr. Binton.

Ah, not one of our docs. Yet again, I feel like I have been punk'd. For me, this is the feeling when someone calls us and acts as if they're our client. This confuses me until, at some point in the conversation, they mention something that clues me in on the following scenario: they've called their vet and hear our name mentioned on the answering machine for emergencies. Then I get to explain that we can't give them pain medication, look up records left on their doctors' desks, or clarify what their doctor proscribed to a pharmacist. 

We are there for one reason. Something horrible has happened, and you need your pet seen. We are specialty and we are open for you to come in. That's it.I don't have access to the entire database for all the hospitals in the regional area. No, we are not an answering service. Yes, I'm real person. 

Me: Which hospital was the surgery done at?

Her: Sacramento.


Me: I'm sorry, which hospital?

Her: Elk Grove.

What? What's going on here? You are providing no information whatsoever. You are just naming cities. This is not helpful. Try again. But not by naming random cities. Try to answer the question.

Me: The hospital

Her: Oh. Ummm.... Elk Grove (Aaaaaahhhh) and Florin. That one.

Me: I see. Well, (commence explaining why I can't provide random people with services if we haven't seen their pet and random medication on their say-so).

This was laughably frustrating because I suppose it didn't really matter what hospital she had the surgery done at, we couldn't just proscribe medication without an exam.

What gets me annoyed --and I've touched on this before-- is when the following occurs in some flavor or other:
Oh no, really. Go ahead. I'll wait. 

Them: Can you give me your address?

Me: It's 702--

Them: WAIT!! I need to find something to write with!!

Really? There was nothing else you needed. You called solely to ask for a piece of information including numbers and the alphabet. I find it hard to believe that it was when I said the "2" that you realized, surprisingly, that you wouldn't be able to retain the info. The human brain can retain around 7 pieces of discrete information. This is why telephone numbers are seven digits long.

I blame the digital age. No one has to practice remembering telephone numbers any more. They just hit "call Mom" in their phones.

I guess it all dials (haha...dials) down to a public service announcement.

I understand if you're stressed when you call me. If you don't have that excuse, don't be an idiot.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Singing...when you don't know the words

You walk in to the sit down...and instead of giving you a book with music, some bright person has the idea to just project words on a blank wall.

Words are great...words are like a poem, right?

 The voice kind of goes up and down when we talk, but that's just normal stuff. HERE, you are expected to have the background knowledge to walk in, look at words and say in your head (or to the person next to you, that's good, too) "Hey, I know this song!! It starts with a half note on B and is in the key of C. And when the chorus starts, it goes down to the 5th, and then the minor 3rd...."

This is the same sort of problem you run into at a bus stop in South Sacramento....or at a vet hospital.

In South Sac, it can sometimes be hard the decipher a person's sex when presented with shaggy hair, no figure, a rawboned face and clothing leaning towards anything that can be salvaged from a dumpster.

There's usually also some withdrawel twitching as well.

At a vet hospital, gender is very important to our clients.

Not just their gender either, but their pets' gender as well. This is understandable, as if you are going in to do a neuter (the general term for either sex), you want you vet's office to be aware of which parts they are cutting out. I suppose it would then be unsettling to hear your dog referred to as a he instead of a she in these circumstances.

The problem is when the client comes with a dog you've never seen before and they expect you to know these details. They also get angry when you don't or you try to assume.

Me: What's his name?

Them: (derisive glare) It's a girl. >:(

What do they want me to say?

Me: What's its name?

That hardly sounds any better. Now I'm equating their dog to a toaster or other genderless appliance.

Good Toaster! You good Toaster, you!

This puts me in the unenviable postion of trying to sound appropriatly adoring and gushy about their pet while avoiding the use of a prounound.

Me: I hope....Gigi feels better! If...Gigi has problems, don't hesitate to call!

Now I sound like a soap opera. If you've ever seen an episode, you'll know what I'm talking about.

In regular conversation, you may get someone saying something like this:

Gosh! I can't believe she drove her car off that cliff! If Mom hadn't been sober that night and able to go to the hospital and let Uncle know she was there, she may have died!

In a soap opera, everyone has to be named because the plots are so ridiculous, and most watchers have no idea who's who:

Gosh! I can't believe Margaret drove her car off ShoresideCliff! If Glenda hadn't been sober that night and able to go to General Memorial Hospital and let Uncle Carson know Margaret was there, Margaret may have died!

It just feels awkward.

What's even worse is that we have tall counters and can't always see the I don't even know if it's a dog or a cat. I'm still working at the "be nice and sensitive because it's my job" thing, so more often than I'd like, I say:

"What kind of animal do you have?"

People don't like to hear their pet called an animal. Go figure.

Saying "What the name of your little one?" can work...unless the "little one" is a 150lb Saint Bernanrd. Then you have to play it off with "ha ha haaaa....not so little then huh." and try and smile your way out of it.

What's the most annoying, Fifi and I have decided, is the Client who names their dog something androgenous in the worst way. They take wicked pleasure in watching you struggle and inwardly cackle in glee when you get it wrong and they can pounce.

Me: What's this one's name?

Them: Taco.

Me: (thinking furiously and makes a pained guess) He's so cute!

Them: (smirking I am sure) Taco's a girl (you numbscull, can't you see the delicate angle of her jaw????)


You can't win.