Total Perspective Vortex
What really happened to Trillian? Theories abound, but you can see what she's really been up to on this blog. If you're looking for white mice, depressed robots, or the occasional Pan Galactic Gargleblaster you might be better served here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/hitchhikers/guide/.

Otherwise, hello, and welcome.
Mail Trillian here<





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Women, The Internet and You: Tips for Men Who Use Online Dating Sites
Part I, Your Profile and Email

Part II, Selecting a Potential Date

Part III, Your First Date!

Part IV, After the First Date. Now What?


"50 First Dates"






Don't just sit there angry and ranting, do something constructive.
In the words of Patti Smith (all hail Sister Patti): People have the power.
Contact your elected officials.

Don't be passive = get involved = make a difference.
Find Federal Officials
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or Search by State

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Contact The Media
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Words are cool.
The English language is complex, stupid, illogical, confounding, brilliant, beautiful, and fascinating.
Every now and then a word presents itself that typifies all the maddeningly gorgeousness of language. They're the words that give you pause for thought. "Who came up with that word? That's an interesting string of letters." Their beauty doesn't lie in their definition (although that can play a role). It's also not in their onomatopoeia, though that, too, can play a role. Their beauty is in the way their letters combine - the visual poetry of words - and/or the way they sound when spoken. We talk a lot about music we like to hear and art we like to see, so let's all hail the unsung heroes of communication, poetry and life: Words.
Here are some I like. (Not because of their definition.)

Quasar
Hyperbole
Amenable
Taciturn
Ennui
Prophetic
Tawdry
Hubris
Ethereal
Syzygy
Umbrageous
Twerp
Sluice
Omnipotent
Sanctuary
Malevolent
Maelstrom
Luddite
Subterfuge
Akimbo
Hoosegow
Dodecahedron
Visceral
Soupçon
Truculent
Vitriol
Mercurial
Kerfuffle
Sangfroid




























 







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Highlights from the Archives. Some favorite Trillian moments.

Void, Of Course: Eliminating Expectations and Emotions for a Better Way of Life

200i: iPodyssey

Macs Are from Venus, Windows is from Mars Can a relationship survive across platform barriers?
Jerking Off

Get A Job

Office Church Ladies: A Fieldguide

'Cause I'm a Blonde

True? Honestly? I think not.

A Good Day AND Funyuns?

The Easter Boy

Relationship in the Dumpster

Wedding Dress 4 Sale, Never Worn

Got Friends? Are You Sure? Take This Test

What About Class? Take This Test

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away, There Was a Really Bad Movie

May Your Alchemical Process be Complete. Rob Roy Recipe

Good Thing She's Not in a Good Mood Very Often (We Knew it Wouldn't Last)

What Do I Have to Do to Put You in this Car Today?

Of Mice and Me (Killer Cat Strikes in Local Woman's Apartment)

Trillian: The Musical (The Holiday Special)

LA Woman (I Love (Hate) LA)

It is my Cultureth
...and it would suit-eth me kindly to speak-eth in such mannered tongue

Slanglish

It's a Little Bit Me, It's a Little Bit You
Blogging a Legacy for Future Generations


Parents Visiting? Use Trillian's Mantra!

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Mod Hair Ken

Caught Blogging by Mom, Boss or Other

2003 Holiday Sho-Lo/Mullet Awards

Crullers, The Beer Store and Other Saintly Places

Come on Out of that Doghouse! It's a Sunshine Day!

"...I had no idea our CEO is actually Paula Abdul in disguise."

Lap Dance of the Cripple

Of Muppets and American Idols
"I said happier place, not crappier place!"

Finally Off Crutches, Trillian is Emancipated

Payless? Trillian? Shoe Confessions

Reality Wednesday: Extremely Local Pub

Reality Wednesday: Backstage Staging Zone (The Sweater Blog)

The Night Secret Agent Man Shot My Dad

To Dream the Impossible Dream: The Office Karaoke Party

Trillian Flies Economy Class (Prisoner, Cell Block H)

Trillian Visits the Village of the Damned, Takes Drugs, Becomes Delusional and Blogs Her Brains Out

Trillian's Parents are Powerless

Striptease for Spiders: A PETA Charity Event (People for the Ethical Treatment of Arachnids)

What's Up with Trillian and the Richard Branson Worship?

"Screw the French and their politics, give me their cheese!"


















 
Mail Trillian here





Trillian's Guide to the Galaxy gives 5 stars to these places in the Universe:
So much more than fun with fonts, this is a daily dose of visual poetry set against a backdrop of historical trivia. (C'mon, how can you not love a site that notes Wolfman Jack's birthday?!)

CellStories

Alliance for the Great Lakes


Hot, so cool, so cool we're hot.

Ig Nobel Awards

And you think YOU have the worst bridesmaid dress?

Coolest Jewelry in the Universe here (trust Trillian, she knows)

Red Tango

If your boss is an idiot, click here.

Evil Cat Full of Loathing.

Wildlife Works

Detroit Cobras


The Beachwood Reporter is better than not all, but most sex.



Hey! Why not check out some great art and illustration while you're here? Please? It won't hurt and it's free.

Shag

Kii Arens

Tim Biskup

Jeff Soto

Jotto




Get Fuzzy Now!
If you're not getting fuzzy, you should be. All hail Darby Conley. Yes, he's part of the Syndicate. But he's cool.





Who or what is HWNMNBS: (He Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken) Trillian's ex-fiancé. "Issues? What issues?"







Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


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Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Smart Girls
(A Trillian de-composition, to the tune of Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys)

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

Smart girls ain’t easy to love and they’re above playing games
And they’d rather read a book than subvert themselves
Kafka, Beethoven and foreign movies
And each night alone with her cat
And they won’t understand her and she won’t die young
She’ll probably just wither away

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

A smart girl loves creaky old libraries and lively debates
Exploring the world and art and witty reparteé
Men who don’t know her won’t like her and those who do
Sometimes won’t know how to take her
She’s rarely wrong but in desperation will play dumb
Because men hate that she’s always right

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains





























Life(?) of Trillian
Single/Zero

 
Thursday, May 20, 2010  
Oh God

Welll, here we go again.

I've been "luckier" than a lot of unemployed people. I've had interviews, even some second and third interviews. Some of the jobs I really, really, really, really, really wanted. Others...well...if I weren't unemployed I wouldn't have even applied let alone considered an interview. But. Unemployed people cannot be choosy. We have to leave personal job satisfaction issues behind. Intrinsic and esoteric personal fulfillment are not allowed. It doesn't matter if we want to do the job. It's not about us, it's about keeping a roof over our heads. I'm not saying I agree with that outlook, but, if the choices are: unemployment or a job you don't like, well, you take the job you don't like.


I had an interview for a job at a company that produces something in direct opposition to my personal ethics. It was a good job. I was highly qualified for it. But as I sat in the interview, and especially in the afterglow of it, I knew in my gut, heart, soul and mind that it was wrong for me. I just couldn't do it. Not a pride issue, but a personal ethics issue. Yes. Even more so than telemarketing. At least in telemarketing most of the products and services I am asked to represent aren't in conflict with my ethics. The job itself is a soul and dignity sapping experience, but the products and services? Meh, so far most of them are pretty decent. Not cheesy. No Sham Wows or scams.


Soooooooo, here's a new twist.

I had an interview for a fantastic job. The requirements, duties, experience, skills, creativity and professionalism required are an exact match to mine. I think I would really enjoy the job, I have a lot to offer them and they have a lot to offer me.

The interview went really well, I think. I offered lots of ideas about some of their upcoming projects, I even gave them the names of a few vendors and consultants who could help them with a few difficult projects. My would-be manager and I seemed to hit it off straight away, the HR people weren't gross, the attitude of the office was professional but seemed congenial and upbeat. The commute isn't easy, but it's not horrific, either. Great, right?! I mean, what more could I want? It's like the parting of the Red Sea, right? A win-win, right?

Okay. Well. This is me we're talking about. There's always a catch.

Where is this personal Utopian job mecca?

At a Christian based academic institution.

I know, I know, I hear your jaw dropping.

You can't believe that I even applied for a job there, and more to the point of awe, you're shocked that my application wasn't struck by lightening when it hit their HR department.

First off, I applied via a recruiter who kept me in the dark about the employer. (Which is one reason I do not like a lot of recruiters.) When I found out the employer was super interested in me, all I was told was that it was an academic institution. Which greatly appeals to me. I like school. I like that environment.

It wasn't until we were talking about an interview that I found out the religious foundation of the academic institution.

Okay.

They can't discriminate and so far no one's asked anything about my religious background or affiliation.

But. Should they? I think maybe they should know "about me." Should I tell them "about me?" Don't they have a right to know? Or is this really a don't ask, don't tell situation? I mean, legally they can't ask. But on a higher intellectual and ethical plane, shouldn't I offer the info? Isn't that the right thing to do? WWJD? I think we all know He'd be upfront and honest. Deception is a serious issue for Jesus.

As for my views, you know, I'm not against anyone else's spiritual or religious beliefs. I think religion is really nice for a lot of people. I've seen the good it can do for people and rock on to that. And in terms of philosophy and outlook on life and the world, I'm totally down with the ideals, the take-away points of Jesus. (I mean, come on, Accept. Forgive. Heal. Peace. Love. Duh.? That's so Jesus.) So I'm not opposed to working there. Religion doesn't offend me. Well. Okay. I have issues with the Catholic Church, but the core, the religion at its base, doesn't offend me. And yes, yes, I take offense at turning a profit in the name of Jesus. And okay, yes, any religion where any sort of mortal holier than thou judgment is allowed, tolerated or perpetuated, especially from the altar, well, yeah, I'm offended by that. Okay, fine, yes, some issues surrounding religion offend me. But I don't think that'll be a problem at this institution.

...but...is it hypocritical, offensive and morally wrong for me to even consider working at a Jesus based institution when I don't believe in Him? Am I intrinsically bad, wrong, to not just walk away from this opportunity?

Am I too beaten down, too desperate to see this in black and white clarity?

Labels:


9:43 AM

Tuesday, May 18, 2010  
Well, that was fun. Four hours of abuse. Niiiice. And worse, there weren't as many lonely old people eager to engage in conversation with anyone, even a telemarketer. One of my more seasoned coworkers (he's considered a long term employee, 8 months on the job) told me Sundays are when the senior citizens really want to gab. Apparently Sundays are long, lonely days for senior citizens.

Today I had a lot of hang ups. That's okay. I prefer hangups to profanity and threats.

The fuck yous and fuck offs not only take a toll on my self respect, they also have an impact on my job performance. We're supposed to try to "turn the anger around" and try to engage the customer in meaningful dialog about the product or service we are marketing.

Further, if I disconnect a call it's noted and counts against me, like a demerit. Meaning, a customer can say anything to us and it's "better" for us telemarketers if we sit there and take it until they hang up.

Which means we take a lot of abuse to keep our low paying crappy job.

Today I had a guy try to engage me in phone sex. "Hello, Mr. Jackoff?"

"Yes?"

"Our records indicate you bought a Widget 9000. Are you happy with your Widget 9000?"

"Yes. You sound sexy."

"Great! Mr. Jackoff, were you aware there is an add-on device available for the Widget 9000?"

"No. Tell me about it, baby."

"Great! The Hoozit 2200 works with your Widget 9000. You may have noticed the adapter ring on your Widget 9000. The Hoozit 2200 easily and quickly attaches to your Widget 9000 via that adapter ring."

"Ooooo, sexy, yeah, baby, tell me more, you sound really hot."

"The Hoozit 2200 is reasonably priced and will enhance the performance of your Widget 9000. You'll see increased capacity and more efficient run times, saving you hundreds of dollars over the course of a year of regular use of your Widget 9000."

"I want to lick your pussy and give you a rim job."

"Great! Would you like to take advantage of our special offer today? You can purchase the Hoozit 2200 for $29.98. That's a 43% savings off the retail price."

"What'll it cost me to fuck you in the ass?"

"If you choose to take advantage of this great offer I can include an AC adapter at no extra charge. Does this sound like something you'd be interested in today, Mr. Jackoff?"

"Oh God yes, baby, give it to me."

"Great! I'll just need some information from you. Do you have a credit card handy?"

"Fuck you, bitch, fuck you and your hot wet cunt, you know you fucking want me."

"You can also order online. I'll need your email address and will send you the discount code."

"Fuck me, oh god fuck me, bitch, fuck me. (groan, sigh)"

"Mr. Jackoff? We require a credit card number or email address to complete this Hoozit 2200 offer. Mr. Jackoff? Hello?"

Yep. That's what I do. That's my job. Why didn't I hang up on him? Because it counts against me to hang up on him and sooner or later he'll hang up on me, so, it's in my best job interest to endure the abuse, the weirdness, the threats, the sex...it's all about them. And the longer we engage the customer, the longer the call time, the higher mark we get. So at the end of the month when our numbers are tallied the longer we keep customers on the line, the better our review. The better the review, the sooner you can move up and into telesurveying.

So. That's why I endure the profanity, the sad lonely old people, the phone sex guy. (And, I have his phone number, anyone think I should call him? I mean, hey, he thinks I sound hot.) 

And you wonder why I am losing self respect? Why I'm willing, hoping, to lose self control? Why I'm trying to drink more and eat less? Why I don't care about myself, my health or my life? Look at what I'm doing for $8/hour. Phone sex operators earn more than that - and based on that caller today I'm thinking maybe I should consider it. At least there the callers call me wanting something and when they tell me to fuck off they mean it literally and not as an insult.

Wait.

I'm taking home $19.15 for five hours of abuse and Bristol Palin's getting $15K - $30K for one speech?

"...she's interested in expanding her message beyond teen pregnancy to include her experiences on the campaign trail and in the media spotlight; her parenting approach; and her outlook on life."

And she has an outlook on life worth paying $15K - $30K to hear? Can't she just Tweet her outlook on life like every other 19-year-old?

Public service is one thing, from a marketing standpoint Bristol would be PSA gold, if she truly volunteered, gratis, her voice and image. I'd actually back that plan.

But. Turning a profit, a huge profit, from her mom's "fame" and her teen pregnancy? Huh? What point am I missing in this?

Millions of educated, professionally experienced, intelligent, creative, insightful people are jobless and struggling to exist on $8 - $10/hour jobs (if they're lucky enough to land a job at all) and Bristol Palin is getting $15K - $30K/speech?

I've lived too long.

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4:09 PM

Monday, May 17, 2010  
Well, here we go! I think I was onto something with the self control thing. My first day of telemarketing was brutal. The verbal abuse I endured was beyond what I expected (and I expected it to be pretty bad). We're told in training to not take it personally. And I don't.

But the thing is, I hate what I'm doing. I lost respect for myself the second I agreed to take the job. There's no way to dignify or rationalize or excuse what I'm doing. In terms of professional integrity I might as well be working on a stripper pole. I can't ever put this job on my resume and if anyone in my professional circle found out I'm doing it I'd not only be ridiculed and dismissed as a washed up has been, I'd be seen as a traitor lacking professional ethics. A few former colleagues might feel sorry for me and try to intervene, but what can they do? They're unemployed or working under the threat of it, too. They don't have any practical solutions, either. The most they can do is offer pity and hope that it never happens to them. "Did you hear about Trillian? *telemarketing*"
"Oh my God, not Trillian! Really?!"
"Yep. I heard it's true."
"Wow. Such a shame. I liked her. I never thought she'd have to sink that low."
"Just goes to show, it can happen to anyone. I had a roommate in college who did it, nice girl from a poor family, worked her way through college doing it. She got off the phone and into a real job, but still, she never really lived it down. You can't erase the experience. It's too degrading."

One day on the job and I'm already hating myself for it.

Self respect: Going...going...going...

Self control: Waning...waning...waning...

It's already easier to persuade myself to drink more than I should. I started drinking at 4 this afternoon. Two bottles of wine later I'm still not numb enough to forget that I have to go back to work tomorrow.

Which is weird because I haven't eaten much so you'd think I'd be more drunk.

Yep, control over food is slipping, just like old times. Amazing how all the years of discipline and emotional exercise over food is just vanishing. Kinda scary. I thought I conquered it but nope, it's just so much easier to not eat. I had some Cheez Its yesterday and a tomato and some carrots today. And those two bottles of wine. I don't want to eat and with my self respect waning it's difficult to convince myself that my health is worth the effort. Why? Why care about what happens to me when the only job I can get is one where people hate me and swear at me and yell at me and threaten to kick my ass?

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9:08 PM

Sunday, May 16, 2010  
I just worked my first shift as a paid telemarketer! Woo hoo!

Five hours of abuse! With a 20 minute break! After taxes I earned $25.15!!!

I can't believe they're paying me for so much fun!

I'm trying calculate how many times in my life I've been told to fuck off and how many times someone's said "fuck you" to me. I'm trying to recall and tally the times I've been told to get a life/real job. I'm starting to realize that I've either led a very sheltered life or I've been insulted by a higher caliber of people, or at least people with broader, more concise vocabularies than the people attached to the phone numbers on my call list.

I honestly don't recall being told to fuck off too many times. Maybe 15, 20? Mainly by drunk guys at bars and concerts. I'm not offended, really. We're told in training to not take any insults or threats personally. So I don't. But. Still. You have to have thick skin to do this job.



In training we were told a lot of people never return after their first day of live phone work. I understand why. I knew there'd be some abuse, I mean, telemarketers are universally hated. And with good reason.

But. I didn't realize how much seething venom we invoke. One woman told me if she could spit through the phone she'd hock an infected phlegmy loogie at me. I haven't heard the term hock a loogie in a really long time, so, you know, thanks for that trip down memory lane. That's how I make it bearable. I disassociate myself from the job and the people I'm calling. Take the things they say to me as interesting responses, not as personal attacks.

When it's clear the call is going nowhere I let my imagination run with it. I try to envision the person behind the insults. Visualize them, their surroundings, their backstory. But. I don't make excuses for them. There is no excuse for the profanity and threats. (Oh yes, threats - one guy threatened to kick my ass then shove his boot up my throat so I could never call anyone again,  another guy said he'd burn down our office building and everyone in it if anyone called him again. I'm pretty sure these people have no way of finding out where we're based, our trainers and supervisors say we're safe and secure, but, I am slightly concerned about it.) I mean, just hang up. Just hang up the phone. Well, first, put your phone number on the Do Not Call list. Then just hang up. The profanity, the insults, the threats...they're not necessary. No one I've met at my company wants to be a telemarketer. We're all desperate. And for the most part, we're all decent, normal human beings who, in real life, would never inspire profanity, insults or threats. And, as far as getting a life/job? Yeah. Most of us had lives and jobs until we were laid off and couldn't find new jobs and then our lives started to suck and we got desperate. We're doing this because we can't find other jobs. But make no mistake, this is a real job. It's the hardest $25.15 I've ever earned.

Why? Because of the effect on my self respect. There's no way to calculate that cost until more results are in regarding the effect this has on me and the rest of my life. But the mere fact that I'm telemarketing at all has already sapped a lot of self respect. I don't take it personally, but, I'm guessing there's a price to pay for repeatedly being told to fuck off. And the cost is most likely a lot more than $25.15.

Oh, and, minus the $6 commute, so, actually, I'm at a net profit of $19.15.

All I ask is that you think about this the next time a telemarketer calls you. Just hang up. Don't curse them out, insult them or threaten them. Don't rub salt in the gaping wound hole where their self respect used to be.

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7:10 PM

 
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