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    Saturday, December 31, 2005

    No resolutions or predictions for 2006

    It has been a very interesting year, 2005. I'm happy to say it's over.

    I have no resolutions or predictions for 2006, because I can't see the future. Maybe if I had a crystal ball....

    Which reminds me. I wrote a story in September of 2004 that ended up being used on the blog of Daniel Gray. He was soliciting stories from readers about funny customer service experiences. I submitted this true story, and he told me that there was great response. So I decided to start my OWN blog. So I have him to thank for giving me the push to publish my writing online.

    Here is the story, which I believe is a great post to end the 2005 edition of this blog. I hope it makes you laugh.

    So I've been working as a customer service rep for perhaps two weeks at my new job. The products that we sell are new age and metaphysical gifts, like tarot cards and feng shui kits. Mostly we sold them to stores, who then in turn, mark them up and sell to the public.

    Some people who start up new businesses think "hey, great, I'll start up my own massage/yoga/meditation studio and have stuff for people to buy, too," with absolutely no business plan or idea of what they are getting into. Some people want to 'test' the objects they buy first, before setting them out for sale.

    Such was the case with one buyer. She calls one day, (remember that this is approximately two weeks after I get the job) to tell me that there's a problem with one of the items she's bought from us.

    "Which item exactly?" I ask.

    "The 40mm crystal ball," she says. "It's broken."

    "You mean it shattered during shipping?"

    "No, it's just broken." She sounds very disappointed.

    "Are there any cracks or impact marks on it?" I ask, trying to figure out if it was indeed damaged during shipping, or if she just rolled it off a counter onto a hard surface...

    "No, it LOOKS fine. But it doesn't work."

    "How does it 'not work'?" I say. I'm starting to get the idea, though.

    "Well, I'm just not seeing very clear images through it."

    Keep in mind that while I think that some of the products that we sell are kind of pretty, or interesting, I in no my actually practice any type of divination, witchcraft or feng shui. But I've learned all these principles on paper, as part of my training.

    "Hmmm." I say, buying time. I really want to tell her to adjust the antenna or something snide, and I start giggling. I need to put her on hold, NOW.

    "Can I put you on hold for a moment while I consult my runes?" I ask.

    "Sure" she says, and I hit the hold button. There's about 4 other people in the office that take these type of calls, and they all seem to look at me at once to say "What's going on?"

    I beg my boss to take the call. He says no, it'll be good training for me, but he'll be happy to listen in. Great. Thanks.

    I've left her on hold as long as I can. Of course, I'm the center of attention in the office now. No pressure.

    "Ma'am?" I say, "Sorry about the wait. You know how the runes are sometimes. I'm going to ask you a bunch of questions, and we'll see if we can track down where the crystal ball got clouded. OK?"


    "Was the shipping box damaged or did it have any strange marks on it?"


    "And all of the other products in the shipment are fine, right?"


    "What did you do with the crystal ball immediately after you unpacked it?"

    "I set it out on the table with the rest of the stuff from the box, and left it there, ummm, overnight I think. Was that OK?"

    "Well, yes, but think of it this way. All these items have energies that were cooped up in a dark, cramped shipping box for a few days, and then you set them free, only to leave them alone on a strange surface alone overnight. They were probably a little scared."

    "Really?" She sounds genuinely concerned, like she just heard a friend is really sick.

    "Crystal balls are a divination tool, so they see and record impressions of other energies nearby. Or far away, if you know how to focus it."

    "So I can't see anything because the ball is picking up on all the other stuff in the box that was scared from the journey in the dark box, AND the fact that I left them out alone overnight? Won't this happen EVERY time I order something from you, then?"

    "I can tell you how to purify your ball, so that it will be able to focus on what you need, and not be confused by random energies. First, when you unpack any orders, make sure you've got a nice dark cloth to put the items on before you price them or put them out in your store. This gives them time to relax from the shipping process."

    "Oooh. I've got about 3 yards of black velvet I was going to use for a display. Will that work?"

    "That's perfect," I say. I notice that everyone in the office is totally engrossed in my call. My boss has the headset that allows him to listen in on both sides of the conversation as well. Great.

    "Now, for the ball," I continue, turning my back to the office so I can concentrate without cracking up. "Do you have any salt?" I ask.

    "Yes, will table salt do?"

    "That's fine. Get yourself a clear glass bowl, deep enough that the ball cannot be seen over the top. Put a little salt in the bottom, then add the ball. Keep adding more salt until the whole ball is completely covered. Then, put the bowl in a sunny windowsill, or on your porch, or somewhere the energy of the sun can filter through the microscopic crystalline structure of the salt. Leave it there for three days."

    "Ok, salt, glass bowl, sun, three days. Am I forgetting anything?"

    "That should do it for the material components," I say, remembering my D & D lingo, "but you'll also want to tell the ball what you're doing, so that it understands that this is a cleaning ritual and not a punishment. Ask the ball to relax and allow the sun to heal it and free it of the confusing imagery. You'll also want to be requesting its' permission in the future to view through it, so this is your chance to start a good relationship with it."

    "Wow. I had no idea crystal gazing was so much work. Thanks so much for your help. I'll let you know how it goes."

    "I would LOVE to hear from you again." I say, and I hear the rest of the office laugh in unison. "Anything else you need today?"

    "No, thanks so much! Bye!"

    "Have a great day," I say, and slump in my chair. That was harder that running a marathon. Clapping. Who's clapping? My boss says "You made that up. That's not in the training."

    Crap. He's right. "Am I fired?"

    "No. That was exactly what I would have said."

    "Cool. Do I get a raise?"

    "Not yet. Keep answering calls like that, and you will."

    Incidentally, she called back a couple of weeks later to rave about how well her ball worked now. And I got a raise.

    1 comment:

    1. Okay, so *where* are you working?



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