Thursday, February 24, 2011

I taste a liquor never brewed...

an excerpt:

Inebriate of air am I,
And debauchee of dew,
Reeling, through endless summer days,
From inns of molten blue.

-Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Florida Department of What the F*** Do You Want?!

I like to think that I can keep my cool in stressful situations, but I will admit that once my buttons have been pushed a time too many, I just can't hold it in. Case in point: I am the only full time zero operator for the Florida Dept. of Health. When you call the DOH for a question about your paramedic license, I'm the first person you talk to. When you call us to complain about the mold in your apartment, I'm the one who answers "How may I direct your call?" When you call to tell someone about the botched plastic surgery your wife got, or how they're going to take out half of your small intestine if you don't get your meds and you'll have to wear diapers for the rest of your life (and you're only 26! Wahhh!), I'm the miserable soul who then transfers you to the office that ACTUALLY deals with whatever the hell your problem is. I'm required to know *just enough* about all of these unrelated health issues to get you to the right person. That means I don't have your special file in front of me, I don't know the Medicaid office's P.O. box and I sure as hell am not required to google it for you. Seriously, someone actually said to me (after trying to transfer them to the office in question for about 5 minutes...) "You don't have a book or something with addresses in it... you could AT LEAST google it for me..." No sir, I don't have a special book where the answers to everyone's questions magically appear; and if you think I'm going to google an address for your lazy ass after you were that rude to me, you've got another thing comin' to ya.
And for those who call and ask for "Sarah or Sally... something with an S, she sits next to Bob the guy who handles, uh... ya know, Sally, imblex testing, implex..." (it's NCLEX - National Council Licensure EXamination testing and I still would need to know what type of license it's for) I could never know enough to get that guy to the right person.
I wonder, are there just more stupid people in this world than I assume? And are all of them given DOH's main line and told, "Here, this is your own personal complaint hotline! Call it any time to blather on about nothing in particular!"? Is it so hard to understand that when you call a state agency, the first person you talk to is not going to be *the* person you need to talk to?
All I ask for is a little patience and sympathy. I try my hardest to help people who are confused, to transfer people swiftly to the department they need to talk to and to find alternatives when the person they need mysteriously isn't taking any calls and doesn't have their voicemail set up. In Tallahassee alone we have about 10 different office buildings; I don't even know how many we have total in Florida. My directory has thousands of names and each person is responsible for updating their own contact info.
In the end, sometimes the only solution is to laugh. Like last week when an elderly chap called and asked to speak to Gloria. I asked if he had her last name or what department she was in. "No! Gloria! She works in your office! Gloria!" he yelled at me. I told him we have many different offices and that if he told me what it was in regards to maybe I could get him to that office. "Her name is Gloria! I want to speak to her! Gloria!!" We went back and forth for a few minutes during which he insisted that I just yell out her name because she is in my office (and then he yelled "Gloria!" at me again I assume as demonstration). I was tempted to just scream "Gloria!" and then tell him oops sorry she must not be here today, but I didn't, and eventually he told me he'd call me back and hung up on me.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I like coffee, I like tea...

Friendly Starbucks baristas make my mornings. Seriously, theirs is a craft that non-caffeine-addicts just don't understand. And this morning they tell me that there is a new size, the trenta?! At about 300 ml more than the already large venti, I don't think my stomach could even handle it. But I know one day I'll enter Starbucks tired, perhaps pms-ing, in great need of a pick me up and I just won't be able to say no...

Monday, February 21, 2011


Today I sit at my desk totally at a loss as to what to do with my life. Post-graduation the only concrete option seems to be to go back to school, but that's not happening so soon after regaining intellectual freedom. To be able to read any book I want is just to delicious to give up. I can savor authors for hours upon hours now, reread passages until they echo between my ears and never give a though to writing a, dare I say the word... paper. It must be good to take a break from producing work to let ideas saturate the mind. I just want to devour book after book. If only I could get paid to read.

I'm reminded of this passage from one of my favs:
"I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet." ~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, Chapter 7

I can see so many lives I want to live, so many adventures to have. How do we ever decide what to become? Nietzsche is said to have liked the motto "Become what you are." I take this to mean that you should follow your intuition. My intuitions take me in twenty different directions every day. Become what you are. Become a cupcake maker, become a ukulele player, become a philosophy professor. Become what you are...