Heineken and Hot Sauce

Bet you never thought it would take you this long to get your shit together
Bet you never knew it would take this long to improve
Bet you never knew you’d be a permanent work in progress never progressing
Looking for the beautiful
Trying to find it like the right words
Searching for it like lost keys in the bottom of baggage that you shouldn’t be carrying in the first place.
Last in place
In a race to no where
Battling with figments of your imagination
An imagination that never works when you want it to but holds you hostage
In a pool of pussies who never put their best foot forward because they didn’t want anyone to see their knock off no name shoes

image

By Shaun Nickens

Advertisements

Etymology of Man

When my significant other and I argue, one of the phrases we use the most is, “Respect my growth!” We say that because we want recognition for the improvements that have been made over the course of the relationship. There are things he’s done in order to be better for me and there are things I have done in order to be better for him. Growth is a funny kind of thing. The big problem with growth is it is relative to the person who is actively growing in thought or maybe just in psyche. When I am long gone and the etymology of me is studied…(my history, my origin, how I was formed, and how I changed over time)…who knows what the end synopsis will be?
image

I took a technology course for Summer Session 1 at Stony Brook University and one of the things that resonated with me was: “Information is data presented in a meaningful context. Frequency and severity have a lot to do with the way information is processed. Things have to be done systematically so that everyone can benefit.” THINGS HAVE TO BE DONE SYSTEMATICALLY SO THAT EVERYONE CAN BENEFIT. The course was about technology in the workplace but the things I learned are relevant to everyday life. If I was just disciplined enough to channel skills in the right direction, then I would be more productive and more successful in terms of communication.

Arguments, fights, disagreements, absence, and challenges all contribute to growth. Though they may be painful or uncomfortable at the time, they are necessary in “forming” you and/or your relationships with others. When you’re sick, you appreciate the person who says, “When I was sick, ______ helped.” You appreciate it even more if that person hands you a bottle of what their remedy was or sends you a link to a useful web site. Sympathy and empathy build relationships and contribute to the “formation” of that mutualism. There are organisms in marine biology that survive on mutualism. They need another organisms production or even waste in order to fuel their own life source. As humans, we are cocky. How many times have you heard someone say, “I don’t need anyone… I am self-made” or some variation of that? Yet, if we were a fly on the wall throughout their development I’m sure we would see how untrue that is. We would see the friend or family member that passed away or deserted them and the thick wall that they put up after that occurrence. We would see the people whose efforts are the foundation of their self-proclaimed “self-made” empire.
image

I started a gratitude journal today. I can see you shaking your head and rolling your eyes. I am in no way promulgating self-help techniques. For those who know me, I’m not exactly the poster child for ALWAYS being calm, relaxed or even disciplined. I had to find something that I could implement in my daily life to force me to revisit positivity. See, I begin my day with prayer and affirmations. By the time 5-6pm comes around…I’m miserable. Work, traffic, bill collectors, etc have already put a damper on my mood. It’s important to stay in the right head space. When I was young and in martial arts training, my uncle would say, “Attitude determines approach and approach determines whether you pass or fail.” Somewhere over the years, I abandoned that way of thinking and I suffered for it. Consequently, my loved ones have suffered for it too.

I invite you to comment (I approve all comments before they are posted to the site so you may not see it right away.) I invite you to take this gratitude journey with me. I will be posting the things I am grateful for every couple of days. Most importantly I invite you to critically think about things you have said that may have been hurtful. Think about things you may have done. Do not beat upon your spirit for those actions. Just remember that you still have a chance to rectify and edit who you are and your behaviors. You can’t always backspace or delete but you can modify! Send a thank you note today or just call someone you haven’t spoken to in awhile. Better yet, give yourself some appreciation today!! I’m looking forward to seeing how you systematically structure your emotional information system.

By:SMN

How Do I Begin? 12.10.07

How do I begin?
What do I say?
If I was an artist, what would my background be?
How about a landscape with trees and peppermint clouds that you can taste before you see?
If I were a true musician, what would I play?
I’d glue my fingers to the keys and make the audience sit and watch me stationary on a rotating stage.
If I was a murderer, I’d perform a double homicide on Ms.Phony and Hypocrisy.
If I was a mother, I’d birth individuality.
I’d breastfeed it attitude and responsibility, from each titty.

How do I begin?
Do I talk about the kin that built me up or screwed me up?
How do you love a lyricist whose greatest worth is her words?
How do I begin to give oxygen to a sheet of paper?
How can a woman neutralize the judgement of man before she allows it to shape her?
How do I begin to describe the warfare within a wordsmith?

By: Shaun “ControversE” Nickens
2007

“Is There Anything Else I Can Do To Assist You?” (Shout Out to Customer Service Professionals)

Dedicated to my grandmother and my uncle who both retired from the phone company

Every writer has one article,post,paper, entry, song, etcetera that could end their relationship, terminate a friendship or land them on the unemployment line. This is that post! Oh well… *#yolo!

I am writing this as a tribute to my ex co-workers, current co-workers, and telephonic customer service representatives everywhere! Clock out personal. Take your headsets off, put the coffee/ red bull/ 5 hour energy down and read this for 3-4 minutes. Consider it your meditation for the day!

This post is a tribute to customer service representatives who work in call center environments. It is time that we shed some light on a typical workday:

Get up, bathe, throw clean clothes on (no need to dress too extravagant because our clients never see us), put your hair into a headset friendly style (my Afro doesn’t do too well in this category) , commute, grab something portable for breakfast (usually this is caffeine of some sort and a carbohydrate like a bagel and cream cheese) then clock in right on time for your shift. Usually I’m exhausted before my day even begins! I wake up tired. I dream fatigue! However, here’s the thing: When you call in to your phone company because you were charged for 12 extra minutes on your cellular bill and you’re irate and you “want to speak to a manager” or you call your cable company because it’s a hail storm outside and you can’t watch Love and Hip Hop and you’re irate and you “want to speak to manager ” or you call your auto insurance company because you had a DWI and your rate went up and you’re irate and you “want to speak to a manager” …It is my job to sound like Minnie Mouse on the phone and tell you how I live to satisfy your needs because I “appreciate your business.”

The problem with that is the fact that I am indeed…contrary to the customers and employers belief …I am a human being. That means that I more than likely have a family, some responsibilities, a partner, dreams, and a healthy dose of dysfunction. I am not allowed to deal with those basic volatile needs because my job is to cater to the customer. However, this post is an appeal to a customers better nature. When you call in to a 1800 number and you request a rep, keep a few things in mind:

1. That rep speaks to 50-80 of you a day

2. If your request is ridiculous (and I bet you 1 hours pay that it is) , that rep is going to mute the phone and talk about you to a co-worker.

3.That rep has probably been holding their urine for an hour while they wait for their scheduled 15 minute break.

4. The customer IS NOT always right. That horrible phrase should be buried right next to the tooth fairy!

5.  There are index cards that are bigger than his/her cubicle.

No child ever grows up saying ,” I want to work in customer service.” It’s not exactly a dream job. More than likely, it’s a post college graduation, post retirement, or post rehab type of job (just kidding but not really) . Don’t get me wrong, some people make careers out of it and prove to be happy and successful.  However, for many of us, it is simply a “stepping stone” to a more applicable professional lane.  The simplicity of the job should not nullify the psychological discipline it takes to complete each phone call efficiently. Whether you chose the career or the career chose you. We don’t get much respect. People assume you can’t do anything else. We’re pretty much treated like the waitress who is a struggling musician.

Long story short…We have feelings too. Feelings, dreams, ambitions, and ability.  We are treated like telephonic automatons but we are expected to have empathy and excitement over the phone lines.  We are the motivational speaker’s number one consumer, we survive with quotes of the day and cute forwarded text messages, we live for birthdays because it gives us a few minutes off of the phone to eat a slice of cake.  In order to survive a work day we have to abide by undeviating principles specific to our individual goals or we will logout of our phone, take our plant off the desk, get in the car, and blast Gospel music all the way home.  Or we would call that free hotline/Employee assistance program implemented to keep us from “going postal.”  If it wasn’t for us and our strength and those who depend on our paychecks, you would here the following phrase a lot more often:

“We do appreciate your business. Thank you for holding.  A representative will be here to assist you shortly.”

Our “offices” look like rat mazes and our bosses actually ARE…(wait! let me shut my mouth on that one)

So as a final plea…please be a little more sensible and reasonable and patient when you call us-Or you can ShutYaMouthAndCallMeUgly 🙂

[Feel free to vent about your job in the comments section.  Follow us on twitter @ShutYaMouthNow]

*Yolo=You Only Live Once