Saturday, July 18, 2009

She's a Lady?

A couple of weeks ago, TV & I went to a nearby city to see TOM JONES in concert. TV thinks Jones is cool. I don't hate his music, but I remember watching him on television during his heyday and thinking he was a disgusting old man. I recently shared this sentiment with my PHriends. Braveheart Barbie said she used to think the same thing. Neither of us could understand why women reacted to him the way they did. I thought he was sleazy.

He looks good for a man of his age -- he's 68. And his voice is still there. He's a good singer. I just don't like him. And after hearing & seeing him in concert, I have to say he's still sleazy. Back then -- mid-to-late sixties -- women in the audience would throw hotel room keys and their underwear at him while he performed. When I mentioned that we were going to see him, people asked if I were going to toss my undies at him. Yeah. Right.

But times change.

As do underwear styles.

About three numbers into his performance, I saw a woman near the front of the theater twirling thong underwear over her head like a lasso. Other women gradually followed suit
. Until Tom started singing She's a Lady. Then thongs started flying. TV and I elbowed each other. Does anyone else see the irony of flying undies at that particular time?

After the song was over, Jones looked at the colorful scraps at his feet and said something lascivious about 'thongs' instead of bikinis. Women throughout the theater squealed. No irony there.

I enjoyed the show, although not as much as TV did. But now I can say I've seen Tom Jones live and in person.


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Don't Call Me: Divine Telephone Etiquette

I hate telephones.
Sometimes they're good; sometimes they're useful. Emergencies are perfect for telephones.
And editors/agents are always welcome to call me, day or night.
Writing contest coordinators, too.
If you're X-Chromo, Y-Chromo (especially if you're at college), or TV Stevie, I'll talk. I may not want to, but I will. Mom, Dad, Sissie, Bro -- I'll talk to you too, but you all have my e-mail address.
I prefer e-mail to telephones because e-mail isn't intrusive. It doesn't interrupt naps, meals, movies, muses.

Here are my top 5 Phone Peeves.

1) If you're a telemarketer, don't bother. I will not buy from you simply on principle. I do not have a telephone so you can intrude on my life. Frankly, I don't understand why I have to pay for an instrument of torture.

2) Rudeness. When I worked at my last job, I had to deal with a lot of incoming customer complaints. People were just plain nasty. They wouldn't speak to their doctor or their lawyer or even their spouse they way they spoke to me. And it wasn't only younger people. People old enough to have been taught manners were disgustingly rude. Just because you can't see someone's face doesn't grant you a license to be mean. And remember: what goes around, comes around (or as Bea Arthur used to say as Maude, "God will get you for that.") Next time you want to call someone to complain, remember that the person logging your comments probably isn't responsible for the situation and probably can't do anything about it. TPTB rarely face the music directly. They can and do underpay some shlub to listen to you rant.

3) I'll just get settled on the sofa with my lap desk & my laptop computer . . . and the house phone and/or my cell phone will ring. This is my fault. I know this will happen. Without fail. And it's never only one call. Before I settle in to write, I should put the cordless and my cell phone next to me.

4) Receptionists/assistants who don't know how to answer a phone in a professional manner. There is training out there. Often the receptionist is a customer's first impression of a business. "Yeah," or "hang on," are not appropriate responses (there is no HANG button on a phone*). And what's with the thirty-somethings (and younger) not ennunciating? Everyone slurs. It sounds . . . ignorant. Words have consonants in them for a reason: so we can tell the words apart.

5) Voice mail messages. Now, I happen to be very fond of voice mail, but there are two things people do that drive me right straight up the wall. Again, this should be basic training for anyone in sales or who does a lot of phone work (except telemarketers, who should hang -- not hold -- their heads in shame and embarrassment). When you leave a voice mail message, state who you are, your company and your phone number right away. That's right. State your phone number up front, followed by your message. And when you leave your phone number, say the numbers slowly. I don't know why everyone thinks that as soon as they start to speak numbers, they need to race. SPEAK THE NUMBER S-L-O-W-L-Y so people can write it down. And if you give your number at the beginning of the message, someone won't have to listen to an entire two minute message repeatedly in order to check that the number is written down correctly.

*If there were to be a HANG button on a phone, it should be used for people in Peeve #2

So now you know how to get hold (not hang) of me. I'd love to hear from you.