A Dimm View of Life

Location: Illinois, United States

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Monday vs. Tuesday

Today is Wednesday. It is early morning. I am getting ready for another exciting day at the call center. What I do at the call center is not answering phone calls, but writing for the people who do answer phone calls.

Our call center gets thousands of calls each day from customers and sales people. Many of the questions are the same and easily answered. Some questions are off the wall. That is where my department blossoms in importance. We dig around for answers to the hard, and sometimes goofy, questions. I would provide examples but I have to respect the privacy of the customers.

When we are not hunting down answers, each of us on the team has projects for which we are responsible. This leads me to the question, which do I prefer, Mondays or Tuesdays?

Typically, Monday is the most despised day of the week. It is the day after the weekend. It is the “spoiled sport” or “buzz kill”.

Tuesday, however, is one step closer to the next weekend. So the question should be easy, right? Tuesday is better than Monday!

Still, let’s get back to those projects. On Monday, I have to set up the projects for the week. I try to clear my schedule of meetings and training sessions and leave the day open for preparing reports on the work of the previous week. I still have at least one conference call to attend, but the only other obstacle on Monday is my co-worker. They like to talk about their weekend. I usually lose at least a half-hour of work time each Monday listening to stories about football or children. Some weeks I lose more.

Not to say that it is not enjoyable. I like my co-worker and it is interesting to hear what is going on with them. Still, being a work oriented person, I hear my computer calling during most of the monologue.

They do not bother me as much as other visitors to our cubicles, who want to talk about their weekends and sporting preferences and family issues and workplace complaints, etc. When I have work to do, I don’t want to know what their Mother-in-law puts in the Chicken Pot Pie.

By the end of a normal Monday, I have prepared five reports, filed five different reports, and forwarded two emails to two different groups letting them know their input is needed regarding at least one of the aforementioned reports.

If I accomplish all that, and answer a couple odd questions, I go home Monday feeling good. It’s a good day’s work.

Tuesday, however, is a trickier day. I have a news/e-letter I prepare every Tuesday. Each member of our team is responsible for a day. Tuesday is my day. It often takes me two or three hours to complete the letter each week. Sometimes it takes longer if there is a special topic involved.

Once that is complete, I can work on two other reports related to the five reports I worked on Monday. Plus, there is another conference call late in the afternoon.
My point is that lately I have preferred Monday to Tuesday. Monday seems like a blank slate, while Tuesday offers obstacles to getting the work done I want to achieve.

Of course, today is Wednesday. I have one conference call and two reports to complete, along with solving more odd problems. Not only that, Wednesday is one day closer to the weekend.

Maybe I prefer Wednesday. I will have to think on that today.


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Super Bowl XLI

Being from the Midwest, this Sunday’s event is one that could not be dreamed. It could not have been planned. The stars simply had to fall into alignment.

The Chicago Bears are facing the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl.

Is it a great rivalry? Not really. The Colts have only been in Indy for just over twenty years, leaving Baltimore in March of 1984. Talking to people from the area, there are many Bears fans in Indy. For years, there was no local team to root for, so the local people cheered for the Bears. Bringing the Colts to town didn’t sway everyone.

When franchises move from town to town, it breeds a certain bitterness from some people. The Cardinal franchise was in St. Louis for twenty-eight years, but before that, they spent forty years in Chicago.

Six years after the Cardinals flew to Phoenix, the Rams came to town. Five years later, they won the Super Bowl. It was during the hype before Super Bowl XXXIV that I heard an ESPN interview that Dan Patrick did with former Los Angeles Ram Fred Dryer (also formerly TV Detective “Hunter”). During the interview, Patrick asked Dryer if he felt any unity with this St. Louis team.

Dryer spat that he felt nothing for the team. He then went on a tirade against Georgia Frontiere and the ownership that moved the franchise from his beloved Los Angeles to St. Louis. Patrick quickly ended the interview, choosing a nonsense discussion with Rob Dibble to listening to someone angry with one of the competing franchises.

What Dryer, and others, failed to remember was that the Rams were already a franchise that had been moved. The franchise began life in Cleveland in 1936 before moving to L.A. in 1945.

It had to be difficult for sports writers to cover Super Bowl XXXIV. The history of the St. Louis Rams was only a few short years old. It is hard to build a story around that.

This years Super Bowl will be easier. The Bears long tradition will make up for any Colt shortcomings.

Besides, the Super Bowl had become less and less about football through the years and more and more about spectacle. Commercials and celebrities have become just as important as the game.

Personally, I’ll watch some of the game. I expect the Bears to manage the mighty Manning and win by a touchdown.

If it does not work out that way, I’ll at least have seen a funny beer commercial.


Monday, January 29, 2007

Open Letter to Harry Shearer

Dear Harry Shearer:

Here’s an idea for a sitcom. You are the general manager of a news-talk radio station in New Orleans. The station has been mostly conservative, but with the recent change in the congress, you’ve decided to alter programming a tad.

The ensemble cast in addition to your character’s leadership, consists of four on-air personalities and four producers. Not all the characters would appear each week. Who would appear would depend on the storyline for that week.

The morning drive personality would be your “big-as-life” Ted Baxter type male. The late morning personality would be a left-leaning liberal female who is hired during the first episode. The remaining characters would have various contrasting personalities and attitudes.

The program itself would fill a spot left open by the passing of the series “Murphy Brown”. The program could include topical humor as well as the underlining “how we get along” theme.

Of course, Hollywood people are afraid of producing another Murphy Brown. That type doesn’t sell well in reruns. Still, I believe there is a market for such a program. It would provide a platform for some of the thoughts you share each week on “Le Show”.

Picture the opening scene from the first episode. Faith Ford, playing a “Dr. Laura” type personality, comes to your office. (Faith Ford works because of her accent. You believe she is a New Orleans radio personality.) You begin to explain to her why you are letting her go. She quickly goes through the five phases of grief, but in the end she lets go with a conservative rant about why your station (i.e. the country as a whole) is so “messed up”. You turn around with a softly stated rant that explains why she is wrong.

There have been “industry” sitcoms for years now, from Dick Van Dyke to WKRP to Frasier. One more can’t hurt, especially if it can be timely and relevant. Maybe even funny.

The good part is, you are the best person to do this show.

Give it some thought.

Alexander Dimm


Monday, January 01, 2007

What Now?

2007 is finally here! It feels as if it has taken forever for the year to arrive.

Now that it is here, what are we going to do with it? Are we going to change our lives? Are we going to change the world?

Are we going to continue in much the same patterns as we did in the previous year?

My last entry offered New Year wishes. This one is going to ask New Year questions.

PLEASE DON’T LEAVE!! It is not going to be as boring as it sounds. I will keep it short, but I hope you will help me by responding.

Last spring I started this blog and have commented on many things, from jazz music and television shows to derailments and nearly dead cats to politics and volunteerism.

Still, there have not been many people responding with comments. Maybe there are few comments because, by its nature, the blog does not require it.

This time, if you are reading this, I am asking you to respond. PLEASE DON’T LEAVE!! You will not be placed on a mailing list. I will not be returning an email. I do not need your social security number or your mother’s maiden name. I do not have a timeshare I want to sell.

I have four simple questions. If you would please respond, you can either post a comment here or send me an email at alexdimm@hotmail.com.

As I say, I will not respond directly. I plan to do a post where I will respond to your comments in this format.

Simple enough? Let’s get started.

People have visited this blog from thirty-four different countries across the globe. Of course, the majority of visits are from the United States, but I have had visits from each continent with the obvious exception of Antarctica.

Question #1: If you are from outside the United States, why did you visit this blog? I realize that you did not hop on a plane and fly here to read this. I have access to blogs and websites around the world as well.

Still, do you read U.S. blogs in general? Is there a specific topic you are studying? Let me know what brought you to this blog.

As I said earlier, I have written on many diverse topics. Of the topics, the one that has brought the most people to this blog is the article I wrote regarding a train derailment in Crescent City, Illinois.

Question #2: If you are reading this and the derailment, or derailments in general, are your topic of interest, what is it you want to know?

Another popular topic of interest appears to be jazz. It may be because I have written several times about the fantastic podcast “Detroit JazzStage” and other jazz topics.

Question #3: If you are looking for articles about jazz, what are your interests?

So far, there have been three questions asked. Maybe none of them apply to you and you have no comments to leave or emails to send. That’s okay. But please DON’T LEAVE! Consider the next question.

At that top, I asked in general what we would do to make 2007 different.

Question #4: On any level, are you planning to make your world different in 2007? If you are, what do you have in mind? I may have some thoughts of my own to share, but it would be nice to have an exchange of ideas.

If you read this far, THANK YOU!! I look forward to hearing from you. Have a great year!