February 14, 2003

By Michael Strickland

Valentine Gems

Over the past two weeks, I've been supporting a major online flower seller for the Valentine's Day holiday in a seasonal customer service position. I've talked to hundreds of people around the country (and around the world), taking orders and resolving complaints. I've worked a lot of overtime, which has contributed to the lateness of some of this week's postings.

While in some ways the job could be considered a bit tedious, there has been no shortage of interesting (and often entertaining) moments. In honor of Valentine's Day, the culmination of my recent work, I'd like to share some of these nuggets with you. Here they are, in no particular order:

  • From a man who didn't want to give his email address, lest his wife find out, two flower orders: one for his wife—and one for his girlfriend.
  • An order by cell phone from a man in the boonies of East Texas, where he was spending Valentine's Day away from his wife, hunting for space shuttle parts.
  • A man whose Vietnamese accent was so thick that it took nearly an hour to get all of the correct shipping and billing information from him for one order.
  • A phone call from someone with my last name (not an earth-shattering coincidence, but still quite uncommon).
  • A sailor calling from a Navy warship, probably floating somewhere in the vicinity of Iraq, ordering flowers for his wife on the other side of the world.
  • The man whose gift card message (which I won't repeat here) involved g-strings and whipped cream.

Now that Valentine's Day is here, I know the last few days of my assignment will be the most enjoyable, as I field hundreds of calls from irate—probably hysterical—customers whose lives have been irrevocably ruined because their flowers didn't arrive on time (or didn't arrive at all).


Development note: I've noticed that this site doesn't look like it should in Netscape Navigator. Rather than waste time jury-rigging it to look right in a soon-to-be-obsolete browser, I'll just add the cliché "This site best viewed with Internet Explorer."
Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Daily Chuckle:

Chaos. Panic. Disorder. My work here is done.

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year, I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

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2/13: Grab Bag
2/12: The End is Near
2/11: And the Winner Is...
2/10: Exploration is Risky Business
2/9: Staphylococcus
2/8: Morning Cup of Kofi
2/7: Game Over
2/6: The Eagle Never Landed
2/5: Pope: Potter No Problem
2/4: Time for Another Rewrite
2/3: A Matter of Opinions
2/2: Suicidal Bravado
2/1: Godspeed, Columbia

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