September 22nd, 2015

#4915: I lived!

Today, I took my first call as a call center rep, and I lived through it.

Of course I did--but you don't feel that way when you've been through five weeks of training and you've imagined the myriad of ways that a call can go bad. No, you're terrified, and worried, and nervous.

...which is why they set you up to take one call--maybe two--the first time you go to the phones. The trainers know what to expect, they know what people are going through, and they do their best to reassure you that everything is going to be fine. It doesn't help, of course, but of course once the call is over and--holy shit!--you find that you're still alive and no one else was injured or killed, you relax and realize that yeah, it's just as the trainers said it would be.

Me, I'm sophisticated enough to have known in advance that this is how it would be, but of course that doesn't help at all, particularly when you're talking about someone who has an anxiety disorder anyway.

But of course all the things I was worried about--which I knew I didn't have to worry about, and about which I was nonetheless worried--did not come to pass, and I handled my first call with aplomb. Once it started I was too busy to be nervous, anyway.

And that suits me just fine.

The nicest part of all this is that handling that call fixed my day; prior to that I wasn't having a very good one, and wanted merely to come home and collapse. What if I can't handle this? What if I'm no good at this job? What do I do if I'm fundamentally unsuited for this job? Despite the fact that my wife--a former call center supervisor--keeps telling me I'll be fantastic at this job.

After the call was done, though, I felt a lot better. Probably 90% of my bad day was anticipating the carnage that would be my first call...even though I knew that it wouldn't be carnage.

Was I perfect? Not by a long shot--but no one's expecting that of me, least of all myself. I did about as well as the rest of my cohort did, and can't complain. I made some mistakes, but I know what mistakes I made and intend not to make them on the next call.

So, go me.

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This kind of thing is why, traditionally, women have been stay-at-home mothers while men were the breadwinners. Of course, in hyper-taxed socialist America, very few families can afford that--and the ones who can typically can also afford nannies, anyway. And governesses. And--

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If you get toxoplasmosis, your treatment is going to be EXPENSIVE. I talked about this one yesterday, the drug that went from $13.50 to $750 per dose after a retired hedge fund crook bought the company.

Hillary Clinton wants to make sure people don't pay more than $250 per month for their medications.

Do you know how she would accomplish that? By emplacing government subsidies, that's how. It wouldn't actually reduce the cost of drugs; in fact it would make them increase. Suddenly, instead of my Paxil costing $4 a month, companies would be able to charge $250 a month for it, or more, because--look!--the government is paying for it!

The thing to do here is to start enforcing the monopoly laws, to make them apply to the medical industry, the same way they apply to every other industry. That will bring down the price of drugs.

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I like this. Francis Porretto lays out the facts on islam. Go, man, go!

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Number of radiation deaths from Fukushima: 0.00...0.

...meaning that Chernobyl--sitting at 57 fatalities some 29 years later--remains the deadliest commercial power reactor incident.

Kanye West says: Yo yo Fukushima I'm real happy for you and Imma let you finish, but Chernobyl was the deadliest commercial reactor accident of all time! OF ALL TIME!!!

There have been deaths from the population that was moved in the wake of the Fukushima incident. These deaths were from the stress of being relocated, not because of the radiation.

Quoth Denninger, minus his emphasis:
Between hospitals that wound up killing people because they had to move folks that really couldn't be moved to suicides from fear of radiation (that was unfounded) and similar, the cost was 1,600 lives. Meanwhile if you stayed put your total dose over a four year period would have been about 70 millisieverts if you happened to be near a localized hot spot -- about the equivalent of a full-body CT scan annually for four years.

The average exposure? About double normal baseline in that area.

What backs up the expectation of no material harm is that the workers at the plant, who would be expected to have taken the largest doses and thus be at the most risk, are not expected to have any detectable cancer risk increase -- and so far, none has appeared.
I said at the time that I was willing to live there, to prove the place was safe, as long as the Japense government would pay me some modest living wage. I'm completely unworried about it. I am more worried living in the south suburbs of Chicago than I would be living near Fukushima; Japan's got a nonzero crime rate but it's nonetheless significantly lower than ours and the additional radiation wouldn't hurt me a bit. Airline pilots get more annual radiation exposure than 70 millisieverts, for crying out loud.

Well, I suppose it's not my problem.

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Well, it's Tuesday, and there are only three days left until the weekend. Whee!