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 Post Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:49 am 
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lonelyahava wrote:
I'm a 411 operator... I deal with people looking for things that they don't the name of or where it is, and all kinds of other things. It's mind numbing and dull and has introduced me to the sheer stupidity that is out there in our country. it honestly makes me quite violent at some points. But that's just me.

I'm sorry to admit I'm one of those stupid people.

411: What directory?
Me: 'Scuse me?
411: What directory?
Me: What do you mean?
411: WHAT DIRECTORY?
Me: Well, if I had the directory, I wouldn'tbe calling Information, would I?

Finally, I learned that "What directory?" means "What's the name of the place you're trying to find?"... though it took me several calls.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 6:23 pm 
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Sorry to revive this thread from the dead, but I have to take back my previous Most Mind-Numbing Task Ever. The issues with fonts were a breeze in comparison.

Now I've had to typeset 6 pages of mixed English and Chinese text. It was footnotes. All the English had to be in one font. All the Chinese had to be in another. And yes, there are two separate systems of punctuation. Which meant I had to individually highlight every word, comma, colon, full stop, and yes, even the spaces between the words (!) to make sure they were the correct font. Thank goodness for find-replace, but I couldn't just click "replace all" because doing that would invariably screw something up in the other language. Or in the hyperlinks.

And now, I have to compile a bilingual list of Selected References. Which is going to be every bit as painstaking as the last bit. And I have to mostly cobble together the Chinese reference list on my own because my translator is on maternity leave. I have a kindergarten reading level. This involves a lot of cutting and pasting from the footnotes section, the library catalogue, and sometimes, the authors' own websites, with multiple steps of cross-referencing.

Say I want to reference a book that isn't already in the footnotes. I find the author's name in the footnotes, copy-paste his name into the library search engine, identify the book title from the stack of pre-translated photocopies I have on my bed or sometimes by the year of publication, copy-paste the title and name of publishing company back into my document, search for publishing company name in pretranslated photocopies or footnotes in order to figure out what it should be in English, write that into English footnotes section. My image-recognition abilities are being stretched to the limit. It's like a big game of Memory, which I was never good at.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 6:44 pm 
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I was a chip tester. I took an IC chip from pile A, put it in the test rig, locked it down and pressed 'T'. I waited for 30 seconds. If the light was green, I pressed 'R'. I waited for 10 seconds. If the light was still green, I removed the chip and put it in pile B. When pile B had 20 chips, I dotted each with a bit of paint and put them into their container. That's it. That's what I did. For three months.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 11:59 pm 
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What did you do if the light stopped being green?
Do you get to eat the chip then? :kiki:

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 Post Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 12:47 am 
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Here's a job I had at school:

Categorize, tally, and interpret the results of an Alumni money giving survey.

Now, this survey included about 10,000 alumni. And, they decided not to make them multiple choice. Instead, they asked nothing but extremely open ended questions about why they gave/did not give money.

Some of them were really brief, and to the point. "Did not want to give." "Oberlin sucks." "I hated my experience." "Do not have money." "I'd love to give but I don't have any money." "Can't afford it." "I'm poor." "I'm Poor". "poor". "POOR!" "I just graduated so I'm POOR!" "SCHOOL IS BIASED AGAINST CONSERVATIVES!"

Some of them, were long winded ESSAYS trying to subtly capture the exact reason they did not want to give. One person recounted the tragic story in explicit detail about how his financial aid was mishandled.

So not only did I have to go through about 2500 never-givers and 2500 prior-givers and read these really long winded responses, I had to somehow group them and tally them in countable categories. And do it for about four or five different questions, some of which were exactly the same.

Now, after I did this, me and my parter gave the finished data to the employers.

"...What about the statistical tests? I recruited psychology students because they knew how to run statistical tests."

"Umm..we can run statistical tests. But, we need to know what information you're trying to obtain."

"We want to know what responses people gave to these questions."

"...Well, there you go."

"Can't you run some statistical tests?"

Long story short, I ran a few random statistical tests with the data. Only one remotely relevant thing came from those tests. Did you know that people who used to give money, but not anymore, kept in touch with fewer Oberlin friends than people who gave a lot of money? *gasp*

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 Post Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:17 am 
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I have to put my hand up and confess to having worked as a telemarketer. At first, it was fairly straight foward selling of raffle tickets for a genuine good cause. However, when that campaign contract ended, the owner of the telemarketing company started us on selling dog-tags to people, with the promise that for $60, there would be a security feature available - that is, that the tag would have a phone number on it, so that someone finding the item that the tag was attatched to would be able to call that number and the boss owuld look up the ID code and contact the owner of the tag. Which is an unnecessarily complicated and expensive way to get people who find your stuff to contact you. Just put your number on it, I say. That promotion was run for the personal gain of my employer.

Now, the real problem was that there was a genuine pet-rescue charity who was running an identical scheme as a fund raiser, and the people who I spoke to often mistook me for that charity. From what I was hearing from the other people working with me, many of the people they sold to also thought that they were supporting a charity. But I was *very* careful to clarify that it was not a charity thing. And my sales plummeted. And I got fired. Heh.

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 Post Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:28 am 
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You lost a job, but you saved your soul before the vampires sucked it dry. Good trade.

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 Post Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 2:52 am 
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Waffle, were you working alone in your chip testing job? Because if you were all by yourself in a room all day long testing chips, that would suck royally. Much better if there were other hapless chip testers to chat with.

Maybe I'm just strange, but I think I could tolerate mindnumbing repetitive jobs better if they were truly mindless. Like chip testing or box packing. Just go into automatic mode and think about something else. It's probably why I like knitting. The jobs that really really kill me are the ones that require me to be insanely nitpicky on a very detailed level for a really really long time. Like formatting footnotes. All 256 of them. Because not only is the subject matter boring as bricks, I actually have to pay attention to it.

That's why I'd make the world's worst proofreader. And a pretty bad graphic designer. Those jobs require a level of anal-retentiveness that I simply do not possess.

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