Monday, April 19, 2010

Life At LiveBridge - Part II

So last time I told you about the job itself. Today I will mention the people. In the interests of time (and my sanity) I won't bother with aliases (see "Outing" Family and Friends post). But I will just use first names. Or if two or more people had the same name, I'll use an initial for the last name.

As these LiveBridge posts were done now (I would have got to it eventually) in honor of Kristianne and Alyson being my latest blog followers I will start with them I guess.

Kristianne was someone who was very bubbly and creative. She often did little crafts in the systems (the individual computer rooms that housed different projects for the most part). She was part of a larger group of young people that all sat together including a girl whose name was Kristi but whose last name I forget.

Kristi and her boyfriend were involved in Medieval re-enactments. This was the first and last time I ever met anyone (to my knowledge anyway) who did this. I found this kind of interesting.

Kristianne, Kristi and I once performed some silly little song in front of an entire system (for God knows what reason). It actually went over quite well, as I remember. As you can tell, what with publishing a blog detailing some of my oddest, grossest, silliest and craziest moments I am not that shy. LOL.

Kristianne also sat with a group of guys named Tayo, Josue, and Chris D. Tayo was and still is an aspiring singer. Both Tayo and Chris are nominally in touch as they are on my Facebook although we have hardly spoken. I believe the same can be said for Kristianne and them as well. It was Josue who really caught Kristianne's attention.

So much so that they have 3 kids together! Unfortunately, they are not together any longer. But they did have 2 beautiful little girls and a equally gorgeous little boy. Kristianne has moved about quite a bit and is currently moving to if not already there to the coast for school. Josue is I believe still in Ontario where they got married.

To go back a bit, Chris D is a bit of a funny story. Chris was in credit cards with me and he was on the verge of being let go because he was having a hard time with sales. Management gave him all kinds of advice including the following which at the time seemed a bit retarded. Apparently, he was told to lower his head when he spoke to lower his voice. LOL. That said, it is equally apparent that something about that must have not been quite as retarded as all that because he went from being on the chopping block to becoming a team leader. Yay Chris D.

Briefly, another thing about Chris D is that he was engaged at the time we worked with him and he just recently (within the last year) finally married the girl. It was about time as they had one or two kids together. It was one of the longest engagement's I'd heard of except for a cousin of my mom's who was actually engaged for decades (I would have used italics but they weren't working - if anything deserves italics it's the word decades when talking about being engaged) I believe.

Kristianne was involved in the home sales of Creative Memories as well at the time. I remember going to a CM party she hosted. I ended up buying a starter kit only to do exactly one project. Actually project implys a full scrapbook even if it is a little one. When I say one project I actually mean 1 page. But I will say what a page. LOL. Seriously it was nice and I should get back to it. Too bad Kristianne isn't in the city anymore to give me a kick-start.

It's not surprising Kristianne would sell Creative Memories as she was very crafty. She was always making little cards and things for people at work. There was a girl named Millaray that Kristianne and I (but mostly Kristianne) befriended who she made a beautiful little birthday card for as I recall.

Kristianne also made me a sparkly container to hold things out of a clear candy tub, some construction paper and sparkles left over from a system motivational project. The candy tub likely came from a guy named Bruce who everyone called the candyman. He would go around the system handing out candies to other staff periodically. Not to be cynical but this was mostly to get off the phones for a few minutes every once in a while and to get to talk to the young girls. LOL.

Now, Alyson. Alyson, was and is a lovely young girl who just hit 30. I remember one time helping her study for a test in marketing in the systems between calls (they were obviously slow that day!). I would like to think that as she said at the time that my help was in fact useful and as she did well on her test that I can take some credit for her later success in her chosen field of marketing. She is now a partner as well as director of client services at at small marketing firm she helped set up.

The one story I most remember about Alyson is perhaps not the most conventionally flattering. But you have to put it in the perspective of being a salesperson. Alyson and I were sitting next to each other in System 3 (the windowless wonder!) - I can still see it. All of a sudden I hear her say to the older lady she was talking to "just say you agree". I admit my moral compass didn't always face due north in that job but I was aghast. We got into so much after her call ended that...

... enter "Fast Eddie" a team leader who was formerly on the floor with us as a salesperson and was well known for his shall we say aggressive sales tactics. Naturally, he sided with Alyson and was quite upset with me for interfering. We got into it so bad that another worker Bev, whose son, brother-in-law, nephew, would-be daughter-in-law, etc, etc, etc all worked there at one time or another - lol - actually had to come to my defense.

Eddie ended up selling Amway, ahem, Quixtar while still at LiveBridge. As did David T, who was Bev's son. There was at least one other guy and another lady selling it and attempting to recruit there so life was interesting. I went to a Quixtar meeting but never had any real intentions of getting involved. I doubt Alyson was stupid enough to even waste any time going to a meeting.

Now that I think of it Josue and Kristianne (mainly through Josue) was also involved with Quixtar. It was quite the thing at LiveBridge that year. Bev's son, who as I said was also involved was one of the other three people I mentioned in my last post, as being in my training class and who stuck it out for any length of time. He went on to become a verifier in the newspaper section. In fact of the two sets of four people I mentioned last time from the two training groups, mine and the one four days later, I was the only one who didn't move up in the company in some small way. LOL. Slacker.

It is now I should put in an aside that would have perhaps better fit with the other day's post about the job itself. But it came up more naturally here. Slacker that I may have been I did once earn a bonus of about $565 in a two week period on credit cards. It was in no way typical (although in credit cards I mostly made a decent bonus of probably between $50 and a couple hundred dollars) but one that I was certainly proud of as I maxed out the bonus structure that pay period. Too bad I wasn't smart enough to save the pay stub for proof of bragging rights.

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"X" was one of my loyalist subjects. He might even have been the one to coin the term Carmania for my "kingdom" or queendom as it were. Oh yeah, I didn't tell you about that did I. I don't know quite how it started, although I could take a guess, but I called myself the "Queen of Livebridge" and appropriately enough, on Halloween Day 2000 bought myself a tiara to prove it. A tiara that I wore at times in the systems. With the approval I might add of the true monarch at LiveBridge - the Operations Manager Sue. She found it amusing and I think a diversion for staff when things got unpleasant around the building.

Speaking of management, there was yet another queen at LiveBridge. A drag queen. His name was Dale. He was, I believed (and still basically do), a very nice guy. He had his own court of admirers. It helped that he was a very funny and pleasant person for the most part. Although, whether stereotype or not, he could be bitchy. We had a falling out of sorts, that I don't really understand. Because of this, I am no longer in contact with either him or one of his best friends there, Sheena, who went from credit cards (which she didn't really excel at) to reception. Sheena, while not gay, I think probably had her own bitchy streak but could also be an extremely nice person and I miss not being able to keep in touch with her as well as with Dale.

There were several others, in management and front office jobs that I liked and got along with,for the most part including Candice (originally from Experian and then training), Mike (the newspaper guy I mentioned in the previous post who also did training), Walter (also in newspapers), Karen (the tech girl), Brent (a team leader), Shauna (a verifier in newspapers), Eddie (mentioned above and a verifier in newspapers and then a team leader in either/both newspapers and credit cards) and a guy who wasn't there long named Colin I think.

Then there was him. The "Roy of Sunshine". This particular person was without question my favorite person at LiveBridge for most of my time there. He was in the training class four days after me along with Candice (whom I mentioned above) and Karen (also mentioned above). I'm not sure when I noticed him but I remember the first conversation I had with him that sticks out in memory.

He introduced himself as Shane (the name he originally used - his middle name), we had a pleasant enough conversation about god knows what (probably some highly interesting work related subject as most telemarketers seem to think that most of their calls are the height of interest - lol - at least it seemed to me) and I remember telling him not to mumble as he was an interesting person and shouldn't hide that behind mumbling.

Where I really remember seeing him (this may have come first) was in newspapers. During my overtime. Apparently he also did Experian for a bit but was transfered to newspapers fairly quickly. He seemed quite well suited to it. Certainly more so than me. That's how I noticed him and fell in love - lol. Or fell in love as much as a lazy old asexual can. He dazzled me with his smile.

You see, every time a person in newspapers got a sale they were to stand up and ring a bell to get a verifiers attention. He was usually standing up anyway. Or at least he stood up when the bells rung to see who had a sale. It wasn't confusing as the people with sales had their hands up as well. Anyway, whenever I had my rather rare sales he would give me one of those dazzling smiles. I think he found me amusing as I could be quite outrageous in what I would say to people on the phones to get a sale or even just when it wasn't necessary to make a sale but to allieviate boredom.

This post is about all the people at LiveBridge (well some) so I won't go into more detail (now anyway) about the "Roy of Sunshine" (Roy being his actual first name that he eventually started using because management started calling him that due to his s.i.n.) but as I said he was adorable. I'll end this discussion of him on the sad note that we eventually had a falling out too.

Well, that is some of the people who populated one of the most fun jobs I have had. In writing this I found I couldn't mention everybody I remember because I either couldn't remember their names, didn't have a discernable story other than that they were wonderful people who made the day go by faster (like Anil, Darek, the other Chris D (the male nurse), Claudia, Ricki Lynn, Laura, etc, etc, etc), or it just didn't fit into the flow of the story.

Also, I found that the stories didn't do these people justice. It seemed a whole lot more fun, and interesting at the time. I guess it's really a case of "you had to be there". So for most of you, who read this this is probably a post to quickly pass over but for Kristianne, Alyson, Sid, Shauna, and any others who happen upon it hopefully it will get you thinking of some of your fond memories of that time.


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