In late 1999 and early 2000 (before they relocated to Young America), I worked at the Western Digital rebate center. People would call in asking about the status of their rebates. I received quite a few calls from people who were irate that they weren't getting their rebate(s) for one reason or another (many would swear for emphasis). But I had an easy out since I could always transfer the call to my supervisor, Mylene (she answers phones for the cable company now). And if the caller gave her problems, she could transfer the "irate" to her supervisor (Scott). Most of the calls weren't too bad, however, and there was actually a decent amount of time for me to go internet surfing. I found some of my favorite websites during this time, ones that I still visit to this day. I was introduced to:
Ain't it Cool News - Harry Knowles, a 35-year old Texan, runs this site that gives you early reviews and previews on all the cool movies coming out.
The Onion is my favorite news site.
Hollywood Elsewhere is written by Jeffrey Wells. He usually has the best scoop on movies that are just about to be released. He's really fussy when it comes to movies, though (he couldn't stand the "Lord of the Rings" movies).
On Monday mornings, I would always go to Entertainment Weekly.com to find out how much money the weekend movies made.
And Rotten Tomatoes collects reviews of the newest movies to give you an idea of what the critical consensus is for films hitting theatres.
It was also during this time that I put on a lot of weight, not least because I liked to frequent the Burger King located just a few blocks away from my work. If they were having a 2 hamburger, 2 fry special for 2 dollars, I was in, no doubt.
One of the most memorable calls I took at the rebate center was a guy calling in from Canada. I asked for his name and this is what he said, "Hiscock...H..I..S..C..O..C..K...Hiscock". I had to stifle a laugh there for a second. I looked it up and sure enough he was in the database. And not only his name, but at least 2 dozen people (mostly living in Canada) whose last names were also Hiscock. After the call, I told my supervisor, Scott, about it and he was quite amused.
I was able to come full circle with this call from 2000 when I worked at the cable company in 2006. At the cable call center, a person's name and address automatically come up when they call in (the number they are calling from is matched with their account number from the database and brought up). Well, this guy calls in from the States and the computer screen says his last name is, "Hircock". Again, I had to stifle a laugh and shook my head. My last name used to be Dick, but Hircock. Come on! After the call, I showed the customer's account to a bunch of amused coworkers and we all smiled, wondering how in the world someone could live with such a ridiculous name.