Live Chat: But Not A Sexy One

“Hello! I hope that you are very well today! I have a question for you and I am hoping very much that you will be able to help me.”

This is how I speak when I’m on one of those live chat things. I honestly don’t know what happens to me, I sound as though all of my words have been fed through Google Translate. By live chat I mean live help, by the way, not the other – “sexy” – type of live chat. Sexy in inverted commas for obvious reasons – I can’t think of anything more unsexy than someone on the other end of a phone telling me about what they’re doing with their genitals. Especially when you can hear them chomping their way through a bag of cheesy Wotsits.

“Yeah,” munch munch, “I’m taking me pants off now, oooh it feels so good.” Rustle rustle, which isn’t the world’s most synthetic pants coming off at all, it’s a new bag of crisps being dug out of the Tesco bag that’s sitting on top of the desk.

“Do you like that Bob? Do you? Ooh I bet you do. Guess what I’m doing now, Bob?”

Oh, I don’t know Kandi, are you trying to cut a scotch egg in half with the edge of a ruler?

To be clear, I’ve never manned a sex line or phoned one, but I did know someone who did it for an evening and came back with enough anecdotal material to last a lifetime. She had her own desk in a booth, which during daytime hours was used for cold-selling industrial-sized shipments of toilet roll. Biro, notebook, ruler (inexplicably) and three little walls around her desk covered with a velvety sort of fabric.

“You’d have thought they would want something wipe clean,” she said to me when she reported back.

I don’t think anyone’s supposed to actually do anything that requires wiping down,” I said, cautiously. “You’re supposed to pretend.”

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I haven’t been phoning sex lines (surely they don’t even exist anymore? Oh eight nine one, fifty-fifty-FIFTY!) but I have been spending inordinate amounts of time on live chat website helpdesks with various internet server providers and domain hosts. And sometimes it’s as though you’re having a chat with yourself, because you end up saying the same thing about twelve times and the other person still doesn’t get what you’re on about.

It’s probably my fault because I don’t know the correct terminology for anything. DNS? Nodejs? VPS? It all sounds the same to me. Nevertheless, I adopt the superior tone of a Brit abroad in the 1980s and slow my typing r-i-g-h-t d-o-w-n so that I make myself a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y c-l-e-a-r. Help desks do terrible things to me.

But then terrible things (technology-wise) have been happening – things I can’t pretend to even remotely understand. I used to think tinkering with website code was hard but anything to do with app development just blows my mind. It’s so complex and it’s completely alien to me. I can write a dissertation in a day by stitching together (figuratively speaking) eight hundred and thirty post-it notes and I can just about make it through a fairly advanced science lecture about new and jazzy skincare ingredients, but when it comes to servers and content management systems and modules and nodules I have absolutely no clue.

So yeah, the new app (The Night Feed, coming soon!) has tripped the fusebox in my brain. And it all seems to be having a knock on effect on the rest of my life, because the fan in my car has started making a noise like a Boing 747 taking off and Siri keeps calling people on my iPhone without me even touching the bloody thing.

“Calling Pete The Trampoline Davies!”

You know when you have that one name in your phone book that would be the worst possible name to pocket dial? The person that you should have deleted many years ago?


“Cancelling Pete The Trampoline Davies.”

I have no idea where this post is going – it was only supposed to be an apology for yesterday’s newsletter, in which the entire blog post was mangled and tiny copy was interspersed with huge images that were aligned left, centre, to the right, as though they’d been pasted in by a scrapbooking lunatic. You can read that post, properly formatted, here. I’m really sorry if you attempted to read it on your iPhone, it was truly horrendous.

Anyway, back to work – LunaG on the live chat is waiting for me to answer the latest technical question that I have no hope of understanding…

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  1. Fil
    August 16, 2019 / 2:47 pm

    Ruth – I can honestly say that if I’m down then I only need to read your newsletter/blog whatever and I’m laughing. Thank you – you’re a breath of fresh air in this muggy world of mine.

  2. Verity
    August 16, 2019 / 10:09 am

    Oh Ruth, this whole thing made me laugh out loud.
    Thank you for making me laugh and hang on in there in the final days before launch.
    Happy Friday!

  3. Laura
    August 15, 2019 / 9:15 am

    Aw don’t worry about yesterday’s post’s formatting! The gremlins came in and I just read it directly on your website instead – it’s always worth the extra click. And it was a great post!

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