My New Job Continued
I really don't have anything to write and don't feel like posting anything, and I feel like it's really going to suck if I force myself to anyway, but this falls one day short of the one year mark since I left that horrible company Webs and reopened my site at this new location, so I can't give up now. Let's see... I wrote a song about my new job. Since I can no sooner come up with an original melody than a new color, and can't read or write music anyway, it's a parody, albeit much shorter than the original:
Do you wanna take a survey? Okay, bye.
It actually got quite a bit better this week as I spent most of the time on a much better project. We get switched around occasionally and I don't know what factors into that. But this project was/is much better because I only have to call businesses that are already part of this umbrella organization and ask about how satisfied they are with it etcetera, and most of them are very cooperative and the only major difficulty is getting ahold of the respondents in the first place when they're so busy and we don't have a message to leave. I got between six and eleven completes a day instead of between zero and one. Of course I'm still hoping to get switched to the other position soon and transcribe incoming calls instead, but I have to get training and the manager has to get approval for the training. They said during the first week that it would be a week or two so it better happen next week.
I also spent some time on a project that's moderately better than the first but still sucks. After one call the girl next to me said, "That was very Christian of you." She turned to the girl on her other side and continued, "I love it when you call churches and they're just like super rude." The other girl agreed. "'We don't take those kinds of calls,'" she mimicked. "God takes every call." Then I looked over and gave her the "I know that comment wasn't directed at me but I heard it and I want you to know I found it funny too" smile. Little moments of camaraderie like that are the second best part of the job, with the first of course being that I get paid. Not a lot by the world's standards, but by my standards I may as well be a millionaire now, and I'm thrilled.
Writing and Autism
I really want to get the files off my old laptop soon because I have writing projects on there that I want to get back to.
Non-fiction: Running Logan Canyon (commissioned by Paul Cracroft of Square One Printing)
Novel: Milo's Grand Adventure (working title)
Short Story: Forever a Clone
Rejected Screenplay Adaptation: Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men from Mars
It wasn't urgent because I usually lose interest in projects for months at a time, which is why I hardly ever finish anything. But a week or so ago I was listening to the "Destroy All Humans" soundtrack, and the sting in one of the songs did a really good job of being evocative of an alien invasion and made me want to make something along those lines, and then I remembered I had already been doing that with "Milo's Grand Adventure". The unique and hopefully awesome twist I was putting on it was that it takes place in the fourteenth century and also involves dragons. I posted the prologue here a little less than a year ago, but re-reading it now I think it's awful and needs to be drastically overhauled, which is a good thing because that means I've improved a lot. The classes I've taken and the books I've read are probably the biggest part of that.
And on top of that one of my professors from last semester is encouraging me to consider expanding an autobiographical essay I wrote into a full-length memoir, something I had never considered in my life but am now intrigued by. The essay is called "Ass Burgers" because that's what young me thought Dr. Iqbal said I seemed to have. Young me was offended. In my mind, this was and is simply the only title that works. If I were to write this memoir and give it the same title and publish it, that would probably protect me from ever getting called as a General Authority even in the unlikely event that my first defense of never getting married somehow fails. My only hesitation in doing this is that I don't want to become a spokesperson for Asperger's or autism and convey the impression that my experience is representative of anyone else's, particularly when so many other things are also wrong with me that I don't always know what to blame on what. Still, becoming such a spokesperson would provide a wealth of opportunities to lambast the anti-vaxxer movement, so that's tempting.
Speaking of last semester, Temple Grandin came to speak and she mentioned something about autistic people being bad at algebra but just fine with other kinds of math. I had never heard it before but it made perfect sense, seeing as Algebra was basically the worst class I ever took and the first one I ever failed, whereas Statistics this last semester was so easy that I spent about two minutes a week studying, if that, and ended up with a 101%. And speaking of Temple Grandin, I just recently watched the HBO movie about her and it made me cry for multiple reasons. It was just really, really good and I think that if everyone were required to watch it there would be a lot fewer ignorant and judgmental creeps in the world. This, I think, was my favorite part:
Mother: Temple, look at me. Look at me. Do you know how people tell each other things with their eyes? This is me telling you that I love you and I respect you.
Temple: [long tearful pause] I will never learn how to do that.
Mother: I know.
I stumbled upon this in a creationist group where intelligence goes to die. You can't make this stuff up. Sadly, it doesn't even rank among the thousand stupidest things that creationists on the internet have said. At least it's coherent. And in fairness, at least this guy has the intellectual honesty to be consistent in requiring all of modern science to conform with ancient Hebrew texts.
The Mormon Section
Lately, as often, I've been annoyed by Mormons who defend their narrow and dogmatic view of the world by rejecting anything that doesn't fit into it with ad hominem accusations of bias against, say, the Salt Lake Tribune, or by simply saying they don't accept it and that's that. For example, in 2015 the LDS Church had its lowest rate of growth since 1937, and since some people's testimonies require the Church to be growing exponentially (which it hasn't been since 1990 or so) in order to be true, they just reject this fact and anyone mentioning it - even though the source is the Church's own published statistics plus basic math. It's just really embarrassing for me to be associated with that kind of people, but not as embarrassing as realizing I used to be that kind of person. I used to be a fan of knee-jerk denials too. Not coincidentally, most of this coincided with my brief stint as a creationist. It's not like my IQ changed between then and now, so I have to remind myself of that and remind myself that these people aren't just stupid and I should be more humble and stop looking down on them.
My job title is "Agent", and they never explained why, but I figured out that it's because we're acting on behalf of other companies. Much of what we collect is confidential, so that literally makes me a secret agent. Anyway, on many of the surveys we just say who we're calling on behalf of and don't mention our own company's name at all, so that in effect we've become an extension of them. Therefore our behavior reflects on them and we have to avoid being rude or unprofessional over the phone regardless of how rude or unprofessional the respondents are to us first. This, then, reminds me of how God has made us agents unto ourselves and given us the agency to do what we will, and when we give Him our agency and take upon ourselves the name of Christ, our behavior and speech reflect on Him and His organization. Christ is the perfect example of this, as He speaks as an agent for the Father without the slightest variation from the latter's will, so that they are completely united as one.
Now since I talked about Tyler Glenn and his angry music video a couple weeks ago, I ought to put in a plug for the heartwarming responses from his mother and rapper James the Mormon, which basically demonstrate exactly how people should be responding. And as far as I can tell, to my pleased surprise, it's how most members are.
Kelis & Timo Maas - Help Me
This is the song I was referring to from the "Destroy All Humans!" soundtrack. It sounds so delightfully creepy.
"Guys. Chris's blog is the stuff of legends. If you’re ever looking for a good read, check this out!"
- Amelia Whitlock
"I don't know how well you know Christopher Randall Nicholson, but... he's trolling. You should read his blog. It's delightful."
- David Young
C. Randall Nicholson
This is where I occasionally rant about life, the universe, and/or everything. I'm a white cisgender male and a Latter-day Saint, so you can hate me without guilt, but I'm also autistic, so you can't. Unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual.