Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Another Call Center Story

As a supervisor in a Customer Care call center for a major cellular carrier, I learned many lessons.  One time I did get to carry a lesson over from the Army into the call center.  I had been watching a new employee on the call center floor for past few days.  I noticed that he rarely took any calls and spent most of his time flirting with the women working around him.  He was a good looking guy and by his actions, he took full advantage of his looks.

Other supervisors would approach him and ask him to get back to work.  This happened about every 30-40 minutes during the day.  I also noticed that each supervisor that approached him would walk up and start addressing him about not doing his job.  He would then stand up and walk up in front of each supervisor and stand very close, usually 8-10 inches give or take from the supervisor.  He never raised his voice but he would encroach on their personal space and within a few minutes the supervisor, subconsciously, would start backing up away from the agent.  The conversion would continue for few more minutes before the supervisor would flee from this man.  Then he would go back to flirting and not doing any work until the next supervisor came along.

Like I said, after a few days watching this behavior, I decided to go talk to him myself.  I walked up and addressed him by name.

He turned way from his current target and stood up in front of me.  "What you want man?"  he said with enough attitude to show his disdain for my prescience.

So I calmly replied "Mr. [name redacted for his protections], don't you think you should get back to work?"

He slowly moved up in front my me and was easily only 6 inches away from me.  We were face to face and he replied "Ya know I was only messin around.  I already done a bunch of work today and was just takin a break."

I stood my ground and looked him in the eye and simply said "Look, you either have to kiss me or punch me.  You and me this close...the suspense is killing me, what ever it is you want to do to me, just get it over with."

He quickly took a step back from me with a shocked look on his face.  "Nah man, its not like that!"  He looked around and saw the other call center agents laughing at his awkward plight.

So I finished up and said "Well then don't you think you should get back to work?"  He look around for any sympathetic faces and saw only people smirking and laughing.  I turn away and went back to my desk.  He only worked at the call center a few more weeks before he stopped showing up.  During those couple of weeks there was a marked decrease in his flirting and he kept busy answering calls.  Somthing I learned in the Army, sometimes it just takes a direct confrontation.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Charterstone Review

This review is long over due.  My wife and I purchased our first copy of Charterstone by Stonemaier  Games well over a year ago.  I had read several positive reviews of the game and thought it would be fun to pick up a copy and share it with my wife.  In this game you play a character (we selected our starting character randomly) and you have been tasked with building and founding a new village for the Forever King.  Charterstone has been out for more than a year now but I am going to keep this review spoiler free for those you have not had a chance to play.

This is a legacy game and your actions in each game will unlock more content for future games.  The campaign is set for 12 games but do not worry, once you finish the campaign you are provided with rules to play the game with your finished board.  The Charterstone board is also two sided!  That way you can buy a "Recharge" pack and play the game again on the second side of your board.  We fell in love with the game very quickly.  This is a resource management and worker placement game.  You will unlock crates and construct new buildings in your charters to flesh out your village.

As the campaign progresses you will be faced with Guide posts.  They are special conditions that can affect how the winner is determined at the end of each game and they will occasionally introduce new temporary rules for a specific game.

Each game will play out in about 40 - 60 minutes.  We frequently found ourselves scrambling to get done all they things in the game we wanted to accomplish as the game would come to an end.  Since this is a Legacy game, the rules are intentionally vague at times and you have to make sure you read each new card you unlock fully...or you may miss an important step to progress the game story or mechanic.

Something that was amazing with this game is the online assistance available for rule clarifications.  The Facebook group is fantastic, they answered our questions within 10-15 min.  We even had the creator and owner of Stonemaier games, Mr. Stegmaier himself respond and answer a questions we had about what actions occur in what order!

This game has light and pleasant atmosphere that is kid friendly.  We loved the artwork, especially all the individual buildings you can unlock and build.  The game is currently available via amazon via this link:  Charterstone for $48.00. or direct from the Stonemaier Webstore.

I higly recommend the game and my family and friends have enjoyed the experience of playing.  So much that are currently on our 4th time playing the campaign with a set of new players.

Pros (Things I like)

  • The legacy aspect is original and you want to find out what is going on with the Forever King and your village
  • Online support is great and people in the Facebook group will respond quickly to questions
  • A worker placement, resource management, Legacy game!
  • Upon completion of the campaign you continue to play your finished game board with special rules provided.
  • Metal coins are included with the game and they are impressive

Cons (Things I don't like)

  • The games often felt as if they went too fast and you didn't have enough time to compete all your planned/desired actions
  • Some of the rules are vague and difficult to follow