OK, we've hopefully seen Skippy's list of thing he cannot do anymore in the Army. Here's a call center version written years ago by an AT&T Wireless agent in a Convergys center in Canada... 1. When they tell me to start every call with a 'positive initial response', they do not mean, 'Gung ho! Gung ho! Do or die, sir!' 2. I am not allowed to challenge managers of operations to a 'duel on the field of honor'. 3. My Edge-Rewards points may not be spent on one-way plane tickets (for those not on the ATTWS project, Edge-Rewards points are earned for renewing customer contracts... they can subsequently be exchanged for crap, unless you really like shafting customers, in which case hello Plasma TV!). 4. No matter how many modifications are made, an old Red Army vodka bottle is not an acceptable 'spill-proof container', even if the contents are only Gatorade. 5. Account notations should not be made in pig latin. 6. 'Dead Air' statements may not be customized to contain references to genitalia. 7. Nor may they be sung. 8. Especially not to the tune of 'Solidarity Forever' or 'The International'. 9. I may not annex neighboring cubicles and incorporate them into 'my Empire'. 10. Reading between calls is acceptable, presuming I never explain what I am reading to any TL, no matter how interested they may seem at first. 11. I am not allowed to 'assassinate' managers with a plastic suction-dart gun. Not that they would catch me. 12. My super-hero alter-ego many not take calls for me. 13. 'Cubicle Fencing' is now banned on premises. 14. I cannot collect short-term disability for Tourette's Syndrome. 15. During 'morale building' events which entail decorating our cubicles in a vibrant expression of team spirit, razor wire is not considered a decoration. 16. When they say 'dress for the job you want, not the one you have', I should probably just dress for the one I have. 17. 'That's what you think,' is not a de-escalation tactic. 18. I am not permitted to answer calls in any language except English. 19. Especially not one that I just made up. 20. I should not imply to customers that with a push of a button, I can make their cell phone emit a high-powered pulse of microwaves, that will sterilize them because they are too stupid to be permitted to breed. 21. I may not say anything to a visiting representative from the client, period. In fact, I've noticed that they all visit on my scheduled days off now. 22. If management objects to the presence of my swiss army knife that couldn't cut warm butter, I probably shouldn't counter by explaining in detail how I could inflict considerably more damage with my bare hands, or common office supplies. 23. No one wants to know why I brought duct tape to work. 24. I may not use invented technical terms in conversation with a customer. 25. Additionally, on days when the center is to be decorated with balloons, inflatable sheep do not count as balloons. 26. If I am working over the easter weekend, I may not crucify things in my cubicle, even if they are inanimate. 27. When engaged in technical troubleshooting, I should not recite the Death Star Trench run scene from Star Wars: A New Hope. ("Stay on target...") 28. I am not allowed to invent company slogans for the client. 29. The phrase 'logistical clusterf*ck' probably shouldn't be used in skip-level team meetings. 30. The proper title for our Ops Manager is not 'herr gruppenfuher'. 31. If my idea involves stage-blood, and I giggle for more than twenty seconds about it, it's probably not allowed. 32. On my re-preferencing form, I am not allowed to write 'Euthenasia'. 33. I am not allowed to invent my own line of company merchandise to compete with the Convergys Store (even if Convergys 'do not resuscitate' bracelets seem like they ought to be hot sellers). 34. I must not inflame American political sentiments by pretending I am in France. 35. Though the Convergys tradition of Diversity Week strives to honor the holiday seasons of many religions, I am not to use this week to encourage worship of Cthulhu, the ancient cephalod-faced deity who sleeps under the sea, and will one day rise to devour us all. 36. I may not use the word 'Fnord' in account notations, or any corporate documentation. 37. Sheep's hearts may not be kept in the break-room fridges. 38. When the managers foul up, they are not honor-bound to commit seppuku (Japanese ritual suicide, a la 'The Last Samurai'), and I should not insist that they do so. 39. My schedule adherence forms are not the perfect place to start converting the company to metric time. 40. When filling out a schedule adherence form for offline due to illness, there is such a thing as being too detailed. (i swear this was part of the reason i was fired.....) 41. The security checkpoint is not a storm trooper roadblock, therefore it is inappropriate to perform 'Jedi mind tricks' on them. (as with this) 42. I am not allowed to 'go drill instructor' on a customer. 43. It is not right to play into the paranoid fantasies of customers that their ATT Wireless phone is being 'tapped'. 44. Slip 'n Slides have no place on the production floor. 45. When management wrote up our dress code, they really meant to include 'no ghillie suits', and it is wrong to take advantage of this oversight. 46. I should not giggle randomly, just to make my TL nervous. 47. Customers are not required to answer a 'skill testing question' before I assist them. 48. There's no such thing as an 'in-cubicle sabbatical'. 49. I may not supply my own 'hold music'. 50. Especially not the soundtrack to a porno movie. 51. Management decisions do not need to be 'ratified by a 2/3 majority'. 52. The proper answer to solicitations for my advice is not 'a full magazine and some privacy'. 53. I may not form, recruit, or train a militia on company time. 54. Quoting Dr Seuss should be kept to a bare minimum when assisting customers. 55. Same with 'Full Metal Jacket'. 56. Combinations of 54 and 55 are just way out. 57. There are no edge rewards points awarded for bargaining customers into signing away their immortal souls, and I should not negotiate towards this goal. 58. Customers and co-workers do not need to know my 'true name' to gain my cooperation. 59. I may not conduct psychological warfare experiments on my superiors. 60. When answering customer calls, I am not allowed to pretend that the customer has inadvertently reached the FBI, NSA, organized crime, or an airliner in distress. 61. I may not hold Communist Party meetings on company premises. 62. On my Tl's day off, I should not take the opportunity to reverse her cubicle to a mirror image of what it was. 63. I may not dupe the company into providing health benefits for my fish. 64. Not allowed to dispense anti-depressants during team meetings. 65. My Tl's stapler is solely for attaching documents together, therefore I should not borrow it to demonstrate just how inured I've become to pain. 66. If my TL asks if I am too sick to come in to work, this is not my cue to come down to the center with my 'sick bucket'. 67. I am not allowed to have flashbacks to the Boer War. 68. When a customer is so impressed with my knowledge and abilities that they offer to hire me away from Convergys, the correct answer is not, "Can you get me a work visa?" 69. Despite their ominous name, Power of One cards do not suck away my soul to feed the dark rituals that prolong our CEO's infernal, undying existence. It is not necessary to burn them upon receipt. 70. I am not allowed to bring my own document shredder to work and spend the entire day shredding things. 71. Don't say 'Oh the humanity' to panicky/distraught customers when reviewing their bills. 72. Don't concoct humorous troubleshooting procedures (ie "Spin anti-clockwise six times to prime the APU, then initiate turbine restart procedures," in the context of cell phone service) to derive entertainment from outright technopeasants. 73. I am not allowed to warp the fragile minds of new hires. 74. For the love of god, don't talk to Americans about politics, especially if they want to. 75. When customers hang up angry, don't call back to ask nonchalantly, "We seem to have been disconnected. Was there anything else I could help you with?" 76. I do not have the authority to initiate jihad. 77. Not allowed to re-enact or invent whole episodes of 'The Three Stooges', either single-handedly, or with the assistance of other stooges. 78. On balloon days, don't scrawl editorial comments on the balloons with a magic marker. 79. Not allowed to transform my cubicle into a 'war room', complete with ominous red buttons with plastic safety covers. 80. Not allowed to apply for internal positions for the specific and sole purpose of annoying or antagonizing HR. 81. Not allowed to plant anything in the various flowerpots/planters on-site, particularly not ragweed, poison oak, kudzu, or cannabis. 82. Not allowed to metaphorically liken management decisions to masturbation. 83. Not allowed to start or conclude an answer to any question from my superiors with the phrase 'in accordance with prophecy'. 84. International Talk Like a Pirate Day is not to be celebrated on the production floor. (!) 85. Not allowed to attempt to sell magic beans to customers. Apparently there are no Edge-Rewards for this either. 86. I may not try to conduct business in pantomime. 87. Lunch should be dead before I bring it to work. 88. No one wants to know what kinds of things I used to eat in survival training. See 87. 89. I cannot have a DAP saying 'conquer the earth with an army of flying monkeys'. (Some Tl's seem to think EVERYONE should have a DAP, and insist you pick some developmental goal). 90. Even if it only LOOKS like a live grenade, I can't use it as a paperweight. 91. When asked if I want the company to succeed, the correct answer is not, "I want it to get what it /deserves/." 92. Not allowed to collect hair samples for unspecified purposes. 93. Not allowed to work under my cubicle (it's like having a tiny fort!). 94. Not allowed to refer scary, filthy hobos to Convergys for employment. 95. Not allowed to call team meetings. 96. Not allowed to CAP Tl's. 98. Trying to get a disease named after Convergys is not good advertisement. This is particularly true of respiratory infections and intestinal parasites. 99. When management starts a historical metaphor that is supposed to be inspiring, they are not inviting me to finish it, and especially not with astounding accuracy. This is particularly true if my elaboration involves cannibalism, revolutionary upheaval, friendly fire, death camps, the introduction of syphilis to Europe, expendable slave labour, or invading Russia in winter. 100. When the project's death spiral picks up speed, I should not throw up my hands and shout '!' 101. Not allowed to attach 'k##l marks' to the side of my cubicle, in the tradition of WWII-era fighter aircraft. Well, it'd be okay if they represented 'proactive contract renewals', but in my case, it's a little too obvious that they don't. 102. Not allowed to start post-call notations with 'I recently had an experience that I just had to write you about'. 103. Not allowed to fill a vodka bottle with clear Gatorade, then chug the whole works in a team meeting as our TL is attempting to brief us on some upcoming disaster. 104. Not allowed to leave motivational stress balls in the break room microwave. 105. If I don't curtail my habit of creeping, my TL is going to put a bell around my neck. 106. Not allowed to surreptitiously decorate the call center with 'Depressories' (see http://www.despair.com). 107. Not allowed to invent my own sarcastically upbeat theme days/weeks. 108. Our call center does not have a mascot. If it did, it would not be a weasel, tapeworm, malarial parasite, Portuguese man-of-war, slime mold, or dung beetle. 109. Not allowed to cover my cubicle with camo netting. 110. I must not taunt the yahoo in charge by blurting 'Regime Change' every time I walk past his office. 111. Bounties are not acceptable material for posting on the new 'Convergys Classifieds' board in our center (particularly for OM's, or portions thereof). 112. The OM's are not interested in any scorecard or performance appraisal that I have written about them. 113. The seemingly random strategic flailing of our project is properly termed 'flexibility', not 'random strategic flailing'. 114. When they insist that I 'express empathy' towards the customer in circumstances of misfortune, they don't mean while processing payments. (ie "I would like to pay my bill." "I'm sorry to hear that.") 115. I must restrain my impulse to giggle when management finally expresses worry that the center might lose its project. 116. Not allowed to give my ticket to the 'Diversity Day' dinner to a filthy, disgusting hobo. 117. I am not a native Antarctican. (It's another Diversity Day thing.) 118. I must not flaunt my employability outside of the Verge to the management (particularly in relative terms). 119. When asked which center I am in, the answer is not 'Camp I Love My Job'. 120. Nor is it 'Stalag 13'. 121. Searching for client with obscene names is not an acceptable way to pass the time during slow days. 122. I should not invite customers with destructive intent to come visit the call center. 123. My name is not a killing word. 124. The Diversity Day dinner is not potluck, therefore I should not contribute such Norwegian delicacies as lutefisk, or a barbecued sheep's head. 125. Not allowed to grant employment referrals to other subversive bastards.