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An evil has awakened in this land, and whilst my people fought for their very souls, you, AOL, LLC waged war against us!!!

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As seen from a warehouse in Dulles, VA, it looks like AOL is getting their shit packed in, literally. Massive layoffs are imminent, my friends, and we can only hope they come swiftly. Someone will say that AOL will relocate to advertiser-friendly New York next spring. Someone will say what is lost can never be saved, I hope in this case, they’re correct.

These past few years have been excruciating and horrible. FST which was once a mecca of AOL tech knowledge, is now just a dumping ground for unwanted calls and pseudo-busy work to keep the funding coming. The management knows we have been trapped in a servitude of grim proportions, yet they fail to acknolwedge it. They pretend, “all is fine and dandy in this nest of love” though they too, are merely prisoners in this dead end job.

Our superior boss lives and works in VA, the stooge isn’t even on site. Though his shelter from perceived uselessness will soon itself become a ghost town.

I can’t believe that our developers know as much about this product as we do. The moment I knew AOL was doomed was when we asked the ACS developers how to fix ACS. They replied with “well, I could take countless hours and go through the code and scripts and eventually work out the bugs and have it working 100%, but thats what FST is for”, (semi-verbatim wording) That’s downright pathetic. In other words, developers lack sentience.

I only take solace in the fact that a real company, which had something to sell and wasn’t just in the right place at the right time – like AOL (but I digress) – a real company will simply laugh at their incompetence and send them packing to work at Burger King. That’s where that level of failure belongs.

Many senior techs are useless and unwilling to admit it. Especially the ones that have left and moved on to other positions, where their uselessness is hidden. When you asked them for their knowledge, they often answered with something off topic, if they don’t know the answer (which was often).

Example:

Me: “How do I manually uninstall Mcafee anti-virus (version whatever before we gave up on it)?”

Senior Tech: “Ummm, Have you tried add/remove programs?”

Me: “Umm, yeah how about answering the question I asked.”

Our team meetings have become a joke, we don’t even talk about technical issues and recent “data collection”. Instead, we play games like “tech trivia” and musical chairs. Very useful. When we did talk about technical issues, it was dominated by a few loud mouths who knew as much about teching as the people who used to work at the other callcenter.

I say “other” callcenter, because that’s all we are too, a callcenter. I may as well be selling Avon, because that’s about as useful as what will be on my resume from working here. It’s a useless, unrewarding place where you feel less and less human by the day. Since we’re going to close down soon anyways, why take calls anymore?. The data is irrelevant, counter-productive.

Heck, there’s only like 6-8 of us on the phones as it is, why don’t we just take some extra time off the phones and work on our resumes? I have found some useful info on http://www.howtowritearesume.net/. Let’s help one another escape this hell. Why wait til the ship sinks only to scramble and look for other work? Let’s be prepared ahead of time.

I wish the bell would toll soon for us, there is nothing here for me, I need the end to set me free.

[@nn3d

Yes sah. We got canned here at AOL, as predicted. Our Tucson site will be closing in December 16th and along with it our jobs. We get one month severance package (yay). I only wish they would start the severance early so I could chill while finding another job.

In any case here is how the day went. On Wednesday, October 18th I went into work and I saw the Channel 13 news van. I figured, either someone got shot, or we’re getting laid off. It was that simple. And I was correct on the second account. I walked in and immediately was greeted by the Workforce management person. They had us go into a room where we listened to a Human Resources person give a spiel about why our site was getting shutdown, and what our benefits were. Well we know this was going to happen (refer to this article).

It was funny, because I was already going to jump the second I got another job offer, so this did not have the “scary” effect they supposed it would have on me. I do however, feel sorry for those who were counting on this job as it will no doubt affect them unless they can get employment quickly.

In any case, I left with a bottled water and a threat not to talk to the media or we risk losing our severance package. (Good luck figuring out who I am). Obviously that went over well. I don’t know why they didn’t want us talking to the media, maybe the media would paint them in a bad light because they are keeping India call centers open. But people should’ve known that was going to happen the second the India callcenter’s opened.

They don’t “augment” workforces with India, they replace them. And it’s so common now no one will make a big fuss when it happens. Any remaining employees working for Dell or any other big company that outsources, your jobs are in jeopardy whether your company admits it or not. I suggest education and training, and looking for a more reliable position. I will not give away my plans as I feel it may be used to identify me, but needless to say I will not be in bad shape.

For those who got canned, we salute you!

portzer #3

We Gettin’ Canned Yo

At one time there was a great deal of speculation concerning AOL layoff rumors. That speculation is no more. It is now clear that all of the Tucson sites will be laid off in the near future (i.e. less than 6 months from now).

It’s an inevitable state of affairs if you look at AOL’s changing business model. They are changing revenue to be advertisement based and not subscription based. To accelerate that, they are giving free service to those who have high speed and do not want tech support. Clearly they are stepping away from a software platform, and embracing one that is web based. Hence no need for techs (us).

To make the possibility even more clear, they admitted to needing to layoff 5,000 people (duh), 3,000 of which will come from Europe. The other 2,000 will likely be us here in Tucson, and whatever callcenters remain (I think Abequerque). It is our belief that India will stay on to be the last techs. Why cut the cheap ones first? (thinking like an idiot bean counter).

So anyway we post here to put any speculation to rest, and plan for the future. Yes we were those guys that walked you through deleting files and reinstalling CD’s. Yes we wrote disgusting articles shortly after talking with you. We were those guys.

We hold little ill-will towards our employer. Much like you would not hold ill-will toward a retarded kid that hits you with a baseball he was playing with. You can’t get mad at him, because he’s retarded. The same holds for our company. I could go into a lengthy diatrabe about corporate stupidity. Let me just say, I have never understood the figure of speech “right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing”, more clearly than I have in the years I’ve been working at this company. For those about to be canned, we salute you!

What our Readers Want III

This is the ongoing post that answers the question, “What do our readers want and how can we help them to find it?” This information is taken directly from phrases of what people use to search our site.

Male crotch pics

Dirty dirty people….

muay + thai + money

You came to the right place my friends.  As you know two of us have fought for money growing up.  In fact that is how portzer #1 and I met.  On the mean streets of Philly at the age of 18 with machetes in hand.  Of course the machetes were for show but by golly it was showmanship at its best.

control by diapers

What type of control are you looking for?  Mind control is out of the question but you can control many things with a diaper.  In fact I could think of controlling the movements of the human body, other than bowel and bladder.  I’m talking about doing that straight up Jackie Chan style.

What to do for an animal with no bladder

I say you tie little Timmy’s marmoset to the tree and beat it with a shovel. HAHA… I kid, but seriously, WTH are you talking about?  You hook that bad boy up to a fur friendly colostomy bag and you love that animal to pieces.

maximum loads male enhancer pills

Now loaded male enhancer pills are a dangerous thing.  If you are looking at putting in a silver bullet and cocking back the hammer you are playing with fire my friend… with fire… ::dramatic hand gestures::

fergie stain

Yes the dirty hoo hoo dilly of Fergie is legendary throughout the land

aol layoff rumors

Yeah… we know… : \ 

picters of swiming pools

Well by cracky we got picters of grampa simmons floatin’ a poo boat in the pool.  Actually the pool is our cattle pond…

ROSIE O’DONNELL HIGH SCHOOL PICTURE

I repeat: “Dirty, dirty people”

getting ticks off of you

We know your secret… Although I heard you can burn them off with a lighter… I don’t know, I just heard that somewhere ::scratches leg and gets out lighter::

Portzer #2

What our readers want II

Today we discuss the sequel to our classic: What our readers want.

You see, we repond to our readers demand for hyperbole, and satire. The way we do that, is with our search results.

In no particular order, we will review some of the more recent attempts to reach our site.

AOL haCK

– We have had brief discussions on hard hitting hacks such as changing the color of the AOL icons, and discussed strange techie terms such as Boxley that are either a town in South Africa or an AOL technology, we’re not sure wihch.

Naga Ashley Olsen

– This is an interesting idea, Ashely Olsen is certainly skinny enough to be a Naga Baba. The only thing she lacks are the male parts needed for the strange twisting rituals. See article.

swiming pools

– Apparently, we are the universal repositoriy for information about mispelled swimming pools. This wasn’t the first one, and I don’t think it will be the last we see of it.

aol saves call

– This may be discussed in a future article, unfortunately the person who made the call is attempting to sell the recording to the highest bidder in an attempt to make himself rich and famous. This is akin to the “severed finger in my chili” scandal, except there was no finger and no chili.

Jessica Simpson unofficial

– Um yeah, we have some unofficial info on Jessica. See it here.

water proof diapers

– Unforunately this topic comes up frequently enough that I have stopped swimming in public pools. Now you will never see me don a speedo and cannonball into zesty water for fear of potentially running into a fragmented poop bomb.

faux pa

– Just look this up in the dictionary, it’s an embarassing accident in a social situation. Sheesh.

Sitemanager fun video feces

– At some point we will try to put all those things together. Stay tuned..

Male enchancement bill

– I think they meant pill? Or perhaps they are starting a blog to get generous internet browsers to help pay for their male enhancement. More power to ya we say, just don’t ask us for money.

Various celebrity pee, and/or bladder control requests.

– We’ve covered it here, but we will have to wait until another celeb drops traw and lets it go on stage. It could be any day now. Portzer #2 has a slighty unhealthy obsession with dirty celebrities. My guess is you will not be disappointed.

im i not turtley enough for the turtle c

– You might think it a fluke, but this strange request has been asked for more than once. Unfortunately, due to the cryptic nature of the search, we may not be able to deliver an article about it. And will probably spend the rest of our lives wondering what the last word was supposed to be.

Until the next search results review, keep on searching. Don’t forget to keep it legible.

portzer #3

TOP 10 signs your call center will be laid off soon

Here at IRQportz, we are sensitive to the recent transitions made at AOL. We wish nothing but the best of luck for those who were let go, and that they have strength during the uncertain road ahead.

That being said, we want to help our fellow techs by sharing our analysis of this process. There are warning signs that your call center may be closing soon. If you see them, it is best to make preparations early, and not be caught off guard. In no particular order:

# 10) A new call center opens in India. Company spokesmen are abuzz about the new "world class talent", that will "take the product to the next level."

# 9) The local news mentions a new Walmart will be built, its address is strangely similar to your call center.

# 8 ) At the weekly raffle, instead of giving away Game boy advance, the prize is a month's supply of Ramen.

# 7) You catch your supervisor surfing monster.com.

# 6) You catch your site manager surfing monster.com.

# 5) Some important exec says the company needs to "streamline its infrastructure."

# 4) Your site manager sends a mass email assuring you everything is ok.

# 3) When you go to your workstation, you find a rotory phone and a spiral notebook where your computer used to be.

# 2) The company fails to throw a big party on employee appreciation day, instead, the main event is a janitorial staff talent show.

# 1) The company issues a press release stating they do not respond to unofficial rumors.

Again, if you see any of these signs, it may be time to check into some alternatives for employment.

AOL search – Thou Art Loosed!!

Well, I was looking for a topic to talk about that would be AOL related. And it was promised earlier, so here it is…

The site of focus is AOL Advanced search
I ran along this while reading the FAQ's on AOL's searchsite. If you want to refine a search and don't feel like typing (OR, AND, -, NOT) it has fields which you can fill out.

Here are some tips for searching

  • Make use of the NOT field why search for Starsky and Hutch and get endless pictures of Ben and Owen when you want the original bad mamma jamma's of law enforcement
  • If you are looking for something exact like a quote use the exact phrase field
  • Lets say you lost a pdf that you once had concerning the IRS or the latest House M.D. fanfic, choose Adobe Acrobat PDF (*.pdf) from the format menu
  • Got a problem you think microsoft has the answer for and you only want their take on the issue?  Then enter microsoft.com in the domain search only.  Or exclude them if they make you angry ::shakes fist::

Well those are just a few nifty features of the Advanced Search.  Enjoy!