BJJ Grrl

"Be gentle, kind and beautiful, yet firm and strong, both mentally and physically." ~Sensei Keiko Fukuda

The show must go on

on August 20, 2010

I haven’t heard an update on Will, though he’s been out all week.

Both Perry and Gary are out of town this weekend, and Justin doesn’t get to the academy from work until 6 or so, so I packed a book today and sat and read while I waited. Yoshi pulled up shortly after me; he didn’t have a book, and was relegated to reading his car’s owner manual, lol. Another guy pulled in, too, right before Justin.

The other two guys were lollygagging about getting started, so I rolled with Justin. And we rolled, and we rolled. About 45 minutes total, I think. He let me try to attack him when he was standing, to sweep him down. I know what to do, I just can’t seem to make it work. Hmm. He also made me work on my base a lot — knock me over, let me up, knock me over, let me up. I was consciously thinking about it, but that still didn’t do much good. He also let me work on top quite a bit, and from his back and from side control, though I don’t last very long in any of those positions right now. I was trying to work on keeping pressure down and doing the same knee-smashing that everyone else has been doing to me. Am not controlling well, though, from there; he just slides his top knee out like it’s nothing. *le sigh*

He pretzled me up again several times for some crazy submissions and let me plunk myself right into several triangles. Rats. Oh, and tapped me with side control, too. Doh. My own fault: I’d barely held out when he first tried it (and I knew he was trying to do just that — goodness, pressure on lower ribs = no breathing!). It seemed to go on forever, and if he’d just held that position for a few more seconds, I’d’ve had to tap. But he moved on, and when I caught my breath I laughed a little and pointed out that it wouldn’t have taken much more to get me there (I wanted him to know that he’d been doing it right). He gave me a sly grin and slid right back to that same position. Oh, noes. Breathing… can’t.

Class in the morning. I think it’s my first Saturday class in a month!


Clients are dumb. Really, they are.

So we’ve nearly finished the new phone system. Our plan was to set a date and then cut from the old text-to-speech system to the new, recorded human voice, new menu options, easier to navigate system. We even planned to add a new prompt in the old voice to assure people that they had called the right number and that the system had been updated. Don’t panic.

Sounds reasonable to me.

Well, the client balked. Said just cutting over would be too much of a shock for their customers. Customers would panic, lots of calls would come to Customer Care. Well, yes, we said; you’re changing the system. Some people can handle that; some can’t. You’ll get an initial influx of calls, but it should taper off quickly. It’ll all work out.

But, no, this was too much for them. They want to slowly introduce the new system as much as possible. So now we’re taking the first few welcome prompts from the new system and shoehorning them in to the old system, even though the welcome flow is different between the old and new systems. And this will use the new voice, with no warning, so customers will still hear the new voice and panic, and Customer Care will be flooded with calls.

It gets better.

The old system made you first select the product that you wanted to use in the rest of the call. The new system asks for that way further down; instead, it asks you to choose which type of caller you are first. The old system asks that question further down.

So the intermediate system will go something like this:

  1. Thank you for calling Company Customer Care Center. For English, press 1. For Spanish*, press 2.
  2. [Press 1.]
  3. Please listen carefully as our menu options have recently changed.
  4. If you are a patient, press 1. If you are a physician, press 2. If you are a pharmacist, press 3. To speak to a Customer Care representative, press 4.
  5. [Press 1.]
  6. To take a patient survey, press 1. To speak to a representative regarding insurance, press 2. To speak to a Customer Care representative, press 3.
  7. [Press 1.]
  8. For Product A, press 1. For Product B, press 2.
  9. [Press 1.]
  10. If you are a patient, press 1. If you are a physician, press 2. If you are a pharmacist, press 3. To speak to a Customer Care representative, press 4.
  11. [Press 1.]
  12. To take a patient survey, press 1. To speak to a representative regarding insurance, press 2. To speak to a Customer Care representative, press 3.
  13. … … ….[Press 3. Excuse me, your system is broken. It just asked the same questions over and over again.]

That is somehow supposed to be less confusing for customers. Uh-huh, yeah… no. We laid this out for them, pointed out the redundancy, pointed out that every time they made a change like this that they would get a massive influx of calls to Customer Care… and yet they still think their way is better. … … …

*Spanish customers will get the hard cutover. Lucky.


Design-a-Gi Contest

I’m sure you’ve seen the “Design A Gi” contest that Seymour and Liam have unleashed, but just in case you haven’t:

Design your dream gi. If you win the contest, that gi will be made for you. Wowza.

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4 responses to “The show must go on

  1. He also made me work on my base a lot — knock me over, let me up, knock me over, let me up. I was consciously thinking about it, but that still didn’t do much good.
    ————————
    I am told that I have excellent base. For me, it’s all about the visualization. Sorry if this sounds all New-Agey Woo-woo, but it really is simple and effective.

    As soon as I find myself in guard (for example), I picture myself as a fat, squat, lazy, heavy giant toad flattened out on the mat. I also imagine a huge, heavy boulder in my pelvis anchoring me to the ground.

    Some people like a more elegant visualization: a tree with thick, strong roots growing out of the mat.

    For standup, I use the boulder-in-the-pelvis again, but I image myself as a stone column, like in an old Roman building. My base is sunk several feet into the ground.

    At first, you have to call up the mental picture and then consciously make your body do the requisite adjustments- spread your knees, lower your butt toward the mat, drop your elbows, etc etc…. after some practice, as soon as the image flashes into your head, your body will sink into the associated pose immediately and without any effort or brain cells required by you.

    With practice, you should be able to hold these mental pictures and the associated feelings without using conscious thought- ie, you can do it with a little corner of your mind and still be focussing on your techniques and strategy. I see the image as sort of a dim, still overlay on top of all the colorful and busy action happening in my mind.

    Visualizations are very individual; the tree is one of the most popular, but each person should find the ones that are meaningful and make sense to hir.

    It helps some people to find a good photo of their visualization object and put it on their screen saver, or tape it to their bathroom mirror, someplace where you get a chance to fill your eyes with it regularly.

    An additional bonus of the tree, column and boulder visualizations is that it also helps keep your attention on your center/core and remember that your movement and power come from there- not your appendages.

    Give it a try, it might help your base. 🙂

  2. leslie says:

    @SavageKitsune: Thanks for the detailed description. I’ll give it a try on Monday. Emily Kwok taught us something like that in her seminar last October — visualizing a rock when you want to be heavy and a cloud when you want to be light. — I’ve just forgotten to use it.

  3. BJJ Judo says:

    Just curious regarding VRUs. Why not say, “For English please stay on the line, then in Spanish “For Spanish press 1”? If they dont press anything default to continuing in English. It seems like 1 less step which is 1 less opportunity for a mistake.

  4. leslie says:

    @BJJ Judo: You’re right, and the line in our new version now says only “For Spanish, press 2” in Spanish and defaults to English after that. I can’t remember if they’re using the new prompts there or not; the old prompts had 1 & 2, though they might have also defaulted to English if you didn’t press anything.

    After working here for over a year, I’m beginning to think that the designers of these systems are smart and make good systems. It’s the clients who freak out and want things added and changed that make the systems frustrating to use. (Ours originally wanted to have a confirmation prompt after everything — “You have selected ‘English.’ If this is correct, press 1. If this is not correct, press 2.”)

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