Monday, January 7, 2013

On Patrol

I’ve been at the new Internet monitoring job for about 6 weeks now (click here if you don't know what I'm talking about and I’m happy to report that it is as hilarious as ever…the only struggle is NOT issuing penalties for the egregious grammar errors that I see every day…apparently, in the world of the Internet, not only is spelling optional but apostrophes can be thrown around with reckless abandon and common clichés can be butchered at will. Like when a girl recently wrote that she was stuck “between a rock and a smart place.”

I don’t even know what that means but it sounds like a bad place to be.

But let me go ahead and address the issue I’m sure is in the forefront of everyone’s mind: penis drawings. Yes, they are still a constant thorn in my side…so much so that I’ve decided to go ahead and make a study of the genre. And my research has led me to determine that there are 2 distinct categories of penis artists. Two different aesthetics, if you will, in the somewhat narrow milieu of genital art.

1.  The proud rebel – the person who knows he isn’t supposed to populate the internet with these kinds of images and therefore seeks to get his message out as quickly as possible. He hastily slaps down 2 circles and an oval, adds a few more identifying features—sometimes even going so far as to thoughtfully label the picture ‘wiener,’ just in case we weren’t aware. He knows it’s going to get removed so churns them out one after another with obsessive zeal….continuing to do so until he is barred from the site in question.

2. The Rembrandt –this guy isn’t concerned with quantity but with quality. He takes his time, adds precise anatomical detail, and then—because he wants his drawings to remain on screen as long as possible—loosely attempts to hide them within other drawings. I’ve seen penis rocket ships, penis bananas, penis animals…it’s a veritable cornucopia of penis. My favorite of these was the graphic could-be-featured-in-Playgirl member lying on top of a hot dog bun…a picture which the author resubmitted moments after I deleted it—this time with a caption that said “NOT a penis.”

Which, honestly, was a little insulting.

Did he really think I’d see the caption and say to myself “Oh, of course, that’s not a penis, it’s a HOT DOG…I feel so stupid…”

In any case, as entertaining as penis patrol is, the conversations with the other monitors are still the best part of the job. Particularly when dealing with monitors for whom English is a second language. See, the company works all over the world and there’s just nothing like explaining the nuances of American slang to someone who grew up in Russia.

For example, the other day this monitor I’ll call Magda came in the chat room and announced that a user had reported someone who had just posted “Amy is a lesbo.”

“That’s ok, yes?” she asked.

And it must have been a busy time because the supervisor didn’t answer right away. After a few minutes another monitor—for whom English is also a second language—decided to help. “Lesbos is an island in Greece,” he said. “It’s fine.”

At this point, I decided I should speak—or in this case type--up. “It’s a reference to lesbianism,” I said. “And an inappropriate one. I’d remove it.”

3 other monitors jumped in to remind Magda and I that the guidelines allow references to homosexuality—particularly in sites for teens and young adults—as long as they aren’t offensive or graphic. “Leave it,” they all told Magda.

“But it IS offensive,” I assured them all. “If she had just said lesbian, that would be fine…it’s kind of like gay versus fag. Gay is fine but fag isn’t.”

At this point another monitor that I like to (secretly) call “Gregor the Insufferable And Usually Inaccurate Know it All” decided to throw his hat into the ring. “Kimberly,” he typed in what I assume was a snooty manner. “A fag is a cigarette.”

“Gregor,” I typed in a snootier manner while making faces at the keyboard. “Not in the United States. Not EVER in the United States.”

And it probably would have degenerated into a nasty dialogue of ALL CAPS, aggressive fonts, and angry emoticons >:-{ except that a supervisor noticed all the hoopla and ended the debate.

“Kimberly’s right,” she announced. “Lesbian is acceptable, lesbo is not.”

Ha! Take THAT Gregor! :-P

Then, when Gregor the Insufferable And Usually Inaccurate Know It All tried to debate, she got hardcore ALL CAPS on his ass, snapping, “I AM ONE AND IT’S NOT OK!” Which pretty much settled the argument…and—because I have the emotional maturity of an 8 year old—got me laughing so hard I almost fell out of my chair.

Honestly, it’s frightening to imagine what the future might hold.
A Mother Life</


  1. I, like, legitimately wish I had your job! Lol.

    Great story & storytelling! :)

  2. I also am GREEN with envy at your job. I now FINALLY know what I want to be if I grow up.
    I also wonder, bc I'm "penises are funny" years old, just HOW illegal is it for you to take screen shots of those? You could do a blog post on it, and Totes McTotes credit the sources. None of us would tell. PROMISE!

  3. p.s. I apologize for the "Totes McTotes" I spent a good part of the morning watching YouTube reviews of comic book stuff :/
    p.p.s. I saw you at A Mother Life blog hop, and I'm hooked. New follower.

  4. Heheheh that does sound like a funny kinda job :) Glad the smart alec got his heinie kicked.

  5. OH My Goodness! What an interseting job! And your boss is cool.

  6. oh damn... thanks for hooking up to the Hump Day Hook Up