Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Thursday, April 01, 2004
  Step away from the Wheaties and no one will get hurt!

While we are on the subject of bosses, let me tell what I like about my direct supervisor. I understand him, and he seems to like the job I do, at least 80% of the time. Yeah, he has other good traits, and some bad ones too.

But the understanding thing is the most important thing to me. The bosses I did not get along with are the ones that I could not predict what they would do. So when I thought I could slack they would nail me, and when I thought I could break this or that rule they would nail me. And the things that I thought I would get yelled at for, they let that slide. I know what pisses this guy off and how to respond when I make him mad. Other people that haven't figured that out don't do as well.

As I said in a previous post about bosses, it's almost more important that you learn to get along than it is to produce an acceptable amount of work. If you out work everybody, but in the process you proceed to "piss in everybody's wheaties", then you do more harm than good, it actually makes everybody mad at you. They will say, "The new kid thinks he's better than us! We've been doing this job for 20 years this way, and he's been here 3 weeks and thinks he knows everything!". Here, let me put it in a more educated way: The value of your production is negated because your non-normative behavior has caused stress and disorder to exist in an existing social system that had been in place for some time. Deviance in established social systems stigmatizes you no matter how much you produce.(I still liked the wheaties comment better...)

Getting along at work, learning the language and symbols that are unique to every workplace is really more important than production. Think of knowledge of corporate culture like WD-40, you have to keep the machine running smoothly if you want to stay there. Increasing your production is the next step only after you have learned the accepted method for doing things. You might know a better way to do everything, but you will just piss everybody off by proceeding to destroy the ways that the culture in place had defined everything. It's like when you proceed to tell people that God does not exist-they get really angry because you have attacked not only their entire world view, but everything that defines what is right and wrong in the world, everything that they were able to explain by their faith. You're attacking their very identity.

This is why so many people that are extremely brilliant and creative aren't able to stay in Joe Jobs, because they can't learn to fit in. If you know that you are a square peg-don't try to fit in a round hole-either find a way to profit from your creativity, or find the least objectionable way to make money while you either find that dream job, or ways to amuse yourself while you are waiting. I recommend blogging......

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Exploring the mind numbing insanity and childish corporate culture of an unknown call center employee.

Purgatory: A place of suffering and torment with an unknown duration. In Roman Catholic Theology-the place where the dead are purified from their sins.

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"One must know oneself, if this does not serve to discover truth, it at least serves as a rule of life, and there is nothing better." -Blaise Pascal

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