Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
  Where'd everybody go?

Every business goes through cycles where they have increased activity. Mine is no different. The way they had dealt with this in the last couple of years was to hire temporary employees and liquidate* them as call volume went down. They kept some of us full time employees to train the newbies and keep the place going when the volume was low.

Well, the thing is, our call center provides slightly technical financial assistance. Therefore, you can't just throw anybody in the mix, they have to either have experience in our field or go through training.

The perfect idea is to keep some trainees "in the pipeline" at all times, because not all of them make it through training or end up being good enough to stay on.

Well, it appears management let the well run dry and we are running low on people. That combined with the regular issues of sickness and vacations have really taken a toll. I looked up one day in the middle of the shift and there was only a third of the people that we normally have. Hold times were getting long, and people were getting nasty.

This used to really worry me, but now, its not such a big deal. You just do the best you can. But there is a lady I work with that just can't deal with people holding.

She starts to type loud, and starts yelling "Why cant we get more people in here?" and on from there. She will even stay over if it is the end of her shift and people are holding. I used to do that, but it doesn't pay. Sure you get overtime, but you end up getting involved in more and more problem calls and never leave.

There will always be calls, and people will always be holding. That is the responsibility of management, not me. When the clock hits my time, and I am not on a call, and have finished my work, I punch that time clock and beat feet. This is not just because I don't care anymore, I still do to some extent. But I also notice that even the supervisors, and senior people don't stay around either. There could be calls holding more than 5 mins and they leave. Its just understood by everyone, and never discussed.

I think the reason for this is because of the low morale. We are not a team, we are more like prisoners. There is no moving up, no raises, no praise and no criticism. All that remains is a paycheck, and the hope of enjoying our time away from this place, and the dread of returning.

*I hate this phrase "Liquidate people"....

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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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