Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
  Managed by Chihuahuas

When I was a kid I did not like going to my aunt's house. I loved my aunt, but her dogs really annoyed me. She had 2 spoiled chihuahuas that pretty much ran the entire household. One was the classic shorthair, like the Taco Bell dog, and the other was a long hair,it was the mother of the other. I have never known a pair of more disagreeable animals. All they seemed to do was bark and growl at anybody besides my aunt and uncle.

But they were very comical. They would growl and bark and yap like two bad-ass half wolves, but if you got close to them they'd run away. But the worse thing about them was they would not shut up. I found myself thinking about feeding them peanut butter and bacon just to shut them up. I think they may have tried to bite me a couple times, but never any real injuries. They were just big, craven cowards that had been spoiled beyond belief.

The older one was the funniest because she had the appearance and personality of a grouchy older lady. You know the one, she'd chase you out of her yard with a broom if your ball went over the fence. The little dog had black and white hair with touches of gray in it, like some Josie and the Pussycats dye job gone awry. I think she had some sort of lung problem because she would get to barking at you and then start coughing like she only smoked unfiltered lucky strikes.

What do spoiled chihuahuas with lung conditions have to do with working in a call center you may ask? Well, I will tell you...

As I sat on terminal hold with a mutual fund rep. today, I saw the general manager emerge from his throne-like room to speak with my direct supervisor. I could hear him talking in a low voice, but not too low. I heard only "failure to advise changes in market value", "new customers", "you need to address this", and then the names of five or six people on the floor including my name.

So I'm all set for some nurturing, or an ass chewing, or a combination of both. It doesn't come. Phones are ringing, people are talking, there's that normal hum over the center.

Then my boss starts talking real loud about 5 decibels under a shout, like he's talking to everybody, but no one in particular. "I'm not losing any more customers because some people can't follow investor's instructions! If you think I am you need to come talk to me, I'll show you the stats on how many customers we're losing because some people won't be bothered to do things correctly. You will follow the investor's instructions and I'm not kidding this time!"

He never did talk to any of us individually and the day went on the normal way. The more I thought about it, I realized, they are scared of actually dealing with us. Just like my aunt's chihuahuas, they talk big, but are scared of any real confrontation.

All I could think was "Yap,yap,yap,yap,bark,bark,bark, grrrr....grrr...yap yap yap...yipe!yipe!yipe!"


Oh that shit is so true!

In my call center, instead of shouting, we get the daily mass emails reminding everyone of procedures. One person in the place can do it wrong, but all 300 people have to be reminded of it! They're so scared of just confronting the one person...or making anyone feel "singled out". Oh boo-hoo!
Amen, brother-friend.
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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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