Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
  "I Don't Want to Write This..."

I don't feel like writing everyday. I don't want cry to my readers everytime the GM farts in my general direction. I don't want to be a whiny-ass.

I also don't like talking about things I would rather forget. Things that make me feel like I am a putz, or go on and on about how stupid I have let my life become, or how I have got this far in life without learning basic adult lessons. But, like driving slowly by an accident, I can't look away, no matter how bloody and horrible it is. Blogging my head-on collision of a job makes that non-specific feeling of dread melt away overnight.

So, here goes...

Everyone takes turns coming in early on different days and working weekends. This makes up for the strange off days we get off during the week and just the flexibility of a non-nine-to-five job.

On my early day recently, I got some shocking news. One of the veteran guys that helped train me in my first days here gave me a warning for the day ahead. The day before, I had left early. One of my trades went incredibly wrong, and it was totally my fault. There were some other people at fault, but I did not follow policy, I got in a hurry, and I think I lost the company a little more than a thousand dollars.

Normally, when I have made a mistake like this, I have been able to find a way to make it not my fault, or find a way to weasel out of it. But not this time. Not only that, but I messed up a trade for a customer that cries bloody murder any time his portfolio loses half a point of value. Now, I find out that I screwed up his great trade beyond all recognition.

The early warning from my friend was a good thing. Forewarned is forearmed. When my boss called me on the mistake, I was not shocked or floored. They could not catch me with my pants down, I had already taken them off, and was walking around in my boxers for everyone to see.

"Yeah, I saw that when I checked out my trades from yesterday. I can't believe I did that. There's no excuse for that. Is there anything I can do to help us recover from this?"

Larry looked up at me with a strange expression on his face. I think he was a little annoyed he couldn't yell at me, but he also knew there was nothing more he could do. "No...The GM will take this over. Go back to your desk..."

The rest of the day, he was exceptionally polite. He became very "professional", which is very unlike him. I kept waiting to be called in the office again, or get a written warning. It never happened. To receive nothing when you expect the world to drop on you is actually scarier than what you expected.

I walked by Larry's desk when he wasn't sitting there and saw a paper of some kind with my name on it. It was a memo, or report. I think he had to write to corporate to explain why we were paying back a big refund. I couldn't stay long enough to read it and had to keep walking.

Besides that stupid feeling of paranoia,(which is not without merit), part of me is scared I will lose my job. I know, no big loss. But my plan to leave here and never come back is not complete yet. Besides messing up my plans, just the idea that I would lose another job based on performance tears me up inside. I don't know if I have the strength to keep my sense of self intact if I can't make this work. Yes, I could go on and on explaining why I'm not meant for a "production job", why I'm destined for better things. But that's only partly true, the rest is self-justifying bullshit. Anytime you lose a job, it is still a ball-busting,ego-slap-down no matter if the job sucks or not.

In some ways, it feels good to be able to tell someone that I'm both scared that I could lose this dung-pit of a job that I have spent nine months complaining about, and disgusted with myself for being such a putz. Being human is like that though, we are a big ball of contradictions and weaknesses trying to either triumph over adversity or justify ourselves into a state of numb self-ignorance.

Oh yeah...That feels a little better.

Thanks for reading,


Sorry I went on and on...
It's the boxers. I don't like them. I prefer more support. That's what you need!
This is some sort of NightGallery- esque episode where I look in only to find that it's ME looking OUT. If I were a believer in reincarnation I would swear I had died and now live on as AC. But then I wouldn't be alive sitting here in my pajamas about to go to sleep....but ya get the point. Rock on AC.
If you are near Florida or plan on moving here or would even consider moving here, my call center (which totally rocks compared to yours) has two openings. email me and I will send you details. It pays well for a call center that is not owned by Microsoft, but you need to be mildly computer inclined. We teach the rest.
It sounds like a lose-lose situation, a simular situation I was in appox. 5 years ago. A dead end job with a supervisor down your throat constantly. Seeing co-workers that have been there less time that you getting promoted to bigger and better things. I know the routine and eventually I got fired from that job. You do feel bad like a total moron at first and you find that you are angry about it. Before you get fired you think to yourself, "If I get fired i won't miss this (explictive) place." However when it does happen you feel like a total nimrod. Then it feels like an eternity that until you find another job and in reality it was only a four week search until the next came along.
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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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