Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Thursday, December 23, 2004
  Grinchy Cog?

Today was the essentially the last full day of work. We will be in tomorrow, but we are closing early and still working out some major problems with the servers in our network. The server problems started today on and off and caused no small amount of hassles. What seemed to exasperate this was that many of our customers are trying to take the rest of the year off and thought they would get in some last minute trades.


Not only were we unable to do many trades, the increase in call volume caused a lot of customers to stay on time a long time. When we finally answered after they had been on hold forever, they found out we could not help them. Needless to say I spent a lot of time today talking to people who had lost any and all trace of the Christmas spirit by the time they were yelling in my earpiece. I encountered almost every psychological response known to man. The angry, the hurt, the disappointed, the shocked, the indignant, and the confused, along with many variations that were a mixture of all those previously mentioned. But there was one customer who made it all worthwhile.

I have dealt with Fran for about 2 years on a regular basis. I've always liked her because she relates to us in a straight-forward way, like we are equals helping her out, and not her underlings. This goes a long way to creating good will. She had called in a trade early in the day, and we kept trying all day to get it completed. The times when the servers weren't down, our phones were flooded and we could not get it finished. I finally left her a message and told her how to call me direct without going through the queue. She rang right through. I explained I thought I knew a back door method to get the job done, but it may cost a little extra money or take longer, but it could be completed. She agreed and within three hours it went through and did not cost extra, I actually saved her some money.

"You're my hero, I know it took 6 hours, but all of my trades were completed and I can leave for vacation with nothing hanging over my head. I really appreciate all of your hard work. You are my hero. Merry Christmas."

That was the high point of the day. The low point was pretty much the everything before and after until I hit the clock and fled the building. After that, Mrs. Cog called me and asked me to stop and pick up more stuff for the Christmas party. I found myself venturing into Wal-Mart and Target right in the middle of the Christmas rush. Between finding a parking spot and trying to maneuver a cart through what seemed like a demolition derby in the store, I started really disliking being around people.

It took about 50 minutes and all of "Time Out" by Dave Brubeck to bring me back to wanting to be a part of humanity again. I'm sipping some eggnog now and listening to Nat King Cole. I still love Christmas.

Thanks for reading,


I'm glad you had one great customer - makes a huge difference! And wishing you a blessed Christmas and many days off from your job :-)
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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.

Email:anonymous.cog at

"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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"Wake Up"
By Rage Against The Machine

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