Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
  Was somebody speaking?

Nothing incredibly exciting happened this last week, only that feeling of irritation like your socks are wet, that being in a customer service job brings from time to time. The only interesting story was from one of my coworkers.

Someone really screwed up a trade. Not your average, run of the mill mistake, this was the Mona Lisa of screw ups. There were people shouting in the phone, the sounds of receivers being slammed, and of course lots of cursing. There was even a conference call on the speaker phone in the general managers office. Through what at first appeared to be a group effort, we lost a lot of money on a trade for one of our larger corporate customers.

Later, I found out it was not a group effort. Tom is one of my coworkers who sits in a cubicle next to one of our venerable call-center veterans. Tom explained to me how he heard the veteran setting up the trade. This veteran agent gave a prediction how the trade would work out, which is a big no-no. We are not to do anything that could make us responsible for a bad trade. It's not our money after all. From what Tom heard, the customer made the decision based on this information, even though there is no record of this detail available to the rest of the agents.

Tom did not want to be a snitch, but when he saw how management was in a tight spot, and did not seem to understand how it happened, he decided he would say something. This was a big step for him, because he is not very confident even though he is better agent than I am.

He walked into the GM's office, and told him what he knew about the trade. The GM looked at him with a deadpan expression, blinked, and then a short, yet long, awkward silence followed. The GM's phone rang, he answered it, then turned around his chair so his back was to Tom. Eventually Tom realized he was not welcome and turned and left the room.

"It's like I wasn't there, would it have been such a big deal to acknowledge that I'm at least speaking?" Tom said shaking his head. Sometimes I think our GM has a complete lack of any people skills. I often wonder if Donald Trump would be a warmer boss...

Thanks for reading,


Isn't work boring, We have so many occupations in this country that just stupify individualism. wow! I hit the anonymous button accidentily, check out my blog and have some fun.
That's just great. He tries to "take one for the team," and gets the proverbial kick in the pants. Lovely.
WOW In my Cube Farm, a informant like that would have given, strike that, earned Employee of the Month.

I applaud Tom for stepping up and trying to do the right thing for da company. In my company, the management has moles everywhere so you have to vet your co-workers carefully. It's sad that showing some loyality and doing the right thing for the company is too often preverted by management into a bad thing.

The Mad Tech
It seems like you can't win. They tell you they want you to do the right thing, and when you do...Well, you end up in a situation like Tom.

Speaking of 'moles' (prev comment)
Work reminds me of The body Snatchers where you have to be careful who you's hard to find someone who hasn't 'fallen asleep' yet.
Mgmt has a room full of pods just waiting ... but I drink lots of coffee. I get that creepy look sometimes from a mgr like they're thinking "just wait Marsha, we'll get you...we know you're not one of us yet". Hmmm. Maybe I AM paranoid.
Body snatchers, pods, and work! Why didn't I ever make that connection? Marsha, you're not paranoid--you're freakin' hilarious!

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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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