Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Friday, January 21, 2005
  The Specialist Blues...

I've had a horrible day...Actually, make that a horrible week.

We have a customer that only certain people can handle their calls. They do all kinds of diverse trades and transactions. The money is good for the company, I think. The difference is that most other trades are mostly one-shot transactions, but this customer has us do a lot of extra work. If we don't do things just so and spend twice the time we spend on other customers, we won't get paid our fee, and may lose money.

Essentially, we are doing some of their clerical work for them. Documenting things that they should handle themselves. I haven't figured out who came up with this win-win situation for the customer and lose-lose for us, I assume its part of some salesman's mistake or strategic synergy on acid. Whatever it is, it sucks.

They don't call us every day, I'm not sure what determines when they call, I just know I'm one of the specialists that get to take their calls. When I don't have to deal with this customer, my world is not too bad. But when their calls consume my day, I just tread water to keep from losing money or making horrible mistakes.The call volume is overwhelming sometimes, and I can't seem to get beyond just handling all of the details for doing this customer.

I know I should be taking more calls, and a more efficient representative could handle more than I do. I know I spend a lot of time writing what is wrong with this place, but there are a lot of things that are wrong with me. I guess its my own obsessive compulsiveness. I can't stand to do something half-way. I can't stand to not treat people well. I can't stand to say I will help a person, and then not get to it for a long time when I said I would do it right away. When I get overwhelmed, and don't know how to deal with things going every which way, I slow down, and try to do everything totally correct. There's part of me that wants to point in the mirror and say "Slacker!". Then there's another part of me that just wants to tell me that I've never found my niche and a job that was really right for me. I guess both answers are correct in their own way.

I hate this place. I hate what it has made me become, or what it has revealed about who I really am.

Someday, I will leave here. I will find a place where I get paid to do things right. Where half-ass is not allowed, and I am happy to hit the time clock in the morning. I believe this.

Thanks for reading,


I know your pain all too well, my friend. I've been employed at a CS for 4.6 yrs and love/hate it. I've been officially diagnosed OBC (thank gawd for health insurance)and I don't doubt my employer has been blessed with my loyalty precisely BECAUSE of this. Every call is a challenge and every call has the potential to be exceptional. Who benefits from this???? The Co. of course. Who gets the occasional low performance rating for not having the 'right' stats? ME. They want the best of both worlds; The personal care of a mom & pop business and the unrealistic goals of a corporate callcenter. I'm just waiting for my 'big break' when I find the happy medium. A job with slightly unrealistic goals and total appreciation for my people skills. I'll let you know when I find it. In the meantime, the angst of a CS continues to enlighten our understanding as to why we put up with it.
Ok, being obsessive compulsive means I have to correct every typo or I'll lose sleep over it, literally ... so what I MEANT was....OCB.
Do you think in that dream job, after happily punching the time clock in the morning, you'll have to happily sit in a cubicle, typing in your computer and answering calls? Or you mean something more "dream" than that? Like... I don't know... Testing convertibles on desert roads?
Write a book on it whether you stay or go?
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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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