Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Monday, March 21, 2005
  The Sales Meeting...

I'm not normally an eavesdropper...

Walking down the hallway, I could hear several voices in the conference room next to the copier. Like any good citizen of cubicleville, I had a piece of paper in my hand to disguise the fact that I was just stretching my legs to get away from the phone.

The sales department was having a meeting with some other assorted management types. I could hear one of my least favorite salesman talking about a new customer that they had just convinced to let us handle their investments.

"I wish we could count on the agents on the floor to not screw this one up. I'm really concerned we can't afford to lose another customer."

I decided I was going to make 20 copies of my decoy paper to listen to this.

He continued, "It's hard to believe it, but there are some of us here who care if we stay in business or not. There just seems to be so many people on the floor that just don't care whether we have a place to work at or not, whether we lose trades or not. There are other companies out there that are going to provide investment services, and they are more hungry and more willing to go the extra mile than the staff we have here now."

After Mr. Obvious made his incredibly insightful statement of reality as he perceives it, the others tried to add their own take on our incompetence, so they could look smart too. I'd had enough. Fifteen copies of a carry-out pizza menu would be enough.

Later that day I pondered what they had said. It's not fair that they can blame us like that. I know many people in here don't care about our customers. He's right that there are people that don't give a shit. But many of us do, and we try to do our best.

For some time since the wage freeze and the cut-backs, we've heard we've got to work hard to keep our customers, and that if we want to keep our job we all have to take care of our customers. Policies have been added, we get emails pointing out when we fail to follow policy.

I just want to know how long they think that threatening our survival is going to motivate us. It's like we're a pack of sled dogs who have ran the Iditarod with no food. We've crossed the finish line and are exhausted. Then they start whipping us telling us there is a pack of wolves after us. You can't whip exhausted animals. At some point they either curl up and won't move, or turn and attack you. Those of us who don't care, its because we're tired of being whipped without the promise of more Alpo, or any kind rest or reinforcement. Status Quo can't be maintained, something has to change besides just whipping us if this company is ever going to be successful.

Thanks for reading,


My mom used to try to get us to do things as kids with those tactics, and it makes me angry when I encounter it in the workplace.

She didn't lead by example, she just ordered other people to do.

She would threaten, threaten threaten, then wonder why we wern't motivated.

She would put us down, and wonder why we wern't motivated.

She didn't reacognise any good we DID do, only focused on the bad, or would mock the good and say why can't you do that every time?

Basically, anything that someone could do to DISCOURAGE another person, she did it, then yelled and screamed that we should have done better.
no way! we have a copier by a conference room too and I've heard the same conversation come out of it. We too have slackers who don't care but that doesn't mean we're all like that. I help our customers above and beyond what they expect (sounds sorta like I'm bragging but you know what I mean). Mgmt always passes the blame down the line when upper mgmt breathes down their necks. Easy to do behind closed doors.
That's why I like working for a small company. We really don;t have an upper management breathing down our necks.

Every once in a while I'll get a fax/e-mail from hq about this and that, but they never expect me to "whip them inot shape, no matter the cost". I guess to that extent the owner/president is actually fairly reasonable. Huh, that never occured to me...
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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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