Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Saturday, September 10, 2005
  "Would You Like Fries With That?"

Part II in the series "Self Examination" (Click here to read Part I)

The first real job I ever had was in a fast-food restaurant working the night shift. I felt lost for quite a while. I had worked for my dad before this and really wanted to do a good job. I ironed my uniform, made sure my shoes were clean and actually tried to smile a lot and really learn the job. I was so afraid I would not do a good job, I took twice as long to do every job I was given. I tried to make all of the dishes spotless and perfectly sanitized like they had taught me on the foodservice video. I wanted the dining room to be clean enough to actually eat off of the tables. I wanted the linoleum to shine in the bathrooms. All I did was make the rest of the closers have to work harder and longer to get out of there at a decent hour.

I remember my first manager riding me hard, he never really tried to help me, he just told me if I didn’t get faster I would be fired. For a 17 year old kid that was a big deal. I kept trying to be better but he was never satisfied with me. I felt like the proverbial red-headed stepchild. He kept promising that I would suffer, he kept saying I could lose my job, and then it happened.

He got fired...

I moved to the second shift. I never became super fast, but I improved. I went from dining room, and grill, to actually running the register and taking orders. I really liked that job. I excelled in dealing with customers. By the end of the second year, I had gotten a couple of 15 cent raises and the coveted employee of the month pin. I left that job feeling good about myself. I was never the fastest guy, but my sandwiches didn't come back wrong, and I was dependable and did it right the first time.

I did learn one thing with that job. Sometimes half-ass is good enough. I also learned that employers will put up with a lot if you keep showing up, care about your work, and don’t steal from them.

I left this job to head for college after High School.

More in part III,"Mini-Skirts, Lucky-Strikes, and Shiny Floors"

Thanks for reading,


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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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