Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Monday, October 03, 2005
  The Rat...

Some people here are obsessed with keeping their numbers high, no matter how many customers they piss off, no matter how bad a job they do, no matter what how bad they have to dump on the other employees around them. They remind me of the salesmen I knew when I was a "Cog in Retail Hell".

I remember watching these guys in action on high ticket items, they promised the most generous return policies, warranties better than a KIA, and that the proper application of the item could rid the owner of impotence. Then they hid when their shopper tried to return the item, so schmucks like me could fill out the paperwork, and break the bad news to the customer that we didn't give refunds after 90 days when the item is broke from abuse. Bastards!

Today I saw one of my coworkers get the same kind of shaft. Jan is a new hire, young and bright eyed, still believing that this job is her stepping stone to a great career in customer service. She whizzed through training with this perky smile on her face that never went away. She's a good person. She will help you if she can, and will tackle any call that comes her way.

Today, the reality of corporate life among the sharks gave her a real smackdown. She volunteered to help one of our slick veterans,George with one of his trades, and soon regretted it...

"George! I've got that customer on the phone! You took that trade almost an hour ago, and they want to know why it was never done! What's the story?", Larry, our floor supervisor yelled.

George got up and walked to Larry's desk. He leaned in to tell him something, I happened to be close enough to hear it.

"I gave it to Jan because I thought it would be easy for her. I think she forgot about it. I guess she had too much on her plate.", George excused himself back to his desk.
"Jan! Front and center, Now!",Larry barked.
"Yes, Larry? How can I help you?", (same perky smile from ear to ear)
Larry leaned in a little,"You've got to make a real effort to handle the trades as quickly as possible, I just got an angry call from a customer about the one George gave you."
"Ok Boss, I'll work on that!"(same perky smile and go-getter attitude, but a little shaken around the edges)
"That's my girl!", Larry said, trying to sound like the supportive boss.

Later, I caught her in the parking lot.

"You know that wasn't your fault, right?"
"What do you mean?"
"George held the call, and then gave it to you late."
"I don't believe it. George has been so nice to me."
"Nothing is as it appears here Jan. Be careful who you help."
"I'll remember that..."

Thanks for reading,


People like George should be shot on sight. Usually, what comes around goes around. I certainly hope karma teaches a hard lesson in this case.

I love your blog and try to read it every day.
Thanks for the kudos and for stopping by.

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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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