Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
  Everything Changes-The Epilogue

Click here to read part I

Several weeks ago, I told you about my meeting with my boss Larry, and how we had a real heartfelt employee-to-weasel-talk. Things were made crystal clear, and I left that meeting understanding my world a lot better. It has been about six weeks since that happened, let me give you an update.

I took his words to heart and stopped taking every call that comes in. As much as it kills me, I pass on informational and straight customer service calls to the temps. I hate putting people back into the queue to keep holding, but I really don't have a choice. I had to accept that the system here is broke and they won't listen to me or let me handle every call that comes. What makes money for this company is new trades, period. The customer service and informational calls are only a necessary evil to them.

That said, things have really improved for me personally. My numbers have soared. There are days I am up there with the top performers. I still have my research work that takes me away from the phone. I still have days when my numbers are down because of it, but when I am on the phone my numbers are greatly improved.

Two weeks ago, I cornered Larry at his desk and asked if he was satisfied with my numbers. He told me I was doing a great job. It was unreal, I didn't know what universe I was in. No one has hassled me since then, I have not had any comments or innuendos come my way.

So there you have it. I started doing things their way, and things got better. At first I thought that writing this would make me seem like a schmuck who didn't have a clue. But it's not that way. Sure, I'm a little thick sometimes, and I want myself to look good. But I had to ask them for guidance, I had to beg for constructive criticism. I still have not received a performance review. Their training and written memos say one thing, but their behavior and comments say something else. It just took me a long time to figure out that their implicit instructions are more important than their explicit instructions. Now I know.

Understanding Management shouldn't be some mysterious guessing game. It shouldn't take a degree in sociology and psychology to figure out what your boss wants from you. It should be laid out clearly. You should receive both praise and criticism often.

Thanks for reading,


Anonymous Cog

Oh, Oh, don't do that! I worked in a call center for a very short period of time. It was absolutely one of the worst jobs I've had in my entire life.

Basically, they had various measurements they woudl apply. If you were doing well on one, they'd push you with the other. Your quality is good, but your time is too long. Your time is good, but you need to up your quality (which takes more time).

I'm waiting for the call center employees of the world to a get a reputation similar to "going postal". If they keep running these things as underpaid, overstressed, poorly managed and unethical pressure cookers, it is only a matter to time.

You know this is a temporary means to an end, you have the core potential for truely bigger and better things. But if drawing blood is better than healing wounds...(for now)praise thee for your new trend.

Enough from me AC.

I'm not into blogging and happened upon yours, bookmarked it because I am interested. I like catching up with yours when I can.

PS Excuse me if there is ettiquette for comments.

Take Care,
Well...I guess you do what you gotta do.

Yeah, that's not every insightful, I know.
The vegetable and I may have worked in the same place.

When I was at the huge third-party call centre, there was a room full of QA drones ready to shoot you down four times each month.

If you team did good, the response from QA was to raise the mimimum score just to make working there even more miserable.

At one point a QA score below 95% was considered a failure (or "coaching opportunity", a euphemism they love).

There can be too many performance reviews.
AARGH!! It makes me angry to think that someone who actually WANTED to do well had to work so hard for a little direction. That's just so wrong.
I understand what your saying,, I have a very high quota ( because , i chit chat with the customer ) But, the handle time was to high,, hate to say it ,, But, I started hunging up on customers to get my boss off my ass ,, I know where your coming from !! :(
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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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