Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Sunday, November 20, 2005
  You Hate Me Because I Reflect What You Are...

Most of the events that really get my attention are little things. Anyone can write about big events, people getting fired, corporate stupidity, and crazy bosses. But I think that the small exchanges between people have much more to say. Small kindnesses, small offenses, make up our world and define who we are more than big events.

I say this to introduce something I did to one of my co-workers. It certainly was really a small thing, but it was not a good thing. I've never got along with Therese. We just never seemed to click. She came across as pompous and conniving one day, and I caused her to lose face in front of three or four people. Since then, we've just had an understanding, we don't speak unless there is a real reason for it.

I thought we had been getting along better since so much time had passed since the offense, but that soon changed. Since my change of heart after my last meeting with my boss,(read "Everything Changes"), I understand that producing a large number of trades is more important than anything else. That is what directs my day, and my actions. There are people that can handle customer service and inquiries, my job is to take the trades as quick as I can and process them.

Someone put a call into the queue for new transactions by mistake and it rang into me. I already had some transactions to complete, but I want to increase my numbers so I took it. It was one of Therese's customers, who had set up a pending transaction. That means, they will call back and give us more information to put the trade through. I explained to the person that they would have to talk to Therese and put them back on hold.

"Therese, you've got a pending transaction on line 632!"
"Can't you handle it? All the info is in the file, you just have to update it!"
"Sorry, I can't help right now. I've got my own transactions to handle."

Therese was pissed. I could hear her above the hum of voices,
"I'm so sorry you had to be on hold, I thought someone else would help you, but I guess they couldn't be bothered..."

For days after that, she did not pass up any chance to question my trades, or make snide comments about my work.

On one hand, I feel bad about it, I used to go out of my way to help the other workers. On the other hand, I don't really care. I know that we will never be friends. Besides that, going out of my way to help customers and fellow workers is not rewarded here, it's punished. If I'm not busy, I'll help my fellow workers, otherwise, it's every man for himself, since they don't reward us or even critique us for being team players.

What I find so interesting about this is Therese. After she cleared training, she did the same thing she yelled at me about: she never helped other people out. She would put every call on hold and make everybody handle their own calls, no matter how trivial.

The hypocrisy of human nature, whether my own, or anyone else continues to amaze me. How often do we complain about people doing the same thing to us that we have done to them? Nobody's perfect, we need to drop the righteous indignation when someone does not live up to our expectations.

Of course, its always ok to use that righteous indignation in a blog when I'm really mad at other people. I mean, as long as we have that straight in my wacked-out little world...

Thanks for reading,


Anonymous Cog


Interesting experience. Thanks for sharing that with us.

I think you might enjoy our new comic we have set up at

I would enjoy to get your feedback.
Greetings from beyond your whacked-out little world.
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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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