Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Friday, January 13, 2006
  "The Impressive Guy"

"I remember during my time in the Navy, we handled twice this much traffic in our Com Center. You know, our computers were set up much better than these, and the network was configured in such a way that we were almost never down."

It did not matter what the subject was, what the task was, Jack was quick to tell you he had either done it, mastered it, or had complete knowledge of it. It got real old, real quick.

Even more than the know-it-all attitude, Jack would not be taught. The nuances of how you relate and speak to customers, the verbal and written language we all have developed, he ignores all of that, and runs around like a bull in a china shop. Jack has been with us for about three months. He just finished an undergraduate degree in economics last year. I'm looking forward to life in the call center knocking him down a couple of notches.

I always had this assumption that people that were in the military knew how to get along with others, they understood team dynamics and all that. But then,idiots seem to flourish everywhere, growing in a heavily fertilized soil of cluelessness, watered by self-deception, enjoying the steady sun-shine of...oh, never mind, you know what I mean.

I never understood this kind of thinking. You're in a new job, trying to learn new things and make new friends, so of course, going out of your way to explain why you are better than everyone else must be the right way to go. Yep, when they see how impressive you are, they will be just falling all over themselves to change how they do things and just freakin' beg to be your new best friend.

It just all screams insecurity. I know he must not have any luck with real women, he's just trying way too hard.

What's kind of interesting is how management and the veterans are giving him such a rough time. Anything he does that's even a little bit off, they nail him for it.

I know what it is really, he refuses to show that he wants to learn from us, or even respect our way of doing things. He wants to be a part of our group, but only on his terms.

Every group of people, classroom, business, whatever develop their own symbols and practices to define acceptable behavior. Part of that is allowing the group to teach you these symbols, and showing respect for the group.

Even though we are a lousy call center with lousy management, there is a group of us that all get along. This includes the veterans and part of the management, and people like me who haven't been here as long as the lifers. We know each other, the private jokes, the histories and what is acceptable and what is not. It's like he's a spotted zebra in the herd, and we've decided to push him to the edges so the lions can get him first. Mutations may be part of the theory of evolution, but most of the time they are the first to be eaten in the survival of the fittest.

Thanks for reading,


Anonymous Cog

Just wanted to say I love your blog. I live... I mean work in a call center as well. I have shown your blog to a few coworkers. It really strikes a chord.
Thanks for the kind words, ~j.

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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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