"AC, You exceeded your goals for the last six week period. There has been a thirty-six percent increase in calls answered and total transactions completed. We are very satisfied with your work to date here at Anonymous Investments."
My new supervisor reached out his hand and took my hand firmly and shook it. I was kind of shocked. This had never happened before.
"Thanks...I'm..I'm glad you're pleased."
"We'll talk more in a month or so. Keep up the good work!"
I walked out of the conference room a little dazed. Sure, I still had not seen any kind of real raise, but I had real praise, and that meant something. My euphoria was short lived as I got a fresh cup of coffee and headed for the cubicle farm again.
Like prairie dogs when there are no coyotes or rednecks with varmint rifles, the employees had popped up their heads and were kibitzing back and forth while it was slow.
"I got a written warning for my performance again."
"Its never enough for these people. I could do cartwheels and they would say they weren't high enough!"
"None of my extra work counts, none of the things that can't be measured mean anything to them!"
"I hate this place!"
I really felt bad for them. I had spent years feeling that way, and now I was the one that was actually doing well. I just made my own little victory kind of hollow. I know we can't all be winners. A call center is not like the Special Olympics. We don't get praise for trying our best.
That said, call centers, even good call centers, have this ability to make you feel alienated from your work. If you do what makes you feel human, you don't make them happy. If you do what they want, you can't always feel human.
Sometimes, its just a huge crap shoot. You never know what kind of callers you're going to get, its like playing cards. Some day you get customers who like you, who are easy to deal with, and other days you get these freaks that crawl out from under a rock and have nothing but the stupidest, most esoteric questions that are never answered to their satisfaction and never help your numbers.
Thanks for reading,
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.
By Rage Against The Machine