Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
  The Hatchet Man

"AC, Check out this trade and tell me what you see.", my new boss asked me. I brought up the file and started reading through it. It was one of my corporate customers that demand such exact work and such painstaking research before they will pay.

The trade I was looking at was a masterpiece of mediocrity. Every "t" had been dotted and every "i" had been crossed. Nothing was authorized by the proper people, none of the required fields had been filled out, and there was no confirmation by email, fax or voicemail. It had been called in by someone that I had never spoke to before, there wasn't even a contact phone number for the customer-nothing at all.

As I read through, I knew we would not get paid, and would be lucky if we didn't get stuck with paying for something that was not authorized.

"Well...It's pretty bad. I..I can't believe how utterly messed up it is."
"I know. I don't know what was going through Suzie's mind when she did this. Look AC, Suzy just started working on these corporate customers, and she knows better. I want you to clean up the mess, and I want you to send the GM a report explaining what happened. I know this puts you in a strange situation, but with your new promotion we are expecting more out of you."

Things have become so strange lately. How did I go from being the whipping boy to the enforcer? As I started trying to piece together the aftermath of this call it became clear that Suzy did things in such a way we would not get our fee for this trade and we might even come out losing money. What was going through her head? She had been here a little longer than me, and she knew better!

After about 2 hours on the phone, sending emails and faxes, I finally got it all worked out, but we didn't get our fee. Now I had to send a report to the GM to explain the loss. There is part of me that feels like a traitor to be involved in management. I'm not one of them. But the other part of me knows that she was so wrong to do what she did. Whether I personally agree with management, people that go out of their way to lose the company money have to be stopped.

Then I realized why sending this report is the right thing to do. All of my time here, I have wished that management would make people responsible for quality and accuracy instead of just emphasizing high numbers. I said when I became part of lower management that I could be that positive change I wanted to see. Well, here it is: real change in management; making people accountable for their mistakes instead of just yelling or throwing vague memos at them.

Thanks for reading,


Anonymous Cog

You're BA-ACK
I am all for accountability. That doesn't make you the hatchet man by correcting some shoddy work. In fact, I find it infuriating when people knowingly do a half-@$$es job because someone will fix it for them. Good for you for cleaning up the mess. Bad for Suzy for not having a decent work ethic.

Thanks for commenting. It's good to be missed.

Was there a reason for Suzy not doing the job right and what will happen to her now? Re-training, bollocking, nothing?
I think they wrote her up. The best we can figure is she was in a hurry and thought she could fake it and not get caught.

I once heard a company vice president lecturing us on customer service (accuracy, completeness, courtesy) say, "Focus on customer service and the stats will take care of themselves." But before she came along the call center had been absolutely insane with stats.
Consultants and vice presidents say these type of things, which are certainly true enough. But supervisors, crew leaders, trainers and sales managers scream about stats.

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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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