Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Saturday, June 17, 2006
  The Fog of War

There are times when my call center feels like a war zone. Because there are times when our transactions may take several calls inbound and outbound to complete, we may have multiple calls from different people before a customer is satisfied.

On Friday the call volume was brutal. Low on staff, problems with inbound servers and glitches in the software combined to make one of those days. Every call a problem, so few calls actually anything simple, and then there were the customers.

Screaming, yelling, crying, demanding, you would think the world had come to an end. It was like no one had ever heard that markets are volatile. Even the things we thought had been set up right went horribly wrong. My newbies were pulling the most incredible bone-headed moves I had ever seen in my almost six years in this business.

At some point I felt like I was in a war zone. The roar of noise from the voices and the ringing phones was like a wall of sound. Every call was a struggle, like trying to creep up some ridge pinned down by machine gun fire and snipers. Every decision made, every note taken, it was all wrong.

It reminded me of playing Call of Duty, the Moscow level. You start with no gun. There are Russian officers behind you threatening to kill you if you don't run into the machine gun fire ahead, and no where to hide, and no way to cheat. Probably the most realistic war game around.

The way it was unlike war is there was no camaraderie. No loyalty. No friendship. Sometimes we helped each other, but I couldn't depend on anyone to "have my back". Everyone was griping that someone else wasn't doing their job and why wasn't this person or that person helping them? We were just blaming each other for something that wasn't really any one person's fault, except maybe the people at the corporate office that have decided to keep our staff levels low, even though our call volume has become so high.

Thanks for reading,


Anonymous Cog

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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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