Friday came early and ended late. But it was important because it reminded me what I hate about this place.
My wife called about 9:30 to let me know her parents were coming over. I could not be late, I had to be home by six. I normally get off between four and four-thirty, so I wasn't really concerned. I have a a 30 to 45 minute commute depending on traffic, so I had some time to play with.
The day rolled on and on, like trying to run up a hill during an avalanche, dodging most things and getting hit by others. I ate a couple of snacks, but never got to warm up my General Tso's chicken from last night. The queue times kept rolling, getting bigger and bigger. Twenty calls holding over ten minutes and one point and then falling to five calls at three minutes. All day long it was constant, never letting up.
I got some easy calls, but I kept getting calls that took way too long to do. I spent the day cleaning up problems and doing all I could to go the extra mile for my customers. I dealt with customers that called me back three and four times just to handle one trade. Then kept calling me, and kept calling me, and kept calling me. I felt like I had fallen into a pit of leeches and they would not come off.
Today was one of the few days that I fell into that horrible old feeling where I wanted to take more calls than I normally do, but I also noticed my calls were getting old. If I took more calls, the trades would be later and later, but if I didn't take more calls, people would have to hold longer. I've complained about this part of this job over and over. I just have such a block when it comes to this. I know policy is take four or five then start processing them, but the other people are taking seven or eight and then having things wait for sometimes an hour, which is a real no-no. We advertise that things are processed within twenty minutes, but that is certainly not always the case. This dichotomy is always what I struggle with it. It makes me vacillate between feeling smug because my average process time is quick, but sad because I don't handle as many transactions as everybody else.
Nearing the end of the day, I checked and my numbers were down, not enough to be fired, but noticeable. As I cleaned up my desk, one of my last calls was from a customer who started cursing about the high costs and his wait. I had to make a claim and give it to the quality department. It was 4:30, and this would take 15 minutes.
"AC, We've got twenty calls in the queue! We need you to stay until this rush is over!" my supervisor yelled across the floor.
"I'm sorry. I can't stay. I have people waiting for me."
"Are you sure you can't stay?"
He looked really disappointed and didn't say anything else.
That's what really burned me up. I had already been there over ten hours. I had already given my all, and it wasn't enough. The other veterans had hit the doors. It's never enough for them. I give and give, I stay over, I go the extra mile, but its never enough.
The phones will keep ringing. I could stay all night. I could answer every phone that rings in this place, but it would never stop. They don't stop. There is no end. Its an eternity of that same high pitched chirp stored on the same solid state chip in the same grimy plastic phones. The phones will wear away to nothing, but the fucking phones will still keep ringing.
There are jobs in this world where you produce something. You put it in the mail, or on a pallet and it goes on a truck and that is it. There are jobs in this world that have a definite beginning and an end. There are places where when your time is done, people don't ask you to keep working. There are actually places where a bell or a buzzer rings and you drop everything, go home, kiss your wife and open a cold beer.
That's what so wrong here. We're a bunch of rats wearing little headphones, running on a wheel that never stops...
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