Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
  On My Own...Part II

(click the title to read part I)

My direct supervisor spent about twenty minutes giving me all the information I needed: new computer access, emergency phone numbers, and a list of what I needed to keep an eye on.
"It should run smooth. Don't worry about it. Last year, there was below average call volume and I think they even played Euchre when it got slow. I'm sure you won't have anything to worry about."
"I hope you're right. Who do you have scheduled in? Well, your newbies will handle the customer service queue and then Rob, John and Patricia will help you with the new trades queue."
"Uhh...That's about five people less than a regular shift. What do I do if call volume picks up beyond that?"
"If you have more than 15 minute hold time, call Frank, the second shift supervisor on his cell phone, if that doesn't work, here's my cell phone and blackberry info."

As he walked away, I had a real sinking feeling in my gut. It didn't get any better Sunday night. The truth is I don't really like being in charge at all. I don't like to make snap decisions. I don't like telling people what to do. I never wanted to be that guy.

I started the day with this dark foreboding feeling. It was like the first three levels of Doom III. You know something bad is going to go down, but you just don't know when or how, or what type of monster is going to come through the wall to get you. Trying to be as ready as possible, I had a big breakfast with steak and eggs and an English muffin. I listened to Dave Brubeck on the way to work. I knew I had to get that Paul-Desmond-Saxaphone-Inspired-Laid-Back-mojo working if things went south.

I don't know a lot about being a manager, but I do know this one important thing: act like you are calm and know what you are doing even when you don't. People that you are in charge of want to believe everything will be ok, they want to think that no matter how stressed they get, there is someone who is ready to help them and is not an idiot. The more I thought about it, the more I realized taking care of them was more important than any numbers we did today. If they were calm and not freaking out, we would get through whatever came.

I opened the doors, turned off the security system and started getting everything ready. Everyone straggled in one by one and we finally sat down and proceeded to boot everything up. When the ACD(Automatic Call Distribution) came up one minute after eight am, it jumped to six calls with a hold time of five minutes.

There was my monster...

More in part III

Thanks for reading,


Anonymous Cog


Reason number 5498 I do not think I want to be a manager. I can't wait to hear the rest but I am sure you handled whatever the universe threw your way!
You'll see soon enough...

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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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By Rage Against The Machine

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