Script Changes

As we are regulated by the FCA we have a script to follow when setting up a sale. In fact, there’s a bloody script for everything, but the main one is for a new policy. Anyway, this script is 12 pages long. Luckily we don’t have to read every word. A lot of it is guidelines and notes for us agents.

Quite frequently they change or update the script. Usually it’s a few words or a sentence here and there. Nothing major. But sometimes it’s whole segments that change.

This has happened in the last few days. Tuesday I’m told that the script for 2 policies have changed. I had a lieu day yesterday so wasn’t at work. I went in this morning to find that all the scripts have changed! Bloody marvelous.

There I was trying to figure out what was going on during my very first call at 8am. I almost missed details out. I would have been in big trouble. Luckily I took my time as soon as I realised that they had all changed, so I spotted where I had gone wrong and was able to correct myself straight away.

We have major penalties if we don’t pass our quality screening. This is where the company makes sure that we are reading the script to the letter and not deviating at all. If we pass our quality we get an extra bonus. If we fail we lose the extra bonus – which could be a few hundred pound. So when there are changes to the script, we get worried.

We read the script so many times that it becomes memorised, and reciting it becomes automatic. So when it changes it’s very easy to cock up.

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Back At Work After Holiday :(

Back at work today after a week’s holiday 😦 I would much rather be on holiday. But then I wouldn’t have any money to spend. Damn!

Quite an uneventful day today. Had a lot of meetings so wasn’t taking too many calls. That was quite nice actually. It will be a different story on Thursday. Not in tomorrow as I’m working at the weekend.

Wish I could win the lottery and give up work altogether. I would still go into work until the money was safely resting in my bank account. I’d enjoy saying what I really wanted to say instead of following regulations, or being polite to rude customers. If they swear at me I’ll swear back. I’ll be escorted off work premises by security. Then I’ll retire.

Isle of Man

Spent this last week in the Isle of Man. The small island between the UK and Ireland, if you’re not sure what I’m talking about. We got the ferry from Heysham – just past Liverpool. Ferry cost almost as much as a week self-catering. In fact, it was only £30 cheaper.

Stayed at the Fairy Lodge. Lovely cottage let by the Shutts, about 100 yards from Fairy Bridge. Would definitely recommend staying here. The kitchen was stocked with essentials like bread, butter, milk, tea, coffee, and other things, when we got there. This made it a lot easier to settle from day one.

The lodge was very comfortable and clean, with tvs, washing machine, tumble dryer, iron, hairdryer, dvd, and loads more. Made our stay very enjoyable. It was also very easy and quick to pack our things at the end of the week – except we forgot to empty the fridge!

Some lovely places on the island. We had a drive up Snaefell. You can get a train ride up there as well. We didn’t pick the best day as the clouds were low. We had our heads in the clouds all the time we were up in the hills. Literally. The views were breath taking when the clouds parted. The drops were ghastly. One wrong swerve and we’d have been flying.

We saw seals basking on the rocks of the Calf of Man – lots of them. The walks through the glens were gorgeous, and unspoilt. There were nice beaches and pebble beaches. Lots of boats and lots of motorbikes as the TT races are on this week. Eating out is expensive, but the meals are huge and very nice. Could have done without the wind. That was the only thing that spoiled the holiday.

Spent a few hours in the Manx Museum in Douglas. Learnt a lot about the Tynwald. This is the oldest running government dating back to the Vikings. Makes the Isle of Man unique. Felt like I was in the UK, but also felt like I was abroad. You can use UK money but they also have there own pound notes/coins, also with the queens head on. There is also a £1 note.

Holiday I would recommend.

Holidays

Just got back after a weeks hols. Really needed the break. Holidays are important – no point working yourself into the ground. I certainly won’t. Glad I went away. Just have loads of washing to do now. Joys of being back home.

Have to collect the cat from the cattery tomorrow. He’ll be happy to get home! That’s another £100 (just under), as well as the few hundred I spent on holiday. Still, I needed to know that he was safe and being looked after. Actually he was being waited on hands and foot while I was self-catering.

I went to the Isle of Man with the family. Lovely, beautiful island. Very unspoilt. I really hope it stays that way. Part of the UK but it has it’s own government, and so far, they have not done badly at all.

Only thing to spoil the holiday was the wind. Sun was out but the wind was freezing. At least we didn’t get snow.

Love and War

With so many people working at the call centre, there are many couples. Some were already couples when they started working here, married or otherwise, while many people have got together after meeting at work.

I’ve seen a lot of weddings, divorces, break ups, births, and deaths. I’ve seen young school leavers fall in love, get married, become mothers, and then go on to further their career higher up the ladder with a more mature outlook. I’ve seen the lads suddenly becoming settled family men.

I’ve known a few people who prefer to sleep with as many people as possible. Both the opposite sex and the same sex. I’ve seen some explosive break ups with the lingering aftermath that comes when both people work at the same company. The rumours, lies, and tales that accompany these events.

I’ve even known people having sex at work. They got caught. All three of them. Together.

And then of course there are the stories about those higher up. Stories that usually make every other pale in comparison. The goings on at company functions that could turn a porn magazine blue…

Engineer Dreams

Or should that be nightmares?

Our engineers have sometimes left properties without doing the repair. You may think that this is unacceptable. On the surface of things you’d be right. We always do an investigation if this happens, and we have come across some reasonable explanations as to why they may leave.

Take for instance the bathrooms that have a urine soaked carpet, or are covered with cat faeces. Or, human faeces, as some engineers have had the misfortune to come across. Not very pleasant to look at, but totally against health and safety. And then there are the insane people who feel that they can keep the engineers hostage. Yes, you read correctly. Hostage.

A few of our engineers have not been allowed to leave properties because they have not been able to do the repair straight away. Parts are often needed, and sometimes need to be ordered, especially if it’s a boiler that has broken down. Some customers do not understand that boiler parts are not always kept in stock. They seem to think they can keep the engineers hostage until it is fixed. The engineers ring in saying they are not being allowed to leave. Doors are locked and their way is barred. They cannot physically move the customer otherwise they would be in serious trouble. But the customers think it’s ok to act insane and try to keep a person prisoner in their home. Weirdo’s!

Stress

Working in a call centre has to be one of the most stressful jobs going. It can be extremely busy at times, with no chance to breathe never mind say hello to colleagues. Dealing with such a variety of people, some nice, but some are the rudest people you could ever come across. On top of that we often have to deal with customers who are under stress – with family members who are sick or deceased. Then there are the customers who can hardly speak English, and we have to give them compulsory regulated information.

I’ve known colleagues have strokes and heart attacks working here. Seeing an ambulance outside is not a strange sight. We’ve had paramedics in the call centre quite a few times.

Eurovision

Yes, I’m one of the sad people who stayed in last night to watch Eurovision. As usual our entry was crap. I liked the Denmark entry. They were deserving winners.

Why do so many people think that Europe votes against UK as a whole nation? They didn’t vote for the UK entry because it was shite. Not because they don’t like the country.

It’s been quite a while since the UK had a decent entry. I expect they choose the cheapest hopeful entry, which seems to be the done thing across the UK at the moment. Cut backs. Affecting everything.

I have to admit I like the Romanian entry as well. No idea what he was singing about. But it’s about time there were some vampires in the Eurovision. It needs more.

Best One Ever Today

Spoke to a very nice person today who couldn’t remember their own address, didn’t have bank details when they wanted to set up a policy, and gave a completely incorrect phone number. Luckily this person phoned us back with the details. Even luckier – I was on the phone to another customer when the call came in.

You may be thinking that this was a pensioner who was having difficulties. This wasn’t an elderly person. It was someone quite young. And quite posh.

Makes you wonder how some people actually manage to survive.

Ignorant People

Yesterday a customer was constantly moaning while I was trying to set up a policy for him. He had a titled name and seemed to think that this gave him an excuse to be ignorant and rude.

As an insurance company we are regulated by the FSA, or the FCA as it is now known. Because of this we have to give out a lot of information when setting up a policy. Information that has been passed by the FCA and legally. We would prefer not to read this script, but it’s the job so we just get on with it. The customers would probably prefer not to listen to the script but most of them understand that we are regulated, which makes things safer for them and for us.

However, this particular customer kept telling me to get on with it. I explained, quite patiently (very hard for me), why I had to give him the necessary information. I also explained that if he didn’t want to listen he could post the application form. None of this seemed to satisfy him. In fact I explained and gave the option about 4 times during the call. I then made sure I read the script with the best ‘nice’ voice possible, probably bordering on extremely sarcastic! I also spoke extra slowly just to piss him off.

At the end of the call I explained everything again. ‘Oh,’ he said, ‘I didn’t know this. It wasn’t explained to me.’

It just goes to show that a titled name doesn’t make you intelligent.

Lazy Colleagues

I’ve often mentioned the various customers who give problems of several kinds, but I’ve not yet mentioned the lazy people who we all find at our work place.

Call centres are often split into teams led by a lead agent or manager, or sometimes both. Depending on the call centre, teams are often between 4 and 15 people – it may be different at different companies.

On many teams there is a particular person who is work shy. Strange really as this person is often very good at the job. But any excuse to get away from work is grabbed eagerly with both hands. Committees are joined as it’s a break from work and the person can just sit and listen to everyone else. Fund raising for various causes is vigorously volunteered. And, of course, this takes three times longer than it would for any other person. There’s always a valid reason to have to speak to people the other side of the 400 strong room. And, of course, there’s a friend in the right place.

We all know people like this who get away with everything they possibly can. People who always take the proverbial biscuit. They always seem to have a knack of getting around things, of knowing the loopholes in the regulations, of knowing how to extend their sick leave as far as possible without any consequences, when there is nothing at all wrong with them.

These people are often extremely bright, intelligent people, who, if they cared to put their minds to it, could be extremely influential in the right ways. But no, they prefer to let everyone else do the work and jump in when there’s credit to be had. Thankfully, so far, some of the people I know like this have not won any awards. Yet.

Margaret Road Wednesbury WS10 7QT 07505067286 naturalmatrixtherapy@outlook.com By appoint only, so please contact me to discuss available times.
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