I wanted to write about my work in the call centre because a lot of people think it’s a dead end job, that we’re common-as-muck, a room full of chickens. Ask a chicken to change your bank details and see how far you get.
The recent BBC series didn’t do anything to alleviate this preconception – if anything it made it worse. I watched a few programmes and was quite shocked at how they could get away with half the stuff they were doing, not to mention how stupid some of them were made to look.
We have a lot of graduates in our call centre. There are a few school leavers as well. We have to adhere to strict DPA laws as well as confidentiality regulations. We have to be emphatic, understanding, sympathetic, as well as know how to operate several computer systems. On top of this there is constant training on the products. It’s a very pressurised environment. Mentally draining and exhausting. They can’t just employ anyone.
I hate to admit it but there are also a few idiots.
On Friday I had to ring a particular department as a customer had been waiting for a call from them. There were no notes on my system to tell me what was going on, so I was unable to help the customer myself. This is not an unusual occurrence for this department. I got through to a young guy who informed me there were no notes!
‘I know that,’ I answered. ‘Why can’t you guys put notes on the system so that we can help the customers?’
‘I completely understand,’ he said, trying to sound emphatic. ‘We have this problem all the time.’
I’d never of guessed if he hadn’t told me.
Luckily I don’t need to be emphatic, understanding, or sympathetic with colleagues – only polite. I politely told him to take the call and help the customer. He got the message.