My company recently decided to give the call centre email and internet access. You’d have thought that in the 21st century we would have had this many moons ago. It’s great to get it.
We can’t email customers. We can’t use the email for personal use. The managers can send us briefs by email so they have proof that we’ve had the information. These are briefs that we do not have time to read. We do not have time to take the information in. But we’ve had it so if we cock up we’re in deep crap. Tough.
Internet access is heavily restricted. We can view websites where the company is doing business. Surprise! We can’t access religious sites, charities, jobsites, or even blogs. Yes, it’s a blog band blanket ban. Trying saying that fast.
So what can we do on the internet? We can shop. That’s right. Here’s your pay now get spending. Oh, and while you’re spending just take a look at the company’s new ads as we’re now doing business with this online retailer. Great stuff.
We can’t get away from the buggers even when we’re at home!
Yesterday I had a lovely massage, facial, manicure and pedicure. A few hours of unashamed self-pampering that went down extremely well. Actually my daughter paid for it and gave it me as a birthday present. Lovely!
The last time I went for a manicure it was at place where they used all electrical equipment and my nails were so thin and brittle afterwards that I never went back. I’ll definitely be going back to this new salon though. They were really good. Very professional. Nails were done by hand – no electric files. It was Shellac polish too.
In the evening I went to the pub with some mates. Nothing new about that. We had a really good time. I drank too much. Nothing new about that either. This morning I got up with my head feeling as if it was in a vice. This is something new. I don’t get hangovers. But I did today. Now I understand what people are talking about!
I had a couple of paracetamol and ran a nice hot bath. I stayed in the bath for 2 hours, topping it up with hot water now and then. It helped. My head has gone back to normal but I feel very sluggish and tired. So I’ve not gone out anywhere today. Today I’m hibernating.
Have you noticed how firms seem to be getting away with the ridiculous at the moment? Take illness for instance. It used to be classed as discrimination to fire someone because of their health problems, but now it seems that it’s a perfectly reasonable excuse to get rid of someone. All they need to say is that you are incapable of doing your job.
Off sick with cancer, pneumonia, or liver disease? Too much time off work means you are incapable of doing your job. Sight or hearing problems? You are incapable of doing your job. Bye.
Trouble is that some nice, friendly customers – i.e. normal people like you and me – are picking up on the ridiculous and joining in with it.
About two months ago a customer decided to complain about me heavy breathing. I had a cold and, unfortunately for me, I had the mouthpiece too high up so the customer could hear me breathing. He complained! Because he was the customer the company upheld the complaint. Ridiculous!
And to go one better…Another colleague of mine had the same complaint of heavy breathing. She suffers from asthma and was having problems getting her breath. The complaint lodged by a caring customer was yet again upheld. Ridiculous!
And to think that if the customers had told us that they could hear us breathing, we would have held our breath! If we die while at work our next of kin gets £25000, so it would have been of benefit to them.
Went to a local DIY store today – a very well-known one. I won’t mention the name as they’re not paying me for advertising! They had a whole section dedicated to Christmas. Trees, baubles, decorations, wreaths, and the obligatory toys. You know the ones where you press the button and the music starts.
I spent about 20 minutes in this section. I had to press all the buttons. It’s an addiction. So I had two shelves of toys singing jingle bells, and other jolly songs. Great fun. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It certainly cheered me up and me laugh. It also encouraged several more people to come over to that section. They were enjoying it too.
On a serious note though, we are only in October. It’s getting a bit ridiculous having Christmas stuff out so early. The prices are just as ridiculous. These singing toys were £15 each. The price of the decorations? £1 for one bauble. The whole thing is getting beyond a joke.
I don’t celebrate Christmas as a religious festival but I do enjoy it as a time spent with family and friends, and giving and receiving gifts. But regardless of how you wish to spend this time of year, it’s become a money-making racket.
One thing I did notice looking around this section of the store, was how easy it is to make a lot of the decorations they had used. For instance, there was one particular tree where they had attached red beads as berries and plastic fir cones. The cost of the tree was £92. How about collecting real fir cones from the local park. They’re free of charge. Get a necklace of red beads from a local charity shop and take it apart. String a few together and fasten it to any cheap tree. Put a bit of glitter on. Glitter can be obtained from Poundland. If you’ve got kids they’ll probably enjoy doing all this for you. It should keep them quiet for a short time as well.
Another decoration they were selling for £38 was a bunch of twigs tied together and cover in glitter. They craziest thing of all is that some people will actually these prices for things they can do themselves. Madness!
It’s so busy at work at the moment we all feel like a bunch of packhorses. Do this, do that, jump, jump again, stay in your seat. Their favourite one is ‘get on available’.
Everything we do that is not on the phone is questioned. Where are you going? What are you doing? Why are you not available?
There’s not enough staff to answer the calls and yet again our marketing department has sent all the mailings out at the same time. Fantastic wisdom. The norm at the moment is 20 calls waiting in the queue. It has gone higher than this at times.
We’re just waiting for them to ban toilet visits. I reckon they’ll be supplying us all with buckets soon.
Saying that I had booked this week as annual leave I had a call on Wednesday from my manager. I was told that there was training today and asked if I wanted to attend. Well, this is training that I have been asking to do, for several months, so I agreed to cancel one day annual leave and do the training.
So instead of being on annual leave I was attending training. Wouldn’t have been too bad except that I was told it would start at 9am. I wondered why there was no one in the training room so I went and found one of the trainers. Apparently it started at 9.30.
At 9.30 I went back to the appointed place only to sit around waiting for someone to attend who had already had the training. Well they weren’t likely to show up, were they? Then we had to wait for an assessor to sit in during our assessments, which were supposed to commence at 3.15pm. We eventually got underway at 4.20pm.
I still have to do a further assessment before I can use the training. The second assessment I was supposed to do today but didn’t have time because of all the faffing about. Lovely.
I began to write a blog about the day to day experience of my working life. I’ve been working at the call centre for over 11 years now and this seemed like a good way of getting rid of stress and of laughing at some of the stupid things that can happen at work.
I have never mentioned the name of the company I work for – I don’t particularly want to be on the end of a lawsuit, although I sometimes think that being fired would come in very handy. I also don’t mention the names of any colleagues or customers for the same reason. Saying that I think I manage to convey what is going on reasonably well.
You may wonder why I’m working in a call centre. Well the reason is very simple. I got sick of being treated like a pack horse and being plied with responsibility while being paid peanuts.
I began my working life as an office junior after a year at secretarial college. I picked up the ropes very quickly and eight months later I landed a job as branch secretary/PA to general manager at a different company. A few years later I left to have my daughter.
After maternity I began working at a foundry as a buying assistant/materials controller. I loved it. I stayed for several years but in the end it was the pay that made me look elsewhere. Along came the position of secretary to three lawyers. After a few years there I moved on to a new company as materials controller. It was here that I had my eyes opened.
I remember one of the foreman on the shop floor complaining about his pay. He was in charge of people using machinery and would he would let me know if any raw materials were running low. He showed me his pay slip and said it was for one week but the company had short paid him. They were paying him more in one week then what I got for the month and I was far more qualified. I then found out that the guy who swept the shop floor and did the occasional delivery was on more than double what I was receiving. He had no qualifications whatsoever except a driving licence.
Well that did it. I wondered why I was working for pennies and being laden with so much responsibility. So I began to look at the job market. Guess what? I found a part-time job inputting data for the same money I was getting as materials controller. I went for it. Typing in figures and having my afternoons free. And it was a five-minute walk from where I lived.
After that I went into sales. I realised that this was where the money was and it was up to me to put the work in. No responsibility and I could double my basic pay easily every month with commission. I’ve done this now for several years.
Of course all good things come to an end. The commission was not compulsory so it could be removed at any time. Now the Financial Conduct Authority no longer want sales staff rewarded by monetary means, so the commission has disappeared.
Working in the call centre is no longer as profitable as it once was.
Well I’ve managed to load Ebay with a few things. Not enough to make me rich but at least it will get rid of a few items that I had packed away. Still got a few other bits and bobs to put on there as well.
Also looking at the jobs out there. I think it’s about time that I had a change. Shorter travel would certainly be a blessing.
A lot of xmas jobs going at the moment but they’re only temporary. But then some of them are with companies that train so I can’t see them getting rid of everybody when the temporary period is up. Shops probably would.
I’ve uploaded my CV to some online job sites. Why is it when you put within 5miles they send you stuff all over the country?
Well I’ve got this week off. Fantastic! The whole week off work! Hence the fact that I am a very happy person on a Monday morning!
I had a sort out over the weekend because Ebay sent me an email offering free listings until Wednesday. So I’m going to be busy on the computer flogging ornaments and books. As well as being busy feeling happy that I’m not at work. Yes, it’s going to be a busy week.