Long Term Service

Is it worth staying at a company for more than 5 years? My simple answer is no. Not unless you want to progress into management and climb the ladder of hierarchy.

I’ve been at the same company for 12 years. I was asked, in the past, if I wanted to train as a team manager but I turned it down. The reason being that I’ve done the ‘responsibility’ thing at other companies. I’ve done the jobs where I’ve been in charge of other people, where I’ve been in charge of departments, jobs where I’ve had to exert authority, or where I’ve been in charge of personal details. Jobs where the responsibility meant that I needed to work over often as I needed to make sure that things got done, materials were got in on time, orders could be despatched on time, or staff knew that they were being taken care of in the company. I’ve had the nice job titles that impressed people.

It all changed when, at a particular manufacturing company I was working for, I found that the guys on the shop floor where earning more money than those of us working in the offices. What I mean is that they were earning per week what I and others were making per month. I then found a very nondescript job of entering data that paid the same money and was shorter hours, and it was right across the road from where I lived. Since then I’ve looked for the money and an easy life. 12 years ago I figured the call centre fell right into this category.

For several years I earned a lot in commission from the sales I made. It paid off big time. Then the FCA decided that agents (in any company) should not have commission as the proverbial carrot to motivate us. It was decided that a basic and a small bonus based on quality of calls was what was needed. I lost a lot of money in commission, as did many of my colleagues. However, at my age this job suits me. I feel too old for the responsibility that had in my 20’s and 30’s. I don’t want it any longer. I just want a job that I can do and then it leave at work, so I can go home free from stress.

Over the 12 years I’ve been in different departments and I’ve learnt a lot about the company. You’d think that experience would be greatly appreciated and looked after. Far from it. Those of us who have been there many years are being pushed out of the door, whether they’re trying to fire us for stupid things or whether they’re giving us a 1% pay increase, they are trying to make life difficult for us. People who have been at the company just a short while have had £500 pay rise while us ‘oldies’ have had £150 to put it in a nutshell. They’re saying that they’re trying to level out the pay structure. Experience means nothing.

I’m now in my 50’s and regardless of what the government says, companies do not readily employ older people. I just want an easy life at work but I want to be treated fairly. I want my experience to be worth something. But it seems that loyalty to a company means nothing. Unless I’m eager to climb over people, lick ass, and climb the ladder I’m considered worthless. And how many people in their 50’s want to do this? Ageism is alive and kicking in British companies regardless of what is being said in public.


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Why Work In A Call Centre?

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.

Something Nice

Decided it was about time I wrote something nice, so here it is.

My company is looking forward, trying to make things better for its employees. About time.

It’s appointed four committees looking at various areas that are sadly lacking. I’m on one of the sub-committees, trying to improve communication throughout the business. The formation of these committees is a very positive step towards improving productivity.

The reason behind it? Well, it’s due to an internal survey that the company did, that produced such shocking figures on the way the employees saw the company, that they were propelled into acting.

This is after the company spent several years in the top 100 companies to work for.

The last few years has seen many changes in the company, a lot of them due to the regulations brought in by the FSA. The changes, although of benefit to the customer and ultimately of benefit to the employees, have seen a dip in the profits. So, of course, it’s been the employees that have paid with a drop in commission and reduction of overtime pay. This in turn has produced a lot of ill feeling amongst the employees.

These committees have been formed to look at communication, the leadership team, ideas for the future, and various other things. There’s a mixture of agents, managers, admin clerks, marketing reps, IT guys, and basically anyone that wanted to try to make things better. A good all round sampling of the many departments in the company, trying to improve things for everyone.

I think this is a very positive step forward and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s taken on board by other companies.

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