Respect At Work

When you work as a team you’d think that the team members would be respectful towards each other. Two days on the run I’ve had occasion to speak to people about their lack of consideration.

Yesterday we had a new team member join us and after half hour of being on the team the person put his feet up on the desk. Not his desk. This was the desk of someone not in yesterday. I asked him to remove his feet as someone had to sit there afterwards. I then heard him making nasty comments about me to another team member!

You would think that people would understand how unhygenic it is putting dirty feet and shoes on a desk. Especially a desk where someone else normally sits and often eats. I found out today that he had also written over the other persons paper work. What a lovely considerate person.

Call centres are noisy places to work at the best of times, but when people are not busy they start chatting and the noise picks up even more. Trouble is the types of conversations people have, as the customers can invariably hear people talking in the background.

Today I asked someone to speak a bit quieter as the customer I was speaking to could hear the conversation she was having. And, you probably guessed it, I got a load of abuse. The conversation was around a magazine article about sex.

Well we can all have a laugh and a joke but it’s not professional if the customers can hear what is being said, especially when it’s a smutty conversation. A simple request to speak quieter should be respected – you would have thought so anyway. But no.

I got told ‘It’s a call centre. What do expect?’

My simple request to be quieter was met with abuse. I was then called ‘the ****police’! Both myself and another colleague then felt that we had to speak to a manager. It wouldn’t have been taken further if the noise had been reduced.

Well after some of my posts about the professional people I work with and the fact that many of us are qualified in many areas, unfortunately it’s also a fact that there are other people who are not as experienced or as professional. These are the types of people that give call centres their poor reputation.

Conversation With a Colleague

I have often written about the calls I receive from customers, but I’d like to share an internal conversation this time.

A few days ago one of my colleagues received a call from a lady kindly informing us that the policy holder had sadly passed away. Mrs X said that she was the new owner of the property and had received a letter from us addressed to the deceased. My colleague investigated this and found that an internal department had been attempting to contact the deceased customer – Mrs Z.

Problem was that this particular department had finished work at 5pm and had all gone home. My colleague wasn’t in the next day so she asked me to give them a call and let them know what had happened.

This is how the call went:

ME: Morning. This is…in…I’m ringing for a colleague who received a call last night from a lady informing us that the policy holder has passed away. Mrs X is the new owner of the property. She’s had a letter from you guys addressed to the deceased, Mrs Z. You had finished work last night, so my colleague couldn’t call you. She’s asked me to let you guys know, as you have been trying to contact Mrs Z. My colleague has also put notes on the system for you.

AGENT: Do you have the customer on the phone?

ME: No. The customer has passed away. The new home owner called us to let us know that Mrs Z has passed away. She called last night.

AGENT: We’re doing a review on the policy as it’s one that was set up when there was an error on the system. Is Mrs Z’s husband on the phone?

ME: No.

AGENT: We’ll continue with the review then we’ll give the customer a ring to let her know if we’ve found anything wrong.

ME: You won’t be able to do that. Did you not hear what I said? Mrs Z has passed away. There is a new owner in the property.

AGENT: Oh. Hold on please. I need to speak to the manager.

ME: No problem.

AGENT: I’ve spoken to the manager. Do you have the husbands address?

ME: No. I didn’t take the phone call. My colleague did. I’ve told you this already. My colleague took the call. The new home owner rang in to let us know that Mrs Z has passed away. My colleague asked me to call you guys to let you know as she is not in today. I have now told you. If you care to read the notes on the system, as I’ve already pointed out to you, then you will understand what I’m saying.

AGENT: Well I don’t know what we’re going to do here.

ME: Talk to your manager again. I’ve told you. Bye.

My patience had run out by this time.

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