Fun And Games Second Instalment

After being told that our team is Ecuador, in the company incentive, it now turns out that we are Holland. We found this out the next day, or two days later in my case as I has a day off work.

I bet illegal immigrants wished they could change nationality that quick!

As for the incentives…They apparently had a quiz, the day I was off, about Brazil. This Thursday coming they’re having a human table football game. Very good if you’re able bodied and fit. Not so good for those of us who are older, or those who are disabled or pregnant. Not sure who things these incentives up but it’s usually something physical and mainly for the men. It would be really nice if some of the women got in on the action for a change.

I’m on annual leave on Thursday so I’m lucky enough to be missing this incentive. Thank goodness.

More Fun And Games

Well we’re now at the start of World Cup mode. The country will be going nuts and sane people will be ripping out their hair in handfuls. The matches are on late so we won’t be watching them at work – yes we normally do. However, we are having fun and games over the world cup period.

A person from each team has been awarded the title of captain. The captains had to go and receive their teams’ ‘country’ today. Our team is Ecuador. We haven’t got a flag. Apparently there are two teams that have the same country and only 1 flag between the two teams. Great. Tomorrow is dress down day to wear football strips/tops.

Now we are just waiting to find out what else is supposed to be happening. They like leaving us in limbo. It’s like having a cliff hanger ending and waiting for the next series to find out what happens. I’m not in tomorrow so I’ll have to wait till Friday to get any information. Watch this space…

Fun Day

The company threw a garden party and fun day this week. It was a very nice atmosphere. There were sandwiches, burgers, cakes, chocolates and crisps. There were games both in the call centre and outside. It was a lovely day and the sun was shining.

We were able to eat our burgers outside in the sunshine, while listening to one of our colleagues singing. She has a fantastic voice. There were some people dancing. There were people playing basket ball, football, and other outdoor games.

Inside the call centre we had a box of games that was doing the rounds. Our team particularly like Jenga. We had a lot of laughs playing it – amidst all the cheating!

The day after it was found that some people were not allowed to take part in the fun and games. Seems that some managers thought people would be better off on the phones all day without taking part, and other managers didn’t make sure that all their team took part. Consequently there were a few people with a lot of complaints.

We have access to Yammer at work. For those who don’t know, Yammer is like Facebook but only for companies. You can only access Yammer if your company has an account, and you can only speak to work colleagues on it. It’s been used by a few people at my call centre to complain about their lack of participation in the fun day. Trouble is it wasn’t just a complaint that one particular person logged. He also blamed other teams for playing games and went so far as to say that other teams should be punished!

This person failed to realise that it is primarily the managers that have to organise things and make sure that things are done fairly. If his manager didn’t allow him the time to take part then he needs to take it up with his manager, or the next person up. He shouldn’t be putting blame on his work colleagues.

It’s a shame that this has happened. Everyone should have the same opportunity. I saw one of the sales managers going around the teams and making sure that everyone had taken part. So why were there people missed out? If they weren’t at their desk when the sales manager went round, then it is up to their direct manager to make sure that they are included.

It seems to me that there are a couple of managers who need to apologise to some, or, in some cases, all of their teams.

Fun And Games

My company is doing a lot at the moment to improve the conditions at work, and make it more enjoyable for the staff. They’ve got us a table football game, music as we come into work, a pool table, a play station, and a box full of games. And this is only the start.

Our break area is now more of a games room. It can get quite noisy as people – mainly the guys – get quite competitive and start cheering as they compete against each other. This has annoyed a few people who like to eat their lunch in peace and there has been a few complaints.

I think that there are a few simple things that can be done that may help a little. There’s a blind that can be pulled across the centre of the break room, the doors at either end could be kept shut so that the noise doesn’t affect people on the phones, and people could be a little more considerate and just be a bit quieter. Very simple.

My worry is that people will be complaining too much and the powers-that-be will turn around and say ‘ok we’ll remove it all’. After all if you’re trying to help someone and that person is full of criticism for what you’re doing, then you would walk away and leave them to their own devices, wouldn’t you?

There are complaints that these games are for the men only. Well they are for everyone. The women can use these items as well – if they want to. I don’t like table football, but I’m not going to start complaining that it’s only for the guys because I don’t want to use it. That would just be churlish.

I think it’s great that we’ve got these things. There are many companies out there that don’t have anything like this. If people show their gratitude then they would get a lot more. I know the company is planning to give us more. But if the complaints continue then that may well change.

Relationships At Work

Relationships at work can often go very badly, and it’s often older and wiser people who tell you never to see anyone at work – people who have been there, got the t-shirt and then got the pants to match. They often have a point. We spend a lot of time at work – biggest part of our lives – so a relationship with a co-worker is on full view and other colleagues seem to have a knack of picking up whether it’s serious or not. Trying to keep it quiet? Forget it. Your colleagues will always know.

If you’re messing about with someone for a bit of fun, then colleagues have the potential to make your life hell. The gossip mongering and rumour making can be second to none. I’ve known people get so embarrassed that they’ve very quickly changed department, and in one case didn’t come back to work.

On the other hand I’ve known many couples who have been serious in their relationships. They’ve managed to ride the remarks and comments and end up getting married. In fact, in the call centre, I have known quite a few couples get married and I haven’t yet heard of any of them splitting. There are three couples I work with at the moment who are heading towards the wedding bells.

The trick of riding the gossip seems to be being completely open and up front. That is if it’s a serious relationship. It helps if both people are on the same employee level. No one else is looking for any evidence of favouritism then. That’s one big gossip topic out of the way.

Being manager and agent and having a bit of fun is definitely asking for trouble. Especially if they’re in the same department, team or room. Every action, every word will be scrutinised and analysed. The slightest thing will be seen as favouritism. The slightest smile will be gossiped about. A manager could lose their job unless very careful. The agent could be forced out of a job.

Is it really worth the fun? Is it worth the trouble it could cause? Anyone thinking of having a bit of fun with a colleague would be well advised to think very hard before do it. The fall out is not that easy to get through.

The Anti-Climax Of A Celebration

I’m looking forward to watching the TV program ‘The Call Centre’ tonight. The trailers look interesting. Lots of fun and games. If it’s anything like our call centre there will be a lot of things going on specifically for the cameras. I shall keep my comments until after I have seen the show.

We have TV cameras in from time to time, whether it’s for a TV interview or a company video shoot. People are sometimes chosen to sing or dance – to look mildly talented basically. The rest of us know it’s all put on and we try our best to avoid the cameras at all cost.

We also have fun days when the company is celebrating. I’ve been there for quite a few of these: We’ve been in the top 100 companies to work for on more than one occasion; I remember when we hit 3 million customers; all the times when the policies were upgraded; and countless other occasions. I’ve had my share of free bottles of champagne, chocolates, free lunches, sweets, big prizes, all sorts in fact.

I’ve also had back, shoulder and hand massages, tai chi lessons, health checks, my biological age checked (it took quite a few years off me), and lots of prizes. I’ve won a £150 red letter day, and a home theatre surround system, as well as loads of smaller stuff.

We had a celebration day yesterday, in fact. We had a glass of something (bucks fizz I think) on arriving at work, free breakfast, a big bag of wine gums, a rucksak type of bag that advertises the company – it’s bright yellow so you can’t miss it. We had a pen and a free mouse mat – both advertising the company. We all had our choice of ice cream, and a raffle ticket – I have no idea what the prize is. The raffle is supposed to be drawn later in the week (I think there were a few bags of wine gums left).

All this was due to one of our policies being enhanced, or upgraded. It’s our main policy so this change is a big occasion. They advised us of the changes some time ago, with the assurance that everything had been checked and all would go live yesterday. We had company briefings, and team briefings. There were memos about it, printed leaflets. In fact, this was all built up so that we were expecting a day of sheer brilliance.

The call centre started at 8am – we couldn’t log on to the system. Luckily we have the old system (from several years ago) that we were able to use. After the first few calls we found that the codes for the upgraded policy were not working.

The drinks were supposed to be served between 8am and 9.30am. I had mine nearer 10am. The breakfasts were due to be served to us at our desks between 9.30am and 10.30am. They brought them round at 11am.

We then found that some of the pricing information about the enhanced policy was not available on the system. The managers began to panic. Eventually, about lunch time, it was all sorted out. But this is not a new occurance.

Whenever they tell us that everything is working we know we are going to have problems. Whenever they build something up to such a height, we know it’s going to be a real anti-climax. I know this is not a good attitude to have, but it comes from experience.

I actually managed to keep my mouth shut yesterday and not make the comments that my managers were waiting for. I kept quiet but I wasn’t able to get rid of the smirk.

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