Just before christmas I was told I would be moving to another department. I wasn’t worried as I’d worked there before and enjoyed it. I went to a great team – some of whom I already knew, and some I didn’t. And it just happened to be the manager I had in that department before. I was quite happy with the move.
Just after christmas I was told that our team were splitting up as my manager was taking over the rookies who needed a helping hand to settle in. So we all went to different teams. No problem, I was absolutely fine with where I ended up. Everyone was great.
I was there for two months and yet again I was told I was moving. This time it was because certain people, who did particular policies, had to be put together as they were all spread out. Luckily, I’m again quite happy with where I’ve ended up. Great people and a great manager.
However, some people have not been so lucky. One particular friend has been moved to another department, after some pitiful excuse that the company have used. They said she did something wrong on a call so have moved her. Thing is, a number of people have done something wrong on calls and they haven’t been moved into the other department.
There’s also a case of someone asking to be with their friends so strings were pulled to keep three people together!
I wondering how this is fair. Seems to be something underhanded going on here.
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Due to business needs I’ve been ‘selected’ to go to another department. I’ve been in this department before and I do enjoy it so I’m not that worried about the move. The problem is with the way it’s been done. Usually internal jobs are advertised internally first and then externally. This hasn’t been advertised at all. A bunch of us have been ‘selected’ to go, and not everyone is happy about it. So there’s a lot of ‘wandering what’s going on’. There’s a lot of rumours, suspicions, and questions being asked by other agents at the moment, and also by some of the managers. The move came out of the blue and our managers had no choice. This was all done by the sales managers. Agents want to know why the jobs weren’t advertised, or why certain people were ‘chosen’ and not others. Well it’s quite simple really. Our contracts state that we can be moved around whenever the company wants, due to business needs. Nice little addition to the contract this. Your role is…, and your duties are…, but this may change due to business needs. So basically the company can move us where ever it wants. We can’t say jack shit. If we say no then we are refusing to do our work – gross misconduct. So it’s a case of put up or shut up. If you don’t like it look for another job.
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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.
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The last few months I’ve been focussing on feeling positive and looking at the good side of things, however today I found myself getting annoyed again.
We have to have product training and assessments on the products the company offers, before we are allowed to sell them or set them up. Financial Conduct Regulations. There is a certain section of policies that I’m not trained on. No fault of mine and a real bug bear of contention.
I was due to have two days worth of training last year that got cancelled after the first half hour. It was never rescheduled for me. Since then I’ve been asking for training constantly. At the moment any customer wanting one of these particular policies I have to transfer. Sounds quite simple. It normally is except for the last couple of weeks.
It’s quite busy at the moment so the people doing these policies are run off their feet. I’ve had a couple of them telling me to set up the policies. This is something they should not be doing. They are not managers so have no authority over me, but also if someone is not trained on something they should not be telling them it’s ok to do it.
On top of that I had their coach coming over to me to day asking who’s told me that I don’t need to set them up! I was so angry that I got upset. My manager and coach were trying to calm me down and got the sales manager involved. She went and put the other teams’ coach straight.
I don’t who these people think they are but they certainly can’t ask me to do something I’m not trained on. It’s not them that will get into trouble, it’s me. Serious trouble. I’m well and truly p*ssed off about it.
My call centre is all open plan. There are no divides between each person. We sit on bays that have 3 arms – a bit like the Isle of Man legs. There are 4 people on each arm. Then there is a team manager and a team coach, both of who sit at the end of one of the arms. There are roughly 35 bays on our floor – we’re on the top floor. In the middle is a big operations kiosk.
To say the place is noisy is an understatement. Some days you can’t hear yourself think never mind hearing the customers. And if anyone decides to stand behind you and chat, or if the person next to you decides to talk to someone on the other bay but couldn’t be bothered to walk over to them, well you’ve had it! In that situation it’s normally best to take off the head phones and sit and wait till they’ve moved on.
Worst of all is the managers. They just aren’t bothered if we’re on the phones or not. They stand behind us yelling that there are calls in the queue, or they’ll yell for someone to go see them, or they’ll decide to have meetings in the middle of the floor and will start clapping and cheering as loud as possible. They’re very annoying.
Being open plan also means that you get to see everything. Nothing is private. I’ve seen all sorts of things: people picking their nose; people scratching their bum; guys scratching their balls; women with their skirts in their nickers – I’m pretty sure there are some who don’t wear nickers. It’s not a pretty sight.
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.