After three grueling weeks of intense training, consisting of a tight schedule of coffee breaks, smoke breaks, lunch breaks, procrastination, and tea breaks, my fellow agents and I were finally given the much-coveted, albeit uncomfortable, headsets.
Having never worked in a call centre before, this is an entirely new experience for me. As a computer programmer, I felt chained to my work-station because of the tight deadlines we had to meet. Now, I am literally tied to my computer because of a headset with not-long-enough cord. Like a dog on a chain, my movement away from my cubicle is quite limited. I have tried howling to draw management’s attention to the fact that I need to go for a walk, but they just told me to sit and stay. Grrrrrrr!
Being the first agents on this particular mission, there were bound to be some setbacks. But why after five days of being “live” do I still have a computer that broadcasts my calls to everyone within a one-meter radius? Ever felt like someone was listening in on your calls? For me…they are! Anyway, at least my workstation can also double as a karaoke bar when we aren’t too busy. But this does tend to make the dreaded words “Incoming Call” all that more terrifying. It might not seem professional if, for instance, we were singing “Stop calling, stop calling, I don’t wanna talk anymore” when we receive a call.
Back to the problem at hand. Worse than hearing, “We are aware of the problem with your speakers. We are looking into that,” is what happened this weekend. For training purposes, an extra head-set was hooked up to my computer so that a co-worker could listen in on my calls. With all calls already coming through the computer speakers at maximum volume, is an additional pair of headsets really necessary? Although I guess it is possible that management was perhaps looking for another pole to chain one of their new pets to. Double-GRRRRRR!
In addition to the strangely vocal computer, I also have a “Help Me!!!!!!!!!!” flag on my desk. We were given no detailed instructions on how or when to use this. I assume it’s good for customers wanting something we don’t know how to help with, computer break-downs, or, and this is the most serious of all – to indicate a caffeine deficiency.
The call center has a pretty nice lunch room, equipped with, among other things, a vending machine. So we have a good selection of snacks, candy bars, potato chips, soda, and Tylenol. That’s right: potato chips. Which begs the question: Why no Pepto-Bismol?
On the up-side, I do work with an excellent group of people, and our keeper keeps us entertained and fed.
So after my first five days, I am still extremely nervous about hearing those words: “Incoming Call”. But at least I understand how my mother-in-law’s dog feels when it is chained up. Just imagine if he had access to a computer with broadcasting capabilities and a “Help Me!!!!!!!!!!!!” Flag?