Thursday, September 5, 2013

Anger. Management. Part 1

Hey Family,

For the next few paragraphs I'm gonna vent. This isn't directly related to personal finance but it's about the place I make a living at the moment.

P.S. 90 days until I'm a former twentysomething. :)

I am a customer service representative at a major telecommunications company.

I am the one who gets yelled at because some technician I don't know didn't show up for an appointment I didn't set and now you aren't able to watch the Love and Hip Hop reunion until next week when we have the next available appointment. I am the one who gets cursed out because I can't "just send a signal to your cable box" to turn it back on and have you chew me out for 5 minutes until you realize you never plugged the damn thing in. I am the one who has to explain to you why all the movies on HBO Latino are in Spanish. I'm fully aware that you don't speak Spanish. No I can't take that one channel out of your package to lower your bill.

Speaking of which, I am the one who's the bad guy because I won't give you an extension on a bill that was past due three months ago. I also won't give you a credit because your 13 year old son ordered $300 worth of porn "on accident" for three months in a row. I know Johnny would never do anything like that. Especially not when you're not home.

But that's not the worst part of my job.

I have co-workers who are fantastic. They are wonderful people who I am cool with even outside of work. But then there are those the suck up so hard they would put a Dyson to shame. They gossip to you and then about you in the same sentence. Then they turn back around and ride the supervisor's jock.

Still, that's not the worst part of my job.

The WORST part of my job is the management regime. I use the word regime purposefully. I often feel like a child laborer in post-feudal England. I'm expected to calm down an irate customer, listen to the problem, restate the problem, sell them on something, apologize about the problem, solve the problem, sell them on something else, summarize the problem and field any remaining questions all within a span of seven minutes or less...emphasis on the less.

The problem is shit gets real. Take a few weeks ago.

I had a couple call in whose account was mangled by a representative in a retail location who tried to do his best to stay within the 7 minute mark. They went to trade in their malfunctioning DVR. Captain Save-A-Sale talked them into upgrading their package. By the time they got home not only did the new DVR not work their whole account had been cancelled. The cable and internet were both out and they were on the verge of losing their home phone number. Luckily for them the order was easily fixable. Unluckily for me I had to ask management to do it since I don't have clearance.

 I open a group chat in the instant messenger including every supervisor and manager in the building, about 17 people. Instantly the list dwindles down to 12 for the ones that were off work already. This is where the insults start. People start to take the time to respond to you only to tell you how busy they are at the moment, which would be ok in some instances, but to do a 3 minute act so I can continue on to make YOUR metrics wouldn't be that big of a deal I would think. But then it gets REALLY insulting. People begin to remove themselves from the group chat. They don't even have the decency to attempt to help, they just close the chat window. I know because I can see it when they do on my screen. The work finally gets done. I started the call 40 minutes before the end of my shift. I ended it 30 minutes after my shift was over. Then a sup has the gall to tell me to hurry up because there's a storm due to come from Alabama. Never had to swallow so many cuss words in my life. She REALLY just told me to hurry up!

This instance is only the least of my gripes. I bring it up now because a similar thing happened today on my first call. That call was well over 90 minutes long! The next time you're on hold with customer service...please...remember me. Remember the struggle.

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