Monday, January 08, 2007

Tripping the light craptastic

A 12 hour shift at work, beginning at 8 am and ending at 8 pm. A day that started with me rolling out of bed at 5:30 and hitting the floor running -- or at least, shambling rapidly -- so I could shower, apply abrasives to selected quadrants of my facial hair, polish my teeth, pull on dress code compatible garb, and hie myself up to a windy corner in time to leap aboard my bus, and which ended with me getting into SuperFiancee's car for the longish trip home (buses don't run from where I work after 5:30 or so), where I disembarked and found myself in a home warmly swarming with noisy future stepdaughters and their concomitant, occasionally cyclonesque clutter.

If you have to work an involuntary 12 hour shift at Craptastic Call Center, I heartily recommend having SuperFiancee and the SuperKids waiting for you when you get home. It reminds you that life is not only worth living, but even fabulously so, despite everything that asshole supervisors can do to convince you otherwise.

All of which is to say, people up the food chain where I work went out and brought in several new clients, each of whom have tens of thousands of new participants. They also sold new features to existing clients, each of whom also have tens of thousands of participants. This generated wonderful six and seven figure bonus checks for them, and astonishing six and seven figure call queues for me and my twenty six or so fellow Customer Service Reps, because it apparently never occurred to these fucking dimwits that all this new business would generate massive amounts of new phone calls, and they hadn't bothered to hire any new staff to deal with said phone calls.

So, the progression at work has been as follows: about a week before Christmas, all us non-managerial types got a wonderful holiday bonus, in the form of a decorative plate that probably cost the princely sum of nearly 7 cents apiece. Beginning the week after Christmas, we started to get insane levels of call volume, maxing out all 50 available incoming lines after everyone working was taking a call and leaving hundreds of participants to get busy signals all day long. This continued for the first week of the New Year, entirely because nobody in management had bothered to (a) hire more people to deal with the entirely predictable increased work load, and/or (b) implement fairly easy alternate methods for new participants to do various things like activate their new account cards or order extra cards for dependents, two of most common calls out of the deluge of new calls we were getting.

So, after the insulting Christmas non-bonus and two weeks of an insane, nightmarish, and hellish increase in call volume, all of which was directly attributable to management greed, neglect, and/or incompetence, management finally came up with a brilliant solution:

Mandatory overtime for the entire month of January.

Not for them.

So, I won't be posting much for a while.

Now, the upside of this, if there is an upside, is that I have to assume that even higher in the stratosphere than the people I answer to are people that they answer to, and those people can't be very happy at (a) our stats being in the toilet for the last two weeks and (b) the thousands and thousands of bitter, vicious complaints they must be getting from participants and client HR departments over 90 minute hold times, assuming one is lucky enough to actually get into the queue in the first place and not just get a busy signal all day long. Compounding all this is the OT they're going to be shelling out; management is never happy to be paying 20 or 30 people a lot of overtime for 4 weeks in a row, and compounding that will be the fact that we all got raises on January 1 that won't go into effect until April something, and when they do go into effect, we will all get a one time retro check to make up the difference in wages from January 1 to April, and I'm thinking that all this mandatory OT is going to make those retro checks pretty frickin' impressive. Which, again, is the kind of thing that makes management very very exasperated.

So, I'm badly badly hoping that at least a few middle management heads are going to roll over this. It would be scant comfort, but like Dick Jones, I say good business is where you find it.

All this, and on New Years Eve, we had several of the older two SuperKids' friends for a sleepover, which was a great deal of fun, but in the ensuing chaos and mayhem, someone with a sproingy Santa cap on their head managed to knock several of my clicks off the bookshelf where they live, and one of those clicks did not survive the plunge. Alas, poor Deathbird, we barely knew ye. I'm on the prowl for a replacement, but sure enough, now that I'm in the market, all the local comics shops that used to have them in their singles bins are abruptly high and dry. Just when I was getting a respectable crop of Shi'ar together, too. Dammit.

Okay, this is probably nearly all you get for quite a while. Sorry. Kill some time nominating me for a Koufax Award. It's fun, it's easy, and your nation will thank you. Or, at least, I will.


At 10:51 AM, Blogger Opus P. Penguin said...

And the shameless promotion award goes Seriously. Repetition is the only way to get ahead. (well...there are other ways, but they didn't exactly work for Monica, did they)

I was thinking about this blog and remembered a novel I just read by Carl Hiaasen (if you like him) called Nature Girl. The whole plot is set in motion when a borderline bipolar woman, obsessed with the rudeness of a telemarketer from a company called Relentless, decides to exact her revenge.

I know you work in a call center, which is different than cold calling, but perhaps it might give you a laugh or two.

At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said... if he'll have time to read it or anything else.

H, you have my pity, and my understanding.

In January 2001, two of the 5 people in my 24-hour call-center quit without notice, and our job has a three-month training cycle. I didn't see the sun for three months except on weekends, and then only to growl blearily at it and roll over to get more sleep. 12-on, 12-off for three months straight.

It sucked ass, in a major way, but there were two major benefits to it: first, I was making a ton of money (20 hours OT a week), and second, I didn't have any time to spend that money, so it was all sitting in my bank account when the sun finally came back into my skies.

So look to the silver lining, I can see you already know it's there.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home