Posted by: tlnemethy | February 20, 2013

The Working Curse

This job, the one where I talk on the phone all day, is most definitely cursed. I’m not sure how or why, but there is seldom a day that passes in the office without some sort of malfunction or meltdown. We’re a call center so, you know, we should probably be able to answer the calls we get. Should. The first day we shut down the entire phone system to the building because we had such an influx of calls at once. It was rumored that we happened to do the same thing a few years back, but instead of the building we shut down the phone lines of the entire east coast. Flukes happen.

How I feel at the end of the workday.

The second day, we kept the phone lines, but we blew our connection to the website that we work from. Hold please… Sorry for the wait, our computers are malfunctioning… Just a little longer… Please be patient…You know what, just give me your phone number and I’ll call you back when I can process your application. Kthxbai.

As much as I thought I would hate this gig, I mean HATE. It’s actually pretty chill. For some reason I get a morbid sense of satisfaction from casually arguing with people over our policies. Sure, I’m all friendly and nice, but lady you need to chill and listen to what I’m saying. We have a script. We must read the script. Trust me, I weeded out the information that you don’t need to know or the repetitious data. I know you don’t want to hear me blather on, so just  pretend to listen to me reading it and we can all end the call with a smile on our faces.

Advice to the customer:

  1. As much as I love hearing your stories, please refrain from sharing for too long.
  2. Speaker phone is not your friend. Don’t get mad because I have you repeat spellings when all I can hear is weird static blips and pops from the speakerphone.
  3. Kindly, do not put me on hold. It always happens when my supe is wandering around and it makes me look bad just sitting there twiddling my thumbs.
  4. We will have you write down something at some point. Please keep a writing implement handy.
  5. Hang up the phone properly. It is quite amusing to hear what I’m not supposed to, but seriously, we aren’t supposed to be the ones to end the calls.

Since that first week, we’ve had a few more website issues and a fire drill, shutting us down for about two hours and allowing me the wonderful opportunity to delve back into crafting paper frogs. I have taken to keeping a jar of orange slices in my desk drawer for the hurried, between-this-customer-and-the-next, attempt at wetting my whistle. The cough drop industry also has a good customer in me for my stock pile of throat lozenges. Sure, I try to follow the directions on the packaging, but one drop every two hours is so hard to stick with.

Plus side though, I now can talk almost as fast as an auctioneer. Perhaps a future profession to excel at?

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