been too long

Sorry folks for such a long time since the last blog post. I’ll try to nutshell what’s gone on.

Almost a week exactly since the last post, I resigned my position at the call center. I was literally making myself violently ill with stress, which was disappointing because I loved the fun atmosphere. However, the problem was trying to make myself into a ‘salesperson.’ I use that word perjoratively, in the stereotypical sense.

I had expected, when I accepted the job, that there would be a minimum degree of selling involved. A new receiver here, a programming upgrade there. I gathered from the initial weeks of training that the priority was fixing customer’s problems. If the problem was a faulty receiver, then I should probably offer a new one. That kinda thing. What I didn’t realize at the time was that their punchy little phrase, “Uncover WINS,” an acronym for wants, interests and needs, was just a glorified term for “Pester them until they clue you in on something you can sell to them.” Basically, I did not agree with the tactics with which they wanted me to sell stuff. I also didn’t agree with the 25-plus point system on which they measured ‘productivity.’ Gotta keep calls under this many seconds… gotta make a sale of any sort on every call, did you sell any premium networks? … equipment upgrades? anything that puts them under a new contract? How about telephone and internet bundles, did you ask about that, and if you did, are you keeping the call under that goal time? Oops, hope you’re not transferring too many calls out because that’ll ding ya! Sorry that you don’t have the power to take care of certain sales and downgrades and tech problems yourself, so you have to transfer those calls — BUT DON’T TRANSFER SO MUCH! AND KEEP THAT CALL TIME DOWN! And in the midst of this you were supposed to catalog the offers you were making on each customer through the use of drop-down menus, and you had to make a certain number of reports per shift, and if you submitted them after the caller hung up, it didn’t count, and you had to do that plus keep order screens going and help desk web pages going etc etc etc…

After the fourth consecutive shift missed because I was vomiting and shaking so much, I went in and filed the voluntary termination papers. The next day, Tyler learned that the wonderful people at the clothing store who brought him in for all of three grand days weren’t going to schedule him any longer.

Christmas and New Years were spent in nearly complete melancholy. Tyler and I exchanged presents — a breadmaker from him to me, and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood for Xbox 360 from me to him, plus a Wii for his birthday (yeah, he’s one of those lucky bastards who has a close-occuring birthday-to-holiday. Despite that cheery moment, we spent nearly a month with no income coming in.

We spent January furiously submitting applications together. Fast forward now to the last week of the month, when I get a call for one of the major hardware warehouse chains. I take the job, I spend a few days in training doing the computer tests and things. Then it all falls apart. I get scheduled fine, but there’s rarely any supervision, I don’t get time to -complete- my computer testing and training, and on one occasion I get locked in the store after closing because nobody thought to come round to my area to see if I had gone or needed help or anything.

After four measly weeks, I’ve separated from them.

Today, just as I was stopping my application submissions for the day, I came across what could be a really great job opening at a computer lab at the city library’s main branch. Cool, I thought, I can’t think of anyone more suited for the job.

“Applications accepted until February 19,” the site said. “Branch is open until 5pm on Sundays,” it said.

It was 5.03pm. I was this close to slamming things in anger until I saw an olive branch: “applications can also be submitted via email.”

I quickly filled out the electronic version of the application, attached it and my resume to an email, and shot it off.

I’m actually excited; this would be a fine enough use of minimum wage employment — it’s somewhat in line with my communications degree, and that’s the important thing to me. Hocking stuff on a shop floor does not advance my career. Being measured on call handling time and WHY THE HELL HAVE YOU NOT SOLD A RECEIVER OR HBO does not advance my career. Being locked in a hardware store does not advance my career.

A library job would not only be a bit more peaceful, but it is in one of the communications fields I would be pleased to work at for a long period of time.

I need as much prayer and vibes and positive mojo coming into this potential job than I have ever needed before.


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