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LTU932
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I Have A Problem With My Work Place (Rant Warning)

Wed May 10, 2006 8:11 am

It is really surprising how work conditions go worse after all the time you spent at the same place. I've been working at the same call centre for the last 3 years, and in fact this is my very first job. I don't go to the uni yet, so I have to work full time, and for a wage of around CRC 220,000 (close to $500) a month. I don't want to say the name of the call centre because otherwise people from there could find out about this post (especially when ITS screens the computers).

The thing is that since in our account we only give e-mail support, the rules have been very relaxed. But now we're completely changing the rules regarding breaks. Since I never used my 30 minute break for lunch, and divided my overall 40 minutes break to 4x10 minutes, I could go out at that point and have a smoke or simply do a little spotting. Now we have fixed times on when to go on a break and when to have lunch, and I can't do four 10 minute breaks a day anymore! This is unacceptable. And also, now we have to ask for permission to go to the toilet. If this was a financial account or an account with phone support, where you are needed as long as your shift lasts, that's no problem. But this is an account which gives e-mail support and isn't as stressed out as those phone support accounts. Why the hell are they doing this now? The previous system worked for the time I've been here, so why change something if it isn't broken? Or is it simply that bvoth account manager and account supervisor want to screw us, just because of their concern for a new product that is coming out soon? Couldn't they have been a bit less strict on that? These new rules won't motivate any of us to do a much more efficient job. People were more flexible with when they took their lunch breaks, because at the regular time, which is 7 pm or 12 pm for the dayshift, there are long lines in the cafeteria, and by coming either a bit later or a bit earlier at their discretion, they can avoid those lines much easier. Now it's just fixed times, and a teamlead could even deny that you go to the toilet because of coverage issues. For god's sake, this is e-mail support, we don't need to be that closely monitored with our damn breaks as the phone accounts need to be!

This is an outrage, and after thinking about it for the last few weeks, I'm now seriously considering to quit this job. I don't want to stay here any longer, so upper management can do with me what they want, because I don't want to put up being treated like shit anymore. However, my options are very limited. The only option at the moment is a place at Hewlett Packard, but personally, I would not be very thrilled to work for them, if it is another call centre job they're offering. I would also be willing to work for an airline, for example something people suggested that I should take a job at the check-in counter for CM at SJO. I would have gone to Germany, but I don't have enough money to stay there for at least 3 months and to search a job. So I'm out of options today. Any suggestions on how I should go about my desire to find a new (non-call centre) job and maybe some good words of advice?
 
kaddyuk
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RE: I Have A Problem With My Work Place (Rant Warning)

Wed May 10, 2006 8:18 am

Quoting LTU932 (Thread starter):
maybe some good words of advice?

Try to organise your work mates to talk with your feet... Refuse to work...

It doesnt work if only one or two people do it, however if all of your follow suit and walk out then they cant sack everyone...

Make sure you give them a chance to fix the problems. Write them a letter explaining that you're wanting to now quit the job due to the changed working conditions. explain what you want to be able to do in a friendly matter. If you get no change, send a more strongly worded letter explaining that you might be forced (as a work force) to strike.

If they still dont come up with a good solution... you know where the door is... use it!
Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
 
AirCop
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RE: I Have A Problem With My Work Place (Rant Warning)

Wed May 10, 2006 9:12 am

Quoting LTU932 (Thread starter):
And also, now we have to ask for permission to go to the toilet

Your sure that you don't work for the United States Postal Service in a sorting facility. Why not have all your co-workers request going to the restroom at the same time? P.S. Have you checked your labor laws to make sure this is legal?
 
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LTU932
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RE: I Have A Problem With My Work Place (Rant Warning)

Wed May 10, 2006 9:31 am

Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 1):
Make sure you give them a chance to fix the problems. Write them a letter explaining that you're wanting to now quit the job due to the changed working conditions. explain what you want to be able to do in a friendly matter. If you get no change, send a more strongly worded letter explaining that you might be forced (as a work force) to strike.

That is exactly the problem. Everytime I'm forced to make a serious complaint about something in the centre, I always fall on deaf ears. Especially now that my boss, who was very understanding and always helpful, got replaced with an asshole (sorry for the language).
 
MDorBust
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RE: I Have A Problem With My Work Place (Rant Warning)

Wed May 10, 2006 9:34 am

Quoting LTU932 (Thread starter):
... I've been working at the same call centre for the last 3 years, ...

The crux of the problem.

Call centers are hell on earth, find a new job.
"I KICKED BURNING TERRORIST SO HARD IN BALLS THAT I TORE A TENDON" - Alex McIlveen
 
rolfen
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RE: I Have A Problem With My Work Place (Rant Warn

Wed May 10, 2006 9:57 am

Quoting LTU932 (Thread starter):
Why the hell are they doing this now?

Maybe because of concurrence from cheap support centers in india.

Quoting LTU932 (Thread starter):
The previous system worked for the time I've been here, so why change something if it isn't broken?

you answered yourself here :

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 3):
now that my boss, who was very understanding and always helpful, got replaced with an asshole

That is typical. The new boss will change everything so that he can brag how he overhauled the system and whatnot, when in reality you'll be back where you started.

Quoting LTU932 (Thread starter):
I've been working at the same call centre for the last 3 years, and in fact this is my very first job. I don't go to the uni yet, so I have to work full time, and for a wage of around CRC 220,000 (close to $500) a month.

That's pretty low. I've been paid that much as a starting salary for a part time computer job here in lebanon, and I havent graduated yet.
You seem to be a good blingual, I'm guessing you speak both english and italian. That could make you a good italian teacher outside italy, for example...
rolf
 
carmenlu15
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RE: I Have A Problem With My Work Place (Rant Warning)

Wed May 10, 2006 2:03 pm

Ah, the joys of working at a call center.

I find it odd that you have to follow such strict rules, being in e-mail support. I had to deal with inbound service, and the call flow during high season was enough to drive us crazy; still, we tried to be as flexible as possible when it came to breaks, trips to the bathroom, etc. Sadly, one thing call center management seems to forget often is that they are dealing with people. I guess that's why the agents still miss me after a year and a half  Wink

Quoting LTU932 (Thread starter):
These new rules won't motivate any of us to do a much more efficient job.

Spot on. I used to have the same complaints from my agents. Unfortunately, what upset them was usually the salary or the commission system, so there wasn't much I could do about it. The best agents have been leaving the job, and they ended up with a bunch of newbies. And then they wonder why the passengers complain so much about the service...  Yeah sure (and from what I hear, it's gone down the toilet as of late  Sad )

Quoting Rolfen (Reply 5):
Quoting LTU932 (Thread starter):
I've been working at the same call centre for the last 3 years, and in fact this is my very first job. I don't go to the uni yet, so I have to work full time, and for a wage of around CRC 220,000 (close to $500) a month.

That's pretty low. I've been paid that much as a starting salary for a part time computer job here in lebanon, and I havent graduated yet.

And to think I was thrilled when I was promoted to supervisor after two years, and started receiving $500 a month...  crazy 

To be fair, though, I learned a lot from that job, and got to like it. After all, it was airline reservations what made me the airplane geek I am now... Then again, due to stupid call center policies such as working full time all Sundays, holidays, Christmas, New Years, etc., my parents gave me an ultimatum: either you quit... or you quit. And so I did, even if I disagreed. *sigh*

Anyway, this is your rant, not mine. Big grin So, here's my piece of advice: Run while you can. These people aren't appreciating your work, and you don't deserve to be treated like crap.

As for what to do next, I must say that airline job sounds interesting (think non-rev travel --> interline tickets --> cheap flights to HAM). Or language teaching, as Rolfen suggested. That is, if you have the patience; I know I don't, otherwise I'd be making good money with all the schoolkids in my neighborhood. Big grin You could also try translations: while the legal ones require that you be certified and some other legal stuff, the technical ones only require good language knowledge and pay quite well.

Whatever your choice, don't make the same mistake I made and quit before having a secure job offer. Trust me, it will save you a lot of headaches.

One last thing, Richie... if you have any questions, comments, or simply want to rant, just drop me a line.  Smile

¡Buena suerte!
- Carmen
Don't expect to see me around that much (if at all) -- the contact link should still work, though.
 
deltagator
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RE: I Have A Problem With My Work Place (Rant Warning)

Wed May 10, 2006 2:20 pm

Quoting LTU932 (Thread starter):
Now we have fixed times on when to go on a break and when to have lunch, and I can't do four 10 minute breaks a day anymore! This is unacceptable. And also, now we have to ask for permission to go to the toilet.

It's called workforce management. I'm surprised they have only started to do this action. They are being held to metrics that you may not be privy to as a worker bee. Sorry it sucks but that is life in a contact center.

Quoting MDorBust (Reply 4):
Call centers are hell on earth

Yes they are. And that is coming from someone who designs and implements them. I'm glad I don't work in one.
"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
 
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LTU932
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RE: I Have A Problem With My Work Place (Rant Warning)

Wed May 10, 2006 2:24 pm

Quoting MDorBust (Reply 4):
Call centers are hell on earth, find a new job.

Why do you think I'm ranting about my job.  Though I reckon, it took me 2 years to realise that, and after that another year to get fully fed up with it.

Quoting Rolfen (Reply 5):
Maybe because of concurrence from cheap support centers in india.

Actually the company call centre in Asia is the one in Manila.  

Quoting Rolfen (Reply 5):
That is typical. The new boss will change everything so that he can brag how he overhauled the system and whatnot, when in reality you'll be back where you started.

It's not so much my new boss who is doing this, but rather the supervisor and upper management. My old boss got transfered because they were downsizing due to a lower queue, but now they just hired two new teamleads. Curious, they could have kept my boss and just hire one and thus possibly save some money in the process. I guess I was wrong.

Quoting Rolfen (Reply 5):
You seem to be a good blingual, I'm guessing you speak both english and italian. That could make you a good italian teacher outside italy, for example...

I only got the Italian flag because I'm supporting Italy for the World Cup.  I'm in fact trilingual, since I speak English, Spanish and my native tongue, which is German. But I do speak a little bit of French and Italian and want to learn languages a bit more. I've always been pretty good with languages, which could even open the door for me to work as an F/A.

Quoting Carmenlu15 (Reply 6):
Sadly, one thing call center management seems to forget often is that they are dealing with people.

My point exactly. For management, we're simply their slaves.

Quoting Carmenlu15 (Reply 6):
Spot on. I used to have the same complaints from my agents. Unfortunately, what upset them was usually the salary or the commission system, so there wasn't much I could do about it.

You haven't heard about the rants people made at my call centre about the salary. Two weeks ago, the son of the founder of the company and now President and CEO of the company came for a surprise visit, and immediately after that, he ordered that retroactively from April, our wages get raised. However, while I got a payraise of about CRC 20,000 a month, some people didn't even get a raise at all, because they exceeded a certain salary cap, which probably only allows them to have the regular twice yearly payraise based on their performance.

Quoting Carmenlu15 (Reply 6):
Run while you can. These people aren't appreciating your work, and you don't deserve to be treated like crap.

Exactly! This is why this evening I called my mother so she can help me look for good job offers in the newspaper. I need a bit my parents's help with that since I hardly have the time or patience to read the newspaper in this tight schedule I have.

Quoting Carmenlu15 (Reply 6):
One last thing, Richie... if you have any questions, comments, or simply want to rant, just drop me a line.

Te agradezco la oferta, Carmen.  

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 7):
It's called workforce management. I'm surprised they have only started to do this action. They are being held to metrics that you may not be privy to as a worker bee. Sorry it sucks but that is life in a contact center.

Is that still that important in e-mail support? I mean, my account doesn't take phone calls, only e-mails. Though I realise that with all the things they've done in the past, my account has shot itself in the foot.

- Richie

[Edited 2006-05-10 07:27:49]
 
AirframeAS
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RE: I Have A Problem With My Work Place (Rant Warning)

Wed May 10, 2006 4:55 pm

The best advice I have is to quit. But.....don't quit this job until you have the new job which is a no brainer. Good luck, man!
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.

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