I got fired from my crummy $12 an hour call center job yesterday. While it is never fun to be let go, I have to admit to a certain amount of relief. It was perhaps the worst job I've had in 30 years and that includes a stint selling portable toilets. So, let's get the sour grapes, satirical wit and mini-bitterness out of the way so I can move on to more positive things.
Sour Grapes: The company culture was adolescent at best and just plain idiotic at worst. I complained vociferously about my supervisor yelling across the room while we were on calls, the need for headsets that worked and the quality of audio in our headsets, the lack of any decent sick leave policy, ( example: I asked for 1/2 hr off and put it in the system, (you can't just ask your supervisor) 3 weeks ahead of time and was turned down,) and the general lack of cleanliness in the facility.
After the last time in which I met with the Asst Mngr and my supervisor the die was cast. She looked for and found a nit picky violation of one of the many company policies and got me fired.
The termination process there involves you being brought into a room, told your offense, told you're fired and surrendering your badge. It is totally classless.
Satirical Wit: We referred to the supervisors and their favorites as Kool-Aid drinkers. If you didn't drink the kool-aid you couldn't get time off the phones for special projects and just plain BS.
My friend who sat next to me made it to his second anniversary there and was given a balloon. He is 50 years old. (I may have mentioned this in the meeting with a somewhat disparaging attitude) I missed my 2 year anniversary by 7 days. Just enough so they won't owe me two weeks vacation pay my wife believes.
The carpeting in the building was over 30 years old and very stained and nasty. (I may have brought that up as well), but they had a big balloon budget. The accounting department must have been run by a descendant of Ebeneezer Scrooge,because they made you pay for the cheap little pads on your headset when they wore out.
I had to bring in a Doctors note to have a lunch break during the lunch hour. otherwise the computer would give you a lunch break as early as 9:30 or as late as 2:00.
I was once told by a manager that not everyone could have the luxury of a Monday-Friday schedule. I'm here to tell you that there was nothing luxurious about my Mon-Fri schedule.
Mini-Bitterness: The call center culture is ruining our businesses and effective customer service. Companies bring on entry level workers, give them minimal training and put them on the phones. The center I worked at had a business model that worked with 80% turnover. The company used a government program to make money on each new hire and then relentlessly weeded them out. This particular company has an insidious group think mentality that is scary. Supervisors regularly spout the company line when confronted with the ridiculousness of their actions.
The constant monitoring, nit picking micro-management, and the sheer pettiness of the enterprise was soul killing. Other workers complained to me of the constant stress they felt in the workplace. There was one well meaning but overly emotional co-worker who cried at least once a week.
The really sad thing about this particular company is how seriously these folks take themselves. In the end it's just a job folks. Many of the people for whom I worked were single or divorced and I believe the company culture and work schedule may contribute to their situation.
While informative and eye-opening, my tenure at this company was a waste of my talents and experience, they were totally devalued there. I stayed for the insurance and ease of commuting. Clearly I overstayed my welcome. Oh, well!
Positive Things: I stayed as long as I did at my work due to the insurance issue. We needed coverage for Vicki. Well, just a couple of weeks earlier she was hired on as a full time employee at her work and immediately covered by her insurance. So, no problem there. The only reason for me to stay no longer exists.
With the economy slowly coming back there is a better chance to find work that is rewarding, interesting and more attuned to my age, attitude, experience and skills. It's a big Ole World out there and I look forward to the opportunity to find my economic muse.
Even at my age I am not suited to fly a desk. Eight hours a day sitting is unhealthy and unnatural. Therefore I will look for work that has at least a minimal physical component, such as walking, driving, on site inspections and the like.
The world is still my oyster, let's see what I find inside.