You know you hate your job when you would rather be bed ridden with strep throat than go to work. I was that person. The girl that would come to work and be happy when the systems were “down” which meant no customer calls. The girl who was done with the day from the moment she put the car on “Park”. I know it sounds bad but anything that kept me away from toxic customer calls was a good day for me. And any day that I could come to work and see on my report that I had good surveys from the customers from the day before was huge. But that didn’t happen always. You see, in customer service, no matter how much you try, you can never make a customer happy. Even if you give them all the credits you can off of a bill error or promise them free stuff, they have this resolve to make sure that they let the establishment know that they feel unappreciated. With every “bad” survey, whether it was out of your control or not, the management always looked at as a strike on your record. And like any system, you have just so many strikes before you get canned. Or “taken into the office” as was the code phrase.
My pride would not allow for me to ever get fired from a job like this. I would quit first. Besides, what would it sound like for me to be fired from a job that I was overqualified for in the first place? Sigh!! I have grown up a lot since I took this job but back then, I had a huge chip that resided comfortable on my shoulder.
Despite the toxic customer calls, lazy supervisors and egotistic co workers who had mastered how to defraud the system in their favor to avoid bad surveys or gain sales points, I decided that I would do my very best every day while actively seeking employment elsewhere. Night after night, I would sleepily search job boards and apply for positions that I qualified for. I had hope that since I already had a job , it would be easier for me to get another job. So that was my hope. That I would get a job very soon. I even smiled one day when I found out that someone had stolen my Snapple from the community fridge. What did I care about a stolen ice tea when I knew that very soon, I will not have to put up with this job any longer. What did I care that a supervisor ( another team supervisor, not my own, because he was no where to be found) cursed me out because I needed her to do an adjustment on a customers bill? I will not have to see her ugly face again when I get my job with an awesome office view over looking the city from a 20 plus floor high rise building. If everything played out the way it is supposed to, I will no longer have to put up with the ratchetness ( I know its not a real word) that was my current situation.
Or so I thought.
” You got another bad survey, Princess” my supervisor told me soon after my lunch break. I hadn’t even logged back into my computer and he informed me off this without even looking up from his computer. “This is your second this week…” he continued informing me that even though I had done everything that can be done for the customer, the customer still gave me bad survey because they were upset with the company. Even though the customer has pleased with me, I still had to use my sixth sense to see if i would get a bad survey. But that is kind of hard to do, when you ask a customer if they are satisfied with “YOUR” customer service and they say yes.
As he told me this, I couldn’t help but wonder how many calls I had ended on my line that I felt were good calls but could lead to bad surveys later because they were mad at the establishment. You would think that those surveys would be dismissed because they not about me but with the way the system is set up, a bad survey is a bad survey. Another big issue I had with this job is while they expect you to go above and beyond the call of duty, they don’t really take care for their own. Why should they? As far as they are concerned, you are a number in the system that can easily be replaced. I was reminded of this every other week when I would see new recruits come though the office for a tour.
As I feared, by the end of the day, I was called into the office by my supervisor. I got two bad surveys. Again for things that were completely out of my control but my spidey sense could not detect that I would get a bad survey. My supervisor took me into my his boss’ office. In the chain of command, anything a representative does could reflect positively or negatively on my supervisor and anything that makes a supervisor look bad , makes his boss look bad with overall management. At this point, since I had had a total of four bad surveys in a week, I was on the verge of being fired, and like I said before, I was not going out like that.
I nervously walked into the OM’s office. This was my first time being called into the office since I had been employed. I sat down and like a principal that is shocked to see an otherwise very good student come into the office, the OM was surprised to see me. As procedure, I listened to the call along with the supervisor. This call was was very long. I squirmed in my seat as I heard my voice booming from the speakers. While I had a very good over the phone voice, it was still weird to hear. The issue: my customer wanted me to give them a plan that no longer existed in the system. Ordinarily, only a supervisor could do that. So I did the customary transfer to my supervisor but along the way, the call dropped. So when the customer got the survey, they noted that I hung up on them which was not true.
” I see that you did everything you could do on that call, but unfortunately, it is still your fault. You should have called the customer back”.
How was I to call a customer back if I didn’t know the call was dropped??? I get an average of 50 calls a day. How am I supposed to keep track of each and every single dropped call in addition to making sure that I offer the customer everything within my ability???
” It is standard to follow up with all customers within 24 hours to see if their issues were resolved if the call is sent to a supervisor” the OM stated as- a- matter- of -factly.
** Insert expletive here** No where in the system does it say that you have to follow up with call transferred to a supervisor after 24 hours. Why? Because you do not get surveyed for calls transferred to a supervisor. Everyone knows this. Again *Insert expletive here**
I went back and forth with the supervisor and OM for about twenty minutes but as I argued my point, I knew deep down, this was a battle I was not going to win. I have five strikes a month for surveys, I was down four. I was given a final warning. But what was I being warned for. I was doing my absolute best. As I walked out of the office, I logged out of my phone and slowly walked to my car. I sat in my car, thinking about the entire conversation and my utter disgust with the situation. Then I started weighing my options. I could sit here and get fired or I could get my hands dirty and just put all customer phone numbers on the “do not survey” list which is what many representatives did but would get them fired on the spot if caught. Or, I could just quit. What did I have to lose? I already hated this job and leaving this position would free me up to look for a position full time. But I was still undecided. I quickly texted a co-worker for advice.
Her response ” Well, if you get fired, at least you can file for unemployment….”
Sigh. I guess I was expecting a more optimistic response. As thought more and more what happened in the office and how I was pretty much disposable to these people, I knew what I had to do.