Monday, August 20, 2012

Hope and failure.

I haven't heard anything about the awesome job I interviewed for last week; I'm trying to compose an email to the guy (he prefers to do everything over email) to casually ask what the hell. He said I was one of only five people he was interviewing, so you'd think he could let the four losers know they were losers.

Now to the fail: I started the job I did get today, at another damn call center, and it was just ridiculous. I mean, all we really did was sign a few pieces of paper, take a tour, and do the "get to know you" stuff. The reason it was horrible is they're waaaay overbearing:

  • No electronic devices at all are allowed past the break room -- not even in the training rooms. It doesn't matter if they're in your pocket, turned off, etc. 
  • No paper is allowed past the break room, or from the "production floor"/training rooms going out. Or on the desk. No paper at all.
  • No bags or purses are allowed past the break room -- again, not even in the training rooms. And they don't have enough lockers, so I had to leave my money, ID, cards, iPod, iPhone, Nook, and prescription drugs in my car where they could be stolen.
  • No reading materials allowed. Basically no personal possessions at all except a water bottle.
  • If you get caught writing your usernames and passwords down, you get fired.
  • Nobody can be in a training room without a trainer. Which means that when he shows up ten minutes after we're supposed to be there, we've all been standing around waiting forever, blocking the hallway and causing traffic jams. Not like the door won't open -- it's just not allowed.
  • They gave us notepads -- but we're not allowed to take them out of the training room. Ever. If we go to a break or on lunch, or when we leave at night, we have to turn them in to the trainer.
  • Everybody has a badge which must be worn around the neck on a lanyard. If you don't wear it that way, security will hunt you down and make you. And if you don't have one on you, they will make you purchase a new one.
  • And they will find you, because there are security cameras everywhere. There are five fucking cameras in every training room alone.
  • Said badges must be swiped by every individual to enter and exit every single door except the bathroom. And it's not like you swipe it and walk through. The door has to fully close, latch, and lock after the person in front of you before you can even swipe your badge. If you touch the sensor pad with your badge, the alarm goes off. If you try to follow a person ahead of you in, the alarm goes off. If you don't get out of the way of the sensor quickly enough, the alarm goes off. When it does you have to stand there next to the screeching thing, waiting for security to amble up and turn it off, then re-activate your badge. And naturally nobody else can go in or out during that time. And there's only one door to every area.
  • If you miss a day of work, you have to provide "documentation" before you can come back. So if I have a migraine one day, I have to spend more time and above all MONEY to go to a doctor so he can say I can go back to work.
  • The red dots are people.
  • The cubicles are the smallest, most crammed-in things I've ever seen. They're like half-cubicles, with a tiny amount of desk in the corner that will just barely hold a monitor, mouse, and keyboard. Endless rows of them, extremely close together, so there's no privacy and no noise barrier. See right.
Now, none of these things alone is all that bad -- except the idiotic cubicle structure. But put them all together and it's just overkill. It's a fucking call center, not a nuclear base. Lighten the fuck up, people.

The scary thing is that we didn't even go over policies or procedures officially today. These were just things that came up in the course of conversation! I shudder to think what other little gems are buried in the procedure manual.

When I got home, I immediately called the new district manager for the restaurant. I laid out what happened with CL, and the fact that I never really wanted to leave (well, I kind of did, but you know) but was forced out. She's going to talk to the new manager and we'll see what happens! I'd much fucking rather work at the restaurant!


~*~MizTink~*~ said...

That call center sounds like HELL!! I hope you get the old job back now that CL is gone!!

JoeinVegas said...

Since you can't have any paper or possessions in the cubes there is no reason to make them bigger. All you need is the keyboard, monitor and headset, right? Once they start using the video glasses instead of monitors you won't even need a cube, just rows of chairs with people talking to themselves.

DMT said...

Fuck sake's if there were criminals workign there for 10 cents an hour I'd understand but that's ridiculous

Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ, I would go back to the shithole Chili's before I worked for this company. Seems like policy gets in the way of productivity. Did you know that when employees are comfortable and happy, productivity and accuracy increases? And when employees can take small breaks (I'm talking 2-3 minutes every now and then) their productivity increases? It's because we aren't wired to focus on one task for hours on end. There is evidence to suggest that many are wired to do their best work under stressful conditions, but where does that leave you outside of work? Anxious and stressed and unhappy. Which ultimately leads to a downturn in productivity, creativity, and accuracy.

Companies that make work enjoyable, like Zappos, Google, etc. are the ones who have productive employees who do their best work.

What a draconian company. Part of me yearns to have my own business and show how positive business practices help employees be better employees... and then I remember that I hate dealing with other people, so that idea is doomed to fail.

Keep us updated!

Mandy said...

This sounds like the worst job ever! Inhuman. As much as I bitch about waiting tables, I stay at my restaurant because I have an incredible amount of personal freedom there. Good luck getting your old job back

Anonymous said...

I'm awarding you a Tell Me About Yourself Award. You might think it's stupid (I did too) but I was bored as hell. Read mine at or just visit my blog homepage if you're wary of links in comments, like I am. Feel free to delete this comment if you choose not to do it; I won't get my feelings hurt.

Anonymous said...

Omg are you working for asurion?????

under cover waitress said...

You can't write down you username & password anywhere? What if you forget? You must be protecting extremely important government secrets that the survival of the human race depends upon -- oh, wait. it's a call center. Damn. ;)

Giana Forzareli said...

I have worked in both, call center service and as a waitress. I really couldn't tell you which job gave me the best horror stories. I would get harassed by drunken men when I waitressed, and I would get harassed by angry housewives when I would in the call center services industry. People will be people.

Kyle Smith | said...

That is one strict call center. Maybe they have a reason that you can't think why they do that.

Kyle Smith on Semphi