First off, let me say that I am truly grateful to God that I am one of those fortunate enough to have a job in these days and times, especially in the field of my passion, Customer Service.
I just forgot how it really was…
I have a lil knowledge about the cellphone industry; worked for three well-known providers for a total of 6 years or so. But the last few years and jobs , while they have been in customer service, where not with cellphones.
I forgot just how brutal the job can be.
After the initial training, in which I had to try to wrap my mind around the same old terms dressed up brand new, and deal with all-knowing, super babies who knew everything there was to know about the industry, even though they just stepped to the plate. I called them The Geek Squad. Three students in the class, in their early 20′s, that had every answer for every question. I was jealous. Though some of the shyt they threw out there was ‘filler’ (not the answer and completely irrelevant to the issue at the time), they are young hungry brains, thirsty for knowledge and information and eager to learn something new. I admired that. No matter how annoying they got throughout the day, I knew they were destined to go far in the company. They know who they are.
It been two years since I was actually on the phones. I spent that time as a Quality Assurance Analyst. QA. The most despised position in a call center. We had the wonderful privilege of pointin’ out mistakes and providin’ feedback on how to correct them. Didnt get too many lunch invites… But it wasn’t on the phones-the front line.
I forgot about those customers who get up at 7 am, make coffee and dial the customer service line, and wait till the que opens to be the first one on. I use to be one of these people. I would make it my duty to terrorize CSR’s. I would not be satisfied till I had them in tears and had spoken to their manager and their manager’s manager. I had no love for them; they were totally at my mercy. I would devote my entire day to callin’ customer service lines and escalatin’ shyt to the extreme. In a 6 month period I managed to ‘escalate’ free cable for 3 months-with HBO and all that other bullshyt, get a 50.00 credit on my electric bill because they mistyped my address and I didn’t get a bill for 2 months. Free internet because the rep was incompetent and rude (I thought). It was almost Xmas everyday, and my Santa was that dayumm phone.
Once I got into customer service, namely call center work, I learned a whole new level of respect for those people on the other end of that 800 number. I realized that they are up against it all. They are working on computers, so there will be times when there are system issues, they may be new and not know what to do, and they surely don’t have the authority to give me the world as I ask, no matter how much I threatened theirs lives.
Well I got a ‘mini-me’ on of my first calls. This man kept me on the line 42 mins over 29 cents. It was finally 29 cents, since we had spent most of the time trollin’ thru his bill while he was lookin’ for something to dispute. There was data charges for about 5 dollars and overage in text. He tried to say (with authority and indignation) that he did not use data and didn’t know what the hell a text was. Of course, I explained that we don’t just randomly download shyt to folks phones randomly; the phone had to get access to the net and that’s a user thing.
I managed to not credit his account on the data and text thingy. The battle was, as I said, over the 29 cents. This came about after he’d played all his last card and was ready to fold ‘em. His last chance was ‘why are the Federal Universal Services charge different than it was last bill?’ I was exhausted and the smile on my face was startin’ to hurt. So when I found the information that the Feds had raised the rate a few points Jan 1., and this was the reason for the dreaded 29 cents, I felt like a man rescued from a deserted island. I politely explained the rate change and that I was couldn’t credit any parts of that. (A whole 29 cents) If he wanted to dispute it any further, take it up with the Federal Government.
I can’t wait to get back to work.