lighterthanair: Nahadoth, from N K Jemisin's Inheritance trilogy (nahadoth)
Yesterday was a terribly frustrating day all around, but mostly when it came to work. Cue bitching? let bitching commence.

Right off the bat, my first call of the day was from a guy who said that he and his family had finally narrowed down where they wanted to go for vacation. Their choices were California, Florida, or Mexico. Anywhere there. And it had to be a family-friendly resort. Can I do some research on places for him and email him what I find?

Rageface. I vehemently dislike this kind of person. This kind of person usually thinks they're doing the best thing, being flexible with their destination, their dates, all that stuff. They think it actually makes it easier on the travel counselor they talk to. In actuality, it does the exact opposite. Rather than telling me he wants to go to Miami on August 3rd, for example, which is something I can easily find flights and hotels for because I find hotels and flights by looking up specific locations on specific dates, telling me he wants to go to Florida some time in August means that I have to look up flights to and from multiple potential cities for multiple potential dates. Something like that can turn a 15-minute call into a 2-hour research session, and all because people think they're being flexible and helpful.

You want to be helpful? Try actually narrowing down where and when you want to go somewhere. It's not arrogant to know these things and tell them to me.

I swear, this is the sort of thing that makes me want to start a vlog about my various experiences in call centres. I could entertain and rant for hours, I really could.

So the next anger-inducing thing came when my supervisor sent me an email about 3 things that needed following up on, that apparently had been in my queue and my queue buddy "was made to take care of."

Excuse me? Let me put this all in a timeliney perspective. I worked until 8 PM on Friday, September 28. I called in sick on Saturday because I was in so much pain and discomfort from my stupid period. I then had 2 scheduled days off, and next worked my scheduled shift on Tuesday, October 2. My queue buddy worked this stuff on October 1. Anything that came into my queue between me leaving on Friday and me coming back on Tuesday is stuff that I couldn't possibly have actually seen!

This is why we have a queue buddy system. So that anything urgent can be followed up on while any given agent is on their days off.

So my supervisor sends me this email yesterday. Two days after my queue buddy worked on the cases, and my second day back after my days off. There were 3 cases. One I had cleared up yesterday. One couldn't be cleared up because I couldn't reach the client. The third was fully taken care of by my queue buddy and there was nothing left for me to do. I had already done what I could in my queue on Tuesday.

I sent an email back to my sup saying as much. Also explaining to him that I can't do anything in my queue while I'm off work, and it's not like I just left complicated stuff in my queue for someone else to handle. I really resent that implication, and there was no need for my queue buddy to email my sup to start with about this unless she was actually implying that was what I did.

Third thing? Finding out that as much as I'm currently rocking my stats and goals, the whole team's schedule adherence is at an all-time low. Schedule adherence, for those who don't know, is basically the percentage at which we all log in and out for our breaks at the correct time. We had never dipped below 92% before. Now we're at 82%.

And I know this is my fault. A large chunk of it, anyway. Right now, because of my fucked up period, I have to run to the bathroom frequently. I can't always wait for my breaks. Sometimes I have to go twice in an hour. I'm not going to sit there and bleed all over my chair just to save a team stat.

And I feel guilty over it. This is one case where I agree with my therapist, that guilt is anger turned inward when it should be turned outward. I feel guilty, but what I feel more than that is anger that there's such a lack of understanding, of flexibility. I know that a stat is a number and a number can't be changed, but it bugs me that my health problems are dragging down the whole team and that there's no way to change it or get and exception or anything like that.

I sent an email to my sup about that. I apologized, said I know it's mostly because of me, and left comment that said, "Yes, it's because of the health issues I discussed with you a few weeks ago." I know his goal wasn't to guilt-trip me, but I want him to know that I'm not just fucking around, and that I have a legitimate reason for doing what I'm doing. If he's got any better suggestions, I'd like to hear them. But I'm angry about it, because this is just another example of the way this centre works.

The numbers matter more than the circumstances. It doesn't matter that I'm in too much pain to move. What matters is that my attendance gets worse. It doesn't matter that I'm bleeding from my crotch so fast that I can barely keep up with it and have suffered from dizziness due to the accompanying anemia. What matters is the schedule adherence stat.

I thought at first that this company actually cared about its employees, more than other companies I'd worked for. Certainly more than the company I'd previously come from. But no, like so many other places, that's just the nice mask they put on before you get sucked in. Then it's all stats and goals and numbers and figures and you're reduced to a piece of data while still being told to convey yourself to others as a human being. An extraordinary human being, of course, who can and will bend over backwards for the client, who will deliver excellent service not so that the customer's happy, but so that they customer sends back a survey rating how happy they are, so that the company can assign a number to you that tells you your worth.

This is why I desperately want to be self-employed. Being self-employed like that would mean that for one thing, I'd be doing something that I could actually enjoy, and play to my skills and strengths. Which would be something I could do from the couch if I'm feeling ill or sore. Something that would allow for that kind of health-related flexibility. Something that, obviously, would treat me like a person rather than a faceless number.

I don't wonder why I suffer from stress. And I know that if I can endure this for just a few more years, and save up money in the meantime, then things will get a lot better.

I hope that today will be better. I hope that today I get some easier calls so that I can salvage my abyssmal talk time (again with the stats! The goal is to have an average of 20 minutes per call, including after-call work; yesterday, my average time was 40 minutes because of all the complicated calls and research that came my way), that maybe it won't be very busy and I can get some off-the-phone time for research and catching up.

I just keep telling myself, only today and then 2 more shifts until my days off. I can make it.

Hopefully without raining Nahadoth's vengeance down on people. (Hence the icon for today's post. Feeling smitey!)

September 2015

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