Just last week, I heard some "prank" messages on Fark.com that some people were sending via Relay calls for hearing impaired customers. Pranksters, using totally legit means, were sending awful messages to various mobile carriers and it was totally legal but what most Americans would consider inappropriate. Really nasty.
Having been a CSR for almost 2 years at T-Mobile, which I loved, I really didn't care for Relay calls as they drove up my CRT (call time) and could be very contentious, to say the least. Lots and lots of swearing on almost half my relay calls. Still, I spoke with each customer same as anyone else. I really had no idea that so many of them were pranks until this day.
That having been said, I wrote back to the website that I had a co-worker who, when they heard the word "Relay Call", would immediately release the call to keep their CRT low. I also mentioned that he did this for three years before getting caught and fired.
The first reply, and subsequent ones, really made me think: "If you work at a call center for three years, you can't be all there. What a loser". My first reaction was of anger, as I am retired and took the job because I liked talking to people. This was really a great job and got me out of the house.
Then I thought about it a bit more and realized that the folks writing to the forum, unknown to me, were actually correct.
Working at a call center is actually the easiest way in a resume to put a bulls-eye on your forehead that says "Loser". I remember the degree skills of my co-workers, my bosses, my managers and directors and realized there was not one college degree, let alone a graduate degree, among the bunch.
So then it occurred to me that I should write about this anomaly in American working history: Why in God's name would anyone want to get F' bombed 100 times a shift for $10 an hour? What motivates someone to have abuse heaped on them for such low wages? Who would want to even attempt to talk with any individual about highly technical issues that doesn't even have internet access?
So now, after those two years, I am halfway on my book about call center ideology. I am self publishing so I don't expect a large readership.
Look for "How Can I Help You?" at Amazon in June of 2010.
SAVES: DO NOT CALL OUR DEPARTMENT IF:
you're too scared to tell a customer that they're only qualified for a partial CIHU.
a customer used a trigger statement but, its in your scope of support to help.
a customer's line is under 10 months of tenure.
the customer ask to speak to a supervisor.
customer is FLEXPAY.
If you do, by the time you've finished transferring the custoemr, I've already filed a Voice ticket