Home > Jobs, Work, Career > Entry 07/04/2008 12:38:53 PM – Mentat 421

Entry 07/04/2008 12:38:53 PM – Mentat 421

07/04/2008
     It’s a quiet, rainy Independence Day here in the Biggest Little, and I’m sitting here biding my time for the next couple of hours before we head over to my uncle’s place for the Annual Fourth of July Barbeque.  I admit that I’m sort of looking forward to it, given that I’ve got the day off from work, in spite of the fact that I felt more than a little guilty ducking out of a ½ day’s worth of work there.  Although now that I’m sitting here, the feelings of guilt are more than a little bit abated, given then crappy weather that’s going on here, and the chance that if I had to be up for 9’ish in order to get to work, I would’ve probably ended being caught in one of the downpours.  Eh, I keep telling myself that if they had contacted me only a day before, I would’ve probably taken the ½ day of work and gotten paid triple time.  *shrugs* That’s how the cookie crumbles though — particularly given that things are back to normal with my uncle and on that side of the family. 
     The news there is that as of yesterday I had finished the two weeks of training for Tier II Support.  Which doesn’t really seem to be much tier II support at all, but more like an extended tier I.  Oh, don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining in the least.  I’m just amazed about it sometimes what one place would call Tier I and another would call it Tier II.  At least between the company and myself, we both agree that the NOC in Atlanta is absolutely Tier III.  *grinning*  Training was pretty intense, and even though I’m relatively comfortable with the information that they had dolled out during the training, I’m still feeling more than a little intimidated about the speed I’m going to be going out there onto the floor live.  Not entirely sure why though, given that the calls that I had heard had been pretty much common sense troubleshooting issues between video, voice, and the internet products.  I believe that the reason why I’m still going through the intimidation is the fact that night shift is one of those sort of positions that involves a whole lot of paging out (like I used to do at Care New England), delegations to the next shift/next business day, and knowing the difference between the two. 
     Admittedly, they have what they call "job aids" which are in essence the instructions to follow for which product and which market, and they’re more than easily accessible through a web-interface which from the three that I looked at, actually made better sense than the policies and procedures posted on SharePoint at Care New England.  Christ, thinking about it — the ambiguity of CNE’s information still gives me shudders thinking about having to go into the system to get the necessary information.  But enough of CNE — that’s ancient history at the moment. 
     *sighs* I think I’m just going through my usual pre-live jitters that I go through whenever I’m about to get onto a call center floor and handle calls on my own.  Not that I am tomorrow when I go into work…  According to the information provided, I don’t actually go live tomorrow when I go into work.  For the first couple of hours, it’s a side-by-side (listening only) for the first couple hours and then for the rest of the day, I’m doing the keying while the man that I’m sitting with does the talking.  Following is the schedule that I have for next week:

7/04 – off
7/05 – work 4:30 – 1am side by side with Ryan (observation at beginning of the shift and after dinner keying)
7/06 – off
7/07 – work 1:30 – 10 side by side with Dean (first 2 hours keys and rest of the shift keying and speaking with the customer)
7/08 – work 3 – 11:30 solo with floating coach
7/09 – work 3 – 11:30 solo with floating coach
7/10 – work 3 – 11:30 solo with floating coach
7/11 – OFF
7/12 – starts 3rd shift (Steve will send schedule next week)

     Yeah — that’s right — Saturday the 12th I swap over to Third shift.  According to the master schedule that I have, I’m working Saturday, Sunday, Thursday, Friday (or for those of us running on a Sunday – Saturday Schedule: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday).  According to my manager — the reason why they wanted me to work today was to get more side-by-side time for the "most bang for the buck" as she had said.  However, my opinion of it is that it doesn’t really teach me all that much for two reasons.  The first has to do with the fact that I accelerate my training if I’m thrown into the middle of it, the other is that day training really won’t give me an accurate feel of what I need to know/do on third shift.  After all, after-hours is significantly different than normal business hours.
     Heh, as I’m sitting here writing this, I realize the other reason why I’m getting the jitters about going live as quickly as I am has to do with my a-type personality trait of being perfect out of the starting gate, and having the routine anxiety of falling flat on my face because of it.  *grinning* I’m sure that on Sunday, I’ll be having a different sort of anxiety after going a full day out on the floor and learning how to key into the system. 

     I’m not sure whether I talked about the benefits for this position…  Or if I did, I was pretty sketchy on them.  According to what I’ve been told is that when it comes to cable, I’m pretty much comped for practically everything but On-Demand, Pay-Per-View, and the HD channels.  If I go with the HD Channels, and get the HD/DVR box, I get comped 33% for it (or was it 50%?  I don’t remember, not that it matters, I’m not much of a TV watcher).  Telephone is comped for local, I pay long-distance, and Internet I get Preferred (10 up/2 down) for free, and comped 50% for the premium residential service (20 up/2 down). 
     Medical/Dental/Vision benefits aren’t quite like they used to be before the dot crash — but it’s currently sufficient enough for me given that I rarely if ever need to go to the doctor at the present time.  401K is what I’m also looking at and they have a moderate offering for that.  Not quite what I used to see in the south, but it’s better than what I’ve seen living here in the North the last couple of years.  They also have a pretty comprehensive package for Short-Term and Long-Term Disability which I signed into, given that they didn’t offer much along the lines of Short Term in the South.

     The people there I’m still getting a feel of, although I admit that I’m not really going to try to get too in-depth with most of them, as I will be dealing with only a small percentage of them when I’m actually working nights.  I got to meet one of the other Nightbreed that I’ll be working with on at least two of the four days that I’m on nights.  Manny’s his name.  Seems cool enough although he seems too young to be wanting to work 3rd shift.  Not sure what’s up with that, but I’m sure it’ll probably have to do with him being married and having at least one child.  Most of the people that I’ve met though are cool and easy to deal with.  New Englanders all of them, as you can hear their accents clearly enough, and the attitudes can be more than a little standoffish to the southerner that I sometimes feel that I’ve become. 
     More on this though when I get settled into my position at night. 

     As for D…  I think he’s finally coming around again.  He’s still beating himself up something awful for the way that he reacted when he found out that I was heading to Seattle to meet with him, and the fact that he doesn’t believe that he’s worth loving.  But at least he’s getting it into his head that he needs to stop being so hard on himself, as it accomplishes nothing.  I had asked him a few questions over the last couple of weeks since getting back from Seattle.  "What is love?", "Whether he loves me or not?" and "Am I worth fighting for?" 
     He answered that I am worth fighting for, which brought a smile to my face when he admitted that.  Heh, I still get a tickle about it thinking about it this morning.  I believe that he came to the conclusion that I’m worth fighting for when I admitted some of the crap that I’ve gone through with Rick.  See, the thing that I appreciate deeply with D is that he understands what I’m saying most of the time, and after explaining something that he doesn’t, he gets enough of the gist of it to puzzle through the rest easily.  I explained to D that I would do the same with Rick, and by the end of it, I felt as though I were speaking in tongues.
     D was defending me against the ghost of Rick’s loathing and hatred of me in my explanation that Rick simply didn’t want to understand because Rick always thought that I was talking down to him. 
     I had pointed it out to D that it wasn’t necessary to be defending me against the ghosts of the past, the point that I was trying to make is that what he takes for granted — understanding what I’m trying to say — is something that I hadn’t had much of in my life the last decade..  Maybe even more than a decade now that I think of it.
     Although he was tired, and I didn’t press too much, at least by the end of the conversation I had hope that perhaps this little rocky moment is a sign of better things to come.  Particularly given that he told me earlier in the week that his aunt’s going to be leaving the hospital sometime soon, which means that he’ll be able to head home to Seattle… 
     Personally, I can’t wait to see how this goes when he gets home. 

     Well, I’m going to finish up here for the time being.  Need to finish getting ready, and then off to my uncle’s for the barbeque.  Until the next time.

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