Home > Jobs, Work, Career > Entry 08/05/2010 11:41:32 PM – Mentat 578

Entry 08/05/2010 11:41:32 PM – Mentat 578

08/06/2010

     T-minus 8 days and counting. 

     It’s been a long time coming, and I’m happy to say that I’m rather satisfied with my decision.  I’ve handed in my resignation last Monday, by e-mail of all things, to a boss that was out of the office the two work days I would normally catch him, and to the backup manager that I’m sure saw a copy of the e-mail to.  Two weeks notices it what it was — 10 business days, not the routine 14 days because of a 24/7/365 call center operation.  Didn’t hear anything as of yet, although I’m sure I’ll be walking into something this week. 

     Do I honestly care one way or another?  In a way, yes.  It means that I’m going to have to be professional about it, and even civilized in spite of the fact that I feel pretty damned raw the last 10 months I’ve been working there.  Further, one of the biggest problems that I’ve had in recent months has been actually being able to talk about the things that have been bothering me about this job.  And doing so without becoming a completely raving and screaming lunatic.  There have been moments, and the rage that I’ve been feeling since March has literally driven me over the edge and into a place I frankly don’t want to be.  And quite honestly I’m tired of being there from the day I go into work, to the day I call it my weekend. 

     A friend of mine wanted me to talk about it publicly just for the giggles and grins, so this is pretty much the urgings from him coupled with my want to get it off my chest before I leave that place and start anew at some other job that will probably turn me Day-walker once again.  Besides I want to be able to take a vacation without feeling some PTSD looking for some random reason to explode on the unwary. 

 

     One of the first problems that I’ve had with this merger between two departments that did practically the same thing and calling a "unified" department is the amount of calls that I get from the Vegas Strip.   According to what I’m seeing from the database that I had created a couple of years ago is that I take almost 2.5 calls from the strip alone than I do from the whole of the markets we covered the previous 18 months prior to this merger.

     I’m not talking about problem calls — you know the kind of people that I have often said have just enough sense to call in to complain and not actually troubleshoot.  I’m talking about the sort of calls that involve concierge work and training problems with the front desk: 

 

  • How much does it cost to use the Internet here?
  • Is it included in the cost of the room?
  • Can I use the business center instead?
  • Is there a cost for using the business center?

 

     They were simply blind-transfer calls done by people at a switchboard that the instant that they heard the word "internet" would get rid of the call without so much as listening to what the person was saying.  And these calls often included questions like, "what time does the fitness center open in the morning?" and even asking for their car to be brought up to the front of the building. 

     If I wanted to work in Hospitality, I would have gone to Johnson & Wales, got my degree in Hospitality and applied for a job at a hotel.  The fact of the matter is, I have a degree in computer science.  And these sort of calls are well out of that sort of scope both for that rather old and antiquated degree, as well as what I had originally hired to do. 

     Further, I don’t like the feeling that someone who is paid $10/hour less than me (guest services and switchboard from the hotels in question) dictating to me the sort of calls that we have to take and having that reinforced by my management because they’re being lazy and cutting corners however they want.  Particularly when you consider that around 25% of the calls I get from the Vegas Strip are precisely those sort of Concierge calls, and another approximately 15% of the total calls are training issues with front desk people not turning on permissions for a guest properly.  It’s not like the interface has changed all that much (other than one hotel that completely changed their interface, but that’s another story), that the rules for putting things into one system won’t carry over to the next. 

 

     Another problem that I have with this whole of Hospitality support carries over to what I actually do enjoy doing — assisting business customers with their needs.  After 10 or so calls of mindlessly idiotic people who start whinging with such lines as "my internets don’t work", I find it incredibly hard to feel sympathy for a business customer when they begin complaining about their down service.  I’ve been caught several times on this in my monthly one-on-ones with my manager where he had stressed its importance, and how we all had to go through a ½ day seminar on a positive customer experience.  I admit I simply cannot even work up false sympathy after dealing with half a night of hospitality-like calls involving people that throw more hissy-fits than petulant, spoiled, attention-deficit teenagers. 

     Really, I understand business folk having to travel to the City of Sin, they’re usually the best to get along with, but everyone else?  Really!  You’re on vacation.  Act like it instead of holing your sorry asses up in the room (like some agoraphobic shut-in) getting on your laptop and facebooking or watching YouTube Videos. 

 

[Last Edited: 08/06/2010 06:47:06 AM]

 

     I wandered off to get over the splitting headache that suddenly crept up on me, and then went off being a complete slacker and play through to a specific point in ME2 in order to shake the frustration that I had been going through trying to write the next section of my journal.   Enough on the distraction; on to the next section… 

 

     One of the worst things for me to experience in a department is the feeling of a double standard going on, and one of the fastest ways for not only burning me out, but making me want to find somewhere else to work.  Take for example one of the procedures that the department has for management in after-hours.  Each month, the management swaps out who’s supposed to be on-call in case of catastrophe or maintenance that would effect job performance and response times for customers.  A couple of weeks ago, it was the other side of the "virtual call center" that was responsible for response times and coordination when things went south because of in-system maintenance.  That manager never responded to the messages left on his phone.  The back up however responded within the first ring and was able to confirm everything we had told her about the un-announced maintenance.  However, the very next week that on-call manager that never responded to the call out for the unannounced system maintenance called in at about the same time we had called him because his modem at home had gone offline and he had thought that he was in an outage. 

     And it’s been like this when dealing with the on-calls from the other half of the virtual call center since the merge. 

 

     Then there’s the knowledge levels between the two sides of this virtual call center.  One side knows all about the products and procedures as dictated in what is called the "job aids" (what anyone else in the world would call hand off procedures).  The other can barely cut through the troubleshooting, hand it off only to annoy to seriously piss off the after-hours technicians called out to sites.  You can tell the attitudes of the after-hours techs when they respond to pages to them as to which side of this virtual call center by breathing a sigh of relief when they realize who it was that did the troubleshooting and who is the one that did the paging.  While things have gotten somewhat better in recent months — the new people being hired on are just making it feel as though this problem continues to proliferate. 

 

     Though the worst that I’ve come across is by far, the double standard for handling coaching and the general standard of job excellence with the individuals between the two halves of this virtual call center.  Unfortunately without going into too much detail on this the only thing that I can say on this is that I feel as though the part of the call center that’s been doing things with the national markets far longer feel as though they’re getting the short end of the sharp stick whenever it is discussed about their job excellence.  While the other side continues to behave rather badly and get away with things that they really shouldn’t. 

     For those of you that have known me for years, that anytime I find myself in the position of seeing a double standard playing out for long periods of time, I first lose complete respect for the management, followed closely by my losing complete respect for the company on the whole. 

 

     Which (not really) ironically sort of ties into the last point that is a problem that I’ve had for as long as I’ve been working in the job force.  Why is it that the person that does the work and handles the responsibilities that were his to do in the first place is rewarded with more work?  Eighteen months I’ve had the responsibility of doing two specific jobs two day a week that when the merger happened, found myself eventually doing it for three out of the four work days.  The other person that has to do it for one day and hasn’t been doing it for weeks, instead playing online games, and watching videos and movies instead.  And then only gets off with no more than a hand-slap once and continues to misbehave.  And then there’s the other side of the virtual call center which will simply go through them and mark them for "call customer in the AM" which some didn’t even need to be called about and could be resolved accordingly. 

     What’s the use?  None that’s what. And so, I’m sick of this change, and want out. 

 

     That’s about it for the time being.  The next journal entry will be me as a free man.  Until the next time.

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