Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wow, isn't it 2008 now?

Maybe time to come back...

Friday, November 02, 2007

Supervisor Calls

As a supervisor in a call center I get the great job of talking to the very angry customer. This may sound like fun, and it is sometimes. Most of the time though it is just a pain. Think of how many times you've had to talk to and angry, upset person on the phone. Every call I get is one of those.

As a phone rep I always hated having to get a supervisor or putting in a callback.That I failed somewhere in this call if someone else has to complete it. I try to pass this belief on too my reps. Mold them into the top rep I know they can be. And really, I don't want to talk to these people. I mean really, if I liked talking to these crazy people on the phone I would still be a phone rep.

I did have on bright, heart touching moment with a customer today. He was trying to get his power turned back on. I foolishly was trying to help.

Crazy Caller, Noticing It Is Getting Cold Out (CCNIIGCO): I don't believe you guys turned off my power! I am a great customer! I pay my bill every month, even if I can't pay the full bill I send you something!

Me: Sir, it shows here that you haven't paid anything since March.

CCNIIGCO: It's been a tough year... I'm going to call the news. 10 News will want this story!

Me: Sir, We came out to turn your meter back on, but they could not get to it. Says it is in a locked shed. We instructed you that the shed needs to be unlocked and it wasn't.

CCNIIGCO: I had it unlocked! The person I talked to said the meter was in my shed so I unlocked the door to my shed. I didn't see the meter in there, but I did what I was told!

Me: Oh, ok. So we have the wrong location for your meter? Is it on the side of your building?

CCNIIGCO: No, it is located in the other shed. I didn't unlocked that one. I wasn't told to! I was told just to unlock my shed! Your guys's customer service sucks!

ok, really i am not making this up! Pay attention people! When you say/do stupid things like this, we are laughing at you! And will be at parties, get togethers, dinners, smoke breaks, in line at the grocery store, blogs, etc...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I am Fred Claus

I knew it the moment I saw the preview last spring.

Fred, the brother of Santa, never quite measured up to the accomplishments of his sibling.

Bad decisions, bad relationships, and just plain bad luck kept him from being the best he could have been. Finally settling in to a life that while not bad, just not great.

Couple crazy women, couple nights in jail, couple binders are never erased from the collective family memories. Doesn't matter that now a manager in a call center, making high marks in all levels.

Being 40 years old, and still feeling like a child when talking to the parents. Never quite being good enough.

I'm sure Fred turns out ok. It is a hollywood movie.

I'm also sure Larry will be ok. While not a hollywood movie, there has to be a happy ending out there some place. Plus no family holiday get togethers this year.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A little bit of this and that!

My 8 year old daughter bought a McDonald’s Drive Thru playset with money she had saved from her birthday and Christmas.

She was very excited. It took me almost and hour to get it all together. It should not have been this difficult. After a little while I realized why it was difficult, I had two right sides (or maybe two left sides, depending how you looked) when I should have had one left side and one right side.

The girls couldn’t wait to play with it so I hobbled it together as best as possible, figuring to take back the part and get it exchanged for the correct side.

Ok I dropped the ball here slightly, I was a little while before I got around to taking it back apart and returning to Toys R Us. By that time I had no idea where the receipt could possibly be. Really all I needed was the correct piece. Open up a new box, take out the correct piece, insert the wrong piece, I go home, they send off the bad box to the company.

I arrive at Toys r us and am nicely told I must have a receipt, company policy. I understand policy, and I do mean it when I say the two women at the counter were very nice. There have been issues concerning fraud with returned items. Of course I’m talking about one piece that needs to be replaced. Not sure how much fraud I would be trying to accomplish here.

I did get the right piece, but it was an odd way to get it.

I walked through the store and got another playset.

I returned with the playset to the front counter.

I gave the young lady two twenty dollar bills.

She rang up the item, and put the change on the counter.

I took the box, opened it and removed the correct piece.

I put the wrong piece in the box.

I handed the box to the young lady behind the counter.

She took my change that was still sitting on the counter.

She returned my two twenty dollar bills.

I left the store with the correct piece, and it better be the correct piece because I ain’t going through that again!

Com’n Toys R’ Us! What happen to a little logic here? Not leaving your managers with enough rope to simplify a correction to a product . Somewhere out there is a playset with two left sides! (or right sides) Maybe that person doesn’t want to go through this hassle! (Or they could save the receipt I guess. Really though, I think they would have been required to bring the whole blasted thing back to get the one piece!


My favorite story today in the call center:

Customer who didn’t pay electric bill: I need my power turned back on! Tell of one person in this day and age who can survive without electricity and I will leave you alone! You can’t can you?

Call center rep who is tired of being yelled at: The Amish.

Of course in classic call center reaction, the caller then wanted to speak to a supervisor because the rep was being a smart ass.


The Position - Meg Wolitzer

I’ve never done a book review here before and maybe I should do more. I read enough. Anyway, I finished reading this book and loved it.

You can read all the book reviews that go into details on the story, but I think what got me was the person who wrote it Meg Wolitzer. I heard an interview with her on NPR. Actually I heard it twice. The second time I acted and got the book.

There was something in her talk the seemed real. After I started reading the book I was hooked. The family was real. I could see traits reflecting in real life. Ok I’m getting ahead of myself. Can’t help it this is a great read.

Imagine that you are growing up, maybe age 12, and find out that your parents wrote and stared in a book about sex. Think The joy of sex. Imagine the effect it would have on you at that age. Then imagine it years later. Would that still effect you in your adult life. Meg says yes. This book is about the children, and the parents, years later.

What got me hooked was Chapter Two, When we see Michael the eldest son as an adult. This is as real as it gets, perfect. The relationship he has with his mom, his dad, his siblings, and his girlfriend are dead on. It would not be believable any other way.

It gets better too. The oldest daughter Holly becomes the lost member of the family after the first chapter. This is illustrated so well not just by the little that is said about her, but that you don’t see her from page 22 (hardcover edition) until 195.

This is a real world that exist between the covers. Where Love may or may not be defined by indents made on the wall by the headboard.

I am tired and not up to the task of giving this book justice. For a summer read I suggest it!

Night all!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Deep Side of the Pool

Lately I have been feeling small. Insignificant. Not in the “oh woo is me I‘m unloved ” type of way. I have a life, I have loved ones and friends, but beyond that, nothing. Everything out of my reach just seems to not really matter.

The only thing the matters is what I do for myself and mine. I’ve been on the emotional trip. Saving the world, doing the right thing by people, treating everyone how you want to be treated. I went into the navy, I’ve been to war. I’ve helped build homes for the homeless, spent the day at an orphanage in France, donated time and money to the right causes. Spent time and effort with my children, paid my child support, kept a job, been faithful, supportive, everything a good friend is suppose to be. I’ve voted, protested, and listened.

All of this has made me who I am today. I’m not unhappy with who I am, just feel very small in the world. I guess I’ve circled the wagons here. Ready to keep my sanity intact.

It doesn’t matter to me who is president anymore then who the English Prime Minister is. The world will save it self, it doesn’t need or want my help. If a giant asteroid hits, I can’t do anything about it. The troops in Iraq? They got there the same way I did, they volunteered.

It is the same on the telephone a work, I can’t bring my self to care. With some people I won’t let myself care. I do not need to put myself out there for most people I know. Yes, I have friends at work, but if they disappeared on me tomorrow, I wouldn’t feel anything. I would wish them the best, but I’ve given up on attachments with new people.

I don’t care that you haven’t paid your electric bill in 3 months and now you are being shut off. It does not help when you tell me you didn’t get your shut off notice because you just spent the last two weeks on vacation in Florida. And look at the big picture, I paid my electric bill, my power is not being shut off. Of course I didn’t go to Florida either.

You don’t like your hours in the call center? I hear S-Mart is hiring.

Bring the union in so we can get higher wages! We are underpaid compared to other call centers! Um, no we are not. I’ve worked in the other call centers. Anyway, go work for them then, I’m staying here and voting no on union.

I’m late to work cause my car is broken. Yea mine too, still manage to get there on time.

I used to care. Anyone had a problem I would help, first to lend a hand. Not anymore. Sorry did my time, now it is just me and mine.

This all leads to a question. I used to care, now I don’t. Am I right now or was I right then.? In our life times have any of us found the meaning of life? Is there a meaning?

Ok a little deeper then my usual, but this has really been bugging me lately. Even watching Superman on the huge Imax screen, just looks small. Like the whole world has shrunk. Maybe just my world.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

yeah, working on it

New post, coming soon. This weekend, ok!

In the mean time, go read a book. I am reading "The Position" By Meg Wolitzer. This is a great read. I should review it here. After I finish it. Honestly, I go from one book to like several at a time. So along with the position I'm also reading:

two superman graphic novels (light reading done during waits and breaks)
It's a bird... by steven seagle (A graphic novel about writting superman graphic novels, actually finished that one)
Villians victorious edited by martin greenberg (I love short stories
flight of the night hawks by raymond feist (my big book at the moment, though I haven't progressed in a couple days)
The Shining by steven king (ok thats a audio book, but still counts)
Harrington on hold'em by dan harrington (poker book, i've already read 3 times)

I've just picked up, but not started:

Maximum Ride by james patterson

I love my library card.

So you wonder why I don't have time to blog?

BTW, Teamsters haven't invaded work yet. They still want to I hear, just not seeing them anymore.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

ok i'm tired of guessing!

Who wrote this? LOL, driving me nuts!

Hey, I have finally put two & two together and have decided that you are just plain WIERD!
Mr Underware God. Only YOU could have thought of something like that to write about & make me picture it in my mind.....BAD BAD VISIONS, not sugarplums I can assure you!!
Leave it to you, it may take you awhile to post something but by golly, when you put your "mind"(?) to it, you can git r dun.
Miss ya, although I can't imagine why!!
Take care, Huggs
Guess who

Posted by Anonymous to Firebear's World at 5/11/2006 07:19:27 PM

Union Does? No Don't!

No to Union in Jackson Michigan!

I don’t like people screwing with my good thing.

For example.

I was working over night at S-Mart (shop smart, shop S-Mart). While it the hours sucked it had its pluses. There were 3 of us in the whole store, we came in, the manager told us what needed to be done, then he left. All that we had to do over the next 8 hours was get our stuff done. No one cared if we took an hour lunch or a thirty minute break. If we watched a movie or listened to music while we worked. If one of the other people decided not to work so be it, wasn’t my business. I got my job done.

Then someone decided to screw things up. Empty packages started appearing. Candy wrappers, snacks. Then one night an empty knife package appeared at the end of the shift. A package that I know for a fact was just put out during the night shift (a.k.a. I put it out.). I was pissed. Not on the fact that one of my two co-workers stole it, but that they stole it during my shift.

My worry was that they would put a supervisor on the overnight shift to stop the theft. No more long breaks and lunches. Or that I would fall under suspicion. Screwing with my good thing.

So advance to today. I am back in a call center. Good work, not difficult, pay is alright, good bonus check each week, medical dental vision insurances, vacation pay, good hours. I go to work on time, do my job, don’t hassle anyone, and really pay no attention to the gossip and usual bs found in the office. In other words I have a good thing going. So why is someone trying to screw with it.

Yesterday morning there was a group of five people with clip boards outside the building. They are trying to bring a union into the building. Not only are they pushy about this, they are out and out rude. They follow people to their cars, stop them every time someone goes in or out of the building. Of course you know I had to have a confrontation myself, and I did try to avoid this.

Union rep 1: Do you work here?
Me: I’m not interested.
Union rep 1: Would you like one of our fliers?
Me: No, I really wouldn’t, thank you.
Union rep 2: Would you like to sign our paper?
Me: Dude, she just asked me. I said no.
Union rep 2: Would you like one of our fliers?
Me: No and stop trying to ram it down my throat.
Union rep 2: I’m not trying to ram it down your throat .
Me: Yes you are, I’ve told you no 4 times and you are still talking to me.

My problems with the union:

1) I’ve seen wait they have done with the Michigan Office of Retirement Services. They protect the slow, bad workers while not letting the better workers advance. Retirement call center reps can take 30 minutes a call and give out the wrong info, and nothing happens. I’ve seen reps be rude to person after person, and the moment someone in management tries to put a stop to it they call their union rep and scream harassment.

2) If you get to work on time and do your job you have no problems. You get your breaks, no one denies it, and management works it out if you have a problem. They rehire, even if you don’t give notice before you leave.

3) They promote from with in.

4) They will work out a part time schedule if you are a student or if you have kids. Plus over time.

5) They hire you if you are 18, 35, or 98, students, parents, grandparents, 1st job, last job, 2nd job, 3rd job. I have seen them hire women who are 8 months pregnant.

6) It is a call center, a large part of the staff does not stay long. That is okay, but what use is the union to them.

7) I don’t want to have any money taken out of my check.

To summarize. No problems with management, they are fair and up front. Do your job, you get paid. Don’t want anyone to take money out of my check. Don’t want shadows in my office who can goof off all day and not get in trouble for it.

It may sound selfish, but don't screw with my good thing. Any questions?

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Location: Lansing, Michigan, United States

Desert Shield/storm vet. I am the one at work who comes up with the ideas on filling up those non-work hours. (ok, who is up for canoeing this weekend?) After several wrong turns, have finally found the love of my life.

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