Calling It Quits!

Working as a Customer Service Rep

Job description: take inbound calls for cellphone company from customers and store representatives. Help callers with billing issues, troubleshoot handset and network problems, help customers purchase equipment and chose correct price plans for their needs.

Performance grading: to be able to maintain employment three calls each month are graded with points for quality criteria met and then averaged together to get percentage. If your percentage falls below 75% you will lose your position.

Other items that are factored into performance goals are: attendance, customer call backs( when you haven’t resolved their issue and they have to call back again), customer surveys and company surveys on your quality performance.

· Must be able to read Spanish bills and problem solve billing issues for Spanish speaking customers whether you know how to speak and read Spanish or not

· Must follow AER (Acknowledge customer, Empathize w/customer, Reassure customer) for part of performance scoring

· Must follow scripting for part of performance scoring

· Unintentional dropped calls factor into score (ex. customer calls on cell phone and loses signal, while customer may be on hold another call may come in and you are required to take that call before finishing the one on hold)

· Must use computer applications for part of performance scoring whether you actually need them or not

· Must have a positive attitude even if the customer is verbally or mentally abusive.

· You are responsible for outcome of call even if you have warm transferred customer to another department for further help

While I understand the need to track quality and have a standard, I also know that employees in this day and age need some sense of security even if it is miniscule. Having to look over your shoulder because the big boss man is watching is extremely stressful when you add in difficult to attain requirements to be able to retain employment.

Training: Training lasted for seven weeks. Five weeks were spent in a classroom environment and the last two weeks were spent on the floor taking calls with a supervisor handy if questions should arise. Most of the class time was spent watching and reading slides on PowerPoint. We were also given exercises working with the computer applications to familiarize ourselves with them. We did roll playing with the scripting and examples of incoming call scenarios.

Life inside the call center: I found that most of the people have their own cliques and I was on the outside of the groups for majority of the time. I sat by myself at lunch and breaks frequently and people usually didn’t talk to me unless they wanted something from me. If people were not sitting in their cliques they were deep in conversation on their cell phones or texting.

The physical, emotional and mental symptoms that arose from being in that particular CSR (customer service rep) position wasn't worth the price for the paycheck. I kept a trash can near me when I took calls because I was extremely nauseated waiting for calls to come in and was afraid of vomiting. My anxiety level rose which resulted in my left eye and chin to begin twitching and I started having panic attacks. These symptoms of stress became so great that I had to visit my physician for prescriptions to be able to get through each day.

The effects of the job on my personal life took their tole quite rapidly. I never saw my husband and instead of being home to care for the children and animals it put a strain on our relationship. My husband didn’t get his sleep to be able to work his two jobs. He didn’t behave like himself ( ex. Began arguing more when we did see each other or didn’t speak a word to each other)

In closing, I need a job but its not worth my physical well being or my mental and emotional health and it certainly is not worth my marriage. I always knew I liked the saying "Take this job and shove it!" for a reason :)

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