Exposing cruel and unusual workplaces since 2005.
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Showing 1 - 5 of 9 Tales in "Operations".
Tale # 38
Dept: Operations Score: 2130
Dec 12th 2005 Submitted by Anonymous
“Say My Name!”
A donut At one call centre I worked at it was policy to use the customer's name five times, no matter how brief the call.

A friend of mine had a lot of trouble with this, so his team leader decided to coach him: listen to his calls and tell him what he should do differently.

The very first call they received was from somebody asking for a service they didn't provide. The call went like this.

Customer: "Do you provide such and such service?"
Employee: "Can I get your name please?"
Customer: "Sure, it's John."
Employee: "John. John, John, John, John, no we don't, thanks for calling." LINK
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Tale # 46
Dept: Operations Score: 575
Dec 19th 2005 Submitted by Michael
“No! No! No!”
A donut I once, very briefly, worked as a telemarketer. I know, you hate me. I'm sorry.

We were collecting charitable donations for "The Police Benevolence Foundation," which had absolutely nothing to do with the police per se. I still to this day don't know what the money we were collecting for actually went to. They wouldn't outright tell us. They would only respond to the question by answering 'we might use the money to help officers who are wounded in the line of duty.' Then again, they might not.

We were told to never accept no for an answer. In fact, we couldn't accept two no's for an answer. We had to be rejected three times before we could give up. And they actually had to say "No," or "I'm not interested," or in some way offer a firm rejection. "I don't think I can afford it" did NOT count as a rejection.

So one day, I was listening to an old lady tell her tale of woe: her husband had died, her daughter never visited, she didn't know where her cat wandered off to, she couldn't afford her medication, she was laid up in bed for two months and her home care nurse was stealing her valuables... I really didn't want to keep pressing this poor old lady for money. But she had never said "no."

I should say there was also a strict guideline on how long these calls should LAST. The sooner you get one out of the way, the sooner you could start ripping off someone else.

Instead, I listened to her and tried to console her as best I could. After about the first three minutes I never brought up the subject of the Police Benevolence Foundation again. We said goodbye after about 20 minutes and she thanked me for calling.

As I left for the day, the boss calls me over to berate me for the length of the conversation, and--since it was screened--hassle me about letting her go without ever getting one firm, "No."

As I walked out the door, I waved and said, "Bye! Bye! Bye!" I never went back. LINK
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Tale # 48
Dept: Operations Score: 318
Dec 29th 2005 Submitted by Anonymous
“Divide and Conquer”
A donut During college I worked in a call center providing customer service for satellite TV customers that had purchased an extended warranty.

At first I worked in customer service, and had to explain to customers things like, "No, of course the Protection Plan doesn't cover that. If high winds blow your dish out of alignment, that's covered, but if high winds blow a tree into your dish, which knocks it out of alignment, then that's an act of God, and is not covered." Many customers didn't seem to understand the concept of a "limited warranty" and complained, "But they told me it would be covered... blah blah blah." The fact was we charged $75 for service calls unless the fault was expressly covered by the warranty.

Later, due to a staff shortage, I ended up being cross-trained, and was shown the actual sales script we read to the customers: "From electrical to mechanical failure, you can rest safely knowing that you're covered by the Protection Plan. You will never pay for a service call or replacement part again, because you're already covered!"

I then understood why they separated the two jobs. LINK
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Tale # 52
Dept: Operations Score: 144
Jan 4th 2006 Submitted by Anonymous
“Window washers”
A donut I worked for a very clean bicycle shop. One day a friend of mine was walking past the enormous panel windows that served as the walls of the store. She recognized me, and slapped the window to get my attention. My supervisor, who had been watching the whole affair, shooed her away, and demanded that I wash the windows immediately. One of my peers, observing this overreaction, reacted with a simple shrug and rolling of the eyes. Apparently, this was grounds for his termination, for insubordination. Higher ups vetoed this decision, but he left anyway. LINK
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Tale # 82
Dept: Operations Score: 141
Apr 25th 2006 Submitted by Anonymous
“No Boss is a Good Boss?”
A donut I worked for a business whose services included children's birthday parties. I was to do the setup and then entertain the kids: "If the children are happy, they'll make their parents come back."

On my first day of work, I was shown my job as quickly as the owner possibly could. We're talking maybe ten minutes total of explanation.

Then the owner was rushed to the hospital, where she stayed for over a week.

Suddenly I had to do a birthday party for 20+ little kids. Both food vendors messed up, and the kid's birthday cake had to be fetched while I started the party.

I spent most of the party making sure kids weren't swinging their golf clubs in the air or climbing on things they shouldn't be. I also spent quite a bit of time keeping them on our premises since the birthday girl's mother was busy talking to other parents and ignoring the children.

When the owner got back, she informed me that the mother of the birthday girl had "felt ignored." I wasn't hired to entertain the parents; I was hired to interact with the children. But despite the manager saying I was the hardest working employee ever, the owner decided I wasn't a good match for the job.

Before she could fire me, I quit. LINK
Rate this Tale: tick cross
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Showing 1 - 5 of 9 Tales in "Operations".