the irony at work

Almost 2 weeks in the new job. Seriously speaking, I wasn’t too sure of it when I started out. I hadn’t expected to be working in a call centre. When I was told I would be answering calls, I didn’t expect like 24/7. I tried very hard to convince myself to not give up. The words of the lady at the career centre in UIUC imprinted in my mind. “If you haven’t tried (a job), how can you say you don’t like it?” Thus, I promised to give myself one month.

By the second day of answering calls, I was really toying with the idea of giving up. I talked to Mum. She told me I could quit if I want to. That maybe this isn’t the job cut out for me. But she warned me to think whether I was using this as an excuse or I truly felt that way. I weighed my options and decided to stick it out coz that meant I would have some sort of income. Besides, Mum said that if Sis and I wanted to go to Japan next year, we’ll have to pay for our own trip expenses. *sigh*

Inwardly, I told myself I could do it. That I always managed to survive everything I got thrown into. I may not emerge tops but at least I will learn to float. True enough, I’m starting to feel a little more confident. Thank goodness for my nice colleagues. I think they really put up with my many calls to clarify certain things, however small the doubt is.

I’ve met with some pretty nice customers. One very nice Mrs Tan said she’ll ask her agent to buy me a drink and that I was very patient. I thought she was the one being very patient with me. I had to call her back twice coz I wasn’t too sure of the terms and conditions. I’ve had another customer say “God bless you”. God bless you too. 🙂

I’ve had not so nice customers too. Like today. Some insurance agents are pretty obnoxious. They think just coz they are in more or less the same line as us, that they know most of the rules, then they are higher up. They are so impatient. One called in to activate a policy for his client. It is by standard procedures that we have to confirm the policy holder’s address and phone numbers. Common sense. Wrong address = don’t receive policy. Simple logic right? While I was repeating the address, the agent kept cutting me off with his impatient “ya…ya…YA”. Think you are so damn smart right? Wait till the address is wrong and your client doesn’t receive the policy. What are you going to do then? Call back to scold us right?

Then came the next agent. Called in to check on 2 of his clients’ policies. One was fine. The other was supposed to have been amended with one more insured. Checked the notes history to see if someone had already alerted the officer-in-charge. Sure, there was one but strange thing was that it was marked inactive but the changes have not been reflected. I told the agent that and wanted to offer to check it out. That was when he insisted (rudely) that he wanted the policy to be cancelled. That he would create another policy with all the correct details. I got so confused, I didn’t even take down his number.

Was getting alarmed. Cancelling a policy would mean that the customer would not get a full refund. There would be a $15 cancellation fee. I didn’t take down the agent’s number so I couldn’t call him back. Decided to call the policy holder instead. She picked up the phone on my second call but before I could explain everything, she cut me off saying she was in a meeting. So, we’re back to square one and I was running out of time. Had to get to the agent before he created a new policy.

Getting my mind to do things step by step, I called one of my colleagues to help me with the note. Why it was marked inactive by the officer but the changes have not been made. She explained that they need time to get to that. I told her of what happened and she helped me get the agent’s number via the directory. Every agent has a rep code so we can use that to find out their contact details.

I called the guy, explaining that I already checked out the problem and that time was needed to see the changes being reflected. So no worries coz the officer did see the note and will make the changes. He insisted he wanted it to be cancelled. I told him that he couldn’t do that coz there would be a $15 charge. The guy decided to get all rude on me. Said that I was wasting his time and why couldn’t I just cancel the policy like he said. That we have an online application form to make things faster for us right? I didn’t dare promise him anything more coz I wouldn’t want to be held responsible if I promised the wrong things so I offered to let him talk to my (higher up) colleague so she could explain things to him.

Anyway, the minute I put down the phone, I muttered “fuckin’ asshole” under my breath. That asshole managed to spoil my day. I was like ready to scold every vulgarity under the sun. Shamala’s right. There will always be one customer to spoil your day. I HATE UNREASONABLE PEOPLE LIKE HIM! :angry: :angry: :angry: To appease my anger and frustration at not being able to scold out loud, I decided to draw an angry face beside his name on the call log sheet. Yes, he’s condemned by me now.

It’s quite ironic that we have to talk to people so sweetly though we really want to reach over and stab them. Just one call to make you so angry and the next call comes in and you have to pretend like nothing’s wrong. “Good morning/afternoon. NTUC Income. This is Elisia speaking. How may I assist you?”

3 thoughts on “the irony at work

  1. girl, i had no idea u were working for ntuc income call centre… u shld work for GE instead. I’LL BE NICE!!! hahhahaa….

    btw. the pics for the bday are at my flickr if you didnt check out my lj entries? 🙂 muacks!

    (btw.. my bro gobbled the skittles before i had a chance to lay my hands on them wtf)

    elisia says: GE? Stands for? Yea, I saw the photos. 🙂

  2. boss..welcome to my line…

    GE is Great Eastern. my aunt is working in your office.

    well i agree with e lady – if you dun try , you won’t know.

    i say stick it up with this job for the next 3 mths but source for another job that is within your interest at the same time. your mum telling you that means she’s letting you grow up & take more responsibilities for yourself as an adult – yes boss u’re one already..

    elisia says: I know lahz. Yes, boss will be strong and she will survive. If not, how can she be the boss of 7ners right? *winks*

  3. hey bestie.. I feel that everywhere is the same.. no matter where you work at, there will always be something/someone you will be unhappy about.. we just gotta grit our teeth and hang in there..

    I know how you feel.. been in a similar situation before (when I was working).

    you will be a stronger person after each experience .. so don’t quit unless you really really can’t take it alright? 🙂

    meet up soon! take care.

    elisia says: Hey babe (you always call me that…haha), I miss you! That’s what is so unique about me. Somehow I manage to survive.

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