Gone in the Night

So at my office which is technically not a call centre but has a public line, I joined on the same day as another lady just under 3 years ago. We’re probably fairly equally capable in our own ways but she takes it all to another level when it comes to bending over backwards for colleagues, volunteering for extra responsibilities, etc. With the pandemic we started working from home. Turns out she’s been doing some late hours. Management and colleagues warned her (and others) off of it but it only had some effect. A combination of Brexit, Covid, the launch of a new system, Afghanistan and now Ukraine mean we’re hopelessly overstretched so if you’re so inclined there’s always more to do (we work in immigration).

This Tuesday, I log in, start my stuff. I go to make a call & the contact centre application says we’re still closed, no inbound calls. We’re all invited to a meeting at 10. Oh great, are we sacked & replaced with contractors, has half the office taken up the offer of going to France to process Ukrainian applications, has hybrid working been delayed again?

Our most senior manager comes on. ‘Well it is is ominous I’m afraid because [colleague] passed away last night’.

We still worked the day but with ‘no expectation’ to complete anything but the most urgent actions. I think the majority of us spent a good while just stunned. One senior manager who was close with her was in floods of tears. She was on leave this week & still has the autoreply on. Now I’m not gonna say work killed my colleague but all you call centre/office burnouts look after yourselves, it’s 100% not worth it. Even if you did get the ‘Inspiring Others’ award.

She’ll be sorely missed, even if it’s because at a selfish level, her overworking has left reminders everywhere. We have an expectation to work from the office 40% of the time from next week and I guess that’s one more face who won’t be there. Don’t do it kids. Or maybe do, I think my responsibilities outside of work force me to finish at a decent time. At least it’s shown I work in a very supportive place, even if there’s a possibility they let this happen. A lesson maybe.

What do you think?

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Really, ma’am? Because that’s exactly what a squirrel would say.

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