Why are you here?

Warning: this is a bit long.

So, this takes place around 20 years ago or so. It highlights the incompetence of call center policies and things that make no sense, and I’m sure others can relate.

Back when I used to work for the three letter online provider.. meh, it’s been long enough (AOL.) I originally started in tech support, and this happened in the late 90’s. But as business needs change, so does the roles one takes on. After a year or so, there was a need to take billing calls. Not super relevant, but my work profile was tagged as being trained already because when I got hired on, the switch to unlimited hours and busy signals left a lot of techs taking billing calls. So I get pulled with a few others and get asked about my interest.

I figured it wouldn’t hurt to do something different, so why not? We got put into a crash course that lasted 3 days or so, and I had a good handle on it, so went out to take billing calls. My team and coach didn’t change, just the kind of calls I was taking. A month later, they determined that my entire team needed to take billing calls and everybody on the team needed to be trained. So… now I’m back in the training environment, going over what I already know from a different trainer, and really didn’t cover any new ground. The only difference is that the training lasted a week this time. Time off the phones, so sure, why not? Now I’m officially handling billing calls instead of tech support. Later on a few months, there are security issues. More training, so now I’m handling password resets on accounts. No big deal. Down the line is tech support again, which I happily resumed doing. No training to go back to it that I can recall.

Another year passes. Eventually I get asked if I’ll do straight billing again. Sure. Back to billing training again. and I do so for a couple of years. Eventually, I get asked if I’d like to do PRV (payment reserve,) taking tech support calls as my primary and billing as overflow. Sure, why not? The key for me is listening in on tech support calls once more so I can get used to the flow and changes to the software client since then. Maybe go over the tech support training if needed. Well… that’s not quite what happened. This time, in order for me to go from billing to tech support, I had to go through billing training again. Oh yes, that’s genius. If you’ve missed the count, that’s one crash course doing billing, and 2 full formal classes doing billing already. Now… it’s the FOURTH time being trained in billing, but this time, coming from billing. Dumb. I could have trained the class. I even called out the trainer out for something she got wrong. She wasn’t impressed. I didn’t care. She insisted she knew what she was talking about. She was still wrong, but what can you do? It was trivial anyway. This was two weeks of training that I’m off of the phones not taking calls. Sure, they had me listen in on tech support calls on the floor instead of billing, but that’s the only thing I got out of it.

Comically, a billing coach I knew came into the classroom during the training and saw me there. She rightfully asked, “Why are you here?” My answer? “I’m SOL because it’s AOL. Ask the powers that be behind this decision.” She knew I was bugged by it, but it wasn’t something she had any authority to change,

But this is the worst part of it all. At the time, we were doing special promotions to transfer to travelers advantage, where we would get (IIRC) $1.25 per transfer. Here’s the thing. I was so good at getting the customer to stay on, that I’d normally do 30-40 transfers a day. So now I’m losing out on an extra $40-$50 a day that I’d normally be making. That was over $200 a week bonus gone for roughly two weeks.

I switched departments a few times and had multiple training, but the worst was required to take training in the department I was moving from, knew better than the trainer, and lost bonus money out of it.

What do you think?

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I think I’m beginning to get more annoyed with my colleagues than customers! Please send help 🤦‍♀️

“Try using your thumb”