Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Reliever





Team Leader Work Station, 0800 Hours


I remember the first time they broke the news.

It was the summer of 2009. The assistant team leader from the afternoon shift was already 8 months pregnant. The management was looking for a reliever when the Patroness of Giggling Dogs quietly slipped my name in the list of candidates. She would deny this, but I doubt if my immediate officers then would think of picking my name.

The job offer was presented inside the men's bathroom. I recall the Team Leader casually telling me that I've been granted authority to act as a temporary officer. He needs to take his break too, and it would be impossible to look after the shift on his own. The twist was I would not be alone. I will be sharing the responsibility with another colleague they had also chosen.

Training commenced immediately. Preparations took around a month before the assistant team leader filed her maternity leave. Fearing disappointments, especially of the one who put my name in the list, I did my best to deliver effectively. The tour of duty lasted for more than a month and then it was back to being an agent. Overriding my plan to resign, they created a job position I would be handling alone.

Meanwhile, the counterpart who flunked during our tour of duty was returned, permanently, to her previous assignment.

And then left, the first time the company called for exit volunteers.



The reliever duty was the beginning of my ascent in the company. Nowadays, a week would not pass without my presence in the management meetings. I walk alongside my ex-superior officer who remains confined to handling the afternoon shift. From being an agent, to team handler, to trainer and QA, each career ladder lead to another. When Mami Athena was sick, I took responsibility of looking after her account.

Being familiar with various jobs is both a blessing and a curse. A few days ago, I volunteered to do an agent's job. A shift lacking in manpower required an extra hand. An assistant team leader was sick while her team leader was away. In need of a reliever, she requested my presence to look after her shift.

Granted permission, my tour of duty began today. Unlike the tens of agents I managed before, what remains of the floor is a skeletal force dedicated to keep the company afloat. They are the ones who accepted the impossible when the work reduction plan was announced, and deep down, I know, they are breaking apart.

A third of them belongs to my account. Once or twice, I tried to look for sidelines that would boost their chances to earn. I do not know how long they would last, or would we all cross over to the other side.



The next three days will open my eyes to the painful truths about the company. The mood maybe gloomy and the empty stations adds to the pang of hopelessness. But this is how we stand.

Maybe, part of the training I once took includes keeping the morale of those left behind barely above the threshold.

Perhaps, even more than that.




11 comments:

hard2getxxx said...

hmm call center ka ba nagwork? yung team leader ko nademote as floor walker at yung isang friend niya na team leader din nademote din at nag resign siya agad

pati agents niya na under sa kanya nawalan ng gana magwork at nagresign na rin iba.

masyado kasi loyal ang agents niya sa kanya kaya pati sila naapektuhan din.

good thing wala na ko sa call center praise the lord

claudiopoi said...

hainaku.

ganyan talaga ang reality ng life. nakakadepres, but at one point in our life or another, we just need to temper our idealism and (try to) conform to the ways of the world.

capitalism shit.

charmedwishes said...

wow, thank you! you motivated me to work harder. i also work in a call center and it is my ambition to be promoted. actually, 3rd call center ko na to and i am ready na magkaroon ng mas mataas na position, if God wills it.

charmedwishes18.blogspot.com

Mu[g]en said...

,CharmedWishes:

Some people are being called, some desire it with their whole lives. I think I was called to perform a duty that I did quite well.

Try not to desire it too much. After all, better are we judged by our accomplishments and not by our allegiances to higher people.

Cheers!

Claudiopoi

Numbers don't feel. That's the best lesson imparted on me so far.

,Hard2getxxx

Call center environment but we do not handle calls. I think napolitika yung kaibigan mo tsong. Kasi kung mataas respeto ng mga agents niya sa kanya, I think he's doing his job pretty well.

howie said...

that's depressing. magpapasko pa naman. always think positive na lang. :D

Nimmy said...

nakakalungkot naman. malapit pa naman na pasko. :(

kahit maganda performance ng center pero kapag hindi na bet ng client mag-invest ganyan nangyayari. tsk tsk tsk.

jon said...

"with great power comes great responsibility."

orally said...

your commitment is commendable. what's making you stay? is it loyalty, principle, pride or is it (just) love for the job?

JR said...

how sad but you have to embrace reality - chos! di bagay sa akin hahaha

pero fafa, maybe it's time for you to look for something else - yung mag lalabas ng talent mo, yung sasaya ka - try mo kaya maging porn star! hahaha

Mu[g]en said...

JR:

Reality is a bitter pill to swallow. Hahaha! Well, ganun talaga, something tells me that things are moving towards the right direction though.

Orally:

Sometimes I ask myself why. The closest reason I have in mind is the justification that I am being given a chance to complete an unfinished business. (see entry, why am I still here. :)

Mu[g]en said...

Jon:

I wish to think that way. But my influence is quite limited.

Nimmy:

If the data we have speaks the truth, indications reveal of a turnaround. Sana lang tuloy-tuloy na.

Howie:

Assured naman ang 13th month pay ng lahat kaya hindi gaanong masakit para sa employees.