Friday, August 12, 2011

Twilight Zone

It would have been an ordinary day at the floor. I have three agents working under me and the volume of tasks, while predictably few should be enough to keep the team happy.

The shift started with everyone in high spirits. One agent was recalling the events of the previous day (she learned from the Patroness how to spot if a person is gay by looking at the length of his index finger), while another agent counted his earnings from selling bacon strips to our other colleagues.

Meanwhile, I was aiming to start writing the travel article for Bentusi. Long overdue for submission, my thoughts swung back and forth between my day job and the deadline, which until now hasn't been specified yet by my editor. I was halfway done with the first item when one of the agents started complaining about the trickle of work load.

"I won't make my quota today," Madonna - not her real name - said with a tinge of surrender in her voice.

"Nah, let's be optimistic, everyone will make their quota today!"  I assured.

Time skipped in measured thumps and the next thing we knew, four hours had already passed. As a policy, I tally the shift's production to make everyone aware of how much they have to make before they can get pass the quota. Sometimes, they hit it way before the half-shift. But on dry days like this, not a single one has managed to secure a safe spot.

I informed the boss of the alarming situation while rallying everyone to continue hitting our target.

"Let's do this!" I exhorted.

By then, I was keeping tabs of our output so I could release a bulletin after an hour. The trickle became a drip and my fears were reinforced by reading the consequences of the riots in London - which is one of our market.

It didn't help that across the Atlantic, another market is reeling from a financial turmoil. Being more of an unnecessary expense, I knew that the service we offer would be the first to suffer should the Americans or the British decide to tighten their belt.

And I think it is already happening.

At past 8 in the evening, we were still short of sales. It would have been at least acceptable if just one or two  still need to reach the quota. But if it's all of them, then there's a crisis. Such situation only happen when our hosting site goes down or the submarine cable connecting the continents suddenly gets cut because of a tectonic shake.

The boss was made aware of the problem and while being at the mercy of our client's advertisement, I even asked our middleman if he noticed something strange about the service that day.

"We'll I noticed that it's strangely quiet, but I don't see any system error over here."

"So does it mean the riots made a dent on our market?"

"Perhaps, but maybe it's because our promotion didn't work." The middleman explained.

I was told later that night that the trickle of tasks was already being felt days before I returned from my rest day. It just so happened that it reared its ugly head when I thought the team would have a cake and tea run on a pleasant Thursday workday. One hour before the shift ends, I was hoping that at least one agent would able to get pass the quota. But at the back of my head, I knew that the trend was turning against me. Even people with boundless optimism would have to embrace the truth someday.

Shift ended with no one hitting our target. The boss might have subtly accepted the company's loss, but this is how it works in any business. I was told that a soft-sell campaign will be initiated the next morning. Eager to bounce from the slump, I told the team that they will have priority access should the morning shift requires extra agents.



RoNRoNTuRoN said...

sad... sana makabawi! :(

bien said...

times are hard na naman

the green breaker said...

Aww. Parang ang hirap naman ng account niyo. But that's a good attitude, bouncing from defeat. Good luck.

Sean said...

yeah times are hard. and those customers who have money are probably busy managing their investmens amidst the turmoil.

Mr. Brightside said...


Maybe your account account is experiencing recession but for sure you will recover and reach the peak again. Always hope, do your best and look to the "brightside." :D

^travis said...

"how to spot if a person is gay by looking at the length of his index finger" -

hey! HOW? enlighten me, please. (i am looking at my index finger now LOL)

Leo said...

oh Mugen! i love how you exhibited optimism here... I know that you'll go a long way.

go get them tigers! :)

vin said...

oi bro miss na kita! di na tayo nagkikita sa gym! ingats lagi!