10 May, 2006

November can't come soon enough...

I work as a second level helpdesk rep for an internet service provider. For the past two months the company has had our team doing a telephone line faults reporting role as well.

I. hate. it.

The extra role was to be for six weeks to start with, then it was extended to the end of May. Now it's been extended to November. :(

I love doing the internet stuff. Some of the stuff is basic, with some you need to stretch your brain a bit. With the telephone line faults... well, at best, it's boring.

On a good call you'll get someone to unplug phones and test them in all sockets, then report the faults on to the techs. Mind numbing stuff.

At worst you get people arguing (and yelling and screaming abuse at you). There's a charge if the fault is due to your equipment, you see. If we can't do the testing then we can't guarantee they won't get charged. So you get some people who refuse to mess around with any testing but flat out refuse to accept that they may be charged. We don't have any control whatsoever about the charges, in fact the techs won't even let us lodge a fault if the customer isn't prepared to accept the possibility of the fee.

I'm so tired of talking to people who won't accept this. No, actually there has been the occasional nice person who doesn't accept this, but the majority are incredibly rude. They're the ones I'm tired of talking to.

I know it's an inconvenience to have a problem with your phone line. Human beings have lived without this invention for so long but it's very quickly become an essential service. Hell, I've had problems with the phone line in the past, so I know what it's like. But really, is that any excuse to be so incredibly horrible to a complete stranger?

So, now I have to endure this crap until November (and who knows if it will continue after that, wouldn't surprise me). I don't know what to do. I would love to just walk in there tomorrow, tell them I just can't handle the abuse anymore and quit. I'd really miss the internet role though. Problem is - I don't have a job to go to. I'd have to find one first (can't afford not to). Also, I've been here almost 6 and a half years. At 7 years, if you leave, you're eligible to have your accrued long service leave paid out to you. I reach 7 years in December and it's a fair amount of money to keep in mind.

I just don't think I can take this much longer. I feel as if I'm about to fly apart at the seams right now.


fairscape said...


Don't quit!!! If people get abusive hand them off to a supervisor. Or put them on hold. Or hang up on them-tell them you are going to if they yell or curse you again.
Or say something like "you seem terribly upset... I want to help... what would you like me to do"...if it's something impossible tell them you would love to but the compamy won't let you. Do whatever you have to do to keep your job at least through December. In the meantime make sure your employer knows how you feel about this "experiment". Hang in there.

caramaena said...

Thanks for your encouragement fairscape. I'm hanging in there.

My supervisor knows how I (and quite a few others in our team) feel. In fact I get the distinct impression he's not thrilled about it either.

As for abusive callers, we're not 'allowed' to hang up on them. We're supposed to put them on hold and have our supervisor take over. I'll admit to hanging up on some when my supervisor isn't there to take the call though.

It's funny though. The ones that have a reason to be upset most, usually aren't. They're usually very understanding. If someone is nice like that, I really try to go the extra mile.