What is it with telesales jobs in large offices and call-centres?

Call centres are awful places to work. They even monitor to the second how long you spend having a dump and the line managers are pretty much forced to pull you up on taking longer than a few minutes on any given day. They try to remove any inkling of autonomy you might think you have and treat you like your incapable of any ability to think for yourself. It's f***ing soul destroying, I could never blame the line managers for it as they are the same, being forced to act upon certain discretions because of policies and the like they have to follow themselves as well.
Best thing I ever did was leave that all behind and become a nurse, it's a far far tougher job and we all feel underpaid for what we do but the ability to work autonomously, thinking for yourself and not worrying that your shit took 30 seconds longer than the 10 minutes allowed is so much better than working in those places.

Good for you, @Smiler , I mean that.
And yeah, I'd forgotten about being pulled up for spending a minute too long in the week in the lav.
When I was at BT 192, you had to keep average calls down to 24 seconds (or similar).
Woe betide you, if your average crept over 25 seconds through genuinely helping people. ONE F***ING SECOND!

At the same place, I got away with asking this pig-ignorant posh old cow if the veterinary surgeon she wanted (that wasn't listed) might have been for her.

The middle managers there, seriously. Instead of walking between their desk and the printer, they'd RUN as if their lives depended on it.
All they did was try and give the impression that they had the busiest job in the world, organising rotas and making f***ing pie charts.
Oh, and as for their incentives ... SPIN THE WHEEL anyone?!?
I can concur with Barclays managers on power trips, they were absolutely horrendous when I was there and each manager got worse than the last. I worked there from 2004 to 2016, the job in the last couple of years was easier and better than ever, but it was the nepotism and the corruption I could not take anymore, I just walked out one day, one of best decisions ever.

From what I remember, Barclays opened as a small office in 2001ish at Doxy park, then all of a sudden exploded about 2002/3 to two buildings and over 1000 staff. Some of the admin lasses in the small office of like 30, ended up getting manager jobs as they expanded very quickly. A good few of these managers were from Houghton, over the next 5 years or so they just all hired their mates who they went socialising with (one of the ones from Houghton was sound, rest were inadequate in man management).
Before I left I remember a 26 year old lass getting given a job as a team leader because she licked arse and went on holidays etc with top boss as she went through a divorce. This lass was absolutely awful, upset everyone and genuinely thought she was better than others because she was a manager. I could not witness her speak to 50 odd year old mothers/fathers like shit, the hierachy was all wrong. Once I walked out I told them all what a bunch of idiots they were and they soon blocked me on facebook, but I have no regrets :lol: :lol:

As bad as Barclays is and was, it can always be somehow worse which I found out a few years later in another job.

I was there just as the Bob Diamond thing exploded up in their face.
Senior managers were SHITTING themselves waiting for the FSA to walk in!
This paranoia was passed on to the middle managers.
BT- 192 - was fun as my first graft, shit place to work and got rumbled in the queue for tickets for first game at SoL on my lunch break (3 hours)… left soon after.

Fusion - May be the most soul destroying place I ever worked. Great group of colleagues but job sucked arse. Managed not to get fired for calling a customer a Cocksucker on a recorded line (to this day I don’t know how my managers saved my arse)… Still had to get out before I topped myself (came real close).
 
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monkeytassle

Striker
Get to the point. I just want to see diversity of jobs in Sunderland not just call centre stuff.
The point is you had to leave Sunderland to pursue your vocation. Same as me. We could both work in call centres but bottom line is at least there are jobs. And I can sure as shit tell you I'd rather answer phones than crawl in 3ft High tunnels miles out to sea risking my life and health digging coal.
 

Darlo1973

Midfield
Good for you, @Smiler , I mean that.
And yeah, I'd forgotten about being pulled up for spending a minute too long in the week in the lav.
When I was at BT 192, you had to keep average calls down to 24 seconds (or similar).
Woe betide you, if your average crept over 25 seconds through genuinely helping people. ONE F***ING SECOND!

That's where the "have you tried turning it off and on again?" comes from in tech support call centres as it is the best way to get your average call length down.

The trouble is in any business which is so metrics driven is that people will work to the metric and ignore everything else which isn't measured.
 

bobster999

Central Defender
Worst job I ever had was at Pay Pal at Longbenton. I was only there for the training. They set us up on dummy accounts to teach the system and I asked for printouts because everyone learns with a different method and I prefer to read and I prefer to be hands on and then refer back to a handout until I get it right. I was told it was a paperless environment and that that would cause a security issue which I pointed out they were dummy accounts anyway!

The final week we were told if you go one way with a staff member when your name' called, you're on the team. If you go the other way, then it's goodbye. They called my name out and I was led the other way into the conference room where the trainer, manager and HR person were sitting.

I knew what was coming and couldn't stop smiling. The trainer was asking if I had any feedback and I told him about the training and he was taking it offensively against him and was a right drama queen. They asked if I'd left anything on the desk I want back and I said I started laughing and said "actually, I've got my lunch from Greggs I've just bought that I wouldn't mind back" 😅. They all looked at each other and I was led out.

Awful job. Tied to a desk, getting told off for talking or walking where you shouldn't and being shouted at by customers for trying to help them. Definitely not for me but it served its purpose for when desperate. That was one of the jobs that made me make my mind up to retrain and go to uni.
 
Good for you, @Smiler , I mean that.
And yeah, I'd forgotten about being pulled up for spending a minute too long in the week in the lav.
When I was at BT 192, you had to keep average calls down to 24 seconds (or similar).
Woe betide you, if your average crept over 25 seconds through genuinely helping people. ONE F***ING SECOND!

I applied for 150 with BT but they filled those roles and put me on outbound telesales instead. It was the same with stats and you got into trouble if you went to the toilet as it affected your active time. We had to put our hand up and ask the team leader permission to go to the toilet or to fill your water bottle up if you'd ran out. Your break was from the second you pressed stop on your machine and it counted down the fifteen minutes from that click. It meant you couldn't have a break with people from your team as you had to dash off, grab a coffee and neck it and be back at your desk before your 15 minutes was up. Hot drinks were banned from desks. If you hung around waiting for other people to finish their calls, it meant you didn't have enough time for a hot drink.

We had to keep people on the phone for as long as possible so your average call time was over five minutes. It was really hard to do as if people said they were having their tea or bathing their bairns or something, you were supposed to ignore that and keep them on the phone as long as possible which irritated them. A short refusal call affected your stats but customer asking for a call back didn't. Some sneaky people would put refusals down as call backs, so you'd be the second, third or fourth person to ring them that evening and you'd get a torrent of abuse as they were pissed off about being disturbed again. It was an automatic dialler so theoretically the person would say hello and their account details would pop up on the screen at the same time telling you what to sell to them. Sometimes it didn't work, so you'd have someone saying hello and you had no idea who you were calling and what you had to sell to them. Sometimes the information was out of date, so I was asking to speak to dead people which upset customers and you didn't have the time to practise difficult or foreign names so I sometimes I offended people by saying their name wrong.

It was all jolly forced fun. They'd play stuff like Run DMC before a shift and we'd all have to dance like loons to put us in the mood to sell. Then the fun people would wander round with a video cam and randomly stick a balloon or a puppet in your face. It'd would be broadcast on big screens in the call centre, so you were trying to talk professionally to customers, while smiling and doing zany waves to the camera for the screens. I hated that bit!

Only lasted a few weeks. A job opening came up in customer accounts which was in an office dealing with admin work and I only had to phone customers if I had a query on their account. I liked that much better.
 

Ceverton

Winger
I remember a jumped up little boss with an attitude at Barclays standing outside the toilets when my mate went for a poo, he told her where to go.
 

Wilfy

Striker
I worked for BT on 192 for a brief time. Was no bother, boring job but a few pints on the dinnertime helped the afternoon pass by. Used to enjoy when you got a bailiff on even if it knackered your average call time.
 

Darlo1973

Midfield
The point is you had to leave Sunderland to pursue your vocation. Same as me. We could both work in call centres but bottom line is at least there are jobs. And I can sure as shit tell you I'd rather answer phones than crawl in 3ft High tunnels miles out to sea risking my life and health digging coal.

Indeed - I'm sure my grandfather's generation would have thought a call centre was cushy compared to what they had to go through to earn some money.
 
Christ, I forgot about the bell!
2 Touch, especially, insisted on you ringing a frigging bell every time you got a sale.
Team managers would give you a high ten (I mean, I ask you)! and force everyone to clap you as you returned to your seat.
 

Darlo1973

Midfield
Worst job I ever had was at Pay Pal at Longbenton. I was only there for the training. They set us up on dummy accounts to teach the system and I asked for printouts because everyone learns with a different method and I prefer to read and I prefer to be hands on and then refer back to a handout until I get it right. I was told it was a paperless environment and that that would cause a security issue which I pointed out they were dummy accounts anyway!

The final week we were told if you go one way with a staff member when your name' called, you're on the team. If you go the other way, then it's goodbye. They called my name out and I was led the other way into the conference room where the trainer, manager and HR person were sitting.

The place I was at had a 2 week training period after which a hire/let go decision was made. The final assessment was a piece of cake but I think half the group failed on purpose as they were only there to get paid for the training period and not have to do any actual work and then would go to the next call centre to do the same.

There was one lad in my group who managed to get himself fired on day 1 by applying a £100 credit to his own account. If he had paid attention in the training he would have known that any credit over £20 was automatically flagged to management.
 

Smiler

Striker
Worst job I ever had was at Pay Pal at Longbenton. I was only there for the training. They set us up on dummy accounts to teach the system and I asked for printouts because everyone learns with a different method and I prefer to read and I prefer to be hands on and then refer back to a handout until I get it right. I was told it was a paperless environment and that that would cause a security issue which I pointed out they were dummy accounts anyway!

The final week we were told if you go one way with a staff member when your name' called, you're on the team. If you go the other way, then it's goodbye. They called my name out and I was led the other way into the conference room where the trainer, manager and HR person were sitting.

I knew what was coming and couldn't stop smiling. The trainer was asking if I had any feedback and I told him about the training and he was taking it offensively against him and was a right drama queen. They asked if I'd left anything on the desk I want back and I said I started laughing and said "actually, I've got my lunch from Greggs I've just bought that I wouldn't mind back" 😅. They all looked at each other and I was led out.

Awful job. Tied to a desk, getting told off for talking or walking where you shouldn't and being shouted at by customers for trying to help them. Definitely not for me but it served its purpose for when desperate. That was one of the jobs that made me make my mind up to retrain and go to uni.

Indeed, if ever someone wants to find motivation to go back to Uni and try and improve their prospects. Working in a call centre is the perfect push some folk need
 
Always wonder on this sort of thread.....I did loads of jobs when I was younger and just got on with it.....wasn't always fun but paid enough for what I needed. Loads of people would be lazy or phoning in sick....then wondered why things didn't open up for them. Never worked in a call centre but find it hard to believe they would promote mates all the time over people that work hard and get results (probably the ones that suck up as I've noted :confused:).
I found that the bosses got on well with the ones that worked hard, hence became mates then ended up promoting their mates. Chicken and egg situation though really. Promotions were on the whole deserved in my experience
 
I recall going for a group interview at NPower (probably) at Doxford.
Must have been 30 people who had an exam of some sort and another way of sorting out the 'possibles' from the 'no thank yous''.
After a few hours, everyone was sat in reception and some get came out and read out a list of names,ushering them into a meeting room.
This left myself and a dozen or so others waiting in reception, assuming the worst - especially after the first group were gone some half hour.
The tragedy revealed itself when the first group trailed out of the meeting and straight out the door - having been told exactly why the'd all been turned down and where they went wrong during the shitty exams.
The "successful" bunch left outside were then told how lucky we all were and that we should be blessed with a start date.
Didn't turn up to that, either - the bastards.
 
It was all jolly forced fun. They'd play stuff like Run DMC before a shift and we'd all have to dance like loons to put us in the mood to sell. Then the fun people would wander round with a video cam and randomly stick a balloon or a puppet in your face. It'd would be broadcast on big screens in the call centre, so you were trying to talk professionally to customers, while smiling and doing zany waves to the camera for the screens. I hated that bit!
This, ladies and gentlemen, is why ownership of guns can never ever be made legal in the UK.
 
Too big a job, pal - and most of the negative aspects were ingrained in the fabric of the place!
Maybe, but being in charge of a team means that you can make them the best that they can be within your sphere of influence. At the very least you can let them know your expectations and your values. You could lead by example.
 

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