Archive for October, 2009

925 Grind: Johann – Call Centre 1

Posted in johann, update with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2009 by 925grind

We work from a script but you soon get to know what you’re talking about – well, you do if you have half a brain, and I’ll be honest half the dumb fucks I work with don’t. What informs you most about the products you are dealing with? The complaints from the customers – they range from the boringly straight forward to the unbelievably surreal. You often wonder how people can be so depressingly dumb – it has to take some kind of hard work to reach that level of perfection as a moron; what? Drinking bleach every morning? Your mum drank you into foetal alcohol syndrome? An enemy skull-fucked you with an icepick? You catch my drift? You see what I’m saying here – I’m saying that dumb as dirt isn’t a derogatory enough description for these ignoramuses; they could make a pile of dogshit seem like Albert Einstein.
I’d been on the dole (jobseekers allowance never convinced as a name) for three months when I found the card advertising this job. Some other loophole in the whole process for getting money for actual work-based training had made itself apparent and I just got seriously fucked off with the prospect of having to wait a further three months to get it. I marched up to the boards – this is when they still had the little cards instead of the badly organised computers – and took down a card and told them to contact whoever needed to be contacted and I would go for this job.
I lied about my proficiency on the phone, and in the elaborate construction of that lie; in the telling of the wondrous tale about my amazing credentials as a communicator with my fellow man … yes, in those moments, I convinced my interviewers that I was indeed the owner of the bum that needed to fill the particular seat that they were looking to fill. It stands to reason that if you can adequately bullshit an interviewer then you are possessed of the requisite amount of flannel to soft-soap a customer. Little did I know how low my reserves would run in the up-down life of a manic-depressive phone-monkey.
Answer the phone with a smile in your voice – if you voice were, for instance, to say fuck you, then that would carry into how you answer the phone. Yeah, okay, well you try and be Mr fucking sunshine when you have not eaten, your blood sugar is low, and you are lacking the correct amount of caffeine in your system. I would answer the phone with a snarl in my voice, I was flippant and sarcastic – except when I sensed that my team leader might be listening in, and then I was perfect (I had a sixth sense for that shit). But when I couldn’t convey my utter contempt for the person I was dealing with in the tone of my voice and the timbre of my responses, I would construct hugely funny pun-filled comments on their accounts designed to make the next operator who dealt with them corpse on the phone.
Yeah, I was an arsehole. Then I discovered apathy. After three months employment states that they have to offer you a permanent contract or let you go – it is an unspoken law that around this point you will already be disillusioned with the job but reliant enough on the luxuries the wage helps you afford to accept it. Yeah – I don’t even want to think about how long ago it was I started working here now … long enough to be considered established. Like fruit in a supermarket, spend long enough here and you aren’t going anywhere else.


925 Grind: Mark – Unemployed 1

Posted in mark, update with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2009 by 925grind

Unemployable – that’s what I’ve been labelled and that’s what I’m beginning to believe. I say I’m an idealist and they complain that I have an attitude. So which is it? I suppose it depends on which side of the fence you’re on. But seriously, what the fuck do they expect you to do? Just bend over and take it in the arse while they screw your rights? That might be what your average joe is happy to do but they are dealing with an educated man here – shit, I studied employment law at university for fuck’s sake. This monkey most definitely does not work for peanuts.
Socialist, hippy, beatnik, drop-out – they call me all kinds of shit and they think that their fascist insults are going to hurt me – fuck them because my philosophy is bulletproof. I am a bullshit free zone and I am searching for an employer with a similar attitude.
I once worked in a place with a closed shop – such things don’t exist anymore – at least I’ve not come across one recently. Even though I was a temp and didn’t stand to get the full benefits of being a union member I was proud to join one of – if not the – largest unions in the country. Worker’s rights – why does expecting those make you some unconscionable prick that everyone wants to bash? Toe the line? You fucking toe the line dickweed. But then what can you expect? Some of these fuckers are still happy to be thought of as subjects rather than citizens – slaves to an outmoded institution. We evolved away from the need for monarchies an aeon ago and screw it if I am going to express allegiance to someone just because they dropped out of some over-privileged bint’s snatch.
I hate going to sign on – they must make it so that smugness is a requirement for the job. I heard them talking about me once so I told my friend and they phoned up and complained on my behalf – I don’t think the relationship between me and the guy I sign on with has been the same since that day. It’s going to be bad soon because I am getting to that stage where they review your allowance; they look at what you’ve done to get a job and they step it up with the stupid measures that they feel will help you get a job. You start getting sent to these groups that are supposed to teach you how to put a CV together, how to lick stamps and put them on an envelope, how to interview. All these things that are meant to make you into the perfect cog ready to just slot into the machine. You have to play ball or you might end up with fuck all, and then how do you survive? It’s a horrible feeling to think what little you have might be taken from you; I already spend half of my time avoiding bailiffs as it is.
But something better has to be around the corner – I have faith in that if in nothing else. I am not stupid and it cannot be my fate to end up like this. Unless God is exercising that sense of humour that he is famous for.