I now work for the local branch of huge, unwieldy corporation which hires itself out to do the grunt work for even more huge and unwieldy corporations.
My position is that of a “Level 2 Customer Care Agent”, servicing our Major Retailer client. An eighty-hour new-hire program of intense training in Policy and Procedure has turned out twenty-one lethal customer service machines.
I know nothing about the Major Retailer’s many specialties. Yet I possess the dizzying power to strongarm store managers on the customer’s behalf, as well as issue gift cards up to $250 with a supervisor’s approval. That comes out of your bonus, Manager Bob, so do not trifle with me… m’kay?
Now, we serve two masters: the Business Process Outsourcing Provider and The Client. The Client is our raison d’etre, while the Business Process Outsourcing Provider signs our checks.
For all intents and purposes, I’m an honorary employee of the Major Retailer, even having an official email address– @majorretailer.com– for threatening district managers and vendors when advocating on behalf of the customer.
To paraphrase Jim Carrey, anyone who says I’m drunk on my own power will never work for the Major Retailer again!
Already, the BPOP has proven itself to be most disorganized and chaotic. One person tells you one thing, another person tells you something else, a third person says the first two are in trouble for divulging that information.
Now, while you guys know me as fabulous and brilliant and oh-so-tres witty, in real life I am rather quiet… but dangerously observant. I’ve found in life that you learn more by listening than by talking.
Several days ago in the breakroom at work, I looked around at the blank expressions of those who have been with the company for a long time. I see a bone-deep weariness, a sense of resignation and hopelessness. Part of that could be from living in Lewiston, but I will assume the corporation’s self-important, salaried gravitas weighs heavily on the hourly-wage workers’ shoulders.
Now when I say “long time” employees, that would probably be anything longer than two months.The scuttlebutt I’m overhearing tells me “overwhelming employee turnover”. They hire massive numbers of people in hopes of having maybe 3 or 4 who possess the endurance and/or complete lack of self-respect to stick around.
All well and good. Things are rough all over.
But this is Lewiston. We’ve got poor education, a lousy economy, and the Second Amendment in full effect.
I said to myself a few days ago, “This is the kind of place where, sooner or later, disgruntled workers will show up with weapons.”
So on Friday, when our anxiously-awaited paychecks did not arrive (and we had a heads up that this might happen), it really hit the fan.
Originally, the story was that someone dropped the ball in processing the new-hire paperwork, and that we weren’t yet in the payroll system. That excuse meant that only our training class was out of luck.
Then all of a sudden, a new excuse emerged: payroll checks FOR THE ENTIRE OFFICE could not be cut because of weather-related events at the home office.
Then apparently, in three separate incidents, the police were called in to take out angry workers who wanted their money… NOW!
I’m hoping management will provide us with bullet-proof vests along with our telephone headsets.
We might get paid on Monday, Wednesday at the latest. Gimme my money!