The Ascension Of Madness

The Ascension Of Madness

A Novel of bitterness and hatred by

Peter Howorth

Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host.

But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.”

Maya Angelou

Prologue

Now if anyone even reads this I want you to know that I never claim to be a professional writer, I don’t claim to be exceptional in anyway, this is just a forum for me to vent my frustration because I really have no where else to do it. This will be just a giant rant about every aspect about my life. Many people have friends to complain about every little insignificant part of their life to and good for them, I don’t however, all of my friends for the most part don’t care about my life. I’ve surrounded myself with self-centred sanctimonious pricks that only care about themselves.

This may sound like sour grapes in many ways but I don’t care, there’s so much crap circling in my mind all the time and I’m finding it a little unbearable, I constantly dream of a better life, one where I have money, better friends, a better job, or hell maybe a little bit slimmer. Because right now I just feel like a great big fat failure in life, one who didn’t do so well in school, one of those that thought “Fuck this I can’t be bothered with school/college” and when I was that age people my age used to say, “When you grow up you’ll wish you did better in school.” or “School will be the best years of your life.” and I just brushed it off because I was young and stupid.

I never thought I’d say this but maybe school was the best years of my life, sure didn’t seem that way at the time with the constant bullying and fights but once the bullying and the fighting was over, after I was done proving myself to be someone not to be fucked around with, school life wasn’t that bad. I’d say my life started to go wrong the moment I was expelled from Netherthorpe School, one of the best schools in Chesterfield, I was a prick when I was younger, constantly being a pain in the arse, getting suspended every month or so, fighting, it all leaded to be me accidentally hitting the headmaster, that incident right that was the moment my life started to go downhill.

I blame no one but myself for that incident, getting too carried away while three teachers and a headmaster held me back, swinging my fist round and cracking him in the eye out of pure hatred for the boy I was trying to dismember, from there I was an instant disappointment in my fathers eyes. Home schooled for six months before being sent to Parkside Community School. Receiving a lower level of education because everyone that was there was either a retard or a reject.

From the time school finished in 2001 and two years of college was out of the way it’s been disappointment after disappointment for the last decade. So I write this for two reasons,

  1. To get a lot of things off my chest.

  2. Hopefully anyone who reads this will identify with some of the things I’ve said and don’t feel alone the way I do.

If people get offended easily then perhaps it may be best you don’t read this, some of the things in this rant will not be something everyone agrees on, but I’m not writing this to be politically correct or to satisfy anyone, these are simply the things that are in my mind. I consider my mind to be an extremely dark, bitter, hateful place. Putting on a happy disposition in front of everyone else to keep them happy, so I’m not the one that spoils their day, well this is my mind, and this is about making myself happy. People may say a lot of things about me, good or bad but not one of them that know me will call me selfish, but for right now, just for once in my sorry life I’m being selfish. So you can either read on or fuck off.

Call Centres

Voice Telemarketing

My list of jobs will most likely be in order of my hatred gained working there, I’ll start with Voice Telemarketing as it’s both my first call centre job and my most recent job. At the time of writing this I am no longer with Voice and never will be again, after the failure of the managers at A1 Comms and the massive failure that was Unicom, my last resort was sending a CV off to Voice where I worked until last November before I left the country for France.

For the life of my I don’t know why I decided to reapply there because the last time I worked there it made me extremely depressed but there were certain things different back then that weren’t there now, things that made it at the very least bearable, the ops manager Rob Geary who was a very fair boss, Sakib Bashir who was the Sales Manager was sound, the coaching was better, the targets were more relaxed, the data was better, I was a top seller for the company and I had friends there.

Upon my return I was met with hostility from the director of the company who didn’t want me rehired due to my past transgression, mainly the fact that one Thursday afternoon a week before I was due to leave for France, I spoke to some child on the phone who thought it would be funny not to put either parent on the phone and for some reason when asked who I was I replied with “Peter, your real dad.”, extremely funny at the time, I laughed, the team leader that was listening in laughed, it cheered me up for about five minutes.

I took Friday off ill because I had been feeling shit all week and was starting to have problems with my voice again, I returned Monday and was suspended for the last week, I didn’t care thinking I would never be going back to such a depressing job anyway.

However I reapplied, the new sales “coach” interviewed me and gave me my job back with the stipulation that I sell at least four sales a day. Otherwise I’d be out, I didn’t have much choice so I accepted, I was happy at the time to be going back because I forgot how much of a horrible job it really was. I only remembered the good, the people I sat next to, whether it was Joanne trying to cop a feel of my Derbyshire thick end under the desk or whether it was John making funny phone calls to people rather than doing any actual selling, or the fact I used to get at least 8 sales a day which put me on the top sellers team, or even James writing out his lists of people he deemed “cunts”. There were over 100 agents on the phones on the E.ON campaign, which made for a great atmosphere to work in and after that incident on the phone I was considered a legend by everyone that worked there.

The first day of training I was the first to arrive, then some loud mouthed Chinese Geordie turned up, “Geeman Wong”, I’m not even fucking joking. You get one person that stands out in the group and he definitely stood out because of his sheer stupidity, one of the reasons I’m no longer working there now in fact.

Then you had the rest of the training group, some bird that moaned the entire time about wanting to work elsewhere, a few Asians, a couple of white boys, and a smooth talking black guy. All seemed to be well because it was an easy week, I basically knew everything already, I still had all my notes from the last time I worked there, I knew all the pitches, the objection handling, the closes, everything so I basically spent the entire week just chilling the fuck out.

Had a catch up with my good friend John who I was extremely pleased to see was still working there, once I got on the actual floor listening into calls, I’d realised just how much everything had changed, everything was bare, 60% of the staff had been let go, there was only a handful of people remaining that I knew. But it was alright because John was there. One of the guys that kept me sane the last time I worked there.

Not everyone was pleased to see me though, some prick called Neil Spruce, thinks himself the big man, likes to threaten people to make himself feel like the alpha dog. Although he tries it on with me saying “If you said that to my daughter, I’m your real dad, I’d have smashed your fucking face in”.

I don’t respond well to threats, I offered the cunt out in the car park, it got to the stage where I squared up to him at break and what did he do? Walked away like the little bitch he is. People like that piss me off, why run your mouth of if you can’t back it up, just because I put on a happy face when I’m at work don’t think I can’t tear your throat out.

After the week of training was done with I was back on the phones, Monday I didn’t do too bad, made some sales, had a bit of a crack with the team and all was good, second day I didn’t make any sales, by the day was over with I was so depressed I wanted to throw myself under a bus. So angry with myself because I used to be a top performer but it’s a very different time, the data has gotten a lot worse and it fucks me off when management go “It’s not the data.”, it fucking is the data because how can you expect people to sell when we’re listening to answering machines, or wrong numbers or people that are already with E.ON?!

I’ve never spoken to so many E.ON customers in my fucking life. Asking for people that have been dead for seven years etc. I went home that day feeling so angry and pissed off. Going home thinking it’s my fault I haven’t sold. I went to work the next day with a new attitude, I didn’t care whether I got sales or not because I was still getting paid. Of course the next day I didn’t sell either but I didn’t really care that day.

Thursday came and I made four sales, my target, then Friday I hit seven sales, the top seller on the newbie team. Then Monday comes a long and we get the sales “coach” as our new team leader as the one we were given decided he couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of being a team leader and went to the quality department, and I put quotations in coach because I never saw that fat greasy haired bitch do any coaching.

The first time I worked there if you weren’t making sales or weren’t hitting target then you’d get coached, someone would come and sit next to you and help you sell. This new sales “coach” had been telling us all this week:

“If you don’t make any sales I’m going to start sending people home”

How is that going to make us sell? That’s just going to fuck us off and neg us out. Which it did because we hadn’t hit target at all this week, the first couple of weeks last year we didn’t even have a target, some of these people haven’t done telesales before so how can they be expected to hit target on a daily basis on their second week? On the data we were given!?

She sat there like Jabba the Hut’s twin sister, “You don’t know who I am. I’ll send you home.” then I snapped and came out with,

“I don’t give a fuck who you are, if you think you’re going to talk to me like shit then you’ve got another thing coming, I dare you to send me home unpaid because you’ll be finding yourself in court. I know a lot more about employment law than you do so if you don’t have anything constructive to say then fuck off until you do.”

Boom, I was back on her radar but she needed to realise that maybe the reason everyone has quit that company isn’t because of the job but because of the people running it. Beginning of the second week my main man John left E.ON after three years to go to the new Thomas Cook campaign, the last person I liked on that floor had now gone. I hated just about everyone on my team, all for different reasons. Then to see how pathetic management is, the Chinese Geordie and an Asian guy started kicking off in the middle of the sales floor, f’ing and jeffing each other while people were on calls.

I ended up pinning the idiotic Geordie down while trying to make a sale. They resolved their issues now but the fact that they didn’t get sacked makes me fucking sick, I’m not the most professional guy in a workplace I’ll be the first to admit that but violent conduct should be met harshly, yet another reason why management is pathetic.

It wasn’t just the management that got to me though, it was probably the straw that broke the camels back but the actual calls themselves, being told to fuck off 200 times a day, you can’t win. If you do someone a quote and they say no, inside you boil with rage thinking,

“You fucking prick, you’ve just wasted my fucking time.”

but if they say no at the beginning of the call you then think,

“You fucking prick, why don’t you want a fucking quote.”

Even if they sign up and you make the sale then you’re like “What a fucking idiot you are.” seriously you can’t mentally win after speaking to these people. Some guys there will be totally honest to the people they phone up, I on the other hand used to do whatever it takes to get the sale.

I’d mis-sell, mis-lead, mis-quote, anything as long as it gets the numbers on the board. And 90% of the time you won’t get caught, but I had a call with a sweet sounding girl around my age sobbing down the phone because some prick from nPower mis-sold her and she ended up spending more, got her self into debt before coming back to us and I then wondered if I had gotten people in debt for doing the same thing? Most of the time the sales I made were a saving or so it said on my system, but last year I used to put anything through. I couldn’t do that anymore, maybe I’ve started developing a conscience in my old age of 25. If there was one thing I had learnt, it’s I hated what the job made me become.

Then Thursday the 7th of July 2011 came, the day I’ve started writing this, I walked into work, I sat down at my computer like I have done many times before, and the sales “coach” starts the day off by telling us how shit we had all done, how we made a £10 loss for the company on Wednesday and a £19 loss on Tuesday. And said those that haven’t sold by the first break will be sent home unpaid, frantically trying to make sales it got an hour and a half into the first 3 hour session of the day and I thought to myself,

“What the fuck am I doing?” I’m sat here being told to fuck off by insignificant pricks on the phone while I’m being told I’d be sent home at break if I haven’t sold by the managers, would I get any bonus out of this job? Not likely after they had drastically changed the bonus scheme, before you’d get a certain amount of money for the amount of sales you made that day, now if you don’t make 25 sales a week you get nothing. Is it worth all this stress for £6.50 an hour? I know I’m in debt by a thousand pounds and I know I have things I need to pay off and save for in a very short amount of time but I do have a back bone, I will not be spoken to like a twat for the sake of £6.50.

I got up, I slammed my headset down, I walked up to Sakib and the greasy haired sales “coach” Nikki and I told them both I don’t want to do this job anymore, I don’t care what they did to my pay but if they think they’re getting sales out of me by telling me I’m shit and making the company a loss then they’ll soon be out of work aswell.

There were a over a hundred people there, reduced to a mere 44 people on the phones after the space of six months, Rob Geary the old ops manager left, once he had gone everyone either walked out or was fired.

One thing that really fucked me off about that job, I’m not particularly racist, I’d have some good natured racial banter with some of my ethnic friends at work but seriously, if you’re in this country you should be able to speak the language at least a little bit. I wouldn’t go and live in Poland and expect everyone there to speak English. If you’re foreign and you don’t speak English, why do you enter competitions where it says you’ll be asking for a quote from E.ON?! And when English people phone up why do you try and have a conversation, just say “I don’t speak English” and fucking hang up, that’s the one English line you should commit to memory rather than just guessing what I’ve said and then reply in your native language hoping I’d understand. Knowing only the words “No” and “Okay”.

Speaking of online competitions, anyone that ever enters those needs their fucking heads checking, do you really think you’ll win? Do you really think anyone ever wins? Those competitions are there because the owner of the website gets paid by some energy company, whether it’s Scottish Power, Southern Electric, British Gas, Npower, EDF or E.ON to have them on there. Then when you idiots enter those competitions whether you check the box or not your details will be passed on to said energy company where you’ll get cold called.

A typical conversation:

Who is this?”

It’s Peter calling from E.ON, you know, the Gas and Electric company?”

What do you want?”

Well the reason I’m calling today is you entered a competition on line and with that you get a free quote from E.ON to see if we can reduce your energy bills.”

I wish you people would stop calling me! I’ve told you five times I don’t want to be contacted by you or anyone else.”

A normal person will apologize but I don’t have anything to apologize for so it’ll usually go something like:

Well if you’ve been called five times before then you’ve entered a competition at least six times, and if you don’t want to be called then stop putting your number on stupid web sites where it clearly states you will get a call.”

At that point the customer will usually apologize, or if it’s one of their kids or relatives that have put their details on there I’ll inform them to control what they’re doing with their details so it’s not wasting my fucking time!

Another thing that pissed me off there is the “A rule for one, a rule for another” system they seem to operate, someone got fired from work for sitting in “wrap” for five minutes, wrap is what the system goes to at the end of a call, which fair enough he’s not doing his job so he gets let go, but then another guy whose on the top sellers team, sat there for half an hour with his headset plugged into his iPod listening to music and pretending to take calls, yeah he got sent home but did he get fired? No he was allowed back and wasn’t punished in any way.

Just because the guy is a little better at sales they’re allowed to get away with more shit, not just that though, we all get told in training not to have our phones out on the sales floor due to DPA, yet you get the sales “coach” sat there texting her mate who is also on the phones, all day, doesn’t put her phone on silent, and because she had it in for me (or she fancied me), sits next to me every day, so I have to listen to her fucking annoying ring tone about 50 times a fucking hour. Her mate doesn’t get in trouble due to being a favourite, the director of the fucking company sure didn’t give a shit.

There was a moment a few days ago where I nearly put my fist through the wall because all I could hear is her phone, the annoying Geordie yammering away all while being told to fuck off by people who can barely speak the English language on the phone.

The moment I walked back out of the that company but I instantly thought “What the fuck have I just done.” but you know what? I’ve never walked out of a job before in my life so it must have been THAT bad for me to just up and walk out. Pressured to make sales or pressured to lose a days wage, and no other job I’ve had have I been spoken to like the way the sales “coach” did, she’s extremely lucky I’m not a misogynist. I can safely say that after my experience at Voice, I will NEVER and I mean EVER work in Outbound Telesales ever again.

Dixon’s Stores Group   

When I came back from France due to a variety of reasons which I’ll get in to later on, life got back to normal pretty quickly, after a few days it was as if I was never in another country living on the top of the mountain, it was just me in my room looking for yet another job. I couldn’t re-apply for Voice straight away because the “I’m your real dad” incident was still too fresh in everyone’s mind, not to mention the fact that I didn’t want to do outbound sales, I was lucky to get a new job after a few weeks though, working at Dixon’s call centre in Sheffield. First and at the moment the only customer service role I had on the telephone, pretty much looked forward to starting.

There was a two week training period, for the most part everyone that worked there was pretty sound, but as I said before there’s always one imbecile in a training group, in this one she was called Joanne, and I’m not being harsh because she was an actual fucking idiot, the first day she comes out with this golden line that’ll stick in my mind for the rest of my life,

“You know them….. thick people? …I’m one of them me.”

Really?

Our trainer Steve basically had to slow down training just for that fucking idiot, 28 years old, two children, one of them born because she “didn’t know what contraception was”. Every single piece of training had to be re-iterated, everyone else had gotten the grasp of it the first time, it wasn’t particularly hard, she just wasn’t that bright, not her fault I suppose her parents had probably dropped her on her head a bit too many times.

No real sense of manners, if we’re on break outside having a cigarette, we’ll be having some form of meaningful conversation, well as meaningful as I can be then she’ll come bursting round the corner and interrupt whoever I’m talking to and come out with some nonsensical bollocks that has nothing to do with what we were talking about, at first it was funny and quite adorable but after awhile it grates on you and makes you hate and despise her, but every day it was either,

“My grandads got cancer!”

“Oh how long has he had that?”

“About four years now.”

What is the point of bringing that up randomly? My granddad died of cancer last year but do I go around telling everyone that? No because it’s nobodies business. But there she is announcing some part of her life that no one cared about or it could be,

“The RSPCA has taken away my dogs!”

Or,

“I’ve forgot to put a bra on this morning!”

Yeah, I wish I only wish I was kidding. That’s the sort of shit we had to endure on a daily basis, once we got out of training and she was put on the phone, we buddied up, I partnered with my mate Tom, everyone else partnered up with someone they liked, the only people left were Joanne and this fucking creepy gay lad called Luke, it was like being picked last in P.E. So they were forced together. Luke wasn’t creepy because he’s gay, he was creepy because he’s some 19 year old blonde kid that looks like a serial rapist, that constantly spoke about cock.

People talking about cock doesn’t freak me out or make me angry, but it’s not as if I constantly talk about vagina’s when I’m with people I’ve only known for a couple of weeks so don’t talk to me about how you like to give it rather than receive, and the fact that he thinks it’s okay to massage my shoulders while I’m on a call, there was a couple of instances where I felt like dropping him, but instead I’ll come out with some homophobic comment such as “Get your faggot hands off my shoulders you fucking queen.” and it usually did the trick. I’m not a massive homophobe, I have gay friends and they’re friends because they don’t try to rape me in work, comments like that, some people won’t like, but that’s why I say them, so they leave me the fuck alone.

Anyway, back to Joanne, so she’s there on the phones, everyone else is alright, if they don’t know something they’ll ask, I picked things up pretty quickly because I remember things pretty easily, so I tried to help where I could, a few of them were shaky on the phones and what not but you could always hear Joanne because she had a loud voice. I don’t know what it is with idiots and loud voices, maybe their pitch compensates for their stupidity some how. I remember one day though she’s talking to a customer and she comes out with,

“Oh right, I don’t really know what to do, do you want to try phoning back you might get through to someone that knows more about it than I do.”

What?! I could imagine what that customer was thinking, you phone customer service because you demand answers, well you did at this one anyway, dealing with all things PC World and Currys, first off you don’t tell customers that you don’t know, you say, “Could you just hold on for a second and I’ll just find out for you.” and you certainly don’t say “Can you call back you might get through to someone that does know.” That customer has more than likely waited in a queue for 10 minutes, on a premium rate number, the last thing he wants to do is wait another 10 minutes because the person he finally got through to is an absolute retard. Because I was waiting for a call I saved her arse that time and told her to transfer the customer to me and I’ll deal with him. Which I eventually did and to be honest it wasn’t even a difficult query, just asking if they can change the time of a delivery! Even thinking back to that day is making me put my head in my hands.

The job it self was… okay, mainly it was speaking to customers who’s fridge/laptop/oven/television etc etc has broken down and they need either an engineer to come out for someone to pick it up and repair it in the repair centre, or it was customers who wanted to renew their existing extended warranty agreements. That part of the job was easy enough, I could deal with that. Could have a good crack with some of the customers. Sometimes customer call but have gotten through to the wrong department so all I needed to do is put them through to where they need to be.

But the part of the job I absolutely hated was the fact that when you click the option for complaints, it comes through to my department, extended warranties and a lot of the time the customers are completely unreasonable. If their laptop hasn’t been repaired in the time scale they wanted it to be (Repair time was around 23-28 days but they phoned way before that.) they’ll call up and start giving me their life story.

Some complaints were justified but they should have opened up a department just for complaints because there was psychically nothing I was able to do to help these people. Unless it was a complaint about someone buying something and was sold an extended warranty without their knowledge, I can sort that shit out. Refund, boom, have a good day. But it’s a bad idea having a complaints option in the first place because as we have already figured out, the general public are idiots. They hear complaints and they think,

“Yeah what I have to moan about is relevant.”

9 times out of 10 it isn’t and you just come across a complete idiot. I remember this one time, you may have heard of or been a victim of these telephone scams where some foreign guy will phone you up claiming to be from the Tech Guys (Dixon’s Tech Department) and saying your computer has a load of virus’ on it and they need access to sort it out, now first off how do these people know your computer is full of virus’ if they don’t have access? But there are those idiots that believe this shit, they do whatever they’re told like downloading some server then they will do some unknown shit to your computer then tell them they now owe them £75 or some other obscene amount of money.

What they actually do to the computer I don’t know, wasn’t really my department and to be honest I didn’t really care, because I tell them to turn off their computer then pass them through to the actual tech department. No legit company will phone you up and ask for your bank details, but as I said people are idiots.

Anyway this one guy phones, says he bought a laptop from PC World the week previous to getting one of these phone calls, apparently they told him his “HP laptop is filled with virus’” you know the usual spiel, but he knew it was bullshit and told them where to go, then he phones us up straight after complaining we’re giving out his details, I said to him that we don’t phone him up requesting for bank details and we don’t pass on anyone’s details, he wouldn’t have any of it though.

“Why after a week of buying a laptop would they phone me up and they know exactly what type of laptop I have, that I bought for my daughter.”

Honestly didn’t have an answer, told him constantly that we don’t pass on anyone’s details especially to a company that’s trying to scam him for money, this argument went on for about 20 minutes, eventually I got bored of being told we have a breach of security and cut him off, shouldn’t have I know but I honestly had better things to do than tell this imbecile the same thing over and over.

I spent a couple of minutes composing myself, getting myself calm before taking my next call, took my next call and who was it? The same fucking guy! A department of 200 and I get the same guy! I then get ear ache of how I cut him off and told him exactly how it was,

“Look pal, I spent 20 minutes telling you we don’t pass on our details, we especially don’t give your details to any other companies, I don’t know how they got your number, I don’t know how they knew you bought a laptop, probably coincidence, probably guessed, but I have customers that actually need help so if you want to complain further you’ll have to write in.”

But as you can imagine he didn’t like that, eventually I managed to get a manager of their arse and take over the call. She told him the same thing I did, she then thought of something I didn’t, she asked him if he took out an extended warranty, which he had, searched for his details, brought up his account and it turned out he didn’t even have a fucking HP laptop! He had a Dell laptop, this “company” were obviously guessing what laptop he had, they even guessed the fact he had one at all! Didn’t even know what fucking make his laptop was! This shut the customer up straight away, then what I did hear at the end of the call was,

“Well how did they get my number then?!”

To which the manager replied,

“Well there are these things call, PHONE BOOKS! Now go and waste someone else’s time.”

Cut the call off and it was back to business, that guy is yet another example why they shouldn’t be given the ability to phone people. There should be phone police, if you’re especially stupid on the phone then someone shows up at your door, disconnects everything to do with your phone line, takes your mobile phone then attaches an electronic tag to make sure you’re not able to go anywhere near a phone box.

The only bad thing about the actual job was the complaints because in the real world I don’t take shit from anyone, if someone yells in my face there’s a good chance that I’m going to break their nose, I certainly didn’t like being paid a lousy £6 an hour to take shit over the phone. A lot of the complaints I got was that someone’s item was written off due to it not being repairable, usually it comes with a sob story of how they’re disabled or how they have 5 kids and they need the television, how about buying a fucking board game or going the fuck outside?!

A lot of the time I was able to sort this problem out with people but what some people fail to grasp is they don’t get the original value of the item they get the value of a replacement item, the call that got me fired from that job happened on a Saturday, so I was in a particularly bad mood, then this common as shit female calls me, instantly demanding to speak to a manager.

Now as soon as someone demands to speak to a manager I know they’re already going to piss me off. I tell her before she can be put through to a manager I need to know what the problem is first. Her television had been in for a repair, it was unrepairable for whatever reason and was written off. She was sent a voucher for £450, 40-something inch television it was originally, this would easily buy a replacement.

Now I explained to this Mrs Osbourne that the voucher is for a replacement item, she then goes into a massive tirade of how she paid a grand for this television.

“How long ago did you purchase this television?” I said.

“Six years ago.” She said.

“Over the course of six years, televisions devalue quite considerably, it says on your extended warranty agreement that you will be given a voucher for a replacement item, you can easily purchase the same television for this amount and even if you can’t then the store will either call us to get the value raised or issue a second voucher.”

I explained.

But just like the retard that I mentioned before, she wouldn’t hear any of it, got to the point that she was screaming at me down the phone,

“When my husband hears about this he will hit the roof!”

I laughed out of frustration and said,

“Well make sure he’s wearing a hard hat then because the last thing we need is a brain damaged Mr. Osbourne, that would make both you then.”

Didn’t help matters I know but I was getting sick of this bitch, it eventually turned into an argument, I gave her the address to write in to to complain further because there was nothing I was able to do, but while all this was going on one of the team leaders heard me raise my voice (I have a deep threatening voice apparently) and decided to listen in to the call. Rather than help me with the call just sit and watch me struggle, at the end of the call I asked her if there was anything else I could help her with, she said no so I told her to have a fantastic day.

At which point she said “sarcastic cunt” and slammed the phone down, I blurted out “fucking bitch”, knowing full well she had put the phone down but I said it before the recording stopped. I was pulled into a meeting and the team leader Mike had a word with me, gave me a slap on the wrist and said he agrees she was being a fucking bitch but if I am struggling then come and get someone. I apologized and he said he’d need to tell my team leader but it’ll be fine because he’s dealt with it.

It wasn’t fine. Monday came, Mike had a word with my team leader Steve and Steve instantly took me in a meeting room with the woman from the agency, told me he was firing me despite the fact I had been told it had been dealt with. Wasn’t even allowed a second chance after one mistake. I was the best thing that training group produced, I picked things up quicker than everyone else, and one indiscretion I’m out the door.

The cheek of him as well offering to shake my hand and wishing me luck in the future, I just looked at his hand, looked at him then walked out the building. I was angry yeah, but it was through my own fault. The thing that pissed me off the most was that idiot Joanne, lasted longer in that job than I did.

I’ve only had the one customer service call centre role and I’m trying not to let DSGi ruin it for me because that company on the whole was a bad company to work for anyway. These people that mis-sell these warranty agreements, do they get punished? No they don’t, but when someone’s screaming at me down the phone, it’s me that gets punished. It wasn’t Mrs. Osbourne that got me the sack, it was the idiotic prick in store that told her if her television was written off then she’ll get her money refunded back to her in full that started the whole chain reaction.

The one thing that I do miss about that job is some of the people I worked with, guys like Tom, Danny, Becky and Siobhan, the ones that kept me sane and kept me smiling. It’s the only thing that sucks about leaving any job because no matter how much you try, you will lose contact and it’s very doubtful I’ll see those awesome people ever again.

After they fired me I sat in the car park for a good twenty to thirty minutes just pondering what I was going to do next, much like I did when I most recently left Voice Marketing. Back in the unemployment line once again, a month later…

A1 Comms

After applying upward of 30-40 jobs in the space of a month, one company decided to take me on, this isn’t a long chapter in my life as I was only there for five weeks but it was worth mentioning anyway, this job was given to me by Right 4 Staff, Ripley Division, the job it self was basically sales lead generation, it was by far the most boring job and the easiest job I’ve ever had.

Basically A1 Comms own the website buymobilephones.net which operates much like Car Phone Warehouse does, my job was to call customers that have previously taken out a mobile phone contract around the time it’s due to be renewed and ask them if they had already done so. A lot of them had already renewed elsewhere or I’d leave them a voice mail if they didn’t answer.

A call would normally be,

“It’s just Peter calling from buymobilephones.net where you took out your *insert your phone make here* just calling because it says on our system that your due for renewal, is that still the case or have you renewed elsewhere?”

Then it’ll either go they haven’t renewed and then you pass them to the sales team or they have renewed in which case find out who with and to bear us in mind in the future.

Or if it was a voice mail,

“Just calling because it says on our system your due for an upgrade, if that’s still the case and you do want to upgrade give us a call on *insert sales number* and we’ll see what we can do for you.”

That’s all there was to it, our manager Gerald was happy with our target being 150 contacts a day, now that’s 150 dialled numbers, if you pulled your finger out of your arse you’d get that done in about three hours, leaving the rest of the day for you to look busy while watching YouTube videos, mainly 4 onDemand.

While I was there I’d watched all of fonejacker, facejacker, Trigger Happy TV, Frankie Boyle’s Tramadol Nights, Bo Selecta amongst many other programmes. It was either that or listening to music.

As far as data protection went they didn’t really care, though we didn’t deal with peoples bank details, so it didn’t matter that much I suppose, but it was good in the sense they didn’t care if we were on our phones, listening to iPods or watching videos online, so long as we did our job. Had about an hours worth of training before going on the phones, then we spent our time calling old data, after awhile we got newer data, people whose contracts were coming to an end more recently.

After that data was through with in a week however it was back to calling old data, then they were struggling trying to find us something else to do. They tried getting me to call people who had taken out a Motorola tablet and trying and sell them accessories, but I declined this because I specifically said I didn’t want a sales job, I didn’t mind lead generation because there was no selling involved, then after the fifth week all the managers got together and decided to let just me go because they hadn’t done their job properly and sorted out exactly what they wanted our new team to be.

The sales team didn’t want us to give them any call backs we arranged for them, they didn’t like us transferring customers to them but it was our job, eventually they decided to keep just one guy on, there was only me and this up his own arse prick Dale on our team, they changed his job to arranging these call backs as before then to sell them an upgrade on a phone. I became open to this eventually but they only had room for one person to do the job and they kept him on because he had experience doing inbound sales for Vodafone. Yeah, inbound sales.

In my mind inbound sales is nothing, someone phones you because they want something, I told them I worked for E.ON cold calling people and making them interested in buying a product. I said they should have sorted out whatever role they wanted to create before they started setting people on because I took this job over another because it seemed like it could be more long term, they fucked up my finances and my debt quickly started increasing again once I had left that role, they said they would want me back eventually though, I’ll not hold my breath and it’d never be a company I’d be interested in working for again after the shit they pulled the last time. Why they couldn’t have put me on another department was beyond me.

But from there I gained a job at Unicom which was business to business selling discounted BT landline rates, not really selling but setting up appointments, although that was in the centre of Sheffield, just next to that Babylon nightclub, my problem there was we had basically zero product training, on the phones after a few hours and when I returned to the car park I’d left my car in I had to pay £16.50 for the days parking. There’s no where free to park in Sheffield and I’ll be damned if I was paying that every day, I never went back there and a week later I went back to Voice. Full circle call centre-wise.

The Public

At the time call centre’s seemed like a good idea, but I’m starting to think that maybe it’s not for me. I wanted to get out of factory work because there was no career opportunities there, I wanted a respectable role, customer service seemed like a good idea, call centre’s appealed to me because it’s just you sat in front of a computer answering phones and talking to people, after working at the glass packing factory I worked at before and tearing all the ligaments in my knee, becoming addicted to painkillers as I had to take around 30 a day just to take the edge off the pain so I could work effectively, I was after something less physical. Although when I worked there I’d lost 2 stone in five months, I’ve put on so much weight working in call centres, and it’s still taxing but on the mind rather than on the body.

Working in this particular sector though has made me hate people, 90% of people I speak to are either stupid or do something to royally piss me off. I hate going home at the end of the day thinking about the people that have made me angry, it really makes me feel sorry for most of the call centre people I’ve spoken to and shouted at.

When people just call to complain and they yell at you down the phone they don’t think about the person they’re speaking to, it’s not their fault that your problem has happened, they’re there to help not to be yelled at. Dealing with people face to face is maybe better because with this intimidating voice comes an intimating body. Working in hotels, you’ll get people yelling at my team mates until I show up and then those yells go away. That makes me feel good.

But going home thinking about those people that have depressed me or angered me, what do I have to take that frustration out on? Only the people that are closest to me. Then I have trouble sleeping at night, because I feel guilty for taking out my frustration and anger on people that don’t deserve it. Then I go to work the next day, void of sleep getting myself in a bad mood easily. It’s a vicious cycle.

For all of you that mindlessly phone a call centre somewhere, so what if you’ve had to wait ten minutes, that’s because we’re already talking to idiots like you about the same problem, so don’t call thinking you’re the most important person in the world, don’t think anyone will care when you say “I’ll never shop at your store again.” Good for you, PC World and Currys will live on without your custom, you’d be doing those people a favour because then you won’t have any need to phone them. You people calling them coming out with the same sob story we’ve heard 80 times a day already, you’re not special, you’re not important, just like the people that work at the company aren’t important.

On the other foot though, if the people that actually work in these stores weren’t such pricks, signing people up to extended warranties without customers knowledge just so that they get some sort of commission, half of these idiots wouldn’t have any need to phone in and yell at people like me.

But even now I still apply for these jobs because I don’t know what else to do with my life, there’s nothing I’m really qualified for, yeah I have a good English GCSE and a few GNVQ’s but what’s that going to get you really? I am by no means stupid, I have an IQ of 130, but it’s the sheet of people that says “Qualification” that matters really. I’m not going to live up to my fathers expectations, I’m never going to follow in his footsteps, with his £94,000 a year job and his company car and the little amount of work he now has to do to get such a deal. I’ll be lucky to earn anything around the £7 an hour mark. I’m just hoping one company will stick long enough for me to actually progress.

Every interview I go into now I always hear the comment, “Well you’ve had a lot of jobs.” and it’s starting to become embarrassing. I just tell them I just haven’t found the right place to work yet or I didn’t know what I wanted to do and then I somehow convince them working in a call centre is what I want to do, which is impressive because I can’t even convince myself it’s what I want to do.

5 thoughts on “The Ascension Of Madness

  1. I got as far as Dixon’s Store Group… can’t finish, but I’ll be back. :)
    “Your Real Dad” …. classic.

  2. You’re really good at writing…would you consider writing something for The Writebox? Just click my name.

    We’re doing pretty good, we had 1k views within the first four days of being online.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s