Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Another Call Center Story

As a supervisor in a Customer Care call center for a major cellular carrier, I learned many lessons.  One time I did get to carry a lesson over from the Army into the call center.  I had been watching a new employee on the call center floor for past few days.  I noticed that he rarely took any calls and spent most of his time flirting with the women working around him.  He was a good looking guy and by his actions, he took full advantage of his looks.

Other supervisors would approach him and ask him to get back to work.  This happened about every 30-40 minutes during the day.  I also noticed that each supervisor that approached him would walk up and start addressing him about not doing his job.  He would then stand up and walk up in front of each supervisor and stand very close, usually 8-10 inches give or take from the supervisor.  He never raised his voice but he would encroach on their personal space and within a few minutes the supervisor, subconsciously, would start backing up away from the agent.  The conversion would continue for few more minutes before the supervisor would flee from this man.  Then he would go back to flirting and not doing any work until the next supervisor came along.

Like I said, after a few days watching this behavior, I decided to go talk to him myself.  I walked up and addressed him by name.

He turned way from his current target and stood up in front of me.  "What you want man?"  he said with enough attitude to show his disdain for my prescience.

So I calmly replied "Mr. [name redacted for his protections], don't you think you should get back to work?"

He slowly moved up in front my me and was easily only 6 inches away from me.  We were face to face and he replied "Ya know I was only messin around.  I already done a bunch of work today and was just takin a break."

I stood my ground and looked him in the eye and simply said "Look, you either have to kiss me or punch me.  You and me this close...the suspense is killing me, what ever it is you want to do to me, just get it over with."

He quickly took a step back from me with a shocked look on his face.  "Nah man, its not like that!"  He looked around and saw the other call center agents laughing at his awkward plight.

So I finished up and said "Well then don't you think you should get back to work?"  He look around for any sympathetic faces and saw only people smirking and laughing.  I turn away and went back to my desk.  He only worked at the call center a few more weeks before he stopped showing up.  During those couple of weeks there was a marked decrease in his flirting and he kept busy answering calls.  Somthing I learned in the Army, sometimes it just takes a direct confrontation.

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