The call center challenge!

One of the issues with working in a call center, any call center, is the less than pleasant calls, generally from angry, or just plain rude customers, or staff. Yes, been there, done that, multiple times, lets just say that Glasgow betting shop staff are probably the rudest I’ve had the ‘delight’ of dealing with, and leave it at that!

Fine, given the nature of my current job, emotions can run high at times. Both because we are dealing with estates of the deceased, and because some people have unrealistic expectations of how quickly bureaucratic checks can be done. Not that I’m saying the situation is currently perfect, but if you believed some people…

Anyway, this week, I get to go on what work describes as a ‘challenging call’ course. All day Tuesday, part of Wednesday, its being held. Yes, some people have been challenging to deal with, but compared to some Glasgow betting shop staff, nothing I couldnt survive.

For me, and my less than stunning technological skills, the fact that I have to learn the new phone call system on Wednesday, after the other course is over, is far more scary! I know, I suspect its quite similar, but something new, just when you’ve got used to the old system, ah well…

Oh, and even more scary, next week I reach 59. Not that many years ago, I’d be 1 year away from retirement. Now, it will be just over 7 years, assuming they dont change the rules again in the interim! Mind, I suppose it means the pension payout will be better, so…?

Right, video time. Something that people ringing a call center are never likely to be doing!

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Testing out theories about electric chairs, maybe?

Oh fine, that title relates more to the video, than what I will actually be doing, but its loosely related. Hey, I know, I’d be more interested in being the one wired up, than offering advice on it, anyway!

OK, with this job I’m doing at present, for a couple more weeks at least, before taking up the better offer, the fun starts here! The last 4 weeks, which were 2 weeks of customer service training, followed by 2 weeks of customer service theory were fine, hardly surprising given my work history, lets face it. But now, assuming that no one discovers my plans, and throws me out, or they simply come to a deal to let me go (at interview, I was told earliest start was 9.00, which I could do. at job, earliest start is 7.30, which I cant do, to Leeds), I go into technical services training.

Lets face it, anyone here that knows me well, knows that I’m more interested in being controlled by technology, than being the one in control. They also probably know that my personal technical knowledge, isnt a lot! Why worry, when its not the side of technology I want to be on, and a couple of folk here know a lot more about it than me, anyway? So yes, this could be, err, fun! The only blessing is, however much of it I pick up, I’m not going to be putting it into practice anyway, which might, or might not be for the best?

To be honest, I’m not sure how much I will learn will be of use to me in the outside world, or how much of it is so purely related to the job, to know how much benefit I will get from it, but we will see? And yes, you’re also right, I’d much prefer it if the technology training was being done in a ‘suitable’ technological way! Ah well…

Electric chair? Fine, depends how its aligned, I guess? Neural download chair, oh yes please, most definitely! I might even stay if it was being done like that! 😀 Sadly, not going to happen, but then again, neither is me staying!

There is one other little downside, training means I’m back to 9.00 starts, which means getting up by 5.45, so, yuck! I will get a little more time in the evening, so swings and roundabouts, but besides that…?

OK, video time. No, I dont think I’ll count as a Tesla Girl at any point, though I will be testing out technological theories, I guess? Me, fine, I’d be happier being the one in the chair, having my mind, and body tampered with, but besides all that…whistles innocently… Not the original video though, this is live in Los Angeles, a week ago today. Only wish I could have been there, believe me!

The power of the voice

Oh goody, you’re in for a video treat tonight. Lets leave it at that, for the length of the blog, at least.

At the beginning of this week, on Fembot Central, someone wanted a woman to do a vocal piece, a half of a conversation between a man, and a fembot. So yes, I said that if no one younger offered to do it, I’d do it for him. I have done these things in the dim, distant past, long before you could record it on to a program, on a laptop, for sure.

And yes, seemingly, its a bit like riding a bike, I soon got the hang of it again, just like reading a script. Fine, its a bit weird, doing your line, waiting a few seconds, and then recording your next line, to give him space to edit his lines into the middle of it. I’ve read scripts before like that, but all players have been there, so its easier to judge the pace. When you’re recording by yourself, hmm?

The other snag I discovered, when it came to do my lines, was exactly how robotic I was meant to be, I forgot to ask. Yes, I know, I was pretty sure he didnt want the monotone robot style, given she was a fembot, created to look like a human. So I played it in a clipped, human way, apart from where she was having difficulties with a malfunction in her system.

Actually, for someone like me, not an expert in technology, I had more fun getting it together, and sending it back to him! I mean, I’m the one who wants to be controlled by computers, not controlling them! Yes, the .wav things (I did one where I used the letter b, one where I used beta, as I wasnt sure which he wanted) I saved them as, was very large, and wasnt going to willingly be sent by email, not even separately. Eventually, the technical blunder girl saved it to her One Drive thing on Hotmail, and sent him the link! Yes, I mean, if we needed it recorded, we were all in one place, and put it on to a tape recorder, or cassette recorder!

Yes, fine, I loved the experience, it was great fun doing something like that again, after so many years. No, I dont think the tape will be going to Hollywood studios, even if it was fun. I’ll see how much he liked my voice, if I passed, I might be doing more. Yes, I’d love a contract, with decent money, for doing these things, but realistically…nope!

So, to that video. In honesty, Ultravox created some great videos. Vienna is the obvious well known one, but the barely known Passing Strangers is one I love, for the whole vintage feel. This one is just plain powerful, and far superior to the other one they made, for this song

Robots are taking over the workplace

Question is, will they take over our jobs, or take over us!

Alright, fine, at this point that may be a slight exaggeration, but its coming, for sure. Just glad I’m at the back end of my working life, though fine, I might enjoy becoming part of the robot workplace, but thats beside the point!

Because lets face it, call centre work would be one of the prime candidates for an ‘automated’ workplace, lets face it! Mind, it was only yesterday I saw about a Japanese hotel where many of the work staff have already been replaced by robots. I know, its Japan, but in time…

Mind, to some degree, you are going to be part of the robotic system, because of all the wearable technology that many people use nowadays. Fine, at the moment, it only advises, or helps you, but how long before it tells you what to do, or just does it, using you as its mouthpiece, hmm? Because, mark my word (but sadly, probably not in my working life), you will become part of the technology machine at work, and in time, it will tell you what to do, not suggest it!

Who, me? Yes, fine, I’m just looking for one of those mad scientist types to turn me into a robot first, so I can control humanity…oh fine, I didnt really say that, honest I didnt… But yes, you’re right, I’d love it!

Now I’ve finished panicking the younger workers, who see their life under the control of technology, or being part of that technology, I’ll finish with the video. What do you think, what you might be, in the future. A new version, I think better than the original