Questions

When a customer calls in to us they hear an IVR recording before they get through to an agent. It tells them the company name and gives a bit of information about the company. After this they get through to an agent who proceeds to answer any queries they may have. Answering questions is an everyday part of the job. There are multitudes of customers calling each and every day with all sorts of questions, from the most technical to the utterly sublime.

Here are a few of the questions we are faced with on a regular basis:

‘Do you know if it’s covered under my home insurance?’
‘I don’t know anything about your home insurance so I can’t possibly answer that question.’

‘£12 for the year? What does that mean?’
‘It means it’s £12 for the year.’ Was my reply.

‘I love the way it says from £2.50 a month. Ha ha..’
‘If you press the button where it says ‘find out more’ you’ll see it’s £2.50 month with an excess or £5 month without an excess. It’s all very clear.’

‘I’m calling about the plumbing cover. Is this building insurance?’
‘No. It’s plumbing cover. Building insurance covers your building. That’s why it’s called building insurance.’

‘I’m looking at the cover that’s £6 a month. Can you tell me the price?’
‘£6 a month just like it says.’

‘Is that the chiropodist?’

‘I’d like to order the next batch of bird seed for my budgie. Has is it come in yet?’

‘I take it you have my details in front of you?’
‘No. You haven’t even told me your name yet, never mind your address.’

‘There’s nothing wrong at the moment. I know it won’t cover pre-existing problems. I have a dripping tap – can you send someone out now?’

‘What do you mean ‘natural gas’?’
‘Is there a gas metre in your home?’ I asked.
‘I don’t know. How am I going to know that?’

‘Can you tell me who my water board is?’

‘Can you put me through to an overseas number?’

‘I’m trying to get through to…but they’ve got an 0845 number. Yours is a Freephone number, so can you put me through?’

And I work for an insurance company.

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Artificial Lights

They spent a few million designing and building the call centre where I work. We’ve been in this particular building for several years now, but I can still remember all the hype about it before it was ready. It was the company’s baby. Extremely important. The company had to mention it as much as possible. They wanted and needed all of us to believe that this building was the answer to all our prayers. It was the most modern, the most state of the art call centre ever. And we had to be very thankful that we were the people who were going to use it.

It still looks very nice. Windows all the way around, none of which can be opened. And it’s full of artificial lighting.

I hate artificial lights.

I’ve had problems with my eyes every since stepping foot in this building. I had cataracts. Had to have both eyes operated on. Each doctor and optician I saw said that I was far too young to have cataracts. So how did I get them? A nurse told me that the sun can cause them. Well I don’t walk around looking up at the sun, and I wear sun glasses in summer. So how did the sun caused me to have cataracts? I know people who don’t wear sunglasses. They don’t have cataracts. I believe it’s the artificial lights but I can’t prove it.

I think I have the brightest artificial light right above where I sit at the moment. It’s been affecting me quite badly recently, but Thursday afternoon was the worst ever.

It’s causing me to have headaches, my eyes have been sore, my nose has been running. I thought I had a cold. Except that I don’t have a cold when I’m not at work. Figure that one out.

My eyes were very sore Wednesday afternoon so I decided to take in sun glasses – a colleagues suggestion – and I grabbed a cap. There’s a few people who have felt the need to wear sun glasses in this building. So Thursday afternoon I sat there wearing my cap and sun glasses. I looked like a right prat and it still didn’t help. I felt like I was being microwaved. I could feel the heat from the light on my head. As soon as I took cap and glasses off I looked like I’d been peeling onions and was crying my eyes out. I wasn’t actually crying. But my nose and eyes were streaming. My face was red, my eyes were red, and my head was banging.

My manager has asked facilities to take a look at the light. I’m not holding my breath. People have asked them before to turn the lights off or down and they’ve refused. Lovely people. They say it’s health and safety so the lights have to stay on. I’ve made a plan to sit elsewhere until they’ve sorted it. It’s either that or get microwaved. Or smash the light.