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[personal profile] sarasvati
Let me just say right now that I am not ungrateful for my job. I'm glad to be able to make a steady paycheque once again, after having gone so long without any incomce beyond the pittance that EI would give me. But in my three weeks of training, I cannot count on both hands, and possibly with the aid of both feet, the amount of things that have just gone terribly wrong with that place.

Let me start at the beginning. And I'm cutting this so that it doesn't take up pages upon pages of everyone's reading lists. These are the reasons that I've started putting out more resumes after only 3 weeks. I'm not leaving until I find a new job, obviously, but I feel that I have a good set of reasons to be looking elsewhere.

First of all, let me say that we wpent the first two weeks training on the billing portion of our jobs, which made sense, given that we were all told that what we'd be doing was billing. Fine and dandy.

So in those first two weeks of billing training, here's a breakdown of all the things that really really sucked.

  • The trainer cannot train. No, really, this seems to have been her first training position, and while I don't doubt that she knows the job that she trained us for, she can't train for beans. Half the time, the only reason that we understood what she was trying to teach us was because the trainee-trainer gave us examples and clarification, and he was learning new concepts right alongside the rest of us.

  • As if that weren't bad enough, she wasn't given all the training material she needed before she was sent here.

  • Our passwords to nearly all the programs and websites we were going to use ended up not working properly for us until the second week of training, which meant that we learnt the theory but had no idea of how we'd put any of it into practice.

  • We were told that whenever possible, we would have to schedule our doctor's appointments and whatnot around our work schedules. Fine, on the surface that seems okay, but that meant that they got their knickers in a twist when people had, for example, dentist's appointments during the first week that required them to leave a whole hour early, when we all lad less than a week's notice that we'd gotten jobs in the first place. Such a big deal was made about this that even when some of us got really sick (one guy threw up blood a few times because of the stress of the class plus his bleeding ulcers), we ended up getting scared of asking to leave because we feared for our jobs as of Day 3. I told them about my issues, how sometimes my IBS gives me enough pain that if it acts up, I may need to take half an hour off the phone to go and take the tea that helps make it manageable. HR acted all put-out that I didn't tell them sooner than the third day. I wanted to ask them when they wanted me to tell them: during my group interview, where three other strangers would be privy to my private medical problems? Before they hired me, so that they could have a convenient excuse not to? It's not usually a big problem if I'm not stressed and if I take care of myself, but attacks happen, and I wanted them to know what happened, and I get treated like I'm the bad guy for it.

  • The trainer would often get frustrated at our confusion and our suggestions to make things better or easier for us, which were, often legitimate suggestions. She kepts arguing that the methods she was using were tried and tested and proven to work. She was wrong, though. The methods were supposed to include working programs and passwords, 2-3 hours of buddy-jacking each day during the second week (we couldn't get that because we were the first class for this campaign in the centre), and the methods were made for classes of 6-10, not 20-30 the way we had.

  • There were no dummy accounts for us to practice with. The only accounts we got access to were live active accounts, so everything that we did, we had to make sure not to press submit or make any changes final, which got it into everyone's head to fear confirmation and not actually get proper practice for what we'd be doing out on the floor. The company's been around for years, and they couldn't have made some damn dummy accounts for trainees to practice on? I call laziness and bullshit!

  • Half the class failed the test at the end of the second week. The trainer blamed us for not taking notes properly, not studying hard enough. Which may have been the case in a few cases, but in 12 out of the 25 of us that were left at that point? No, there's likely some other problem, and I, and many others, thought the problem was with her methods and lack of organization.

  • The test was written badly, with lots of typos. Even the trainer admitted that some of the questions were unanswerable simply because the questions were also outdated and contained things that we hadn't had time to cover. This was, I might add, the rewritten test that was done because of the time problems we'd been having by that point.

  • We were told on the second Wednesday that because we'd all struggled so much, there'd be an extra week of training. Yay, we all thought. Then we were told that no, it wasn't an extra week of training for billing, but rather the CSP (Customer Service Provisioning) training that we were supposed to get after we'd spent 3 weeks on the floor adjusting to the phones and getting our confidence. If there was any time after CSP training, she'd go over more billing concepts with us. If.

  • We weren't actually told if that would happen until last Friday, mind. From Wednesday to Friday, all we were told was that maybe the week would be bumped forward, and she'd talk to her bosses about it. No other warning or info.

    There were plenty of other little things that went wrong during these two weeks, but the real kicker really came this past week, when a new trainer was flown in to teach us CSP. Here's the breakdown of Week 3's problems.

  • The trainer approached things like it was a refresher course, putting a lot of things in point form without showing us what we'd actually be done with that info.

  • Still no dummy accounts to play with.

  • We were specifically told that we'd only be learning the theory behind one thing that we'd be doing on every damn call and that once we were on the floor and could actually make the changes properly, someone would come to us and walk us through how to do it properly. I'm sorry, but when you're on the call, that's too damn late to be teaching us that way. We had to argue with her yesterday, hours before the test, to actually show us what the hell she'd been talking about all week, and only when she showed us, at the last minute, did any of it actually make sense because we could see that, for example, when she wrote "Fixed" in her notes of what actions we took, she actually meant, "Pick 'Fixed' from a drop-down menu." Yeah... Make some fucking dummy accounts, dammit!

  • Our tests from the previous week? Yeah, originally we weren't going to find out what our mark was. We were just going to find out whether we passed or failed. Why? Because the trainer didn't want the people who failed and had to rewrite to feel bad. Seriously, that's what she said. We argued pretty damn loudly about that. One person commented that we were all adults. I wanted to speak up and say that especially for the people who failed, knowing their score would be a big benefit for the rewrite. If they failed by getting 12%, for example, they'd know they'd have a lot more to relearn and to study than if they failed with 84% (the pass mark was 85%). We finally argued her down to telling us privately, as though we were all special enough in her eyes to be told. Once again, bullshit.

  • The real reason we got the CSP training early? Turns out they couldn't properly set up the computers on the floor for us on time. Niiice...

  • The test for CSP was a nightmare. With all the confusion of the class (which should really have been two weeks and not one), people feared that test more than the one for billing. It wasn't as hard as we'd all feared, mind, but the problem was that some of the questions made no sense, and others were missing information vital to the answer. She actually told us, in one match-up question, to take out every single choice and to replace them with ones she wrote on the whiteboard instead.

    My big problem with this? A friend of mine in the class was scheduled for day surgery yesterday, so she asked to take the test of Thursday instead. She didn't get the benefit of know that some of the questions were fucked up. She didn't know to correct them. She did the test thinking that she was going to honestly fail it, because the trainers or the company or whoever's responsible for quality control couldn't do their damn jobs properly.

  • Our schedules for next week? We got them yesterday, just before our lunch break. Turns out we're working shifts that don't work for a lot of people, but nothing can be done about it because they left us no time to make other arrangements.

  • We still don't know how our phone systems are going to work when we're on the floor on Monday. In fact, we've been asked to all show up half an hour before our shifts are scheduled to start so that they can show us, something that should have been done long before now.

  • The guy with the bleeding ulcers? Once forgot his pills and was in a lot of pain, and so asked the trainer if he could run home and get them. He lives about 7 minutes walk away. She refused. He sat back down and continued to suffer until she finally gave in and let him go home. He came back, of course, but that kind of attitude is just galling. "No, you can't leave my class for half an hour to get the things that prevent you from throwing up blood and being in terrible pain!"

    I'm disgusted with this whole thing. This was set up badly from the beginning, like it was done overnight with no thought or consideration to the people who'd actually be going through the most hell here. I'm dying to get out. 20% of the initial class left for one reason or another, and a good number of the rest of us are contemplating not showing up on Monday or only staying there for as long as it takes for us to find another job that will pay us comparable wages. I can't entirely blame the call centre, nor can I entirely blame the client's campaign, nor the trainers who taught us these past weeks. But all three together have caused a lot of problems for a lot of people, and none of us are happy.

    And as if that weren't bad enough, our soon-to-be-ex-landlord keeps harassing us, saying that he needs written permission to show our apartment. The problem is that a) the place is a mess, garbage everywhere, because we're still in the process of cleaning it out and getting all our stuff moved over because between Daniel and I, we've got only a few hours each day in which we can ferry boxes and bags between apartments using the bus, and b) we already gave him the damn written permission! But it wasn't the one that he wanted. He wanted to be able to show it Monday to Saturday, 10-5, including holidays, without having to give us 24 hours notice. We said no, you can show it Monday to Friday, 8-5, not including holiday, and you have to give us 24 hours of notice, as is our legal right. He argued that telling us once would constitue 24 hours notice. Daniel argued. I argued. I was on the verge of reminding him that when we signed the lease, I specifically brought up that issue because our previous landlord had been a douche in that exact same way, and he'd promised us he wouldn't ever do that, and that he'd always give us a proper 24 hours notice. He wouldn't, for example, call on Monday to give notice and then show up on Friday and claim that the notice we had on Monday should have been enough.

    The problem with that way of thinking is that it assumes that the tenants have nothing better to do than to wait around for the landlord to call and will always be at their whims. Most landlords prefer current tenants be out of their apartments while they show prospective renters. What are we supposed to do if he refuses to give proper notice, then? Never be home? What if we are home and one of us feels like taking a shower and the landlord just decides he can drop by randomly and show the apartment? This is another instance where people try to take advantage of the fact that most people don't know their legal rights, and I'm sorry, but both Daniel and I are tired of putting up with that bullshit. We're not going to stand for it, and we told him so.

    He argued, but finally backed down and accepted the written permission that we wrote, rather than the one he wrote up for us. But now we keep getting 2-4 calls from him a day, and some of the messages he leaves mention that he needs to get in touch with us to get our written permission to show the apartment. *facepalm*

    We're hoping to be completely moved out as of next weekend. We need to clean more this week (hard for me because instead of working a convenient 8-4 as I have been these last three weeks, I'll now work 11-7), and get someone to ferry over some last things on the weekend, and then we can spend a day replacing the wallpaper and doing some last-minute cleaning, but then we should be done, and we won't have to deal with one of the most infamous slumlords in the city again.

    Yeah, the last few weeks have been difficult for me. Here's to hoping they get better soon.
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