Thursday was my first day on the phones at work. I figured I was pretty ready because I had kicked total ass on all of the tests but, true to form, I was not at all right about being ready. Not at all. I pretty much forgot everything I knew immediately after I put on my headset. And by pretty much I mean completely. And I'm not even kidding when I say I forgot everything. I literally forgot everything. Every time I got a beep in my ear which indicated there was a call on the line my mind went completely blank. I barely remembered my name.
Usually every team has one helper person who is really experienced and they walk around and if you have a problem you just put the caller on hold, put your hand up, and they come and help you. We have two helper people because we're new and that is a very good thing because I had my hand up for the majority of my shift and there are 15 other people on my team. Luckily we were paired up for the first round of calls and the dude who was with me made it his life's mission to get me immediate help when ever I needed it. As soon as my hand went up he would rip his headset off and jump up waving his arms until someone came over. It was pretty awesome. And annoying to everyone else but me, but whatever.
The thing I was most worried about was the people on the other end having to deal with a complete imbecile, but they were surprisingly very patient whenever I asked if I could put them on hold. For the 5th time. After they were already on hold for a good 10 minutes. If it was me I would have totally been like, "I just want to pay a bill dude. What the hell is wrong with you?" but I only had a couple of hangups and only one person asked if I was new and I was all, "What?! No. Totally not. I'm totally not new. Do you mind if I put you on hold for a sec?"
By the end of day yesterday I was better. I had calmed down a bit and actually remembered there were specific procedures to follow and things to say and I even said some of them. I still asked for help a lot but I was able to figure out a lot of things by myself as well. Apparently it takes a long time to become really comfortable with everything so I think I'm doing pretty good considering. I'll tell you this though, working at a call center is much harder then you think it is. Especially at a bank. I had no idea how many things were involved. Even BEFORE you can actually answer a question or sign a person up for a product you have to go through this really extensive process to make sure you're not talking to a fraud. It's pretty intense. And we haven't even started the selling part yet. By the end of 6 months we're going to have to make a certain amount of sales and reach quotas and stuff which sort of frightens me. It sort of frightens me a lot. Right now though, I'm going to be trying to reach my self imposed quota of 0 times accidentally hanging up on someone.
So far so good.