Seems it isn’t!
Today, I got caught, not for the first time (though the other was 13 years ago), by an advert for a telephone call centre that was highly evasive with the information that they pass on to prospective candidates. Why, because its that hated, and highly abrasive job role, cold calling people to sell them something. Previous time, it was double glazing, this time around it was solar panels.
Whatever people think of me (and I know a few who certainly dont like me, who I’ve worked with), one thing no one could ever accuse me of being is a strong minded bitch. Actually, I’m pretty sweet when it comes to dealing with people, unless they really, really annoy me, but fine, that doesnt happen hardly ever. So therefore I am not designed for cold calling people, to try and sell them something.
OK, the story of this. Saturday morning, while doing my usual job hunting thing, I saw this vacancy for a telephone operative. Very few details about the job, bare details about the company, and less about the job. But from reading it, it suggested inbound calls, or at worst, calling people who had requested you to call them. So fine, I went for it. I thought no more about it, given it was a Saturday, I wouldnt hear anything about it until today.
Wrong. Late Saturday afternoon, I got an email, asking me if I was interested in starting training on Monday, as they had vacancies on the course. I sent back an email saying that I could, but asking for lots more details about the role. All the info I got back was that it was making appointments, and that I would learn everything else on Monday, when I turned up. I did wonder about it, they really didnt want to give me any details, which seemed strange, but at this point, I took them at their word, and went for it, rearranging tentatively a couple of appointments I had for today, but hedging my bets, given my hackles were raised.
So fine, this morning I turned up there, expecting an efficiently run office, a proper call centre, a decent phone system, and computers. They actually managed none of those. What I got was a scruffy looking room, phones that would have looked out of date 5 years ago, no computers (just bits of card to write info on), and for the first time since 2002, no one requested any evidence to see that I was who I was claiming to be. Oh, and the ‘good pay’ was just minimum wage rate, plus bonuses.
Oh, I quickly found out it was outbound calling, and very soon after, when handed a long list of names, addresses and phone numbers, I worked out it was cold calling. I was amused when one of the other “trainees” asked where they got the lists from, and the woman supposedly training us just said, “Oh, somewhere”. Illegal, possibly?
The training totally consisted of being given a script, and listening to her making calls, attempting to cold call people to convince them to buy solar panels. In the 30 minutes or so I was there, she didnt convince one! And all I can say is its just as well the people she rang couldnt hear what she said about them afterwards! Especially the ones who wisely just put the phone down on her.
So fine, at this point, I discreetly excused myself, and headed for home. Thankfully I’ve already managed to rearrange my morning phone interview for Friday morning, and the afternoon registration will happen later this week too. Not in time for the group assessment tomorrow, but I’m told there will be more of similar roles, if I need them. And if they dont get sufficient suitable candidates, I might get to one of those yet. A couple of other possibles have evolved this afternoon, so all is not lost, hopefully?
OK, the video, what they might not have told me, but they certainly didnt tell me the truth either