Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Choose a Job You Love and You'll Never Have to Work a Day in Your Life

So a lot has happened since I last touched base. In July I made a big decision and quit my job. I almost feel bad admitting to it as so many people are out of work. Unfortunately life in a call center was not working for me. My husband had taken a new position with a much better salary and bonuses which made it possible for me to resign.

For the last three years I have worked in customer retention and recently the company I was working for decided to combine my department with another. Why does that matter you ask? Well if any of you have worked in customer retention you know that you are supposed to be kind, forgiving, and generous. Customers are calling to cancel their service and the advisors' job is to talk them into staying. This is usually done by giving in the form of discounts and sometimes even complimentary service (and often includes waiving a past due balance). When someone calls in due to financial hardship and needs a break it is nice to be able to offer them one. Now the other department is basically the opposite as they look after collections. The department is hard nosed and will cut off service regardless of the reason for non payment. I understand that this is necessary to do but it is not in my nature and not something I wanted to deal with. I wasn't sure how to change hats from one call to the next and started to feel really stressed. I didn't think it was possible to be more stressed than I already was.

To learn our new position we had one week of training which was also stressful as a newly hired person would get six weeks to train for the same job. At the same time they were also changing the way in which we were to handle our retention calls (the call flow as it is called). I'm actually feeling stressed out just writing about it which is scary. Just an example of the stress level: one of my co-workers didn't come in one day and when she came in the next day I asked where she was. She told me that she came to work, sat in her car for ten minutes and felt too stessed to come in. She started her car and went back home without even entering the building. So back to my story. I finished my week of training and passed any tests that I needed to take and went home for the weekend. The next week I would start taking the new call type to get used to it before mixing my calls. I had one week to vacation which I was really looking forward to. By Saturday afternoon I could feel my stress building in anticipation of Monday morning.

On Sunday my husband and I had a discussion and decided that we could afford for me to take the rest of the summer off and find another job for September. I made a phone call and asked to return to my previous workplace and was accepted back. Yay!! On Monday morning instead of going to work at 7am (I am not a morning person) I got up and called in to resign. I couldn't even bring myself to offer two weeks notice. In a call center you are not made to feel important enough for the extra two weeks to make a difference. You are a spare cog on the shelf. Upon calling I almost immediately felt relaxed. I could feel the stress draining from my body as I spoke. Since that day in July I have not given it a second thought.

I once heard a saying  "Doing what you like is freedom, liking what you do is happiness". It is so true!! I hope many of you are liking what you do and if not I hope you will one day get the opportunity to do so.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Loss of a Pet

So a friend of mine lost a beloved pet today. To those of you who are pet owners you understand how upsetting this is. Pebbles was a 16 year old cat who belonged to an old friend. When a pet is with you for that long you come to see it as a companion and a friend. You expect that when you arrive home someone will be happy to see you (even if it's only because they want food). When you are down a pet senses this and always knows what to do even though they cannot actually talk to you. Sometimes just a cuddle is enough.

We have three pets in our home. Our dog is twelve and as his life expectancy is around fourteen I find myself stressing lately about what we will do the day that we find he has left us. Technically he's the most senior member of our household. I've never really been a dog person and sometimes feel bad as he constantly wants to be with me. If I go from one room to another he follows and lies on the floor nearby. The kids find this rather funny and somewhat odd as I (sorry to admit this) pay the least attention to him of all of us. Maybe he thinks I'm his Mother. We also have a cat who is seven years old. She lives for my youngest daughter. If Emily cries she comes running from wherever she is at and cries and bites Emily until she picks her up. She then proceeds to rub her head under Emily's chin until she stops crying. She sleeps with Emily, watches tv and sits at the computer with her and follows her around the house. Emily absolutely adores her. She has never been outside which some say is mean but I think the exact opposite. It is mean to allow a cat to roam the streets risking injury by other animals or death on the road. It will be completely devastating one day to lose her. Our third pet happens to be a hamster. He's a teddy bear hamster and very cute and well tempered. He has never bitten anyone and allows the kids to poke him and pick him up at random. He is actually the fourth hamster the kids have had as they don't last long. The last hamster we had lived a little more than three years and actually died in my oldest daughter's arms. He was the friendliest little creature and when she found him dying one morning she asked if it was okay to hold him. She wrapped him in a little blanket and held him rubbing his head as he slowly passed on. It was sad as he was fine the day before. I guess his time had come. Hopefully he found comfort in having someone with him as he left this life. Sometimes I wonder why we continue to have one pet after another as we are so saddened when they pass on but how can we resist the companionship and unconditional love that they give to us? Most of you reading this will understand what I mean.

Anyway to all of the pet owners out there enjoy their company and friendship as their lives are usually not long enough for us. To my friend Greg and his family my condolences for your loss and to Pebbles rest in peace your family will miss you dearly.