First day back in the call centre after the Christmas crescendo. Theres a new keycode to get in the building and all around a stillness where there was movement. As I walk along the entrance corridor the room ahead of me, full of people, trolleys, boxes and bubblewrap the last time I was here is now desolate. The shelves are empty and the atmosphere is derelict like a disused Lido where ghostly shrieks emanating from the 1920s resound off the smooth concrete surfaces.
As I enter the office I notice the tinsel around every monitor. It seems strange as the room is quiet and far from festive. Two banks of desks sit unoccupied and the room feels twice as big and spacious as it had just a week or so ago. I recover my paperwork from the alcove where it had been stuffed and grab a desk in the far corner. I’m in no mood work today; I never am after a break it just makes me resent being there. It takes me a few days to get into the groove.
The objective is just to get through the day and as a bonus not to pick up the vomiting bug or swine flu being passed round the office thanks to a culture where if a zombie plague hit would see people show up for work and take calls as their limbs fell off one buy one. Thankfully I’ve got a last slurp of hand gel in my knapsack along with my Asda smart price ravioli to keep the bugs at bay.
The work is easy. A nice break from months of solid wall-to-wall calls. Mostly customers are good natured, they know the snow has caused a lot of problems and are fairly sympathetic to our position. I feel I’m going to make my objective of getting through unscathed.
…… enter my last call of the day
The call from hell. It was one of those calls where they had been speaking to someone and been unhappy with what they were being offered so had put the phone down and called straight back to try to get someone else and I’d drawn the short straw. I instantly recognised the aggressive tone like a bouncer eying trouble swaggering up the street. Trouble was a coming my way.
Why oh why is it always the last call of the day?