So far this week has been our quietest of the year. On Tuesday there must have been about only five or six of us in and even then people were being encouraged to take a half-day as there are simply not enough calls to go round. The double bank holidays haven’t really helped us as for one of our principal clients it has caused a lot of disruption around delivery dates so their business has taken a dip. Whether it then bounces back will be a big litmus test for the business otherwise it will be a pretty bleak summer and we may even see some compulsory lay-offs before things pick up in the final third of the year as we build up to the manic crescendo that is our Christmas period.
We do have one company which sells summer goods and whose business has picked up a bit as the sun has put in an appearance providing us with a glimmer of hope. However, despite us taking on their order-line sometime last year and a few months back taking on their full customer service we still haven’t been given any training, or even been shown their products – all we have is some info printed off from their website which seeing as most customers are already looking at this info themselves is as useful as, well, it’s just not useful at all and leads to us looking stupid:
Customer: Hi, I was just wondering if you do replacement thingymajigs
Me: What thingymajig do you mean?
Customer: You know the thingymajig which fits into the whatsistname
Me: I’m afraid I don’t know what either the thingymajig or whatsitsname is
Customer: Do you know anything about these products?
Me: I’m afraid not, I’ll have to get someone to call you back.
Customer: How long will that take?
Me: I’m afraid the call-back policy is 48 hours.
Customer: Can’t you ask someone who does know?
Me: I’m afraid company ‘bums on seats’ policy prevents me from leaving my desk if I do I will receive a black mark against my name..
Maybe the last bit is made up, but this is actually how some conversations go simply because I’m not given the tools I need to do my job so I get to look like an obstinate fool all summer long.