I thought I’d post this piece I wrote about just one of the many small annoyances which make working in a call centre even harder than it has to be – headset swiping.
For a call-centre worker the headset is the most essential piece of kit much like a marines rifle.. “This is my headset there are many like it..” Officially, in the call centre, we were all individualy issued with our own headset which we were entrusted with the care of. I never got round to naming my headset, but, well, it was mine and I looked after it, neatly wrapping the lead around the headpiece and placing it snugly in my drawer at the end of each shift .
For much of my time in the call centre this arrangement continued untroubled, but as the busier Christmas periods approached headsets would start to vanish. The call centre bulging at the seams with temps dragged in off the street outside (and then spat out with a P45 just before Christmas) the problem was always there is never enough headsets to go on all these extra heads as the company was just too miserley to buy any more. This led to desperate agents rifling through drawers for other peoples headsets, often with the encouragement of management who just want to get you on the phone as quick as possible.
Predictably, before very long, things would degenerate into a never-ending cycle. For example I arrived one Monday morning, full of enthusiasm as usual, only to find my headset was missing from my drawer. At my managers suggestion promptly stole a headset and a connector unit from someone elses drawer in another desk. When that person eventually came in to find they had no headset they would then have to steal someone elses. the cycle would continue. Annoying.