January 9, 2014

To Do Or Not To Do

So, after a few months off of work, I landed a 2 month contract job at a company that does basic support for colleges. Roughly about 160 schools world wide. Groups were formed so each groups covers anywhere from 10-15 schools.

It was a two week training period then on the phones. One one hand, it's easy, but on the other it's a little difficult. Being able to quickly locate the information needed among a few pages of documentation. Making sure you follow that particular schools procedures.

It's always best effort, always is. Yesterday though, it seemed like a bad day. They want 7 1/2 min avg of calls for the day. Whether you take 10 calls or 40 calls. But yesterday, every 10 minutes, someone was over there, "You  need help?" "You okay?" It made me feel like I couldn't handle the job. A job I've been doing for the better part of 10 years.

Slow PC's, slow network connections, slow people. It was all adding up. But it seemed they were getting annoyed that I had some longer than normal calls. But when troubleshooting a PC, it's not a snap of the finger. When someone can't type correctly, it's not a wave of a magic wand.

I was getting frustrated to the point of getting angry. If I needed help because I couldn't locate something that I needed, then yes, I would ask for help. But when you come over and you hear me asking or telling the customer what they need to do, or where to go, don't assume.

One of my last calls last night, was a student who was having major issues with the Black Board site of the school. getting java and Media Player plugin errors. There was nothing really to do, other than troubleshoot the PC. Started out by clearing the caches in both her IE and Firefox. Still having issues. Uninstalling Java and reinstalling, same issue. Tried Chrome, though not supported by the school, same issue. Had a second PC, tried that. Took a few minutes for it to boot up. Same issue. Contacted a lead to see if there was a possible issue starting. Explained why. They said no. The Java on the second PC was out of date. uninstalled and installed the new version. Same issue.

Lead came over a few times during this 45 min call. Wanting to know if I was okay. Each time, I told him what the issue was and where we were in the TS process. He seemed a little agitated because now the numbers were way off. He advised me to power cycle the students modem. If the ISP made changes, it could have an effect. So I did. Same issue on both PC's.

Asked the student when the issue started, she replied earlier that day. last option was a system restore. Knowing that can take anywhere from 15 min to an hour, depending on the PC, i walked her through getting it started and let her go. Advised her that, if it was still happening, to get in contact with other students in her online class and see if they are having the same issue. if so, then it's an issue with the Black Board software. If not, it's definitely on her PC or network. To have it looked at.

I come into this job with a technical background. High customer service skills. I'm averaging about 14 minutes a call. It doesn't help when you get long calls like this either. I know, after the two months is up, I doubt they will keep me on as a regular full time employee, much less a contractor.

Doing what I do best, I try to get what they want. Just sometimes, things are out of our control. And making me feel like I can't do the job, doesn't help one bit.



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