Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Notes From the Ground Zero at Corporate Hell (Part V)

Today, I have the good fortune of working beside someone who happens to be similarly named to that of a notorious serial killer. Just perfect.

It's a bit disconcerting to say the least to be sitting with somebody who also has a name that too closely resembles that of the Son of Sam murderer who terrorized the borroughs of New York City back in the summer of 1977 and then later claimed that he was ordered by the neighbor’s dog who would talk to him in the middle of the night?

Just fucking perfect!

It’s bad enough that I’m shackled to this cubicle by a black stretchy headset cord that makes me feel like a helmeted spastic child harnessed to his mothers shopping cart as she works her way up and down the aisles at Zehers, but now I also have to work beside some dude* who may, or may not, suddenly freak out and begin shooting people in the back of the head because he’s now taking orders from my evil coffee mug or something.

Or maybe, he could be suddenly possessed by evil voices and sent spiraling into a realm of crazed dementia after a prolonged exposure to an Abba tune while on hold for an “Account Specialist”, and begins bashing me in the back of the head with his computer keyboard screaming: “Hold THIS, Dancing Queen!”.

I haven’t felt this discombobulated at work since the old days when I worked in the “Kill Zone”, across from Charlie Manson on the other side of the building.

But now that I think about it, this kind of character and personality is not so different from anyone else that happens to be sitting around me on any regular day. Any of these freaks could be potential serial killer types…any one of them would make Gary Busy look well adjusted as it is. Even George Lucas’ ‘Industrial Light & Magic Studio' couldn’t make this rag-tag group of Call Center delinquents look professional.

I bet if any one of our customers who call in on any given day had the ability to see down the telephone line to who was handling their delicate and dire personal financial crises, they would probably be instantly struck with the sudden impulse to begin hammering wooden spikes through human chest cavities.

Call Center workers, are customarily an ugly breed. It’s like working with the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow! The voices you hear over the telephone each time you call to complain, bitch, and moan about the less-than-desirable services you have been rendered or the extortionate fees and charges that have been made to your account as per some small fine print technicality, may be sweet, soothing, sympathetic, and professionally sterile…but to gaze upon them in person you’d have an easier time imagining yourself at a Nine Inch Nails concert.

It’s cubicle-to-cubicle lip rings, ear plugs, tongue studs, and septum hoops as far as the eye can see. I bet there are enough unnatural punched holes in the bodies working around me each day that would be capable of straining an entire 5-gallon drum of spaghetti quicker than any colander hanging on any kitchen wall. I would expect that any ordinary Customer Service Representatives (CSR’s) or Collections “Negotiations Experts” could continue working and communicating effectively even if they were to be stricken with laryngitis **, by simply clicking their tongue rings on the headset mouthpieces in Morse code. I’d love to be ‘Quality Control’ listening in on that call, eh? The muted CSR would be clicking away with their tongue piercing like an irate Indonesian tribesman on crack…and possibly sounding like a heated debate between two “talking” horses at the County Fair arguing about their portions of oates!

Here in the faceless world of Corporate Hell, this is the accepted norm: real people, performing a really shitty job. End of story! The business world grinds on, and so does the insanity within the walls of our very own office place Ground Zero. Competition wages fiercely among the corporate zombies, but it’s not brains they are seeking…its “Management” positions.

Basically, it’s like coming to work in a high school gymnasium during Cheerleader tryouts as all the junior representatives rush around before the bosses just eager to fucking please. It’s enough to make a bitter disgruntled employee of long standing, such as myself, to hang themselves by their own headset cords from the industrial-sized air vents in the ceiling above us.

I already march to the beat of my own funky drummer, and if I were ever to be considered for a “management” position…I would like to think it was because I was the most knowledgeable and qualified. Not because I thoughtlessly jumped through all the right corporate hoops and hurdles and completed some fucking online correspondence course on my own (non-paid) time as required by my set “Career Pathing”. I’m not just about to revert back to doing the Chicken Dance just because someone changes the beat.

As I see it, I am already “Career Pathing”. What better way to qualify myself for as little responsibility and effort as possible than by sitting on my fat ass all day, sucking back the Tim Horton’s ‘double-doubles’ by the dozen, and picking fights with financially challenged bumpkins over the phone about their chances of having the most recent Past Due fee removed from their account.

Of course, the fact that I am currently sitting beside someone who could be the next Son of Sam certainly isn’t go to hinder my chances of promotion either. I mean, who else is going to want to work with or sit beside some guy with the same name as a notorious serial killer anyways, right? At least I’m then guaranteed to be yodeling from the top of the Corporate Ladder before this poor bastard!

* Whom it must be noted, is an uber-friendly sort of fellow who happens to always be smiling. This guy smiles so much he'd make a dolphin feel uncomfortable.

** Or had a complete tachometry altogether from too many unfiltered cigarettes on their lunch breaks.


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