Tales from a Team Lead

The Call Center Chronicles

☼ Labels: accident, recovery
So I returned to the hospital for a follow-up check up. My knees are feeling better and my wounds are not that painful anymore. The problem is, I still can't walk straight and one of my foot aches every time I step using it. Maybe it's because of the swollen muscles and veins. But it was just my speculation, and in cases like this that is not advisable.

I went to consult the doctor about it and ask when I can go back to work. But before jumping into conclusions, he looked at my x-rays. A dozen shots of my bones were placed on his lighted plate apparatus as if we were viewing a slideshow. He rechecked all by doing another round. He joked about my bones as being "xeroxed" and said that of all the xrays they did to me, the ER missed on a vital part. My toes.

In going over one xray at a time, I noticed a couple of blurry circles below my ribs. It was round as a coin to not notice so I asked him. The doc said that it was just air. And the solution to get rid of that was to ... yes... fart! Ha!

Since I have a swollen foot, he needs to see if I broke any bone on my toes too. He's jolly disposition made me less nervous for another round or radiation. He even went far as to say that he will scold the x-ray people about missing out on a vital part. And as he placed it "like going to a party and missing out on the celebrant". lol... that was kinda creepy but funny.

So I went down to the Radiology Department to have my foot "xeroxed" (as to what my doctor said). They took 2 shots, one sideways, and one facing down. The position I was told to hold made my leg ache. I knew something is still wrong with my muscles. After that, we went back to my doctor's clinic but he was not there. The secretary said that he went to an emergency surgery as one of his teenage patients had a motorcycle accident.

So I waited. And waited. And waited... It took almost 2 hours! I can actually return the next day but I have to know if I broke my toes. And I need to know if I can go to work or not.

A few snacks later, he arrived and checked my new xrays. His disposition was different now, compared to hours ago, and he was not smiling. I thought it was serious. But he said there were not fractures. Pfew! He knows the stress and weird sleeping habits of people who works in call centers so he advised to take a few more days of rest until the swollen muscles subsides. He then gave me the prescriptions and the medical certificate.

So 5 more days at home. No work and no play. Oh well... better follow the doctors orders.

☼ Labels: accident, recovery

Maybe it's fate's way of saying that I should take a break from all the stress at work. Maybe it's also a blessing in disguise that something more terrible would have happened if it wasn't for that fall.

I grew up believing that everything happens for a reason. Everything in this world is connected. Although this time, I don't know. I'm not sure if what happened to me applies. But do I really need to ask?

Today I asked my bosses about the insurance from work since the accident happened at the building of my office. Unfortunately, one of them replied and said they have talked about it and "technically, it was not within the company's premises" he said.

What?! So there are no guarantees for safety?

I spoke with my family about this and my mom got frustrated. She said that they shouldn't meddle since they are not the ones who will actually pay me. It won't come from my bosses' pockets. My sister also said that it is by law that whatever happens to an employee even after working hours, even after he left the premises, as long as he has not reached his house yet, the company is liable. Unless of course, the employee goes wandering about in other locations like a mall or something. As long as that is the daily route of the employee, it is still covered.

Laws in countries differ of course and the ignorance of the law excuses no one. But I searched for this over the net and found nothing. So best thing is to ask the doctors and consult with my parents who knows people from government institutions.

For now, I haven't really decided yet on what to do. What I'm focusing more is on recovery and taking my medications on time. I really like to go to work soon and need too! But it's always nice to take some breather once in a while...

☼ Labels: accident
Continued from Accident at Work...

Soon as I arrived at the Hospital, the nurse at the entrance took my temperature. It was a new standard procedure to check if patients have the H1N1 flu. Then I was brought in a wheel chair to the surgery emergency room for examination.

After a few questions and presentation of my Health Card, I was brought to the X-ray Department to have some "shots". Strangely, they preferred having those xrays first before treating my bleeding legs and arms.

I had about a dozen shots before they wheeled me in back to the ER for treatment. Then I realized the reason why the xrays should be first. I was calm enough for the xrays but soon as they cleaned my wounds I broke down. It was all painful and I couldn't help but bite my lips and cry. How I wished I was just unconscious during this time.

The nurse was gentle and very careful but it was the mixed cold and heat from the liquids passing on my swollen broken skin that hurts so bad. After the procedure, I was asked to wait for the xray results and for the resident doctor. I tried to sleep to at least skip time and not feel pain but I couldn't. Because, every time I close my eyes, I see myself falling again and again. It was a nightmare!

I cried again for the thought that I may have broken my legs or I would need surgery. I wanted to call my boyfriend but he would be asleep by now and I do not like to worry him. I was thinking of the scheduled vacation I have with him and the fear that it may not push through because of this. But the doctor came and a glow in his face signaled that everything would be okay.

He has seen the xrays and said that I did not break any bone and the scars will heal in time. They just needed to give me anti-tetanus shots to avoid infection. He interviewed me for a while and gave me the shots. I was given an immediate anti-tetanus vaccine and another one that will last for 5 years.

They gave me the prescriptions and schedules. I was also required to go on a follow-up check up after a few days. They also mentioned that my health card will not pay for the 2nd vaccine. So I just paid for it through credit card and the hospital ER staff told me that I could refund it from my company since I fell within company premises. All I need to do is file for an Industrial claim from the SSS and all will be fine.

And I thought, everything would be fine, soon as I can walk properly.

Right now I am staying at home and recovering from my wounds. I hope I can walk straight soon so I can go back to work. I miss my friends and my hectic schedule. But most of all, I miss my honey. I hope he is here right now to take care of me...

☼ Labels: accident, after work

It was just like a dream. Perhaps it was due to lack of sleep that caused my motor imbalance or temporary loss of visual acuity. Maybe it was just my heels or the slippery stair handles. Who knows!

What I know is that my feet did not reach the 4th step of the staircase. In a split second all I heard were echoes and voices. The words were not clear, while I felt myself falling slowly and everything turning into a blur. I tumbled and rolled like a falling log. I remembered thinking that this is not happening. This could not be real!

But it was.

And soon as I hit the ground it all went clear. I saw the floor, the staircase, my things and people all around me. I did not feel anything but my extremely aching legs! Someone tried to pull me up and someone else gave me a tissue. Another one gave me a handkerchief with two ice cubes. A guy gave me a glass of water but I refused to drink.

I was bleeding. My elbows and arms were scratched and my chin was cut. But strangely despite blood coming from these parts of my body, I do not feel them ache. I was saying to myself that I am ok. I feel that I will be ok. But I was worried that I broke my legs because they are so painful that every other wound were numb.

One of my friends asked me where it hurts and I pointed on my legs. She attempted to roll my pants up but I refused. I was afraid to show them because I know I was bleeding badly.

A few minutes more and my ride will come and get me I said. Then I will go straight to the hospital.

They all said I should have a check up right away. I said I was fine. I even joked about bouncing like a ball and that if I were skin and bones my bones are all broken by now.

My friend told me that I should take a rest tonight and not report for work or else she will get mad at me. I said I will if I can and I need to go to work tonight. It's been almost 4 months since I was last on leave and I wanted to finish this month with a clean record.

I guess some goals are meant to not be reached.

To be continued...

☼ Labels: lovelife

distance will never really keep us apart...

If you live in Manila, you would know what "traffic" really means. Traffic is part of my everyday life. But since I work at night, I do not experience traffic, I see it on the other lane.

While everyone else goes to work, I am on the other side, in a fast cab looking at how the cars are moving like turtles. And when everyone else are heading home, I am on the faster lane going to where they have been.

But it's on holidays like Father's Day that you experience "human traffic". And if you were out yesterday with the family to celebrate Father's Day, you would know what I mean.

It was my first time to visit SM Marikina. And since my job asks me to sleep during the day, the only time I can go to malls and other recreational facilities are during weekends.

We first went to Burgoo, but it was impossible to get a seat. Then we went to Max's and I tried to reserve a table for us but we were given the 10th place. At Gerry's was no big difference as we were in line too at 11th. Old Spaghetti House was just across Max's and we were at 3rd. I voted for that but my siblings protested and said the place was too small. I wondered, we are only gonna take up one table so what if its small, the food is great anyway? But of course, majority wins! And we ended up waiting the first 9 tables to be given at Max's.

It's always nice to spend time with my family as I seldom see them. I arrive home when most of them have left or about to leave then I leave home when either they aren't home yet or are already asleep. They never really complain but I know I have been missing alot because of this. I guess being the only one in the family who works at night isolates me sometimes. But it's not all disadvantage though. The good thing is... hmm... well.. hmm... uhh... what? let me think and post about it later. LOL

...and for my Papa, my brother, all my uncles, the expecting fathers and all those guys who may not be a father yet, but treat kids as their own...

...plays the tune of your beautiful soul
that captivates me anew
please don't stop playing for me
as you soothe the sorrow of our distance.

As mentioned in my previous post, my boyfriend doesn't know this blog yet. But I plan to tell him... err, soon. Tonight, as we were talking, he sent me his latest songs played on his guitar. He let me hear the unfinished ones too as I stare at his beautiful gray eyes. He may not know it but deep inside I melted hearing how great his songs were. I have the coolest man ever! And his sweet voice lingers in my thoughts now...

Sweet dreams my love, and see you soon...

Sometimes it's not just ego that keeps people from asking questions to things they don't know. It's also their determination to solve it or find the answers by themselves.

But when one already consumes too much time in trying to resolve something and still nothing works, it's time to swallow that ego. And if one is really determined to resolve that issue, there's nothing wrong in asking others.

Just like today, while I'm busy in my bay checking on the agents, the Sup from the other campaign approached me. He appeared to be confused and frustrated with an excel file sent to him. He asked me how come the columns in A to F were not showing and only G and the rest appears. I told him to "unhide" it and he claimed he tried it several times and it still did not work. He wants me to go to his desk and check it out.

But to avoid leaving my team under no supervision, (not that they can't work without one, but its just too simple for me to go over at the other end of the room to show some hidden columns) I went to my desk to show him the "trick".

I opened a sample excel file from my pc and showed him how to "unhide" the columns. He then repeated that that is what he did but it did not work. So I told him that if it's not hidden, the columns are just on freeze. I showed how to unfreeze by clicking alt+w+f. I know for a fact that shortcuts confuse him so I did that on purpose. lol But as he was not leaving my side, I got the hint that he was not able to follow. What the heck, so I just clicked "windows" + "Unfreeze". Then! That's the time he said "ahhh! I know now! Thanks! It took me an hour to figure it out!"

Uhm. You figured it out? O...kaaaay.

So I just said "Yeah, nice huh" and stapled my mouth shut and excused myself before I laugh out loud.

"an idle mind is the devil's playground"
~ American proverb.

In searching, I found out that this quote doesn't really have a particular source except that its a disambiguation of the line "Idle hands are the devil's tools". It means that Idleness is the root of mischief. This maxim has been traced back to Geoffrey Chaucer's "Tale of Melibee" (14th century).

Well, I hope there are no demons here at work, lol.

I am not used to no pressure and slow pace at work. I feel like it's like a storm. You are in the middle of the eye and it's all silent. But once the storm moves on, the strong winds, rain and flying debris come rushing in falling all abruptly on you.

We currently have no "big project" at the moment and I am just handling only a fourth of who I used to handle. People got promoted and moved to help me out. Now I am not used to not cramming, staying overtime (with no pay) to encode, fix files and send out reports.

I guess after some time anyone would get so used to what he is doing that even with closed eyes, the job will be done flawlessly. But lo! Over-confidence may also lead to disaster. It's good to be keen, particular to small details and as my boss used to say (I do not hear this from him anymore lately), "We need to be OC sometimes".

OC or obsessive compulsive, in reality, is a medical condition. This is an anxiety disorder based on the dread that something bad will happen. The sufferer feels compelled to voluntarily perform irrational, time-consuming behaviors to diminish the anxiety. But at my work, it's the same except for the word "irrational".

Sure, we have to be extra careful even if it takes us hours and hours to figure out what's wrong or find other possible solutions. I guess I am trained this way and I see right away a small flaw, a detail, that is often not seen by first glance by others. The tendency for this attitude is positive, as people (even Sups or your own boss too!) approaches you to ask your advice or look at their work.

Now going back to the "storm"... Let's see in the coming days if we get busy or not. Maybe my boss is just not divulging any information at the moment but I sense it. For now, I am prepared and will keep my poise. Although at the moment, let me sit back, enjoy the dull moment and breathe...

Today I made another blog for a colleague. So that sums up to 7 blogs created for co-workers. And three of which are just for one person. Two are not being updated anymore and... oh wait! I made 3 more which are not being updated too since the owners have resigned from the company. Maybe they made "secret blogs" which I was not made aware of? Aha... hmm...

Okay, so the grand total is actually 10. Yes a whopping TEN original blogger designs! All linked to my former art blog. (Well, I scratched the "former" coz I was in hiatus there for months but am now trying to post at least once a month.)
So what if that blog has a 4 Pagerank? I don't even care about those and funny how others desperately want a Pagerank of 4 or above.

Due to the popularity (*ehem*) of that blog, suddenly I just wanna drop it off. Hot like a bomb. lol... I don't know but sometimes I crave for anonymity. My boyfriend doesn't even know this blog yet. Well I am planning to tell him... soon. I know he won't mind. But I also know that he would tell me to avoid being "too personal". He is a private person, of course, and he would not like it if his family finds out his blog too.

Strangely, for me, since there are "real people" who knows my Art blog (Ha! I make it sound as if I have more blogs!) I really do not care anymore if my family finds and read it. Who would like to dig up old posts about me anyway? That blog dates back to 2004 and my first entries were dark and "gothic" (if I am allowed to use that word).

Oh well.

Anyhoo, here's a cute personality quiz I just took up at blogthings:

You Are 86% Addicted to the Internet

The internet is your life - seriously.

You spend so much time online, you should be a dot com millionaire!

Uhuh. Yeah right..

And so the payslips came in yesterday. Complaints from the Sup in another campaign and his agents were spreading. Apparently, they were not paid on a weekend that they came in. And the Sup announced a 2k deduction. So... he was being paid 2k per day then. And his Team Lead confirmed that he was also deducted 1.4k. All these were announced on their bay. But of course, I heard it way back here in mine.

Another rant aside, yes, I am being paid less and almost half lower than the other Team Lead. And I was promoted a year before he was. I guess seniority doesn't count. Unfortunately, Hard Work and Skills do not count either. And what does then?

And speaking of seniority, our dear boss is not around too. The canceled Management dinner was never discussed in any meeting yesterday. Oh well.

Strangely, I'm thinking of pizza pasta and pesto. I wonder why. seven, make that two minutes to go before break time. Good. I'm starving...

I woke up earlier than usual today. I checked my phone and there were no messages. So it seems that despite the rain, our management meeting will push through. So I got up and prepared.

On my way to the restaurant, the big boss sent me a text message, asking if we still want to push through. WHAT??!! After a few seconds he sent another message and said that the meeting is canceled because of the rain. We will talk about the re-sched on a meeting tonight at work.

Two Points:

(1) We can have a meeting at work all along. Why the trouble in a restaurant? What's so confidential about it? Or is it one of those "bonding" things he wants to have amongst us?

(2) Since when does rain affect meetings? It's not like there is a storm or flood. It's just an ordinary rain, and let me remind you that we are in a tropical country!

Update: We just received our payslips today.

Thanks to google.com.ph for placing this beautiful tribute! And just for today, a special one day signature was affixed to all my reports:

Happy Independence Day!

Yes, even to our international bosses. You got it! While everyone else is having a holiday, watching fireworks, (or concerts in several places) BBQ, spending quality time with their families, here we are at work. Calling... and being called. So what if its double pay?

Yeah, independence alright. Brr...

Not that I am complaining too much. I am just complaining "a little". LOL

But its really a buzz here in almost every corner of each room. People are discreetly talking about it and nobody admits out in the open.

Last payday, we were delayed by a bank holiday and on the opening of classes, some agents with children do not have money at hand and over the weekend. Today, I was surprised by the news that we already have pay!

Everyone was expecting to receive their salaries on Monday since it is the 15th of the month, but just 2 days after the cut off, the money is already in. Strange. So, they can finish it in 2 days all along.

But there is a catch. We do no have the payslips yet.

*Apologies for the blasphemous photo above. If anyone is offended, please go over and visit the FSM aka Flying Spaghetti Monster.

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...God created the heavens and the earth... And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning — the first day. ~ Genesis 1:1&3

But on this side of the planet, in this very place, this city, this building, this room, in this very seat, we make days into nights and nights into day.

We base the time when we should go to sleep and should wake up on the time Americans wake up and go to sleep. We force ourselves to hide under the sheets while everyone else in the family are preparing to go out in a weekend or watching loud TV. And while the sun beams through our windows in the peak of the afternoon, we had no choice but to shut our eyes and ears.

If we do not sleep in the afternoon, we won't stand being awake all night way past midnight til the sun rises. This is where we can testify that coffee is not really effective in keeping people awake. And falling sleep means trouble!

Yes, this is the life of those who work in a call center. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

So, sit back on your cozy chair and grab a popcorn, or your favorite chips (a bottle of beer would be fine too) and prepare to read the boring yet exciting, monotonous yet unpredictable, funny yet stressful life of working in a Call Center here in the Philippines.

Okay, now time for me to take my break and eat lunch. Err, midnight snack? Ugh. Whatever...

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I work in a Call Center. My daily life includes coffee, aspirins, coffee, my love life, my family, more coffee, my friends, blogging, even more coffee, insomnia, dreams and daydreaming and oh.. yes,
my job.


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