16

Today’s a day I feel happy and excited to go to work after such a long long time. I still dreaded thinking about going to work this morning that I hugged onto Ducky longer than I should. I hugged her really tight then I told myself, “Come on, Grace. Get up!”

Reached the office and saw a new headset and I didn’t know how to use it. The new VOIP phone system went live today and all of us were thrown to use the new system, juggling ourselves with the new phone, the new soft phone (a software that allows you to answer your calls with a click of the mouse), the phone directories that changed overnight (we had to re-learn all the numbers again). Now when customers call us, there would hear something like, “Thank you for calling our company. For English, Press 1. Untuk Bahasa Malaysia, sila tekan 2” kind of intro which voice belonged to one of my colleague of the same department.

“Eh Grace, kenapa guna suara Ms.R eh?”

It took me a while to get what the customer was talking about. Then it rang a bell.

“Oh, sebab suara dia seksi.”

“Hahah. Tapi suara Grace pun seksi.”

“Haha. Tak lah, tak cukup seksi.”

New phone system is quite cool, gives you a very advanced kind of feeling. We were all in a mess trying to get it connected that we only started our normal operations at 9am instead of the usual 8:30am.

The software is quite cool too that you could answer your phone, put it on hold with just a click of the mouse. It comes with a statistics as well which measures the total number of calls you’ve handled, total time used to handle calls, total talking time, total time “not ready”, total “hold” time.

Now I can choose whether to put my status as “Ready” or “Not Ready”. So when I’m Ready, the calls would come in and every call is assigned to one call agent. You would have no choice but to kill it. If you’re Not Ready, the call would not come to you until you make yourself ready again. So, yeah, hopefully my boss won’t set a specific “Not Ready” that we are entitled to have because then it would be so stressful to just limit yourself how much rest time you could have.

The General Manager came over to our desks today and he joked about something and then he mentioned my name but unfortunately, I was on a call. I heard my name but I couldn’t answer him. Then he continued talking to the rest. He then came back to ask whether I was still on the line and I nodded my head while talking to the customer.

Then, he came to talk to me again during the forum that we had in a hotel this evening while I went to get my cup of tea from the waiter. He was standing next to me, wanting to get himself a cuppa too.

“How’s things?”

“Okay.”

“Is it a busy day?”

“Yes.”

“Yeah, couldn’t get to talk to you because you are on the phone all the time.”

I smiled.

Then he continued asking about the new phone system and I explained a little to him.

Sometimes, when someone so high up talks to me, I feel very excited and can be very tongue-tied. It’s like you want to make sure you don’t sound stupid but at the same time appear fun and friendly to talk to. I’m still learning to tackle that but it was nice to have talked to the GM.

Today’s quite a day to remember as well because 16 new staff joined us today. 16 new joinees on 16th Jan. Cool, huh? And they all come under Customer Service and Customer Care Centre. Got to know a new girl. She’s a fresh graduate, studied Chemistry and would be doing the exact same thing I’m doing now. She was saying she studied a field totally out of what she’s going to do now and I can relate to that.

Then, another colleague told her, “Grace is the person you would want to talk to because she’s one of the pioneers in this call centre and she keeps all the systems updated.”

Wow! Yes, I was one of the pioneers but I’m certainly not the person who keeps ALL the systems updated but only the intranet.

So, new girl said, “Hmm, I definitely need to catch up with you!”

Listened to the rants of another colleague who was just transferred to the Logistics department and it is quite hectic for her that she gets call at 9pm from customer telling her they are unable to collect the container from the depot. Then, the HR Executive came in and told us that we are lucky to be here instead of the logistics department. If you want to be peaceful and happy, then Call Centre is the best choice for you.

She just made the whole thing sound so simple and then I thought over it and she is quite true in certain ways. She also added that, “If you’re bored with being in Call Centre and you want a more challenging position, then you could try logistics.”

For a moment there, I felt like staying a little longer with the company. That’s typical me, easily brainwashed by people. Whenever one states something that sounds logical, I would put some thought into it and if it sounds right, I would think more about it. It was also the same HR person that convinced me in coming to the interview because I initially rejected the interview on the morning of the interview itself and she sounded so disappointed. Even though it was my first time looking for a job but I’ve never seen a HR that would get upset that I’m not coming for the interview. She insisted that I give it a try and which I did.

I went to the company, all blur and lost, because as much as I wanted to just give it a try but deep down inside, I know I just wouldn’t want to be in this. Somehow, she managed to talk some sense into me and so I took the chance and dip myself into a world so unknown to me. I know I didn’t do very well in the interview because I didn’t really prepare of what to answer if the Customer Service Manager asked me on questions like, “What would you do if you get an angry customer?” and stuff like that. I just answered all that I know.

Eventually, the manager found that I’m a very quiet person because probably, I didn’t talk enough in the interview but this HR person, she was so eager to get me this job that she told me if I really want this job, she would be able to help me.

Still not knowing whether I want this job, I told her I REALLY want this job. I told you I’m all blur and lost. Directionless.

It still surprises me how I landed myself a job here because most of the people here are very outspoken. I mean really outspoken. That’s why at times I feel like I don’t belong here. Like how one of the seniors would always tease me saying, “Grace will only speak when spoken to.” It’s sarcastic but very true. As much as I can, I’m trying to minimise that effect I have on someone.

But then, if I asked what is it really that I want to do, what is that I truly desire and what is that I really want to achieve in the longer run, I could say I wouldn’t want to always work in a Call Centre. I don’t know whether this happy feeling is just temporary but I’m still going to look for a job and if a better offer comes along, it is time to re-think and decide again.

The problem with me is I think too much with my heart sometimes instead of my head.

Whatever it is, I’m all eager to use the new phone system again and at the same time all eager to get at least another interview.

May your day be a good one!

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