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Phone Interview

I’m going to tell you a very long story.

I felt more burnt out today. At 9:23am, I didn’t know whether I would be able to survive throughout the day because I’ve been talking to a customer who doesn’t seem to be listening to what I’m saying and we ended up arguing. Not the screaming kind but I was trying to talk some sense to her.

It went on and on. It wasn’t solved yet till the end of the day. I was being treated like a fool too because I didn’t know how to solve it so I went round asking. Different people are giving me different answers which resulted in me calling up the customer and telling them different things each time. I hated that, really.

People like me would find it hard to survive in a customer service environment when the customers are the very aggressive kind. I would always want to help someone but when people know you are nice, they step all over you, which is why I think you need someone who is not afraid to be firm and not nice to get the message across.

A colleague of mine shares certain characteristics like mine. She’s very kind-hearted and would try to help the customers in all possible way that she could, which at times would really get you into unwanted trouble. So, another colleague of hers couldn’t stand seeing her being taken advantage by the customer, she advised her to just be firm but it sounded quite harsh because I felt the pressure. I was there too when they were talking.

I felt bad for her for a while there because I know it’s not her fault when all she is trying to do is help. But I also understand why her colleague is advising her to not be too nice.

After that, she came over to my desk and told me her story. I listened and she paused. I could see tears about to roll down her cheeks but she didn’t cry. She just swallowed everything back again. I put my hands on her shoulders while we were walking to my desk again in the afternoon to tell her indirectly that it’s okay and I’m here to listen.

Remember the guy who asked me what to do if the buyer doesn’t pay him? He called me three times yesterday and I’ve been telling him the same thing that I didn’t know what else to tell him if he were to call today.

He gave me a surprise by appearing in the office and he was specifically looking for me. The receptionist came to me with his name card and upon reading the name on the card, I almost fainted. He’s a General Manager of his company. Oh my God!

I panicked a little. So, I told Mr.Boss that there’s this customer outside waiting for me but I just don’t know what to tell him and answer his questions. I was hoping to get some guidance from Mr.Boss so that I would be able to handle the customer. But he offered to meet him instead. I asked whether I would need to come along because the customer hasn’t meet me yet and I thought it would be courtesy to just show up since he wanted to look for me in the first place.

Mr.Boss then hesitated and thought that the right person to talk to the customer would be the Customer Service Manager. So, I went to talk to her but instead of offering herself to talk to the customer, she was telling me exactly what I should tell. So, that left me with no choice but to talk to this guy all by myself. Do or die.

I went out and greeted him. He told me the exact story he told yesterday and I told him the exact same answer I told him yesterday. He wanted more so I told him I’ll check while he waits. Hopped back into the office and asked my colleagues but they couldn’t give me a definite answer just then because we would need to contact the office in South Africa to get more details. So, I went out again to tell him that it’s better that he writes to us so that we can follow up from there. I felt bad for not being able to help him there and then.

He asked for my name card and I gave him mine. That was scary. Talking to someone when you don’t know exactly how it should work. I wasn’t confident at all when I was talking to him but I tried not to show it.

So, yeah, I can expect him to continue bugging me in his thick accent. I need to talk to people like that more often to build up my courage. If given a second time, I think I would be able to handle it better.

Next story.

Two customers were surprised when I told them I’m a Chinese because they thought I’m a Malay.

Another customer asked whether I’m new here. I told her it’s going to be a year.

“You are still new. That’s why you are so soft and nice. If you work longer, you won’t sound like that anymore.”

“Ha! But I don’t want to become like that.” I told her. She then laughed by herself.

She’s the easy-going type of person. She speaks like she’s always happy and each time after she says something, she would laugh. It’s uplifting to just hear her laugh.

More new staff are answering calls which meant more questions for me. It can be that I’m answering the call on one line and then comes a person in front of me asking you question and then someone on your right, asking another question at the same time. Which do you answer? I had to multi-answer at the same time. Tell customer a bit while I put them on hold and check. Answer the one in front of me quickly to get her kill the call. Answered the phone again telling the customer a bit of what I’ve found and then answering the one on my right so that he can get his invoice printed.

It was like working in Bursa Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. Very busy.

After working hours, another person still came to me with one question so I helped her, while looking frantically at my watch. I had to leave the office as soon as possible for my phone interview. Luckily, I was just in time to order a can of soya bean while I took out my resume and details of the company, a pen and waited for the most important call of the day.

Two people interviewed me. The HR person and the immediate supervisor. It was only 20 minutes long. But I found it interesting, it being my first phone interview and that they sounded like really nice people. They asked me what kind of job I’m looking for. I told the them the truth which isn’t exactly 100% matching the position I’m applying now but indicated that I’m open to try other IT job opportunities.

The question that I felt most comfortable answering was, “How do you feel about your current job?”

“I used to enjoy my current job but it’s starting to get a little routine now and I don’t derive job satisfaction from it lately so I want more challenges.”

Now, let’s just see whether I will pass the screening test. If yes, then I’m going to the next screening level. The real interview by a person of a higher position.

Drove home and while I was sending my colleague home (I happen to meet her while I was coming down using the lift after the interview), we heard that the hitz.fm crews were somewhere near where we were. My colleague sounded so excited and so I drove us there to meet the crews for some goodies.

I got myself an F &N drink, a Biotherm moisturiser sample, Dentyne, a pocket calendar, a car sticker, a Fort Minor poster, tickets to watch the Fifa World Cup Trophy Tour. Not in Germany, babe, but the World Cup is touring the world and you get a chance to see the real world cup. The cup itself only at Berjaya Times Square.

Came back home and had to answer more calls. Mr.Boyfriend called. Mummy called. Pappy called. My parents are more excited than I am about the phone interview.

Good night!

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