Convergys Call Center Sucks Because Agents Are Stabbing Each Other And Making Out In The Halls

Customer service agents making out in the halls, employee knife fights, and overflowing commodes are just some of the reasons listed in this flameout resignation letter for why customer service seems to suck so much sometimes. The author worked at a Hazlewood, MO call center for Convergys, one of the leading companies for outsourced call center support. Some of their clients include Comcast, Walmart, and SBC. They also used to do AOL’s.

As you read the letter, you may think, oh, he’s whiny because he wants his special disabled person’s monitor and keyboard rest. Then you get to the part where you find out the disability came from getting hit on his way to work by a Mack Truck, in icy conditions, potentially because the call center would never close even when the roads were dangerous. Then you go “ohhh” and everything you read up until that point starts to crystallize…

UPDATE: We should mention this letter was accompanied by other resignation letters, which were spell-checked and grammatically correct, which corroborated this letter’s contents, but were not made available for release.

from: [redacted]
Subject: call center from hell
To: clint.streit@convergys.com, john.pratt@convergys.com

Mr. Streit please let me introduce myself. My name is [redacted] and I am an agent in the Hazelwood, MO call center where I have been employed for approx four months. I am writing to inform you that the experience leaves me without words. And most of the time this is a difficult task not just because I have been described as having the gift of gab, but I am capable of translating five languages. You probably are asking what is it about your call center that that leaves me confounded, well let me count the ways:

1. the dress code which ranges from ghetto ridiculous (for the men), to street walker chic (for the women). Women have their breast almost totally exposed, and let’s not forget the other end in short dresses. This is true of our acting assistant OM. When I ask why the dress code is not enforced they state they are worried that they will be charged with sexual harassment. This is not true – we have a dress code and it needs to be enforced. I don’t wish to see it. The men need to pull up their jeans – they are out of high school and need to dress for work. Then there are the dirty / ripped / stained clothes. Please help us

2. the amount of violence that takes place there on a regular basis, and I do mean literal fist fights both on the work floor and out in front of the building, (one simply needs to contact Hazelwood Police department for that numbers of arrests taken place this year). A few weeks back I had the experience of being in a hall with about 30 people coming towards me and 2 men fighting. I also heard one threaten the other with stabbing. He was one of our floor roamers / acting supervisors. He is no longer there. I am hoping it is because I did report it to Vanessa in HR. The women are just as bad. I have just missed being hit because of a fight in the woman’s room.

3. the perpetual booty call, this for the unlearned is the constant picking up, making out which has obviously taken precedence over call handling ( this practice is not left to the agents it seems to be a normal practice among a lot of your team leaders as well). I have personally reported the making out in the hallways to HR and was told to say something to the participants. I think not. Yes I am on a team leader’s team – and I have requested to be moved since they put me on his team. I asked because I am also disabled and need a Team Leader to do this job and know what a reasonable accommodation is. He is the joke on the floor – the whole day he spends going from sweet young girl after girl flirting. Everyone knows he doesn’t do his job yet he is allowed to continue on. This would be Corey Cambell. I am very upset that no one will help me so I suffer. Today I had to leave because the stress this puts on me cause me to start throwing up, I also have been unable to eat this week. Vanessa keeps putting me off. This is over a month.
Issues:
1 I need to have the raise I was to get in Oct given to me and the back pay.
2 I was suppose to have a special keyboard because of surgery I had on my hands and a riser for a monitor that went missing when SBC left and we went to Comcast project. That was 2 years ago.
3 This center is open regardless of the weather. Last week they were open when we had an ice storm followed by a foot of snow. We still have people without power. The have no concern for the employees and their health or their life. Beside which the lot was still ice when I came to work Monday and this includes the handicapped spaces. Trust me you do not want a disabled person falling because Convergys refuses to do reasonable accommodation.
4 And while were on it what about religious accommodation? You know they don’t bother.
5 yes we have UTO’s and PTO’s but try to use them. You have to request those 3 or greater weeks in advance and even then you can’t use them most the time. The block they use or if you sick and when you call the automated system it won’t allow the use. No exceptions for doctor visits either other than they will give you 1 infraction as apposed to several. But if you’re iced in for days then they won’t work with you; the exception to this is those who do not call in and their tl fixes the problem. So unfair.
6 Fix my schedule – 8 am to 4:30 and lunch at 11:30 which was approve ages ago.There are more problems with my tl that Vanessa has been looking into for over a month – unresolved.
4. Team lead seems to imply the leading of a team. Not here it most often means picking the least trained and most irresponsible agents and setting them lose on the floor to assists those agent who need assistance with problems, irate customers, and to handle request from customers to speak to a supervisor. I find this really amusing since quite a lot of these mental midgets come over to the commercial/floor support team I work on and ask for help. lol

All I can say here is OH MY GOD. Training consists of web surfing and breaks – long breaks. I have been thru more training classes than I care to say. They test you but trainers give the answers to the test and people who I know still didn’t pass the tests and went on and working. Check employee over turn. It’s sad to see. And some many people – good people fired for fabricated reasons while others who are just ignored for their infractions. team leaders refuse to take any sup calls because we have no way of helping these customers anyway. So now anyone who came out of training can roam and act as supervisors. This is ridicules and shame on them.

Yesterday I roamed because floor support begged me to and no one knows how to use tools. Agents allowed to roam have no knowledge themselves of how to do simple tasks. Let alone procedures and policies.
5. When one walks the floor you can always find a group of residential agents without their headphones either standing around like they are back on the block or kicked backed in their chairs like they are lounging on the front porch on a nice summer’s eve without concern. Oh yeah one cannot omit sing-a-longs and rap-a-thons.

Yesterday when I was roaming a girl answered her cell and put her phone in aux then left the quad to continue her conversation. We are not allowed to have cell phones on when on the floor or to use aux for that reason. You’ve got gay and straights making out in the halls.

Let’s talk food – we’re not allowed to eat food on the floor but yet we find spoiled half eaten food in drawers or on the desks/ I spend most mornings cleaning my station and that is not my job. We lost pre-shift which means we must either arrive extra early and work while not being paid. Make-shifts was to allow us time to get all the tools opened and ready to handle calls. I believe that is illegal.

6 A certain TL sitting at his desk while one of the agents is photographing him while he is entertaining another female agent (the infamous booty call) yes – and so many other things – like they eat at their desks.

I had a bad experience with a different team leader, who had the nerve to ask me if I was on drugs. This was in SEC days. I could go on for ages about the team leader but I won’t.

7. HR employees who attempt to interfere with law enforcement officers serving summons upon one employee (mashona jankins) by only telling the officer that he does not work there anymore, but also going as far as to making this statement in writing on the summons (2) themselves, which are now in custody of the judge. However, this employee failed to interfere with the Hazelwood police when they served him the third time, when they identified his car was parked in the company parking lot while he was at work . This situation is really deplorable on several levels (a) he was being summoned to court so a young lady who was once an employee at convergys could get an order of protection against him… (his crime you ask…assault and attempted rape! (b)since the HR employee represents Convergys and the Client Walmart.com they both could be held liable for the behavior of this violent man.. But I, guess that’s a situation for legal minds to work out.

8. the level of cleanliness is abhorrent, when you go into the men’s room and you see that the floor is used as often as the commodes….1 person doing maintenance for how many hundred people? can you say the potential birth place for Hepatitis A through Z.

Again poor Jessie – he always has a smile for us and he does his best to clean the whole building by himself but he can only do so much – again ridicules. Yet he would never complain himself.

Women can’t seem to use the bathroom the right way; they back up and spray hitting everything. And the handicapped stall has been out of order for weeks. Yes there is another but other people us it and that is against the law just like disabled parking. I have also asked them to keep people from using someone else’s handicapped sticker and too keep people from parking in the spaces between the disabled spots, as this blocks people from getting into their cars. I finally started calling the police myself and they gave 5 Convergys managers tickets – they we not very happy with me. But Convergys can ask them for the pink slip and verify that the person is who this plate is for, they refuse to either make sure people are not in-between the parking spaces and they are still doing this. Yet if one of the employees are in their visitors spots they tow the car.

9. Failure by HR to honor the People’s with Disability Act by not providing disabled persons such as myself with equipment necessary to provide a comfortable working environment such as an ergonomic chair which would offer support to my cervical spine (which has had multiple surgical procedures) and both my knees which together have been through at least twelve surgical procedures. I keep being told the chair has been ordered by HR even I have played the game and jumped through every hoop they placed before me and my physician, but it never seems to arrive and I continue to report to work and endure the pain as I can. But this is another issue for legal minds to explore…

It took me 1 full year to get my chair – keyboard and riser. They would not get me it until I got EEOC to come in and enforce the rules. Again I have asked them to do things I want off Christmas – Dec. 25 for religious accommodations – I am a minister, so is [redacted]. I also need to be off when there are ice or snow storms, again because the lot is not cleaned and if I fall I will hold Convergys liable.

When I am ill or must see my doctor I would like my UTO or PTO to be honored. They also owe me a neck roll for my neck which I never received. I can only fight so hard because the toll it takes on me is harsh.

10. Or perhaps when you interview for a position that you never applied for but was requested to attend by the former Dir of HR Anthony Garza and you never hear anything and you go to HR to find out what the deal is. You are told that you were not considered for a second interview and when you ask why you are told by hr personnel that she doesn’t know and no reason was give to her or put in the file. Or maybe, when you apply for a position such as team lead and you are given the application back by your TL and told you are not being considered for the position but his name is the only name on the application approving you for consideration and neither the OM nor Kristie Reinik who have made the decision have signed the document. And when you ask who refused only Anne Isolm signs the document stating you have not beet employed long enough (even though most everyone with a brain is aware of the exception clause to the 180 day rule), to heck with your managerial experience, your graduate degree and two undergraduate degrees, your employment history that more than qualifies you for the position, and lets not forget the lateral position changes from residential agent to commercial agent in 30 days not 180 days which I did not request but was drafted for. But I guess these types of employment shifts are suitable, but can they really think this is the best use of someone with my talents? Or is there something else going on? Just thinking out loud. I will attach my resume for you to glance at, at you leisure.

Promotions are not based on seniority and forget the stupid scores that they say they go by because if you go by those you only get what the Tl does – they do the ratings and some of my scores are based on medical needs which are pure discrimination. I was also denied the right to apply for promotions because I am disabled. I also am on part time schedule due to medical, I was hit by a mac truck going to work on a day when the weather was icy and they would not let me off. Again next time I will be holding Convergys responsible. no idea what I expect from you or you company, I guess I need to write this to you since the situation at work today was so deplorable that I couldn’t work the whole day. But I guess that’s my problem huh? I sincerely hope not.

We all know that if you call the Hazelwood office they will deny everything and probably label me as disgruntled or a trouble maker or something. Oh well, can’t do nothing about that.

True = lies lie’s lies not only lies but employee files go missing. Mine did, and a woman who was pregnant and on fmla was lost so when she came back she had to start at the base pay. Again illegal. I don’t know how many ways we can say it but the place is absolutely horrid. Last holiday peoples pay checks went missing… And we have been ordered to lie to the customer regarding the merger from adelphia to comcast and people and businesses being off line and this are comcasts fault. Why do I have to lie or loose my job? I am a minister, this is a violation of my morals. I love my job as far as helping, and working with people. I should not have to battle with my employer. This is absolutely a nightmare.

We also know that if you announce a visit their will be a cracking of the whip and do a temporary clean up and tap dance around the issues presented above and the call center will return to its normal state of chaos and depravity.

Comments

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  1. pdxguy says:

    Wow! Sounds like the ninth level of hell.

    • good2know says:

      @pdxguy: I worked for Convergys in TN for almost a year and I gotta tell ya, that kind of behavior is rampant through out that company. At the center I worked, there were fights among employees, car vandalism, and a scabies outbreak! It truly was hellacious. I walked out of that job and never looked back.

  2. Chicago7 says:

    Anybody else look at that picture and start snapping their fingers?

    No? Just me?

  3. Eric says:

    Holy Shit! This person loves to complain about everything! Get a new fucking job if it is that bad, don’t stay for years!

    • Mr. Hate says:

      Easy for you to say. We were told this place is like Eden and will cater to your every whim, like any shift you want. Once your through the door, reality sets in and you start to realize…. this place blows. What keeps people here, is other people. I have met so many women and close freinds, but at the end of the day that is all you have

  4. amsmith.dmycm says:

    I worked at a place just like that in the Lake of the Ozarks area of Missouri.Reading this was like having a sense of Deja Vu, right down to the sing-a-longs.
    I hear your pain!

  5. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    @Chicago7: I didn’t snap, but I did bust out into a snappy rendition of “America!” ;)

  6. Anonymous says:

    We have a Convergys call center here in my town in south Georgia, where they do customer service for DirecTV. We regularly go there (I’m a Paramedic) because Convergys management won’t employees leave early or call out unless they’re sick enough to need an ambulance, so they field customer calls until they fall out, literally. It’s sad. Usually I remind them that they can refuse EMS transport at any time, meaning, hint hint, if we just so happen to pass by your house en route to the hospital, you can sign a form and get out of the ambulance. I’m just waiting for the day an employee has a massive, deadly MI because management wouldn’t let them go home when they started getting that chest pain, sweating, and nausea.

  7. tazewell78 says:

    “It took me 1 full year to get my chair – keyboard and riser.”

    Contrast that with sentence #2 of the rant, “My name is [redacted] and I am an agent in the Hazelwood, MO call center where I have been employed for approx four months.”

    What am I missing?

    Sounds like a liar, and a real piece.

  8. Anonymous says:

    @tazewell78: Confused me as well. Maybe he worked at another Convergys call center prior to working in the Hazelwood call center?

  9. tazewell78 says:

    @thbarnes: I guess that’s a possibility, but I doubt that the Hazelwood call center is materially different from other Convergys call centers, which implies that this person knew what they were getting into regardless.

  10. wkzero says:

    Not only is this place blocks from me, I was offered a job by an acquaintance at this location a few months ago. I was promised “whatever hours” I wanted and that it was an easy job. It sounded really iffy, seeing it was a call center and that call centers lack morals among other things.

    Not only that, but none of the local pizza places will deliver to Converys due to bad tipping (read: none) and confrontational visits.

  11. MiltyKiss says:

    @Chicago7: haha, sadly I did.

    @Eric: Seriously. This job sounds like it pays like crap anyways.

    @tazewell78: I’m thinking that he’s talking about a different call center. *shrugs*.

  12. superbmtsub says:

    Call Centers shouldn’t stay open in hazardous work conditions be it natural (ie weather) or man-made. They should let other call centers handle the extra burden until the danger passes.

    Maybe this is why businesses prefer to open overseas where the health of agents are not a concern.

  13. Buran says:

    Ben, it’s totally uncalled for to mock the disabled like that. Wrist injuries are very real disabilities and you come across as an elitist jerk due to your making fun of this guy. I think you should apologize.

  14. robynsmiley68 says:

    Convergys is no different then Cox Comm-OKC or any other call center in the US. At Cox a Oklahoma Department of Corrections van picks up inmates nightly, there are numerous fist fights, drug sales, theft of company computers, open sexual activity, drinking on the job. No real background check is conduct to be hired there. AND YOU GIVE YOUR SSN AND PERSONAL INFO TO THESE PEOPLE WHEN YOU CALL TO SIGN UP FOR CABLE, INTERNET AND PHONE!

  15. roothorick says:

    This screams of fake. I don’t call it often, but I’ll bet on this one that the guy is either exaggerating profusely or simply full of crap.

    • Anonymous says:

      Having worked at Convergys in Florida for 7 years, I can confirm that this is at least partially true. There’s certainly exaggeration in there, but these things certainly happened while I was there.

      People randomly sleeping around with co-workers
      Complete disregard for employee concern
      Managers and employees with no idea how to do their jobs
      People fired for stupid or fake reasons
      Abuse of or completely ignoring federal laws regarding holidays, sick time, etc

      It’s real. If you have a chance to work there, don’t. Go work at McDonalds instead.

  16. Hawk07 says:

    I like the hep A to Z comment.

  17. Jason.Falkner says:

    AWESOME. That guy Clint Streit to whom the email is addressed…he was the COO of my old company RMH, which was an outbound sales/inbound customer service call center firm. Nice. Sounds like Convergys is…uh…a great place to work.

  18. Televiper says:

    The whole paragraph where she mentions the chair looks like a multitude of incomplete thoughts. Which pretty much sums up the whole letter. It certainly lacks any sense of professionalism. I don’t know who replaced names with [redacted] but it seems that her, and her friends names are [redacted] but not the names of people she’s making accusations toward.

  19. acambras says:

    Wow — really horribly-written, poorly-organized, and factually screwy (People’s with Disabilities Act?). Not exactly putting his best foot forward if he’s looking for a promotion.

    Still, I feel for him — the conditions sound horrendous.

  20. bryanc1 says:

    Check this out. I googled and discovered the CEO’s name and information that may be of help to you. I used to work in Chesterfield with MCI/Worldcom and had a pretty decent experience with them (even before the Bernie Ebbers fiasco). Hope you make some progress and get your situation resolved. Also, consider calling the Bureau of Labor and definitely an attorney. I’m sure you’ve got a pretty strong case based on what you have so far. Just be sure to keep records, notes, pictures (if at all possible), for future litigation. Hang in there!
    Former MO co-worker now in Indiana.

    [www.stlcommercemagazine.com]

  21. NickRB says:

    1. If they have so many degrees, you would think they could write at a high school level.

    2. If they are really as intelligent and talented as they are why would they continue to work in such a hell hole.

    3. I think that most of this is made up, probably by a disgruntled ex employee. Or it is a joke.

  22. nequam says:

    Ben, you refer to this person as “he,” but is it a guy? It’s the reference to women backing up and spraying in the restroom that makes me think maybe not : )

  23. macinjosh says:

    Did anyone find it odd that this person knows the condition of the men’s room AND the ladies’ room? :)

  24. nequam says:

    @roothorick: I don’t believe this is fake, but whatever legitimate concerns this person had are lost in the morass of nonsense. No doubt some things are exaggerated for emphasis, but the effect is to destroy her credibility on the things that are real. It’s a pretty nutty piece but I like this, which is damn near poetic: “True = lies lie’s lies not only lies but employee files go missing.” Good stuff.

  25. nequam says:

    @macinjosh: Maybe she switched to the men’s room after the fight in the ladies room !!

  26. Namilia says:

    A few years back I used to work at the local Convergys. While it wasn’t nearly the hell that this person describes, I do remember that it was a horrible place to work and I would not have returned even if they doubled their salary (a measly 8 dollars an hour for shitloads of stress both on and off that phone). PTO and UTO was difficult to get, albeit it did not take 3 weeks then; it took a few days. Still, it took a certain bit of luck to actually get an approval. Training was lax, we were trained for 2 weeks total M-F, 8 hours a day. In this time we were trained that unions are evil, all the nice features of the chairs (most didn’t work in reality as the chairs were a bit old and didn’t work as well as they once did), as much about the USPS as one can learn in 2 weeks, plus all the various tools we needed to use. Once we got out onto the floor, we really didn’t know what to do as while we had been trained in the details of the mail system (or at least the products offered), we had no real knowledge on the problems we’d face.

    I have on more than one occurance seen the ambulance out front because someone collapsed, or heard them begging for volunteers to work overtime. They hire anyone who can type fast enough and pass a drug test and who has a decent voice for talking on the phone. Turnover, understandably, is extremely high.

  27. jaredharley says:

    @acambras: Honestly, I couldn’t finish reading this – it was too disjointed. This is why you have friends proof-read!

    If HR truly failed to “honor” the “person’s” with Disabilities Act, then she should have gotten a lawyer – that’s not something most companies will screw around with.

  28. TDJ says:

    It sounds like the sou

  29. bosleydear says:

    Brilliant! As a veteran of several call centers, I feel this is a description I could have written myself. I’d add the time that there was a small fire in the building, but CSRs were not permitted to leave their desks and evacuate the building. We weren’t aware at the time that it was an actual fire, otherwise there’d have been mayhem I am sure. Fights, arrests, and sex were so common I couldn’t believe it.

  30. TDJ says:

    It sounds like the soul patrol is in full effect in Hazleton, MO. I have to admit that I never knew that this kind of thing went on at call centers. It’s no wonder why I have to talk to someone from India whenever I need help from a csr.

  31. harleymcc says:

    I believe 1/100th of what “they” wrote.

    I hear Con-College is a crappy place to work, but this is one of those classic “fuck you” letters that get written and sent as someone runs from their computer.

  32. Xenuite says:

    I like how the disabled restroom is off limits to those of us with fully functioning bodies. I would love to see a cop cite someone for shitting in the wrong pot.

  33. mac-phisto says:

    And the handicapped stall has been out of order for weeks. Yes there is another but other people us it and that is against the law just like disabled parking.

    that can’t be true…i’ve been in many bathrooms where there is ONLY a stall that’s ADA-compliant.

  34. Namilia says:

    Forgot to mention..the recruiting video tantalizes prospective college students with “part time available” and “tuition assistance/reimbursement offered”, but in my case at least it was all bullshit. I filed my request for part time a month-2 months before I intended on beginning college, found out the DAY BEFORE CLASSES BEGAN that it was refused on the grounds they only wanted full-time workers. Had I known that, I would never have worked that crummy job. I quit on the spot.

  35. CuriousO says:

    Currently work in a att call center. it is by far the worst job i have ever had. i’ve never seen a company so hostile to its employees. reading this just lets me know that me quiting my job in a couple of days is the best thing for me. screw call center jobs. if i get one more email from the call center directo telling us we need to work harder and smile more over the phone, im gonna scream!!!!!! can you guys believe they threaten us to be outsourced somewhere in mexico? screw att !!!! and call center jobs!!!!

  36. Xenuite says:

    Call centers are where the scum of humanity pools. People don’t have to dress well because customers never see them, and all actions are permissible because no one really gives a flying poo what you do so long as the quotas get done.

  37. levenhopper says:

    @mac-phisto: Yes, I work at a plumbing store, and that is 100% not true…

  38. niteflytes says:

    I’d be looking for a different job.

  39. floofy says:

    I’m stuck on the “backing up and spraying” in the women’s bathroom. At least it gives me a good chuckle.

  40. triscuitbiscuit says:

    I cannot believe that somebody would actually send this letter to a higher-up in their company. If I were one I would just ignore it as it makes no sense at all. The whole letter is extremely unprofessional- why is there the phrase “booty call” in it? Totally unacceptable for such a letter.

  41. grantness says:

    As a former Convergys refugee, this brought back a lot of memories. The one I worked at was in Lake Mary, Florida. While some of the things described in the letter were happening during my time there (things like refusing to grant PTO and UTO, dicking people around on raises, promoting the lowest common denominator to TL, agents sleeping under their desks on weekends, bosses flirting/harassing employees, etc) a lot of the other stuff (knife fights, hallway hookups, feces covered bathrooms) seems dubious to me. Convergys is truly, truly an evil corporation (those bastards shorted me on 600 dollars in retention bonuses) but some of the stuff he described just doesn’t pass the smell test.

    FWIW, if I were an executive and I got this letter, and another letter written coherently and grammatically correct, i’d give the latter more weight. If you’re going to bitch to someone at the C-level, at least spell check before pressing send.

  42. KF4 says:

    Eh…I’m not trying to talk smack or anything, but I’ve known a lot of people that she reminds me of. She strikes me as older. Slightly overweight. Loves to complain about how tough it is to be an adult in a post-high-school/pre-real career environment. I could go on, but I won’t, because…well, because it doesn’t matter.

  43. Scuba Steve says:

    @tazewell78:

    Have you ever, once, replied positively to a story?

    You seem to be very anti-consumerist.

  44. Wubbytoes says:

    I used to work at a Convergys call center, and it was probably the worst job I’ve ever had. I can’t stand even the thought of that place. I believe this person, but seriously, go get another job. Tell that place to fuck off and never look back. A shitty Convergys job is not worth it.

  45. eli_b says:

    I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t use ‘lol’ in a letter to someone you expect to take you seriously professionally. This does sound like a bad place to work, I’ve worked in a few call centers in my day that were lame company-wise, but they were clean and safe.

  46. D-Bo says:

    This sounds to me like a collection of stories, rather than one person’s factual account. It doesn’t help get the message across when it’s this poorly written.

    However, I worked for 4 years in the maintenance and management of call center facilities throughout the Pacific Northwest for two different companies. I have to say that I observed all of the above complaints and more in both companies centers.

    I shudder to think of all the nasty, offensive and downright absurd situations that occurred in those places…Like the locks I installed on the bathrooms of a facility in Seattle. This was so the supervisors could lock the bathrooms at night to keep the employees from sleeping in them overnight.

  47. ExtraCelestial says:

    I don’t know guys, to me starting the morning off with a good ol’ fashioned rap-a-thon sounds like good times. The cheese stands alone?

  48. Rusted says:

    Brings back memories of working with contracted-out support services. Those poor, poor customers.

  49. scorpius_malfoy says:

    Ever call Cingular/The New AT&T only to be told that “all our systems are currently updating and we cannot process your request”?
    If you have you have reached the Convergys in Red Deer, Alberta – where computer failures and general incompetence are the norms.

  50. Digitamer81 says:

    “I am an agent in the Hazelwood, MO call center where I have been employed for approx four months”

    How exactly does 4 months become a year in the space of a letter? Is this person writing a word a day or something? He-Ra here is NOTHING but a fraud, or an employee that just got mad at management for not getting off early to go smoke another joint! There’s just too much stuff there for 4 months…oh wait “2 I was suppose to have a special keyboard because of surgery I had on my hands and a riser for a monitor that went missing when SBC left and we went to Comcast project. That was 2 years ago.” He-Ra has been there over two years now. Someone stab me…

    Call centers suck, just work elsewhere, moron.

  51. Plasmafire says:

    Sounds like a convergys damage control team is spreading some disinformation in their comments here.

  52. shoegazer says:

    I am an agent in the Hazelwood, MO call center where I have been employed for approx four months. I am writing to inform you that the experience leaves me without words.

    Except the 2,646 that follow.

    I do think that this was a genuine employee with genuine concerns. However if I were his manager I’d take one look at this email and dump it somewhere marked “aimless ranting”. His letter pains me physically.

  53. surfacenoise76 says:

    She probably wrote it in a fit of anger, and she probably knew damn well it was going to be trashed without being read once it reached the recipients’ inboxes.

  54. gtr225 says:

    @Namilia: On that note maybe this guy should’ve made the local unions aware of this place and they can highlight the conditions.

    On a separate subject: I once worked for a small call center and my boss explained why the employees are paid so little and completely expendable: “Because anyone can do it”. I believe this is the same reason you get the group of characters you get in a call center, because they aren’t skilled enough to do anything other than that. Now don’t get me wrong there are a lot of professional people out there who are excellent customer service reps, but you just have a lot of bad apples ruining it for the hard working professionals out there. If employers started paying CSR’s better, they would think twice before just hiring anyone off the street (or street corner for that matter).

    I kinda believe her and wouldn’t be surprised if there were Convergys employees in here trying to call here a liar on the comments. I hope the companies that contract out their business to them (Walmart, Comcast, etc.) go find someone else to do their calls.

  55. JNighthawk says:

    I like the whole first paragraph. Complaining because people have stained and ripped clothes. Big freaking deal unless it actually effects you. I can understand not wanting to see someone’s private parts, but what difference does it make as far as the rest of their appearance goes? As long as they don’t smell and it isn’t affecting their job, what business of it is yours what they wear?

    My comments echo everyone else’s. This is a horrible letter written without any proof-reading with many consistency problems. I can’t believe Consumerist would post this.

  56. Kornkob says:

    I am disappointed in Consumerist for having published this drivel.

  57. The Big O says:

    Anyone else get the feeling that English is not the native language of the person who wrote the e-mail? I also agree that it’s organization, structure, and professionalism is lackluster at best.

  58. bohemian says:

    None of this surprises me too much. The level if disregard by management for having basic employee needs met like accommodations and sick leave can exist everywhere. I worked for a supposedly prestigious company as a low level technical manager. I could not get basic ADA accommodations and could not take a sick day without a weeks notice. I was also not allowed to take time off for doctor appointments.

    The letter is disjointed but obviously the person is rather stressed out and with the medical problems described the flaws in the writing are not surprising. Someone with those kind of orthopedic problems would likely have lots of pain and focus problems, or could be on some pretty heavy medications.

    BTW, I had an employer demand I come to work on a day that the state had put up a no travel advisory. I also did a non critical job. I told the manager that I would come in but I was giving specific instructions to my husband that if I was to get in an accident or die he was to sue the crap out of the company for demanding I come in even though it was a no travel warning. Suddenly my taking a snow day was no big deal.

    There is no idiot screening test for management.

  59. tlynch says:

    I must admit none of this surprises me. I used to work in the Hazelwood, MO call center back in 2000 as a scheduler. Fortunately for me I worked on the side of the office that is off limits to the CSRs.

    Knowing what I know from working in that location I wouldn’t doubt any of this persons claims.

  60. etinterrapax says:

    This is a million times worse than the call center I worked in, but the letter itself is a brutal example of why I tell my students that if they don’t work on their writing, people won’t take them seriously when they really need it. I shouldn’t have to say that to college students. A high-school student should be able to write better than this. I got bored and annoyed around the fourth paragraph and skimmed the rest. And if this is even remotely true, he deserved better.

  61. bdgbill says:

    The place does sound horrible but this writer sounds like several people I have worked with over the years.

    “I’M SPECIAL! I HAVE NEEDS THAT MUST BE MET INSTANTLY. I’M VERY RELIGOUS AND EVERYONE ELSE SHOULD BE TOO! I AM VERY FAMILIAR WITH EVERY COMPANY RULE, REGULATION AND POLICY. I WILL LET YOU KNOW WHEN YOU ARE BREAKING THEM! I AM ALSO FAMILIAR WITH EVERY CITY, STATE AND FEDERAL LAW CONCERNING THE WORKPLACE. I WILL BE IN CONSTANT CONTACT WITH HR TO INFORM THEM OF WHICH LAWS ARE BEING BROKEN AND BY WHOM. I HAVE EXTREMELY HIGH STANDARDS OF QUALITY. I AM BY FAR THE BEST EMPLOYEE HERE. I SHOULD HAVE BEEN PROMOTED A LONG TIME AGO”

    – I really think that there is at least one of these people in every workplace with more than 20 people.

    By the way…For someone who is “capable of translating five languages” her english is a mess. The letter seems like it was translated by Google from Swahili.

  62. Thain says:

    From a purely professional standpoint, this letter is too long for anyone in a position to do anything about it to actually read it. Letters of complaint are like resumés – anything over one page and you’ve lost your audience. Add in the fact that the writing is absolutely headache-inducing, and you’ve got a short trip to the paper shredder.

    How does this person have two undergraduate degrees AND a graduate degree? What college professor PASSED writing like this? More importantly, what Master’s program passed writing like this? Does the person simply have one of those mail-order certificates that let you pretend you have a Masters but mean nothing if you actually reference the school?

    Not to sound heartless, but with writing skills like that, it’s no wonder this person was working in a call center. Most employers of skilled laborers, upon reviewing a resumé written like this letter, would laugh in the applicant’s face.

  63. Amelie says:

    The guy’s written skills are typical of many who speak English as a second language. Considering he speaks five languages, I’ll overlook his lack of expertise in written English. On the other hand, he should have been more concise.

  64. randalotto says:

    It’s illegal to use the handicapped stall?

    This person is a moron.

  65. Canadian Impostor says:

    @Thain: There’s no way someone who answers telephones for a living has two undergraduate degrees and a graduate degree.

    Most of this seems like the disjointed ramblings of someone who doesn’t have a firm grip on reality.

  66. Ben Popken says:

    @Buran: That was actually a preemptive way of warding off some of the criticism I could see arising.

  67. Little Miss Moneybags says:

    @bdgbill: ha ha ha!

    Basically, tldr; you lost me at “this for the unlearned”…This is not a letter of complaint hoping to accomplish something, this is whining. Write a coherent letter complete with steps to be taken to correct the problem(s) and/or quit your job.

  68. TeeDub says:

    Consumerist, I appreciate the work you do and normally your site doesn’t feed the trolls. Giving this person even a slight bit of credit is too much. The apparent inconsistencies and the lack of a spell check take all potential believability away from this individual.

    “I am an agent in the Hazelwood, MO call center where I have been employed for approx four months”

    “I was suppose to have a special keyboard because of surgery I had on my hands and a riser for a monitor that went missing when SBC left and we went to Comcast project. That was 2 years ago.”

    “It took me 1 full year to get my chair – keyboard and riser.”

  69. roche says:

    “White people are so scared of black people”

  70. chimmike says:

    he’s got a graduate degree and two undergrad degrees, but makes common, frequent spelling and grammar errors, and includes “lol” in a resignation letter? Doesn’t sound professional to me.

  71. huginn says:

    i understand this market economy for jobs sucks.

    But why are you working there?

  72. @Xenuite: I believe that was a skit on “In Living Color”.

    I hope English isn’t their first language given the way this was written. It was hard to read with thoughts all over the place…

    @Hawk07: That line was the best thing I’ve read this week (not that I think it’s good the bathrooms are that bad). Seriously, how hard is it to get it in the toilet?

    The author worked… I hope that means they no longer work at a call center period. Please tell me they got a better job.

  73. couriergrrrrl says:

    It’s illegal to use a handicapped bathroom stall?

  74. quagmire0 says:

    Alright, I struggled to get 3/4 through this letter. Three points:

    1. What is this person doing in both the men’s and women’s washroom?

    2. I’m not sure you want to have those other people’s names posted on a website. I’m pretty sure that since they are not convicted of any crime and are not public figures that they could sue you for that.

    3. This sounds like the biggest case FOR outsourcing.

  75. jack733 says:

    Convergys sound terrible. This guy should work for LiveOps- he wouldn’t have to deal with coworkers because he could be an agent working from home!

  76. kylere says:

    I refuse to excuse his use of the language, since he makes it clear that he feels he is more intelligent than most, and possesses more education. Sad, sad, employee working for a sad, sad, employer.

    This said, I have to wonder where his red stapler is hiding.

  77. ancientsociety says:

    Dear god, I stopped reading after the fourth “issue” this guy(?) had. The grammar is horrible, there’s no continuity or focus, and it seems this person has the “Me, Me, Me” Complex.

    While I can sympathize with some of his complaints, most of this stuff is just normal to any office. Perhaps not so overtly obvious, but people not adhering to “dress code”, fighting/arguing, flirtation (and *gasp* even “making out” – though most people find a private stock room or something for that), not rec’ing raises/reviews on time, and the battle over PTO/UTO happens EVERYWHERE.

    I highly doubt this guy has 2 BAs and a Master’s. This sounds like his first job out of high school (and not just because of the grammar).

    This is VERY poorly written resignation letter. i expect better from the Consumerist.

  78. nakmario says:

    i wonder if similar conditions exist in the call centers outsourced to India…
    no wonder I have to call in several times for most services because they always make mistakes.
    It’s scary to think that often these call centers are dealing with your personal info.

  79. acambras says:

    @kylere:

    HA! I was thinking that when I read the letter.

  80. Denada says:

    Well, I managed to make it through the whole rant. The entire thing strikes me as very, very fake. Perhaps he/she/it was an actual employee at an actual call center. Perhaps he/she/it had a bad experience with some other employees or managers. But a person that has 3 college degrees (mandatory English classes anyone?) and claims to be able to translate five languages should be able to write better than that. Add in all the inconsistencies (a monitor riser that was missing for two years, but he/she/it received after one year, but has only been employed for four months?) and the whole thing just falls apart.

    On the bright side, this sounds like a perfect opportunity for another undercover op. Do it to it guys.

  81. Seacub says:

    Gays and straights making out in the hallways? Together?

  82. rosy501 says:

    @bdgbill: The author sounds like any other well-informed Consumerist to me, especially where you write, “I AM VERY FAMILIAR WITH EVERY COMPANY RULE, REGULATION AND POLICY. I WILL LET YOU KNOW WHEN YOU ARE BREAKING THEM! I AM ALSO FAMILIAR WITH EVERY CITY, STATE AND FEDERAL LAW CONCERNING THE WORKPLACE. I WILL BE IN CONSTANT CONTACT WITH HR TO INFORM THEM OF WHICH LAWS ARE BEING BROKEN AND BY WHOM. I HAVE EXTREMELY HIGH STANDARDS OF QUALITY.” Sounds like the author is at a breaking point in how far they’ve been able to escalate the issue, just like many other Consumerist posts.

    I’d also argue that their standards of quality aren’t “extremely high”, given the shitty state of things at the call center. I think most people with “normal” standards would find this place below par.

    In fact, isn’t one of the Consumerist’s goals to keep consumers/employees well-informed of laws and regulations that apply to them? The author has every right to let law enforcement know what the hell is going on at this nightmare he calls a workplace. Also, I don’t ever recall the author saying anything about insisting that everyone else be religious. Admittedly I was miffed that he found it pertinent to mention that both “gays and straights” were making out, but at the same time it’s kind of funny.

    I agree with many commenters that this letter rambled way too much, seemed slightly haughty and got nearly unbearable to read by the last few paragraphs, but I believe a majority of his complaints are legit, and he has good reason to be pissed off. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and guess that English is his second (or third or fourth) language.

    And argument that some commenters are making about “how is it that he knows the status of the women’s restrooms?” is plain dumb. With a self-proclaimed “gift for gab,” he probably complained about this to a female co-worker and heard about the women’s bathrooms too.

  83. Esquire99 says:

    I am now dumber for having read that entire letter. If I had to guess, the reason their “Persons with disabilities act” requests have not been met is likely because they refuse to provide proper documentation to prove the need for said accommodation. Likely their “Me me me” complex tells them that they don’t have to prove anything to anyone, and their demands should be met without a shred of proof. This is backed up, in part, by the comment that they “jumped through the hoops”. That tells me that they believe that the employer requiring proof of disability before making an accommodation is unnecessary.
    Also, the fact that he/she believes that because he/she is a minister, that they should get Christmas off is absolutely absurd. Why do YOU get Christmas off just because you are a minister? Shouldn’t you be subject to the same rules/requirements/procedures for days off as everyone else? I HATE that kind of attitude, it infuriates met.
    And to top it off, they think that when the weather is bad they shouldn’t have to go to work. I’m sorry, you took a job in a 24/7 facility and it doesn’t shut down just because there is snow on the ground. I have absolutely no patience for people who believe that they should not go to work just because the weather is unfavorable. The economy doesn’t shut down because of a little snow. You leave earlier, drive carefully, and it all works out. And if you have an accident trying to get to work, I believe the employer should have absolutely no liability because they expected you to be there. It’s no different than any other day. Grow up, learn work is a responsibility you are expected to fulfill, and quit complaining.
    I also think it’s terrible that Consumerist posted such a diatribe. This has absolutely no substance, and serves as nothing more than bait to generate some comments. The writing is so bad it’s embarrassing, and it is clear that it is not totally legit. From the contradictions within the letter itself to the complete lack of even one coherent thought, Ben should have put it in the same place the original recipients did, the trash.

  84. Youthier says:

    @Seacub: We need to give Convergys a +1 for tolerance.

  85. kerrington.steele says:

    does the tone of this letter remind anyone else of Milton from Office Space??

  86. scottsmith says:

    And I said, I don’t care if they lay me off either, because I told Bill that if they move my desk one more time, then I’m quitting, I’m going to quit. And I told Don too, because they’ve moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were married, but then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn’t bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it’s not okay because if they take my stapler then I’ll set the building on fire…

  87. andrewsmash says:

    Eh…I have worked a few call centers and they are pretty much all the same. Hamster mills for people who, based on appearance, attitude, and behavior, wouldn’t be employable anywhere else, but they can hide in the crowd of that many employees. Yes, all the centers were filthy, rotten food was in the desks, and management was a joke. No knife fights though (Oregonians remember how to use their fists, I guess). As for the clarity, I have also worked with a number of handicapped people who could verbally communicate without any problems, but they could not type to save their lives. A lot of times I would have to track them down to translate their notes. Combine that with being in a hurry…lots of mangled text. If the site received other emails that back up his accounts, I say give it the benefit of the doubt.

  88. satyricrash says:

    The writer of this letter was Jean Teasdale, wasn’t it?

  89. prceasar says:

    An excellent letter! If I were a female I would “back up and spray hitting everything” in response to this great post.

  90. gibsonic says:

    i almost got a job in a call center once…but was told i was unqualifed!!!

  91. fashionista says:

    Let’s understand one thing: whenever a company has to post job openings for more than a year, chances are that’s a place you should avoid like the plague. (I live in St. Louis and know that this place advertises open positions constantly)
    Some things that confused me:
    How could the author have worked there 4 months but wait over a year for an ADA compliant workstation?
    How did the author know the condition of both male and female restrooms?
    Why was the author working in a call center with a Masters degree and two Bachelors degrees? [Methinks that might have been a MAJOR fabrication due to the grammatical errors and syntax horrors committed in the above letter]. In any case, anyone with at least a high school diploma should know by now, call center jobs aren’t worth a damn. Honestly, I’d rather beg on the street than work at a call center.

  92. chartrule says:

    Years ago I did security at a call center

    I have never seen people treated so badly in my life. It was like all their employee’s civil rights ended at the door, as if these employees were an expendable renewable resource.

    Friends don’t let friends work at a Call Center !

  93. Jiminy Christmas says:

    @mac-phisto: I can second this one. Not true. I’ve designed a shitload of bathrooms (architect) and I can guarantee you no such thing is in the ADA. I have a copy on my desk.

  94. ATTSlave says:

    @CuriousO: Which center?

  95. Digitamer81 says:

    @chartrule: My partner Jason used to work at a call center here in Nashville, answering 411 calls. He was treated quite well, insurance, lunch, vacation, the works. Also had good pay. I guess some call centers give good and some don’t, but I still say that this letter sounds fake. There are too many inconsistencies. The using of both bathrooms, the illegality of using the handicapped stall, the beginning of the letter saying He-Ra had been there 4 months and suddenly it’d been over two years, it all just screams fake. Seems like someone just got bored and wanted to get a post on here that had lots of comments to show off to their friends, or they actually work in a call center, and are on acid the entire time.

  96. g4lt says:

    let’s get one thing straight, subby worked there FOUR WHOLE MONTHS and
    thought that qualified them to lead a team of agents?! On that
    schedule, no wonder waiting a whole year for an ADA chair/keyboard was
    so much of a hassle, you don’t treat the next CEO that way.

  97. prceasar says:

    hmm… From the looks of the letter as well as what other commenters have suggested, I tend to agree that English is not this person’s first language. That being said,it is not entirely unlikely that they meant to say “four years,” but accidentally typed “four months.” That would seen to fit the time line of the other events mentioned in the letter.
    Just a thought…

  98. mrdelayer says:

    @Xenuite: Not true. At least at a certain outsourced call center that I work at, the customer (that is, the company who is outsourcing to our call center, not the customers of that company) often frequent the building, seeing as they are based in the same city as our call center, to check up on things, so dress code is strictly enforced here.

    Also, in regards to the bitching about the call center being open regardless of icy conditions: get over it! Your call center is more than likely under a contractual obligation to remain open 24/7 (companies don’t just hire other companies to take their CS calls for them without drawing up some sort of contract, you know).

  99. snowferret says:

    @robynsmiley68:
    I knew some call centers employed convicts but i figured they operated from behind bars! Not busing them to locations to work with the regular public. Jesus you have to be kidding me!

  100. snowferret says:

    You know it occurred to me that the reason why this person’s thoughts seem so scattered might be because they have been hit by a truck. I hit my head really hard once and had headaches and couldn’t think strait for weeks. This person is obviously having a really rough time. I really feel for them.

  101. tiny911 says:

    I was a TL at the Hazelhood Convergys for 6 mos. and an agent for 3.5 years before that. every word is true.

  102. Igotout says:

    I know who this person is. Its not a She. Its a He.

    I used to work there in management. Team Lead on the project he worked for.

    However sensationalized, and irrational some of his post may look like, most all of that I have seen myself, with my own two eyes.

    Fights, Arrests, Hooking up in the hallways, people getting caught having sex, equipment being stolen, building in a constant state of filth and disrepair, clothing (or lack thereof) at the agent level all the way to the management level being abhorrent.. all true

    PTO/UTO/Pre-shift.. All true, because I had to decline the requests.

    Promotions based on who you know, not what you know.. true

    The names in there are accurate, sans a couple typos. Corey is a TL, Anne is an Ops Mgr, and Kristin is the Site Director.

    Get past the general “look” of the post, and get to the details, and most everything in there is true.

    And thats why I got the hell out of there.

  103. tiny911 says:

    Here’s a copy of my resignation letter to the same company.

    [4mymancave.com]

  104. bsmknight says:

    Wow, a friend just showed me this post and I had to make a comment.

    I am an one of the old timers. I started at Convergys when it was SSI (I forgot it has been that long). It eventually became Matrix Marketing and was eventually broken off from CBIS and then became Convergys.

    Back then we were primarily a “Technical Help desk” with accounts with CSR, Gateway, Dell, NFUSE, and SNET, etc. I saw this company go from actually being decent support to downright trash. It was sad really. I worked with some of the most experienced technicians you will ever meet. These people had A+s, MS Certifications, Network Certifications, etc. I was one of the few who actually only had practical knowledge.

    The meltdown started slowly. First the owner of SSI sold out for some 50 Mil I believe. Then it started, the “head honchos” (Matrix Marketting at the time)started firing people who were really good. Unfortunately these people were the best paid, but they held the “lesser” analysts together and educated them. When you worked with those people, you actually learned something. There was no real explainations why these people were let go, usually stupid stuff that was really a gray area. Any other company would have just slapped them on the wrist and told them not to do that again. (I was still new at the time, so I don’t remember what exactly those reasons were).

    Once upper managers trimmed the budget by removing the talent, (and giving themselves a raise in the process, however this was hersay, I never saw proof of that) they then used that as a selling point to try and get more contracts. This was a failing scenario. Those higher paid techs (teir 3s essentially) were never replaced and the pay scale was lowered. Alot of decent techs saw that there was no room for advancement and it was time to abandoned ship. This left alot of novices, like myself at the time, with very little knowledgable source to troubleshoot the queue I was in.

    Eventually there was a huge vacume of knowledge and the attempts to create databases such as reddog were left saddly lacking. This was managements hopes of a replacement for all the higher technicians they fired.

    The eventual next step was to lower the pay scale to $8 an hour in order to meet the demand for new people. Unforutnately this brought in alot of highschool and highschool drops out to do the work.

    After that I saw conracts such as Dell, Gateway, and other technicals take their business elsewhere.

    I skimmed over alot over the details, but my point is, they cannot see the forest for the trees anymore. Loosing those contracts should have been a sign that their business model sucks, but instead of making positive changes, they just kept looking for more contracts to fill the void. This converted the company from technical support to Customer service as many people know Convergys today.

    Alas there is hope though. I have worked at a few companies since and finally found a great job. But everywhere I went, you are very likely to find Convergy’s refugies. That helped me land this job. :-)

  105. CSDC-Riddick says:

    While I’m sure most Call Centers are crap I can personally vouch for Convergys being utter crap.

    Hell, Convergys has a forum full of people who are/were victims of them.

    Google “Convergys Sucks” and see for yourself.

  106. prceasar says:

    That’s funny. I saw that there are even a couple of myspace groups dedicated to it…

  107. emily523 says:

    I used to work at the same call center in Hazelwood MO. While I agree that some things are true ( hiring ghetto agents off the street, dress code violations, food on the floor) everything else is completely ridiculous. Everytime I felt that an somone was out of line I went to my TL debbie who promptly addressed the issue.
    The part about not promoting someone because of a disability is completely insane. Do you think that HR would set themselves up for that lawsuit? No, they would not. Did you ever think that maybe you are an idiot and that is why you were not hired?(oh this is clearly written by more than 1 person since he/she talk about being in both the mens and women’s restrooms. The restrooms are cleaned every day( i know because everytime I had to use one it was closed for cleaning at about 9pm so I had to use one on the other side of the building).

    I know exactly who this Tiny911 TL is. I asked him a question one day about my schedule and he basically acted like I was bothering him and directed me to my TL who was on vacation. I’m glad to learn that he quit.

    Regarding being off for the weather–Don’t come in. call in absent. It is a call center you morons. I did not make it in one day due to the weather and I was not penalized. Regarding PTO–It is pretty clear you have to put that in 2 weeks in advance. Regarding UtO–You have plenty of time to request those days. I have a feeling you tried to request an off day 10 minutes before your schedule started and were denied.
    Regarding Absences–YOU get 10 absences. How many other companies allow that? I never got more than 3 at a given time. And.. you can earn them back.

    If you hate the job so much LEAVE!!!! That is what I did 6 months ago. I hope everyone realizes that whoever wrote this is nothing more than someone who complains about everything and is exactly the same person whom he/she complains about.

  108. apersonwithabrain says:

    I have been employed at this call center for a period of time that pre-dates and post-dates the employ of this person.Truth be told, I know who posted this letter and can tell you point-blank that 1%…or LESS…of what he says happened to him…actually happened to him.
    He took the job with the express intent of a lawsuit. I had my first encounter with him within a few days of his hiring. He’s a rascist against his own race. As an african american…he came to me (a Caucasian) to complain that his trainer (an african-american) was a “thug…” a trainer that I have worked with for quite some time and have great respect for. He spent the first several minutes of our conversation rattling off his “qualifications” (which…at the time…made no mention of being able to translate five languages. I guess for the purposes of this post, he thought that it would explain away his illiteracy.)
    I can tell you 3 things:
    1. Pretty much everything this person claims happened to them did, in fact, happen.
    2. No two of those incidents happened to the same person.
    3. NONE of the things this person claimed to have happened to him actually DID happen to him.
    This letter is a composite of isolated incidents that happened to many different individuals over a span of *several* years. Not only that, but pretty much every incident is presented from the “wronged” person’s point of view. As one commenter pointed out…this “wronged” person felt offended that they should have to provide any documentation supporting their claim of handicap.
    The clearest example I can give you that this letter is a compilation of many different incidences that happened to many different people over many different years is this quote:
    “I also am on part time schedule due to medical, I was hit by a mac truck going to work on a day when the weather was icy and they would not let me off.”
    I know of ONE person that was involved in a serious accident while commuting to work. First of all, it wasn’t even on their way TO work. It was on their way HOME from work. It was NOT a bad weather day. And when they were released medically to come back to work (over a year later) Convergys placed them back as an agent…gave them a workspace that complied with their doctor’s instructions…and worked with them up until they and their doctor both decided that they simply were physically unable to work anymore.
    And that incident happened LONG before the SBC project left the center…and LONG before the Comcast project came to the center.
    I could easily go on and explain many more factual discrepancies to this person’s story. But it’s pretty obvious to me, judging from the responses to the story, that most people understand that this letter is what it is…a pathological whiner…a professional filer of lawsuits…finding a forum dumb enough to post their crap.
    Do not get me wrong. I am not here to convince you that these incidents did not happen. MOST of them did, at one time or another. What you need to understand is that they did NOT happen to 1 person…they happened to several different persons…over an extended period of time that both pre-dates AND post-dates the period of time that this person claims to have worked at Convergys.
    They are simply relating stories they’ve heard…they’re ignoring the other side of the story…and their sole purpose behind all of it is monetary gain.

  109. Blondie777 says:

    I was an employee of Convergy’s in a centre in Canada and do not refute the comments made by the original poster. Although he sounds motivated by a group of people that got together one night over a ‘bowl’ and this person became the ‘Patsy’ to send the letter in on all of their behalfs. It was unprofessional and was more than definately ignored and laughed at because of its extremely poorly written style, I have to agree that these business practices are a corporate wide phenomenon for Convergy’s.

    I worked there from Jan 99 til Apr 01 as a CSR on the AT&T Worldnet project and can attest to very poor paperwork and HR filing, poor treatment of all staff, refusal of time off, refusal to allow us to leave the floor when there was a fire on a lower floor…the fire dept had to force them to allow us to get us off the phones to vacate the building. Some of us walked off before the firefighters got there but were threatened with our jobs if we left without permission! Used condoms found in the shower stalls, we needed shower stalls because most of the time rep’s hygiene habits were terrible, the call queue was always left at 100 or more leaving our stress level so high because they refused to allow for downtime after being blasted from customers waiting for hours to speak to us only for us to have to lie to them and refuse their requests. We were not allowed disconnect abusive customers…no matter if they were threatening our lives or not,..we were told we had to apologise to them that they felt like killing us. We were required to take any and all abuse. I saw so many people taken out by ambulance because of stress related illnesses. A few I have run into since then are still suffering PTSD, depression, anxiety etc. Our ‘grading’ system was set up so as our calls were monitored on a more stringent basis around our raise time so we were in danger of losing our very piddly amount of a raise. Raises were due to come after a certain block of hours but were never rendered on time and in some cases took months or even years to update. Those lucky enough, got retroactive pay.
    Drugs were rampant! Sales right on the floor. People going out to the parking on breaks and getting high just to make the day and abuse easier to handle I suppose.
    They set up a call-in system that was so hard to manuever through all the prompts, it was near impossible to call in sick. I saw a few people fired because they were unable to leave the proper employee numbers on the system and the proper prompts to set the proper time structure that the system needs to regard for whatever it is you are calling in for. At that time, they also disallowed people calling in personally.

    Talk of starting a union called for the firings of at least 20 people in my building…although illegal to fire people in my province for talk of starting a union or joining one, they found other reasons.

    I only worked there for a very short time while I was finishing school and I believe that is all this place should be used for…a stepping stone. Although Convergy’s promised to pay for half of my schooling but ripped me off there too, I moved on to bigger and anything better! Convergy’s lost my paperwork about school 3 times. Finally, I ran out of time on their policy for filing and wasn’t eligible to have my tuition paid back…imagine that! Them losing the paperwork meant that I didn’t need to work off my tuition reumbursement. A blessing in disguise I suppose.

    Oh well I am out of there…which is where the original poster should have been instead of sticking around so long that he couldn’t put a proper sentence or timeline together. If it is true that this person was only in it for a lawsuit, I think he may have royally screwed himself by sending that letter in without providing supporting documention in anyway. Or maybe he’s elaborating a head injury too by making the letter look bad to show just how bad that car accident jobber did? That’s a possibility too. I mean is anyone that educated really that stupid to stick around a job as bad as that, that long and write a letter that bad?

    Doubtful.

  110. Anonymous says:

    I have a few opinions on this thread.

    I will admit straight away that I work at a Convergys centre, obviously for privacy sake I will not divulge which one or my position there.

    I will start off by saying yes, the working conditions are not fantastic, but they are certainly not as bad as described in this article at least at my centre.

    I would also like to point out that these conditions apply to all levels of employee, phone rep, support team, team lead, manager, etc.

    We all have to deal with certain things that no one likes, it is that way in any company regardless of the field.

    Now if in fact the conditions at this particular centre are so bad I would suggest leaving, I know I certainly would however I have a difficult time believing that there would be such blatant disregard for common decency and as noted in some cases law.

    I have a difficult time believing that a team lead would be making out with an agent on the floor and in the hallway and remain emloyed unless of course the MO’s are complete fools, and if that is the case then the site director would be an equal if not greater fool for keeping these people employed.

    In additon the paragraph (for lack of a better word in this case) regarding HR denying the police access to deliver a summons…completely unbelievable. I’m not saying “wow I can’t believe they would deny blah blah blah..Im appaled” I’m saying BULLS**T, it simply wouldn’t happen and here is why….does anyone honestly believe the police would listen to an HR representative and just turn around and leave? Not likely the law takes a precedence and they will go where ever they please to do a job.

    I would also like to comment on the format of this letter in general, the complaintant states she has 2 undergrad degrees and a grad degree yet she/he (I believe it is a she) wasn’t able to put a complete thought on paper and what was written was written poorly, bad grammar, spelling and form, not to mention lack of consistancy (employed for 4 months but has been waiting over a year for a medical accomodation)

    I would also like to mention my annoyance with the fact that only some names were omitted, I happen to have fairly regular contact with one of the people mentioned in this article and I know for a fact (based on character) that said individual would not react to a situation in the manner described.

    Regarding the disabilities and requests for accomodations, yes this can be a difficult situation and sometimes hoops need to be jumped through to accomplish what is needed. I will admit this, however if the person making the requsts is prepared before hand it makes the process much simpler.

    There is no reason it should take months to get an accomodation such as a keyboard or monitor stand etc.

    I have seen far more difficult accomodations (special seats etc) come through in a matter of weeks.

    My guess is the representative simply did not have the paperwork in good order to get this accomplished.

    Still on the topic of disability, it was mentioned about discrimination and not being promoted because of a disability, well guess what….wrong again. I have seen rep’s with limited or no use of appendages (arms legs etc) get promoted if qualified, atthe centre I work in we have TL’s with disabilities, blind or near blind agents (special software is provided for them or special monitors if needed), the list goes on and those people are treated the same as everyone else.

    It is fairly obvious to anyone who has read this article that the person who wrote this was simply not promoted because of the lack of ability to do the job, if you want to be a TL you must write professionally and diplomaticly; you must also be able to conduct yourself with at least a certain amount of professionalism, if the author of this leter became a TL they would likely poison the working environment (more than it already is?? with the fishermans story she wrote I don’t know if thats possible).

    Again I would like to point out that I don’t disagree with all of the statements made, lets face facts, its a call centre.

    Not what anyone would call a glamourous job, however the company is stilll bound to follow labor laws and will be shut down quickly if they do not…I know that the Haz centre has been open for long enough to have worked out the kinks and if it was really as terrible (almost to the point of anarchy) as described they would have been shut long ago.

    I do however agree with the safe working conditions for weather and other travel related issues. I have seen situations where centres have remained open when there is a potential threat such as a tornado.

    In a situation like this 100% I agree calls should be routed to another centre….however….(I know I use that word a lot) I have been on the other side of that situtation where a centre will close and all calls will (and are) routed elsewhere, usually to our centre.

    It sounds to me like this person had a bad experience and simply doesn’t know how to deal wiith rejection or the harsh reality we call life.

    If its really that bad get the hell out.

    I would also like to apologize if there are any spelling or grammatical errors in my comment, its 230 am and I am sleepy

  111. vitonfluorcarbon says:

    @bdgbill:

    I sort of have to agree, even if I can feel for this person’s story. I have had to let go of people who did not perform, but always had a problem even after I fulfilled their special requests immediately. It’s not that I don’t feel for the writer, but I’ve heard stories like this more than once. I never discriminate, I really don’t care if they what sex they are, how old they are, how they look, their ethnicity… I worked to get an additional handicapped spot for someone with a weight problem just this year… as long as they can do the job. Some people take as much as you will give and you still will not earn their respect. Those people do not need to work for me.

    Again, I wish this person well. Just get the hell out of there and go someplace you can be happy.

  112. Roadgeek says:

    I’m guessing many, many black folk at this call center. Among other things, the lack of tipping for pizza delivery was a tip-off.

  113. Nighthawke says:

    I’m sorry, but the submitter seems to be self-centered and ranting quite severely. Some of the entries in the letter (if that what it really is) agree with some of the comments and 2nd hand stories. It seems that at&t needs to make some serious considerations about who they hire for call center ops.
    The call center indicated in the letter, for only a 1/4 of the problems detailed (if they are true), could be nailed by the state for a dozen violations of state labor and health dept. laws. The fed regs, add on at least 20 violations of OSHA/NIOSH, Sarbanes/Oxley, DOE regs, IRS regs, ADA regs (that’s a big ding right there, not maintaining safe access to the building, also local laws apply). We’re talking multi-million dollars in fines and some serious money to clean up the works.
    I’d be calling a good labor lawyer and supplying hard evidence.
    If there is a need for a union in this modern age, it’s the tech support business. Right now I could easily compare the operation to turn of the century textile factories exploiting child labor, or hiring folks, keeping them for 3 months, then firing them and not paying them wages. Same goes for coal mines or even the railroad conglomerates. The conditions and the environments the techs have to work in are horrid, and subhuman at best.
    Vote Union, techs. Drop the hammer on these companies for their poor employment ethics.

  114. Digitamer81 says:

    Still at a loss here on how this person started the letter being there “approx 4 mos.” then later in the letter mentioning the YEAR it took to get his/her chair.

  115. SunnyD538 says:

    I hate to tell everybody who doubts what this person is talking about. I work at the Hazelwood call center. And everything this person talks about is true. I have witnessed fights, drug deals. A while back a team lead from Comcast got caught banging one of his underlings in the board room with a porno playing on the overhead projector. Talk about living up to the Convergys motto of outhinking, outdoing. Most of the managers here are fools who can’t pull their heads out of their asses long enough to get anything done other than a printing up a report. The incompetence and disrespect of the employees permeates every orifice of the building. I’ve become desensitized to arriving at work and seeing a couple of police cars or ambulances parked out front. Now I know some of you will say “why don’t you get another job?”. Well I am but it is difficult because Convergys charges potential employers a fee to verify that a person works at Convergys. Most potential employers don’t want to pay the fee. I can keep on going it never stops. Anyway to all you naysayers KISS OFF because you have no idea what this place is like.

  116. tk427 says:

    This person has a graduate degree in whineassing and the two undergraduate degrees are in pissing and moaning.

    …and a woman who was pregnant and on fmla was lost so when she came back she had to start at the base pay…

    -They can’t lose your reviews if you walk away with a copy, dumbass.

    Women can’t seem to use the bathroom the right way; they back up and spray hitting everything.

    -Gee, I guess it’s only the women who work in that one building that sprinkle while they tinkle. You know why that happens? It’s because they’re hovering, it’s a useful life-skill, learn it and live it.

    @CelesteD: You are not alone. Some of the “perks” do sound good.

    @scottsmith: Hilarious!

    @SunnyD538: …Convergys charges potential employers a fee to verify that a person works at Convergys.
    Is that even legal?

  117. cecilsaxon says:

    @thbarnes:

    Whaa- adults are sick and call out when they have too. Non-adults call out whenever and then when they are sick have no choice but to try and make it through or lose their job.

  118. That was a lot more bitching than I cared to read. But I relate to ya man, thats the call center mentality. They are always positioned in low income areas where there is some technical skill to be found, like large suburban centers with high crime rates and low property tax. Turnover is high because you really only need one qualification to work there and thats HIGH TOLLERANCE FOR BULLSHIT. It also helps if you dress like/act like/are a junkie.

  119. capnjack says:

    After working at a customer service center for a large bank for 4 years (rose up to the operational/analyst level), I can say that a lot of this stuff is true for all call centers. The same people that make a career out of working at Walmart can get jobs at call centers, and the management always turns a blind eye to their b.s. because it’s a crap job to begin with. They know they are gonna treat the employees terribly, and deny them time off and have a large amount of turnover, so they let them do what they want for the most part.

    Not sure about knife fights tho…

  120. MirabelleEpopeus says:

    As a recently former employee of Convergy’s, most of what this person said is true. The first almost 2 years weren’t all that bad. Yes there were fights. Yes we were told to keep a trashcan close by if we were throwing up because we weren’t allowed to go home or leave the floor. There were alot of bad things, but the pay was decent, working with friends was nice and once in a blue moon you actually got treated to something nice.
    It took me over 3 years before I left that place. It wasn’t a dream job, but then most jobs aren’t. I know a number of people that are there just because of the health insurance.
    For myself, the hardest part was dealing with all the lies, having to get the labor board involved, threatening the company with lawyers, having managers and the HR department do their jobs for them, so that “it could be done faster” (faster usually meant within 9 months by the way). Convergy’s has had so many lawsuits brought against them (all successes), one would think they would have cleaned their act up a bit. That company just doesn’t care and it really shows.

  121. Mr. Hate says:

    I have worked for Convergys for over 5 years in Kamloops bc Canada. This has been the worst company I have ever worked for. You are told one thing and they turn around and do the opposite. It is like working in a concentration camp. They never promote based on skill and knowledege, its a popularity contest. So you see people promoted that have no idea what they are doing. There is an old saying around here ” if they can find a way to get you to do more work with no additional pay, they will”. Avoid this place at all costs. Selling your body on the street would be a better carrier choice thatn this place. At least its you coice when you get screwed!! Welcome to HELL!!!!

  122. LunaIsis says:

    I currently work at a Convergys call center in Tucson, AZ and am actually writing this while at my desk (thank goodness for the low call volume) I understand that this letter may not have been written very well, but I completely understand and believe it all. As a CSR that has taken numerous completely jacked up calls from the Hazelwood office I can now see why the customers who have spoken to their agents are so upset.

    I also have had a very hard time getting important legal things taken care of while with this company. At one point in time I was bit by an unknown insect and had my wrist swell up and my hand become inopperable. From the time I had shown this to a TL to the time they managed to get me out and to a doctor i was stuck with a blue hand for over an hour. This was all due to the fact that nobody in the building, no matter the project, had any clue as to the guidelines for Workmans Comp or even what to do in an emergency situation. I fear for anybody who ends up with something more serious than a bug bite.

    On that note, yes it’s true that call centers do not have a very good reputation for hiring the most brilliant people… But it is also true that sometimes a call center job is the most suitable position. I’m great on the phone and i really do like to help people, so it works for me. Reading this letter was one of the most frustrating things I’ve ever done. I seriously cannot believe that anybody in a management position there takes that kind of crap. Call centers are generous in their lax environment because it’s a stressful job and you dont have to see anybody face to face, hence the casual dress code and the allowence for web browsing while at work, etc. While things are also quite lax at the Tucson office there is nobody here who takes advantage of the company that much… Yes, we occasionally eat at our desks, and every once in a while someone is stupid enough to answer their cell phone at work… But even then it is usually at a time when the call volume is low and nobody is doing much of anything anyways. I can honestly say that I am glad I dont work at the Hazelwood office… I will be talking to a TL shortly to see if there is any assistance I can provide as another Convergys/Comcast employee and I suggest that any other Convergys employees do the same as you know how things opperate here.

    And as a final note to the author of the letter, if they happen to keep track of the comments… I’m so sorry that you had to work in these conditions. I feel your pain and understand what you’re going through. Now is the time to look up because hopefully something will be done about this now that enough publicity has been sparked.

  123. Obama says:

    Well, this is no surprise seeing how the call center is in Hazlewood, MO. I won’t say anymore about that. Those of us that know what I mean will understand.

    But I have to admit, why stay at a place like that so long? If you quit a job with working conditions like that you will always collect unemployment anyway. Unemployment is better than working at a place like that. Hell, now that I think of it, unemployment is better than working just
    about anywhere! LOL.

  124. Vox says:

    When I worked at the Hazelwood MO Convergys, they dragged in every piece of criminal trash from North St. Louis that could walk. At least once a week the police towed a stolen car from the lot that the scum would drive to work. They would nightly (and sometimes daily) break in to other employees cars. They’d smoke crack in the bathrooms and sell drugs on the floor. Some of the chairs had urine stains on them. You’d routinely go home after your shift (I never sat on my furniture to remove my Convergys clothes, only in the laundry room) and there would be bites all over the back of your legs and ass from whatever??? They stole anything that wasn’t nailed down. The jigs would come to work wreaking (I mean make you gag) of B.O. Most everyone around you had felony convictions. I was told more than once that incarceration was the number 1 reason for absentees at this facility. I could go on and on about how ghetto the facility was (and certain still is)