Strict, cut-throat, fast-paced, high-pressure, bureaucratic,
The increasing stresses of working at Vangent caused me medical illness, making it necessary that I quit. Anyone who reads this has a chance to avoid a great deal of thankless heartache.
This is a perfect job for a genius of total photographic recall, whose personality is such he would not have a prayer of interviewing well to getting another job. It is better if he happens to be a Spanish-speaking genius. He should live a very austere lifestyle and have little else to do but play with computers, besides pay rent and groceries, eat, sleep and drive. He should have no children or any sort of family-type responsibilities or burdens outside of this call center, because this job, particularly CSR I on a temp level, will literally suck him dry of anything he does not have devoted to his computer/social life.
Job security is nil. Employees will survive only if they have a fast-photographic memory of bottomless capacity, and can remember perfectly whatever the last update, made of up to hundreds of points a week. If an employee fails to remember one point he will fail the call. Four failed calls and employees are fired. Unless a candidates happen to be like the geek above described, this would be a good job for the HAL 9000 computer of the film 2001 - A Space Odyssey...minus the murderous misprogramming, of course.
Speaking of computer systems, the one that Vangent gives the employee no choice but to use is slow, cumbersome and more faulty than any employee ever thought of being, but is held to a far lower standard than he is.
Company policy is so time-obsessive that the employee cannot be late by more than three minutes on any of about fifteen events a day, including arrival, lunches and breaks. If he must use a bus system to get to work, he will be only as reliable the bus system, or have to sacrifice a lot of his own, unpaid time to guarantee punctuality. All violations of punctuality get him points, and after so many points, he is fired. And the clocks, at least for the time pertinent of my review, were not kept accurate in time - they marched fast to as much as seven minutes.
There is no positive incentive (such as raises) to do anything well; all incentives are negative. Raises are almost nonexistent. There is little relationship between promotions and performance. Oh yes, there is a kudos system where a pleased caller can complement a Customer Service Representative, but such reports do not touch the employee's permanent file.
In addition to the stresses mentioned above, employees take calls from the angry (from having dealt with a tedious phone-menu system), the elderly, the sick, the mentally-challenged, the hard-of-hearing and the dying. Employees are compelled, upon threat of job, to get as many calls closed as possible per unit time - each call perfectly. There is diminishing opportunity to be a listening ear to Medicare beneficiaries who often are not so in a hurry and are starved for even short relationships with anyone they talk to.
The pay is set in stone at the time of hire and you will never get a raise, unless you get a promotion, or the contract provides additional money. Some members of your team will get raises but you won't.
You are there to meet the business needs of the company. You are a robot. You are assigned a locker to keep your personal items in. You are allowed a few framed photos at your desk, but nothing more. No personal effects are allowed. They strip all individuality from you. If you are not needed to meet that day's business needs, they send you home.
Some people will get promotions without any interview or application. Others will apply and interview, but be turned down. Management is not forthcoming when you ask for information. If you've ever complained or tried to improve anything, you will not be promoted.
The company has a fly-by-the-seat-of-its-pants mentality, meaning that changes tend to be dropped in your lap without any warning. When prior notice does happen, the changes usually don't make a lot of sense. Not every member of management receives the same training, or at the same time, so two supervisors or managers will tell you two different things.
They don't allow bathroom breaks. You can't be more than three minutes late to work, or it counts as badly as if you were an hour late.
You will be micromanaged. The culture of the company is such that they have no problem micromanaging you, and in fact if you express frustration they will remind you that you (basically) agreed to being micromanaged when you were hired.
They don't trust anyone.
They do not value college education.
They hire people to be managers and senior supervisors who have absolutely no experience in call-center operations. They do, however, hire managers who have experience in jobs like factory labor. This is perhaps why they call the work area the "production floor".
Senior members of management who are good will be dismissed with no notification whatsoever. If a senior manager quits or gets fired, there will be no warnings or memos.
Mattersight monitors (listening for "non-interaction time" and callers' emotional conditions) involve calls that are more than a month old. Quality monitors involve the last call you took on a Friday night before a weekend. You also have monitors for "peace of mind" that involve a member of the training department describing how to better explain Part A prospective payment to an eighty-five-year-old woman in less than 5 minutes without hurting her feelings.
You will be cheerful and start each call with a positive attitude, but the caller's negative demeanor instantly wears you down. The callers are angry, rude, upset, yelling, shouting, sometimes threatening, and you have to endure this, call after call, day after day.
There are no performance bonuses. The employee who takes 10 calls a day with mediocre quality gets paid the same as the employee who takes 50 calls a day with superior quality.
They will change the dress code and give you two days to change your wardrobe. You are expected to wear business casual (button-down shirt and slacks), even in the summertime, and even though you work in a call center where NOBODY CAN SEE YOU.
You will be told to prep for site visits by dignitaries, business partners, other companies, but on the day of the visit, nobody shows up.
The pay is steady.
You don't have to take the work home with you.
The supervisors and managers hate it as much as you do.
The more of a robot you can be, the better you will do.
I see a lot of people complaining about this job, uhm ever work in a call center? Yes your at a desk all day, Yes they want You on time, Yes they will give you negative points if Your late....perhaps You guys need to work at Mcdonalds??? Yes it was easy to get on, yes they hire a lot of people who should be working at Mcdonalds....so? it's decent pay for the work done...Yeah they make You lock your stuff up..uhm..it's a government contract with highly secure material..get over yourselves.