Off Center
I pride myself on continually providing fresh content, but there are certain Off Center posts that, based on feedback from my seven fans, bear repeating.

And with that, I present my most popular holiday-related contact center poems and carols of all time…

T’was the Night After Training

T’was the night after training, and all I could think
Was how the call center might drive me to drink
We’d all practiced role-plays to help us prepare
But role-plays are easy – real customers scare.

So there I was snuggled all warm in my bed
While visions of acronyms danced in my head
I couldn’t remember what half of them meant
FCR? C-Sat? My brain had been bent.

Then all of a sudden my mind became clear
And all fear of handling calls disappeared
Want to know why I was no longer a wreck?
The Xanax I’d taken had taken effect

The drugs soon wore off, then all I could think
Was “What if the service I give truly stinks?”
What if my quality scores are the worst?
When push comes to shove on a call I might curse

The panic subsided and soon I was snoozing
That’s when the call center dreams started oozing
The calls I dreamt of grew increasingly hectic
One dream had my manager screaming out metrics:

“Abandonment! FCR! AHT! C-Sat!
Cost-per-call! Talk time! Response time and E-Sat!
C’mon you peons – don’t let service fall!
Just answer those, answer those, answer those calls!”

I awoke from that dream quite afraid of my headset
And was very displeased about making my bed wet
Only three hours before my first shift!
So I guzzled two Red Bulls to give me a lift

Soon I was buzzing and following through
Ready to steady all calls in the queue
Ready to dazzle with email and chat
Ready to laugh at those bullies called “stats”

The taurine and caffeine and sugar combined
To make me believe I could handle this grind
But Red Bull eventually loses its magic
And that’s when my first day logged in became tragic

The calls flooded in, my confidence ceased
Thank God for that thing on my phone called “Release”
I was coming unglued after only an hour
The callers were rude and I needed a shower

So I trudged to the restroom without any clearance
My manager shouted, “You’re out of adherence!”
When asked if that’s bad, he just nodded and hissed
So I flipped him the bird and said “Monitor THIS!”

“Take the Calls”

(to the tune of “Deck the Halls”)

Take the calls, the queue’s exploding
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Satisfaction’s fast eroding
Fa la la la la, la la la la
FCR is non-existent
Fa la la, la la la, la la la
Reps are sobbing in the distance
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Call arrival is so random
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Callers sigh and some abandon
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Callers’ rage is all recorded
Fa la la, la la la, la la la
Always say “Your call’s important"
Fa la la la la, la la la la

"Working in the Contact Center, Man"

(to the tune of “Walking in a Winter Wonderland”)

Hear the phones? It’s ballistic
Readerboards flash statistics
The systems are slow
We’re pissed and it shows
Working in the contact center, man

Calls attack, chats defeat you
Holy crap, now there’s tweets too
Channels expand
I can’t feel my hands
Working in the contact center, man

In the center you can build a forecast
And do your best to keep things gliding smooth
But customers are always on the warpath
And you get left there crying in your cube

The job’s a beast – it’s getting scary
But at least it’s sedentary
We sit on our butts
We quit or go nuts
Working in the contact center, man

Happy Holidays to All! (And to all, a good laugh.)

The queue is finally empty
The customers are calm
The reps no longer gasp for breath or cry out for their mom

The ACD did not explode
As many thought it might
It routed all 10,000 calls to agents out of spite

The supervisors now can coach
And work on raising scores
Though might as well forget the reps who’ve sprinted toward the doors

The manager’s exhausted
But has yet another task
To calculate the C-Sat rate – that’s why he has a flask

The call center is quiet now
It’s rare to have such peace
It’s the kind of calm that comes when reps just press “release”

So close your eyes, oh weary ones
You day is now complete
Worry not of calls and chats – you’ll soon be screwed by tweets

In clinical trials, this poem successfully lulled 87% of call center insomniacs to sleep. If, by chance, you continue to struggle with insomnia even after reading this poem, talk to a licensed physician about medications and supplements that can aid sleep. Or, if you need IMMEDIATE relief, simply have a conversation with somebody from Accounting or Legal.