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|Let me give you some ideas, and then you can help me fill in the blanks! There was a story on here|
which pretty much hit it on the head. So let's delve deeper into some of the fun and games in Knoxville TN! (A side note: while I never worked on the phones there myself, I am a "roommate" of someone who works in the High Speed Incompetence department, and I visited the inner workings a few times, including attempting to train there - but I quit because I wasn't about to deal with the bullshit.)
|Let's start with the actual call center itself. The atmosphere of it is like the Death Star - there are diagonal rows of fluorescent lighting which don't do much more than cause a painful glare on your monitors and phone displays. There are large pipes all across the ceiling just below the tin roof (it used to be a Dollar General and some other hellhole slum store just a little ways away from the ghetto section in Knoxville before Comcast snapped it up,) so when it rains (which it does often,) it's no wonder the agent on the line asks you to speak up because of the shit-poor headsets. These large pipes are the ventilation system which pretty much have no filtration system and is an OSHA raid waiting to happen. There is black shit falling from the vents which is seriously toxic and contains much bacteria and viruses. The bathrooms are germ-ridden as well, and there are so many ignorant fucks who are too fucking lazy to lift a seat that they piss all over it and/or don't clean up after themselves when they're done, sometimes even leaving shit streaks on the seats from their ever-spreading asses. They HAVE a cleaning crew, but they come in so rarely that they expect the agents to clean the place - there's literally huge dust-varmints of this toxic shit on the desks that they expect the agents to touch. So many people there get sick that it just keeps spreading over and over, and it's near to becoming a mass tuberculosis factory. And that doesn't even mention that the break area (where the microwaves, dishwasher, fridge, and vending machines were) was overrun with cockroaches. They were known to have hoedowns in the dishwasher.|
Now that you have an idea of the environment, let's start with the head idiot running the place. We'll call him James T. Earnhardt - the "James T." referring to the captain of the Enterprise, and the "Earnhardt" referring to the famed NASCAR driver. If you take the missing parts of those two names and slap them together, that's the name of this ass-clown. His take on the running (into the ground) of the organization in Knoxville and surrounding areas is that he (and this actually spilled from his big mouth and was overheard by several people) "doesn't care about how service interruptions are handled as long as his block didn't lose service because that would make him look bad." This guy is the equivalent of George W. Bush as far as not knowing what to say or when to say it.
Now, people are supposed to have a tech out within 24 hours of it being a service outage or within 48 hours if it's some lesser issue (equipment problems.) There were times when techs were so overbooked that the people wouldn't see them for almost a week. It's almost as disgusting as that shithole of a call center.
Now let's take a look at the equipment used on the floor: Dell Pentium 4 1.8GHz machines. Not bad, but not enough RAM to run smoothly. They run a highly locked-down version of Windows 2000 (most likely for fear of agents going to sites that "tell it like it is" about Comca$t.) The database program is DOS-based and accesses a giant SQL database, and if anyone has ever tried running a DOS-based program in Win2K, let alone any that tries to access a DB, you know that's like trying to piss up a rope. This is why it takes agents so long to look shit up - because the tools are pieces of shit. There is a Windows-based version of this program, but they're too fucking cheap to get it. Would it save time wasted on looking up information? Yes. Would it save time wasted on reboots after the program takes a shit? Yes. Is wasting time part of the Comca$t motto? Do you see where this is heading? And then the tools that are used to see what's going on with your HSI connection - they also suck. They supposedly put them on redundant servers, but they most definitely made things worse because it takes forever for the data to be pulled from six slow-ass servers, only one of which would complete within a minute. And they had a perfectly decent phone system until recently, when they switched to something that sucks like a drug whore when she realizes you sprinkled some coke in your pubies. You can't hear shit, and sometimes it takes 3 or 4 times to get through to someone who can hear you.
Let's look at the center managers now. The HSI Manager truly fits the designation of the Leader of High Speed Incompetence. The best way to describe him is: Picture modern-day Michael Jackson... if he was still black. Remember when there was that DNS outage? His position on it was: "We don't know what the hell is going on, and they don't know where it's coming from, but tell them that we're working on it and hope to have an answer shortly." This happened two or three times in two weeks' time. This is why you should look up freely-accessible DNS on Google and plug those numbers in - they're more likely to be on the backbone, and they won't block websites. Oh yeah, didn't I mention that? Comcast's DNS blocks sites and domains.
Now let's look at the cable side's manager. Nice guy, but he lets some of his supervisors (and their lackeys) get away with murder. I hate to say this because I don't want to sound like an "Uncle Tom," but the ones who get away with the most are, like me, of the African-American persuasion. Supposedly their hiring practices are Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity, but we hang out with several people who fit into the AA "Quota" system who should have gotten first dibs on positions that opened up, but they were turned down for reasons pertaining to the exact situation that should have pushed them to the front of the line! Let's just say that the hiring system there when it comes to higher positions is a bit on the homophobic, misogynistic, and anti-disability sides.
Most of the supervisors are nice and somewhat helpful, giving feedback when needed or notifying you when you do well. Then we have supervisors who are ignorant, invasive pricks. They infringe upon your privacy, searching through your shit when you're not there (they took drawer keys away some time ago,) and they play with the computer to make it look like someone else was sitting there. They park in the limited number of handicapped spots (without tags, of course,) and they are even known to be cheating on their spouses in Yahoo chatrooms on company time (if you ever see TraumaJunkie in a Yahoo chatroom, go ahead and fuck with that dopey bastard - tell him you're a horny co-ed from UT Knoxville who wants to meet him for kinky ass-sex. And if you can picture a cross between Lurch from "The Addams Family" and the neighbor from "Beavis and Butthead" then you've got a sick mind... but you can then picture what this dumblefuck looks like.)
Now let's look at the actual agents. Some of these people are so disgusting that it's no wonder they're on a phone and not doing work in public. Many are candidates for the "Just Say No To Crack" campaign. Some come in with a Wendy's bag filled with a Classic Triple with Cheese meal, super-biggie-sized, and wonder why they have greasy hair and skin and weigh about the same as 3 average-sized agents. And intelligence? It's not really important as long as you can read. There are some agents who know what they're doing and can actually fix your problems without a script or manual or help from Jesus, but they're few and far between... and they're usually shitcanned for some bullshit reasons because they make the rest of the department look bad. Now there's some sense: fire the decent agents because they make the shitty ones look bad. And I saved the best for last: they "recommend" a college degree for working in the HSI department - probably because the scripts have words with more than two syllables in them.
I'm glad that I didn't stick around there long because I've been promoted three times in the eight months of working at my new job, and my roomie is still in the same job, at the same level, after working there for more than two years. It's a miracle I haven't woken up to him loading his rifle while reciting Private Pyle's lines in the "Head Scene" from "Full Metal Jacket."
Now let's talk about the monopoly they have in K-Town. There are a couple other cable companies in the area (Charter and Knology.) They forced Charter into a noncompete contract so that areas already established with one could not have the other. Knology, on the other hand, didn't fall for that. They offer cable, internet, and phone service. They have more channels, better variety, and, of course, phone service. Comcast techs have been known to "accidentally" disconnect and remove Knology lines when they had to go disconnect the Comcast lines because customers got sick of the bullshit and switched to a better alternative. Also, at apartment complexes where they have a stranglehold, they went and removed outlets that had been there for ages and moved main outlets, much to the dismay of older couples who couldn't move their equipment themselves, and then said that it was because "people were stealing service..." and they could get their additional outlets back if they paid to have them put back in. Yeah... pay for something they already had.
And finally let's talk about the incompetence that's the Tech Ops (Technical Operations, or Dispatch) department in Knoxville and Chattanooga. The techs are overworked, and they are given more jobs than they can complete in the timeframes that are quoted. They rely on the Tech Ops department to tell them whether or not the people at the next house on the list are at home. There are so many who call in and say that nobody ever called or showed, but when agents call Tech Ops to find out what's going on, they're told that the customer was "called twice with no answer." Of course, they tell this to the tech, who then has to go on to the next job. Then the person, who truly was not called, has to reschedule, meaning their shitty, overpriced service will be down even longer... without a credit. Now this is a regular situation that goes back to James T. Earnhardt's concerns about service interruptions because that's how they were told to handle it.
And they wonder why they have such a bad name.