Sleeping On The Job

Would this be considered reckless driving?

In order to succeed at a job and make it a career, and employee needs a desire to advance. They need to believe in the company and their position therein. The employee must understand that with some effort, they can not only benefit the company, but also themselves.

Having said that, I could (obviously) give a flying fuck about Telescreen. That’s why I sleep on the job.

Actually, it’s been awhile since I had a little nap in the cubicle. On the morning shift in Super Department, calls are one after the other for nine frantic hours straight. When I was on the late night Tech Department shift however, I had the opportunity to doze off from time to time, and even once, passed the fuck out.

Allow me to explain. When a customer gets a new receiver, if they can’t figure out how to set it up, they call us and we have to walk them through the process. It’s decidedly simple, very rarely deviating from the tried and true step-by-step process. But it sure does take a long time. We’re talking about Telescreen equipment here, so the stuff is pure monkey shit.

The agents are supposed to lead the customer only to a certain point and then end the call because they have to be available to answer more and more calls (the sweatshop mentality remember). Yet I know that if we stay on the line waiting for everything to download it will make our lives a lot better. I know customers appreciate having someone make sure everything works. I know that everything will usually work without any issues. I know that our Q and A team (Big Brother) stops listening to calls after 30 minutes. I know the call will last more than 30 minutes. I know I don’t have to follow any bullshit guidelines. I know I can chill the fuck out for a few moments in the otherwise crazy call center.

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The Car-Sized Shit Fan

I have no idea what that means, nor do I want to know.

If you were to picture the Telescreen call-center, I’m sure you can imagine it’s as big a piece of shit as the company itself. Over the years, I’ve noticed a few things in particular that continue week after week. At this point, I can’t say I’m not surprised.

The janitors (or masters of the custodial arts) have a little system for cleaning shit up. If anything spills, leaks, etc, they just put a wet floor sign up and fucking leave it. Every damn time. Shit, I want their fucking jobs.

The cafeteria area looks pretty nasty, but when you get up close, you really get a better idea. Everything is sticky. The floors, the chairs, the tables, the counters. Not sure how or why, but I really don’t want to know.

The bathrooms look like a war zone, I mean, really goddamn disgusting. Hey, I went to college, it doesn’t bother me too much. Then I saw one day how they clean up. I was in there on my break of course (see Who Said You Could Go To the Bathoom? for further insight). Then a janitor came in, grabbed a wad of paper towel, wiped everything into the trashcan, and left. Boom, done, 10 second clean up. If you’re going to cut expenses, you might as well cut out cleaning supplies. I’ve seen that multiple times now, so it’s not a one off, but another one of their cleaning systems.

When shit breaks, shit stays broken. Lights that go out stay out, so we get bitched out by toothless trailer trash in the dark. When a toilet breaks, a plastic bag is put over it for an average of a month. The cooling system fucks up every spring and fall like clockwork. We have broken desks, chairs, and tables. The only things that are promptly fixed are the computers and phones, because God forbid we wouldn’t be taking calls every second of our shifts.

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Winston Gets Sent To The Manager’s Office

Why is there a swing set in front of the manager’s office?

Every employee of any company dreads it. Just like when you were a kid and they had the principal’s office. Except instead of threatening to call your parents, they threaten to take away your paycheck. Yes, these are the fears of being sent to the manager’s office.

I was getting bitched out by some toothless hillbilly piece of shit who couldn’t count past six if it were on a Busch light can, so basically, just a typical day. On my extremely limited and time-monitored break, some of my fellow long-suffering employees were talking about someone who just got canned after being with the company for 12 years. Now in a call center, 12 years is like 100 fucking years. Considering the normal (smart) employee lasts weeks or months, that’s a big deal. So the gossip continued and I went back to work like normal. After my shift finally ended, I heard about some more people that seemed to be randomly fired. And then some more. Considering the constant hurt for employees and the high volume of idiot callers, this was seeming pretty weird. We all gossiped about our job security and those that were now free from Telescreen, and I left to join the real world, away from the evil dungeon known as Super Department.

The next day, I was back at it, this time helping some dumbass who could barely speak English add up a bill. Then up popped a chat from one of the supervisors who told me to go to the regional manager’s office. Now I’d been in the department manager’s office a few times, like in Don’t Get Mad And Leave, but never the regional manger’s. Once the failed math lesson was over, I slowly made my way to the office of the call-center regional manager, someone I had only seen at a distance after so many years of working in Super Department. It was like the fucking Wizard of Oz or something, except the she was a weird-looking chick and not a midget.

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ESP Turns Two

And another fun filled day at the DMV began.

Can you believe it, gentle reader? The wild and crazy world of Extremely Stupid People turns two years old as of today!

I know, I’m excited too. Not excited that I’m still working in the Hell on Earth known as Telescreen Inc, but excited that the blog is still rolling and capturing stupidity after all these years (um…two).

Last year at this time, I contemplated the viability of keeping the blog going. Low readership, a large time commitment, and basically having to relive my life at the call center even when I wasn’t there made me consider shutting ESP down. But I quit being a crying bitch and continued on. Since then, the blog was featured on the WordPress Freshly Pressed page and we gained lots of new intelligent followers. Readership isn’t crazy high or anything, but at least we have a solid crew of people that can join in on making fun of fucking idiots. I also made a new friend, Charlie Blue Dot, that will be collaborating and joining the fun here at ESP. Nothing else of note really happened throughout the year other than that. Just lots of posts about stupid people.

I came to realize over the last year that this blog will need to continue on, whether I have one reader or one million. Whether you read this blog once a month or dutifully each time a new post plops into your inbox, I think ESP can bring some good to the world, even if I do say “fuck” and “shit” a lot. Fuck. Shit. I know it’s made me feel better about having to get screamed at by angry asshole redneck pieces of shit all day. If your job is decidedly shitty, maybe these ESP stories can make your day a little brighter. Maybe you don’t have a job and are tired of watching infomercials. Maybe you just enjoy pointing and laughing at dumb people. I know I do.

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The Nine Hour Interview

“So, this is your resume?”

In my daily job searching and periodic interviewing for better positions (such as a guy that drives around town picking up dog shit), I was reminiscing of the wonderful interview process undertaken at Telescreen Inc almost two years ago. Good thing I’ve written down every ESP interaction and Telescreen misstep since my first week on the job, or else I’d forget all the finer details. If you happen to be in a rush and want me to skip over the details, I can do that too. I’ll sum up the Telescreen interview process in two simple words: Fucking stupid. There you go, now get onto more important things like making origami animals or something.

I fatefully drove by the massive Telescreen call center one day and saw a hiring sign. I was unemployed and needed a job, simple as that. I knew it was a shitty company and the the job would probably blow, but I thought it could get me by “for the time being.” Little did I know that meant two years and counting…

That night I went online to apply, and was immediately greeted by a whole bunch of bullshit. You don’t just send them your resume, you’ve got to earn the honor to apply, or at least that’s the way it seemed. You can’t just send your resume, you’ve got to fill out pages and pages of additional information instead. That’s standard with a lot of applications, but it wasn’t a real job. I mean, it’s a fucking call center.

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Winston Goes Back To Kindergarten

Something’s wrong here…

Whoa, shit! Sorry for the hiatus, gentle reader. I guess I’ll just call it a “holiday break.” Unfortunately, stupidity never takes a break or a holiday, so back to business as usual.

Remember back in the day, when you were in elementary school, and you had to use some dumbass pass to go to the bathroom? It was usually some cutesie thing that you had to carry in with you, which now that I think about it, was pretty unsanitary and disgusting.

Next, you moved up to middle school, and you still had to have a pass, but it was for the purpose of roaming the halls and did not need to be brought into the germ filled crapper.

Then you made it to high school, and you didn’t have to use a pass to roam the halls or take a leak, but you still had that dickweed assistant principal wandering the halls threatening to expel you for not being in class.

Finally, you made it to college, where no one gave a fuck if you were in the halls or even attending class for that matter. So you slept in, ate some Easy Mac, played some Mario Cart, and got wasted on Busch Light at 1PM on a Tuesday. Man college was fucking awesome.

Now that you’re in the work force, you would think you wouldn’t need any sort of dumbass passes to do anything, because you’re a fucking adult, and anything of that nature is childish and stupid. Unless of course, you work at Telescreen Inc.

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Don’t Get Mad And Leave

“This is what you wear to a job interview, right?”

Right when I started at Telescreen, I began making my next move. After one day of training, I realized what I was getting into, and immediately wanted out. Obviously, working at Telescreen was going to be a temporary thing until I could find a real job. That was and still is easier said than done, so I set my sights within the company in the interim. I quickly learned that I wasn’t the only one wanting to move around in Telescreen. We employees call it “getting off the phones,” and as the name suggests, we all desire to work anywhere and do anything other than talk to fucking idiots all day.

I began bugging my training boss, then my second boss, then my third boss. My inquiries about moving within the company came about every single day. The supervisors and management aren’t stupid, and they don’t let just anyone transfer. Wait, I take that back, they’re all really fucking stupid actually.

Anyway, the management is aware everyone wants to “get off the phones,” but knows that they need to keep the shitty positions staffed. So in order to transfer, you have to pretend you really want it, be ready for more bullshit, and only opt for one specific department, all in hopes that a vacancy will open up. A normal company would encourage growth and provide employees with opportunities to move up the ranks. As you can imagine, Telescreen isn’t quite as enlightened as a normal company. They prefer to keep the employees at their shitty positions until they inevitably quit. Maybe that’s why we have a new training class hitting the call center floor an average of every other week. I shit you not, that’s a fucking fact.

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The Telescreen Olympics

“You call yourselves soldiers? Drop down and give me 20…crab walks.”
Since Telescreen is a piece of shit, they really don’t do much for their disgruntled employees. However, from time to time, they half-ass some bullshit sort of event. The most recent one was called The Telescreen Olympics.

Maybe it was inspired by the summer games this year, or the event planner just smoked too much pot. However it was contrived, nothing could change the fact that The Telescreen Olympics were really fucking lame, as expected.

I got a few emails warning me about the big event, which was set to take place for a few hours in the afternoon. Being bombarded by dumb rednecks and angry assholes meant I couldn’t read the details of the event plans. Actually, if I in fact did have enough time, I still wouldn’t have cared enough to read the details.

The day arrived and I took my lunch break at the height of the event. Normal companies have a big event where, you know, everyone is invited. Not Telescreen. The employees have to work their normal hours, and if they happen to have a break in the event timeframe, they can attend. By break I mean a short 15 minute break that can’t go over by a few seconds. How employees were supposed to actually enjoy the event? From what I could tell though, there wasn’t much to enjoy.

I moseyed over to the extravagant event which consisted of: A table. Normal companies have music, an open bar, food, and other awesome fare. The Telescreen Olympics were a couple of dumb management fuckers sitting at a table running a little tournament. What sort of games can you have in a call center from a planning committee with no budget? Here were the three events I saw:

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Who Said You Could Go To The Bathroom?

Who needs a newspaper when you can chat?

In light of Telescreen being recently named one of the worst companies to work for (no shit), I thought I’d get back to the “Job Security” category of ESP, and focus on what it’s like to work at a call center. At at normal job, you have work to do, and you have the day to complete it. You can chat about the NFL game at the water cooler, go out to Chipotle and snag a burrito, or arrive five minutes late if there’s goddamn traffic. If you have more shit to do, you stay a little later, or work through lunch. If you get tired, you snag a cup of coffee over in the break room. You’re responsible for yourself and your job, and the company trusts you to complete your tasks. How fucking enlightened.

Oh how different a call center is from the real world. At Telescreen, time is money, and the employees are expected to work every second of their shift. Every…fucking…second. Call centers are all about statistics, and everything about the employees day is monitored: When they walk in the door, when they log into the computer, when they take calls, how many calls they take, when they go on break, how long the break was, how long the calls are, when they log out, etc. It’s 1984 in the worst sense, and the monitoring is enlisted because Telescreen doesn’t trust any of the employees to do their jobs.

The employees are expected to start taking calls before or right when the shift starts. Not a minute after, literally, and no excuse will get an employee out of being marked late. The whole eight hour shift is monitored to ensure the employee takes calls the entire time, and don’t sneak away to do anything other than work. This obviously is physically and psychologically draining, as getting screamed at for eight hours nonstop isn’t ideal for anyone.

The employees get a lunch break that’s exactly 30 minutes, as well as two other 15 minute breaks, and you guessed it, there’s no wiggle room in the length of the breaks. In the meantime, they take calls one after another, no downtime between calls, no time to breathe, just frantic work. What do they do if they have to stretch their legs, take a leak, or check the mountain of emails in their inboxes? The short answer is…they don’t.

I have had a few problems with this myself in the past. We are supposed to go into our “break aux” on our 1984-esque monitoring toolbar anytime we need to do anything other than take calls. I say, fuck that, because break-time is exteremely precious yell-free time. So when I have to go to take a leak, I get up and take a leak. Seems simple enough to me, I mean, what kind of place won’t let the employees go to the bathroom? Well…

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Winston Joins Facebook

How come Facebook doesn’t have a thumbs down for things that are stupid?

It was bound to happen. I thought ESP was technologically advanced by being on the Internet. Unfortunately, simply being on the Internet doesn’t guarantee much of anything. You have to join Facebook to be a part of the cutting edge. At least that’s what my man J-Tim told me, you know, the gay guy from the Facebook movie. No more cassette tapes, those are reserved for my 80’s Billy Joel collection (that’s actually not a joke). No more books, those are reserved for nerds and people who hate TV (like such classics as Pawn Stars). No more newspapers, those are reserved for old people (along with prune juice and informercials). From now on, ESP will be on the cusp of technology. Wait, wasn’t Facebook founded in 2004? Oh well, close enough.

The link to my kick ass Facebook page is on the right of the blog, just below the new kick ass ESP logo. Go on, click it, you know you want to.

I know there’s not much on there yet, but hey, I just started. I’ll be slowly uploading all my previous posts to the Facebook page, and every new post will automatically be uploaded there as well. You can like my Facebook page and see new posts on your news feed. You can write on the wall, send a message, or comment on posts. You can click the big bad ‘like’ button on the right of the screen. You can share posts via Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, or email. You can subscribe to ESP via email and get all my future intelligent posts tossed right into your inbox. Whew! So many choices, so little time. Rather, so much stupidity, so little time to mock.

Way to go technology, I’m damn proud. I’ll leave you with a little bit of ESP before you go:

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