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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Master of the Custodial Arts

For some reason this guy thinks he’s cool because he’s a janitor.

You know your job is a piece of shit when people fight over custodial duties. No, I’m not joking, gentle reader. As always, your pal Winston tells the truth and nothing but the truth. Allow me to elaborate.

Because Telescreen is so fucking cheap, they don’t pay for enough maintenance crews around our building. Mind you, the call center is fucking huge, with over a thousand people working there, but apparently Big Brother wants to buy some more weekend hookers, so we’re stuck with the few illegal immigrants we have. Then who’s going to pick up the slack? I guess the dipshit management will just have to utilize the workers they already have to fill in on cleaning duties.  Well, let me be specific, they can only use the workers that are experiencing some downtime, which is pretty much never. Hence why the competition to join the cleanup crew is so fierce. Who wouldn’t want a nice break from a continuous onslaught of stupidity?

I found out about this “perk” by going outside one day during training, even before I started in Super Department. I walked outside with some of my coworkers and headed over to the smoking area. This is by far the most popular place in the building, next to the cafeteria which serves a plethora of fried food. This should give  you an idea of the work environment I’m dealing with.

We saw one of the veteran Super Department agents outside with a broom and dustpan, cleaning up cigarette buts. I knew from prior experience that this guy happened to be a douchebag, so I took the opportunity to ridicule him. “Hey man, congrats, I see you’re now a master of the custodial arts. I knew you could do it.” “Hey, fuck you man,” he unsurprisingly replied, “This is way better than being on the phones.”

In that moment, Douchebag Coworker was right, cleaning up cigarette butts is better than talking to extremely stupid fucking idiots. I was determined to make a career change…or just volunteer the next time “cleanup duty” was offered.

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Winston Gets A Raise

I didn’t see it coming. It was a day like any other day, filled with useless fucking morons, clueless rednecks, and yelling bitches. Then a friendly message from my boss pops up on the screen, “Yearly review after your call.” Um, okay. I end the call by telling the genius that because the bill reads […]

Happy Birthday ESP!

Hello again, gentle reader! It sure has been awhile since we’ve last talked. I have to admit, the future of ESP was looking grim. This recent hiatus is due to my debates over the future of this blog. With such low readership, it didn’t seem like all the effort was worthwhile. I think some of […]

The Hot Dog Eating Contest

Some companies support a healthy lifestyle by promoting outdoor activities or a discount for a fitness club membership. It’s no surprise that Telescreen doesn’t support a fucking thing that would benefit the employees. Maybe they’re worried that the costs would be too high because an insanely high percentage of the employees are obese. I’m not […]