The months after I was made permanent were pretty uneventful. I was made permanent in September. Had really bad burnout and had intense pressure in October. The other employees believed that around October onwards, management tried to get staff fired so that there was less competition for bonuses in December. I would later learn that ALL industries felt the slump that time of the year.

Anyway sometime around November, my manager got the idea in her head that she wanted “Plug and Play employees”. I didn’t understand what that meant but basically she wanted her team to have full working knowledge of the entire Customer Care department.

At the time it wasn’t uncommon for the different teams to step in and help each other. So for example, the Fulfilment team could work on the Customer Care inbound line or Customer Care could audit calls. More often than not, it was Fulfilment helping Customer Care Inbound and Quality Assurance helping Sales Admin (aka the data capturing team). My manager wanted to equip her staff to work in any department. So she divided the team into smaller teams and had people learn different skills. I was in awe and fascinated by Customer Care but I knew I could never speak on the phone. So when I was assigned to do data capturing for the Fufilment team, I agreed. My job was to activate simcards and I was great at it. I was incredibly fast on the computer and that showed in my activation numbers.

By the time, December rolled around, our team was doing activations, data capturing and even assisting on the Customer Care line. It was amazing and I am still so proud of what we accomplished. Towards the middle part of December, the Quality Assurance manager requested that we assist her with auditing calls which we did. Our team was doing all the things. Which was great because what we didn’t know was that the team was about to be dissolved.

The business had decided that they didn’t need a data capturing team and Sales agents should capture their own sales. Our team was split. Some people went back to the sales floor as verifiers while the rest were absorbed into other Customer Care departments.

I stayed in Activations because of my speed on the computer. I found this interesting because this speed was something that I learnt from years of playing on the computer. I used to pretend to be working in an office. I used to try to write. In fact I did write a novel at 12. And now instead of getting my dream job in Journalism, I was working in an office. Odd how things work out.

I was happy that I wasn’t leaving my team but I felt a tiny twinge of regret. Why hadn’t I asked to learn Customer Care? I was always amazed that these people could talk on the phone but I was too scared to ask for the opportunity to learn.

Looking back on this, it’s funny that I was so scared. 2022 Me would be scared and do it anyway. But I guess that’s growth.

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