I'm the idiot on the phone help line that can't help you
January 7, 2013 11:50 AM Subscribe
I'm being forced to answer phones at work. I have NO clue and NO ability how to do this and I have to start NOW. How do I make this situation less horrible?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (26 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I switched jobs a few months ago. This is a public service job, which I haven't done except on a volunteer level well, ever. I don't mind working at the front counter, but I haaaaaaaaaaaate answering phones for anything. They told me I supposedly wouldn't have to be on phones much (yeah, right), but HAHAHAHAHAH no, looks like I will now have to be on phones for 6 hours a day, every or almost every day, the second they set up my phone account. The only reason I am not Happy Phone Lady right now is because they forgot that last one.
The worst way for me to comprehend anything is when it's told to me over the phone. I get horrible weird questions at the front desk that I can't answer either, but it's easier to find someone else to answer the question when I am not the only person in the vicinity stuck answering it. I do a lot better if I can see the conversation--i.e. talk to someone in person, or answer it over e-mail--and every time I have to call anyone for tech support help, the phone conversation goes terribly. I just don't get what the hell they are talking about ("you know, that little arrow at the bottom of the screen?" I don't SEE it, it's not there on my end....), and it's pretty useless. I usually end up kind of in tears after a phone conversation with tech support, or just plain hanging up on them, because I don't get what they are saying and they never seem to get what I am saying either. I hate those people. Now I am going to BE that asshole on the phone who can't help you and is obviously totally incompetent.
Adding to the fun, I have had very little training on phones. I'm talking about maybe 3 hours, total, done about a month ago and I don't ever know how to OPERATE a multi-line phone. And I know darned well that I don't know the answers to the hard technical questions, which I am told I will know after several years of doing this job. My supervisors know this about me and they absolutely do not care or think my lack of knowledge is a problem. "Just ask someone!" they say. "You'll do FINE!" No, I won't. I seriously don't know what other people are even talking about as they answer phones. And how can I just ask someone else what the answer is when literally everyone else is on the phone? No, I won't do FINE, plus this is the sort of job where an unhappy customer will start calling up the chain of command to complain about my dumb ass.
How do I make this situation less nightmarish? I seriously can't think of any way to make this better, what with the lack of knowledge, training, etc. And it's being sprung on me ASAP to boot.
(anonymized because it's a work question, of course)