Friday, May 11, 2007

The Tech Guys Saga

As it's kind of come up, I'm going to spend this whole post getting some stuff off my chest. If you hadn't guessed it yet, I'm a former employee of The Tech Guys. Yes, that was the callcentre responsible for plunging me into a depression and who I had to resign from in order to keep my sanity and stay healthy.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with The Tech Guys Saga.

The Tech Guys, which up until the end of last year some time was called PC ServiceCall, and a few years prior to that, it was called Mastercare. You see, they seem to be changing their name every time the general public has a bit too negative view of the company. I guess it's easier to change the company name than it is to make the changes needed for the company to function like they should. I mean, why on earth sort out the problems of an organisation where one hand doesn't seem to know what the other one is doing? Name changes are much better, less work.

Rather than biting the bullet themselves, DSGi sold PCSC to a callcentre empire called Capita in the spring of 2006, and as far as us employees could make out, let them take the blame for some controversial changes. "It had to be done, and DSG didn't want to get the aggro themselves," someone explained to me when I mentioned how badly they handled shift changes in the UK teams, which was one of the things that was pissing me off at the time.

DSGi, or DSG International - trading in the UK as PC World, Currys, Currys.digital, The Link and Dixons, trading in Sweden as Elgiganten and PC City (rest of Scandinavia as Elkjøp, Gigantti, Elgiganten, and Lefdal, amongst others) - a company where it was said you sometimes felt you were just a number, but then they'd do something to make you feel like an individual... and Capita... to them, you never feel like you're anything but a number.

When there were initial talks of Capita taking over PCSC, I joked about it, saying maybe it was like "Capita(l) punishment". Another apt term we came up with was "Crapita". Both turned out to be painfully accurate, as far as we were concerned. We were shown videos of happy people whose companies had been taken over by Capita, and how great it all would be to be taken over. New opportunities and family values and whatnot. We all thought it sounded pretty nifty, but reality turned out to be a little different.

The first thing they did when taking over were changing shift patterns. You got to have your say beforehand, though, so they could take your personal needs into consideration. These considerations were then pretty much thrown out of the window, and they lost around (I'm guessing) ⅓ of the call handlers, who said enough is enough.

Things were not quite as bad in the Nordic camp, but... well, there were some changes there too. From the summer of 2006 to the time I left in March 2007, we had replaced about ¾ of the team. I had been there for two years, and there were only about five other people left from those days when I quit. One of them, who had been there since the Nordic department started finished a week or two before me. Around the same time, two of the four team leaders resigned as well. One of them, who had been my team leader in the past, had been there since the start of Nordics as well. Yet finally, all at once, they seemed to have had enough...

A company who does things right, such as treating their employes like human beings and with a bit of respect, not to mention does a good job for customers... well, they shouldn't have a problem keeping staff on for more than a month or so. Oh yes, but then they'd of course have to be treating people with respect, dignity and things like that, no matter if it's a customer or an employee, which they to my mind never figured out how to do, as long as I worked there. Some people didn't even last a month, and otehrs became as frustrated as me with the place after only a month or two, and I had been there for over a year. It's not a good place to be.

And now I'm free, and I'm never going back to that place ever again. To finish up the rant, I present you with the poem I wrote for my goodbye letter to my co-workers.

seek me where no dress codes apply
where the AUP is whatever I say it to be
where being ill is not a breech of contract
where true words can roam free
where the breaks are whenever
where my phone don't require a login
and an IVR doesn't even exist
find me at peace
fulfilling my purpose


© 2007

END OF TRANSMISSION.

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