Aug 25, 2010

Matt at Work: Sprint PCS and Convergys

Day 298

I quit Walmart because of three major things. The horrible hours, the horrible customer service and the horrible pay.

I remember my last day at Walmart. I walked in and told my manager and he totally understood. But then I had to tell his manager and he was not as forgiving. He told me that I would NEVER work at Walmart again and that I was not loyal and I should not use Walmart as a reference. Like I would mention that I worked at Walmart for a little more than 2 weeks anyway. I told him that I never plan on working at Walmart for the rest of my life. I even try not to shop at Walmart these days.

My sister Jennifer was working in the Billing Department for Sprint PCS, a cell phone company. She was really employed by Matrix Marketing who was handling all of Sprint's customer service. I applied and with her help I was hired. The guy that interviewed me knew my sister and most of the interview was mostly just chewing the fat about random stuff. I was hired and out into a training class.

I had to bike down from Utah State University (I was still in school) and then work (train) eight hours at Matrix Marketing. I was in a large class and I had a real nice trainer. In looking around I found that two other people from Walmart was in this class. No wonder Walmart was so mad that I left. I had a great class and made some fast friends (especially those that worked at Walmart) and soon I had a small group that I hung out with. If it wasn't for Rachel and Shelby, I would have loathed those three long weeks of training. I was hired into customer service so essentially I was on the front lines and could handle anything. I picked things up rather quickly and was told by my trainer that I was the best in the class and could be on the floor (meaning I could officially start taking calls) after just a week or so of training.

Finally I graduated and was sent to the wolves. My first supervisor was named Cole and he was awesome, probably one of the best bosses I have ever had. My team was filled was some real cool people, a lot of them my age doing the college thing. I met one of my good friends Blake there and we hung out all the time. I worked some horrible hours working from 2-11 PM but it was good money and not a bad job at all.

After a couple of months I had the opportunity to change my hours. I worked from 6-9 PM and that was much easier for me going to school. It was less money but that didn't matter at the time. I got a new supervisor Mark who was an older gentlemen and a real nice guy and I had a new team. I also got to work with Blake (he had the same hours) and I met another friend Jeremy and we did a ton of things together.

It was around this time that I also met one of my sister's friends who was a supervisor in Billing named Aaron. I liked him and his friends (liked his friends more than him) and he really saved me a couple of times. Working for Convergys (they had changed from Matrix Marketing to Convergys) was hard because they were not flexible and they demanded that we work a lot of overtime. And this was mandatory overtime, if you didn't sign up you would be in trouble. I couldn't work a ton of overtime since I was a student and I would try to squeeze in a few hours but it was difficult. If you needed to take some time off you had to find someone to take your shift and Convergys offered no way to assist that. You were on your own. Because Aaron was dating my sister he got me out of a lot of tight squeezes. One time I was at my dad's for Thanksgiving and I had to work that night. He called in to one of his connections and suddenly I was erased from the records so I didn't have to work.

Whenever I think of Tauntauns, I think of Aaron.

Another time my boss Mark came to me and said that he needed to meet with me personally about my attendance. He warned me that I was going to be written up. I understood, he felt bad but he had to do what he had to do. Aaron came over to say "hi" and I told him what had happened. He said he would check into it. An hour later my boss Mark came over and he said, "I knew I had to write you up about your attendance but when I checked the computer to pull your records I could only find one time you were gone. I guess I was looking at the wrong person, I don't need to write you up."  Aaron then came over after Mark left and said that he got rid of most of my absences.

My crew (Jeremy, Blake and I) got real good at finding ways around working. It was not like we were horrible workers. We did great jobs and often did more than what was expected. But we found ways to work less. We would always have "exceptions" which was a term for being off the phones. We would restart our computers claiming that there were issues just so we could take fifteen minutes and chat and make sure we were sitting together. During these exceptions sometimes we would run out to grab something to eat. We would also bug the Quality Department so we could have some reviews. We didn't need them but it was time off the phones. Our Quality Assessor (we called her Dr. Love) was awesome. She would take at least an hour when we bugged her to do some quality calls.

We also made friends with Jenn. She was the main scheduler and she ran parts of the floor. Somehow my overtime was always taken care of. I would still come in and work for an hour or so for overtime but she would take care of the rest. It was demanded that I work 8 hours of overtime a week. I would only work 1-2 hours even though in the records it was shown that I worked my full allotment. I don't know why she did that for me, I never asked for her to do it but it was appreciated.

The job itself was fun. I like helping people and I especially liked helping customers activate new accounts. I had some people really yell at me but I took it in stride. Most of the times I would just laugh (sometimes on mute) and do my best to satisfy the customer. We were allowed to give out free minutes and credits and I took full advantage of it. I was never a problem worker, Convergys and Sprint trusted me. By the end of my time at Sprint/Convergys I probably gave out at least $2,000 in credits. Sometimes I would do it to make the customer to shut up but mostly I did it because I could.

My last boss was a new employee named Amber. I quickly became her right-hand man. She would take me off the phones to help out our team and do other things. What she liked about me was that I told the truth and was not afraid to tell the truth to people whether to her or to our customers.


One time I had an altercation with the She-Nazi. At Convergys they had a set of people called "Mission Control". They were essentially Nazis. They would march down the aisles looking for people that were not obeying the rules. One time I was on a long call. This customer had a lot of issues that needed to be dealt with. We had a goal in customer service to resolve calls within a certain amount of time. I was beyond this time and this fat smelly Nazi comes strolling down my row and starts to harass me while I was on the phone. He wanted answers! I finally asked the client if I could briefly place them on hold so I can talk to this fat guy who was yelling in my ear. The customer laughed because they could hear him too. He was not pleased and neither was I.  Anyway, that was not the She-Nazi story.

There was this lady (I think it was a lady, she looked like she could bench press me and then eat me later) and we were having computer problems. She came over to us and asked us to let her know if we were having issues. She was working on a computer when mine froze up so I raised my hand and told her I was having problems. She didn't respond, I wanted to make sure she heard me since I was afraid of her deep inside (she looked like a wrestler from the WWE) and so I mentioned it again and she turned and let me have it; cussing like a sailor. I was not happy so I got up and told her that ladies shouldn't speak in such tones and then told her she lacked respect. Another supervisor overheard this and got the main boss Buck to come over and talk to me. He thought I was being subordinate and was the cause of the problem. I was not going to back down from him either and I told him exactly what happened.

He believed me and the told me that he was proud that I stood up to her. He then asked how he could fix the issue and I really didn't want anything. But then after quickly thinking about it I decided that I wanted an apology. He said he was sorry but I interrupted him and said I wanted the apology from her. He gave me this blank stare (I am sure he was playing through that whole thing in his mind) and he went off. Then he came back about fifteen minutes later and the She-Nazi was with him. She apologized through gritted teeth. My supervisor tried to hold in his laughter.

Even if I don't agree with something, even if we don't see eye-to-eye, if you show me respect, I will work hard for you.

Convergys was not a bad job. But my time there ended when Kristy took her first teaching job and we were moving. But my Convergys experience continued. I got a job working for Kraft through Convergys and it was a totally different working experience.


  1. Now I know why you never wore your wedding ring.

  2. Your experience at Sprint reminded me of my short time at ACS (which handled the customer service for Verizon Wireless Prepaid customers). A lot of the procedures and guidelines were the same as Sprint, except that this place sucked big time!! Anyway, I really enjoyed reading about your time there!