I knew from day one that I wasn’t going to enjoy this job, creating a ‘how many days until I quit’ countdown with my housemate after my very first day, but I told myself that anything is manageable for four weeks and the money is good. But is has taken serious perseverance.
I work on the upgrade campaign for Amnesty International, calling up current donors to recite them my script about the horror story currently unfolding within Mexico and how for as little as $5 extra a month (but we pitch at an extra 50% of what they currently give) they can make a huge difference. I’ve probably had over 1000 phone calls where I’ve delivered this message and it does destroy any emotions that you could have towards the situation ongoing out there, due to it being just a script. It even has ‘happy, sad, angry, optimistic’ written on it, just in case you couldn’t work out how to try and sound as you delivered the story of the beating and rape of a young girl. Donors obviously know what’s coming and whilst most will let you dutifully deliver your message, probably because they are current supporters and some British politeness remains, but others just cut straight in to say no and then obviously a few are a bit mad that you’re disturbing them to pester for more money.
Any company that runs recruitment constantly is bound to have a high staff turnover, but the levels at which this happens is beyond what I had imagined and has meant that at just the start of week three I was one of the most senior people on my team and my manager was asking if I’d consider moving up to team leader. Half the people leave by choice and the other half get fired – the axe is never far from your neck and I’ve seen people being applauded one day and two days later the manager is coming to collect their stuff from their desk as the little daily manager catch up, was actually the ‘We’re letting you go’ talk. Yes, they actually fire people midway through the day, then the manager comes back to their desk to get their bag and they’re whisked out of the building without anyone seeing them, (maybe people have kicked up a fuss in the past). Then they are then just wiped off the board and no mention is made as to their departure, they attempt to just pretend the person was never there – but everyone knows what’s happened and I can tell you it does nothing for team moral or people’s working practices.
As another boost to workforce morale, (which in a job where you’re bugging people on the phone trying to get money ain’t exactly going to be high), apparently the week before I started they removed all the coffee and tea facilities and all cutlery in the kitchen as people weren’t keeping it tidy enough. I learnt this the hard way, ending up eating my pasta salad Indian style with my hands on day one, as I hadn’t realised the staff kitchen was actually just a load of empty cupboards and draws. This coupled with targets which are completely unreachable unless by chance someone decides to upgrade their donation by $100 a month, means that it has been a real effort to keep going in each day and to not take any ‘sick’ days – which are a very common office wide occurrence. I was also fairly worried in my probation weeks that I wouldn’t get lucky enough with my callers (it’s 90% luck of who you call) and then also be fired for not getting close enough to target. Luckily today is my final full day!! Woooo couldn’t be happier! I have a little 6 hour shift tomorrow, where I will also let them know it’s my last day.
I had planned to give notice, but when a company is firing people before lunch, I felt any hint of ‘I’ll be going soon’ would just lead to ‘please leave now’ and therefore a loss of precious dollars.