Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Starting To Breathe

I have a job!

That's one of the reasons I've been a bit AWOL lately.

It's a smallish job and the hours are a bit unhappy but the job is kinda cool and fun!

I didn't want to say anything yet, as I was in training and I wanted to make sure I at least made it out of training before I said, "I have a job!" and then if I didn't make it through training, I'd be all, "Um. Never mind. le sigh."

There's a company called Alpine Access (alpineaccess.com) and they are sort of a warehouse of customer service reps for Fortune 500 companies. These are customer service reps who work from their own homes. This is a legitimate company that I found while doing job searches. They were interviewed by Newsweek magazine and also featured on msn.com's home page in an article about best at-home jobs.

I was originally interviewed for Qwest. The interviewer has you open a bunch of web pages and makes sure you can find things on these pages and navigate the web. I failed. I couldn't find the local weather on cnn.com. I was putting all kinds of variations of local weather into the search engine and it kept giving me articles (damn that bubble boy's parents!!) so I timed out. After I timed out, she, very kindly and gently, showed me that if I had just scrolled halfway down cnn.com's home page, there's a local news and weather button!! I'm so lame.

She said not to worry, that my test scores were really high (when you first apply, there's a bit of a test to see if you can navigate things online and retain info and stuff) and that she was going to put me back in the pool of candidates and she was sure that another company would want to interview me. The very next day, I got another interview offer for a gaming company. That interview went much better (found the weather right away this time!) and I was hired!

We had about 2 1/2 weeks of training and now my class is in the "nesting phase". We are taking calls but we are rather closely supervised and after this 2 week nesting phase, we are in regular production like everyone else!

My first day went really well. I mean REALLY well! I had lovely customers who were patient and kind and I got stuck here and there but not too bad. Yesterday, my second day, was brutal! I was stuck all day and about 90% of my calls needed to be escalated for one reason or another. But everyone was still fairly nice and even though my call times are atrocious (I don't think I've had a single person that I wasn't on the line with for at least 20 minutes!), I'm working on that and since it's only been 2 days, I'm not that bunged up about it. Also, this company (has an X or two in it but not in any kind of porn way) is not as concerned with call times, they are more concerned with happy customers so that takes some of the pressure off as well.

Yesterday, it was discovered (not just by me) that when a call is escalated, it goes to Manila and if you get a man on the escalation side, they are very unpleasant and even downright mean! Our team leader says that the gaming company is in talks with Alpine to bring Tier 2 back to the states as well (they already brought Tier 1 back - that's the tier I'm on) and so people in T2 are rather on edge as they may be losing their jobs soon. Another female co-worker typed in the chat what I was thinking was that it was also a cultural gap. I mean, they aren't snippy with the guys on T1 and the females on T2 are usually quite kind. Just sayin...

Anyway, I work from 2:30p - 11:00p MST so I see the kids on my 2 10 minute breaks and my 1 30 minute lunch break. I have Thursdays and Sundays off. After 30 days, I can ask for time off but I think I'll keep this schedule as much as I can and see if I can switch a day here or there if I need to for kids' events or a night out with Dave or something.

It's not particularly high pay but it's not peanuts either and it's definitely more then I was making in the past 18 months which is zilch (except for my Stitch Saver sales!). I should at least make the rent money each month! And that means that both Dave and I can breathe a bit easier now. Takes some of the stress off.

Alpine, so far, is an excellent company!! It has opportunities for advancement and all the people I've worked with (particularly our instructor during training) have been kind, impossibly patient, knowledgeable and helpful. Oh, and when I'm taking calls, one of my team leaders.....

is a knitter.

Who could ask for anything more?!

Hello, thank you for calling, my name is Ruth, how can I help you today?, Ruth!

7 comments:

Ivy said...

That's awesome news! Good for you--customer service is rough, but sounds like they're pretty decent which is good.

Kristyn said...

Congratulations!! Good luck on the new job.

Heide said...

Congratulations!

Fiber Floozie said...

Thats great news. Congrats on the new job.

Yvette said...

Congratualations. Yes, an income is a handy thing. I know how you feel as I'm in job search Hell myself these days. Hopefully yopur luck is contagious.

kmkat said...

Good for you! Money is handy to have around. Since you are working from home, can you knit during calls?

Yarnhog said...

Congratulations! That's great!