Sunday, June 19, 2005

Party Hearty, And Don't Come Back

Company functions are always a bit sketchy - I really can't think of any I've attended where most of the employees wouldn't rather be somewhere/anywhere else. Call Center functions can be even dicier - you've got Misfit Toys (see "Type Casting") to start with, then throw is some booze and there's liable to be some bad behavior like this:

It was the first week of August in the year 20XX, and I was managing a mid-sized inbound call center (60 stations) for a company that did inbound and outbound. My counterpart on the outbound side of the operation had just been hired. He had about the same number of people to manage as I did, and was going to really have a positive impact on the outbound side of things.

The summer company outing that year was to a lake with a beach (mode of transport was several large buses), as it had been the year before. As with the year before, beer was served, and plenty of it. It's interesting to see how the call center types deal with policing themselves with the booze. Misfit Toys, as I pointed out in Type Casting, generally dig beer and always dig FREE beer. Company had an abundance of Misfit Toys, so the beer was being consumed in copious amounts.

The new outbound manager also seemed to have a bit of the Misfit Toy in him as well, since he wasn't holding back on the drinking. Leading the pack in consuption seemed to be a Goth Misfit Toy who was quite conspicuous in the amount he was imbibing.

Ah, fun in the sun! You know how drinking on a summer day, all day, can impair your decision-making capabilities! At the end of the day, everyone piled back on the buses for the drive back to company HQ. On bus number 2, the New Manager and Goth Misfit Toy evidently continued to party. Just when the bus pulled up to the curb outside the company, New Manger managed to insult and anger Goth Misfit. Later, no one could recall what the insult was, but it led to a fist fight between New Manager and Goth that splilled from the bus to the sidewalk, in front of everyone including the company's GM and owners. Goth Misfit, who was a big kid (a big drunk kid) pummeled his New Manger, and bloodied his nose. Goth Misfit then ran away, and never returned to work.

What a wonderful, searing, lasting image: The New Manager, freshly hired, great expectations, rosy future in outbound call center managing, in his first act of inspiring his flock, being beaten bloody, in front of the company. Ah, the Call Center life!


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