Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Eternal Wanderer Experiences Failure

"This is Ternie," the Big Boss said as he introduced me to the Department Head. "He got the highest score in the first part of the training."

"Oh, so you're Ternie.  I've heard a lot about you. Do good ha. I'm expecting a lot from you."


The first part of the training was a breeze.  It covered the soft skills training, communication included. Our class was bright and a tad rowdy, so things were never boring. I actually had a lot of fun during this phase.  It appealed to the talkative side of me.  In fact, during the practical exams, I even ended up chatting with the interviewer.  I guess that earned me brownie points because I topped the class - a 4.9 out a possible 5.  Not bad for a newbie in a batch full of grizzled veterans.

We moved on to the second phase of our training - the technical aspects of the job. On paper, everything looked easy.  This was technical stuff, something that I was very much interested in.  I was pretty much confident.  All I had to do was just read through the materials, and I was good to go.

I had to learn the hard way that the theoretical is worlds away from the practical.


I was still cool when the phone rang.  This was my first mock call from someone who was not directly involved in our class.  I couldn't wait to strut my stuff and show off what I've learned.  I confidently answered the phone.  After all, how could it get screwy, right?

Let me count the ways.

Soon after I got the details of the mock customer's product, the computer I was using went offline.  The documents which I was used to accessing suddenly became inaccessible.  I was forced to put the customer on hold because I was panicking. Our trainer helped me get online once more, but it was a little too late.  Let me say this: I am not one who is easily rattled.  But at that time, I was rattled. Badly rattled.  I was having a hard time dealing with the feeling because it's something that I wasn't used to.

Worse, the problem of the customer was something I had never encountered before.  Come to think of it, of course I wouldn't have encountered it.  We were still practically in the introductory phase.  By then, I was so jittery that I kept on putting the customer on hold while trying to wrack my brains out on how to tackle that problem; at the same time, I was scrounging for article after article on how to troubleshoot it.  And just as I came across a procedure that would probably solve the problem, the phone rang again.  I freaked out because it could only mean one thing: the customer had hung up.


"You need to ask more questions that could lead you to the solutions," the mock customer (who turned out to be a coach) tersely told me. "When you say you'll be back in five minutes, be back in five minutes.  But most of all, you need to know your stuff really well."


I was fuming mad as I was taking my yosi break.  I took what the coach said rather personally.  I couldn't shake off the feeling that he was questioning my capabilities as a human being. On the basis of one call, he was being high and mighty.  Talk about being judgemental.  How dare he!

But I immediately realized how silly my rants were.  Of course I sounded inept to him.  All I did was be very tentative and put him on long holds every two minutes.  He was just telling me what had happened, along with additional notes on how to do it better the next time.  Once I actually hit the production floor, a real customer won't be that generous nor forgiving.  A real customer won't really care if the person answering the call was a veteran or a newbie.  All that matters is that problem is addressed as fast and as efficient as possible.

I should know.  I'm that type of customer.


It's a humbling experience to realize that I still have a long way to go in fulfilling what is expected of me. But I'd rather look at it this way: a setback is never a failure.  It's simply an opportunity to learn.


  1. that was so mature of you sir.

    lahat tayo nagkakamali

    but be strong, i know you're good

  2. let me say that cliche.
    it was a learning experience. =)
    we fall, we stand, remove dust and grime and never fall on the same hole.

  3. Failure on a first try is such a sweet, sweet experience.

    Ansarap dilaan. Hahaha!!!

    Kaya mo yan Ternie!

  4. and yeah, as a customer, being put to hold and without being notified what the heck was going on while ur on hold is enough to make me raise hell..hehhe..i think the exercise was to test how you deal with pressure :)

  5. The adage Practice Makes Perfect should be the mind-set here.

    Take your time, don't be too hard on yourself. After all, you will learn.

  6. Ternie, sabi nga ni Mugen, ang sarap mong dilaan. Echos!

  7. hahaha - makes me remember my first call when I started out in the BPO industry as an agent.

    "Im gonna place you on hold NA sir HA?" LOL

    But I got the first call - first sale in my batch. LOL

  8. susko, ang taas ng EQ. kung ako siguro 'yan, baboo na!

  9. tama ka dyan, i had the same experience when I used to work in a call center, kaasar lang, pero wla ka din naman magawa na e kundi proceed sa next call hoping better na hehehehe sana nilandi mo na lang lol

  10. Anteros: aw chenkyu sa encouragement!

    Pci: whose hole? weeeee

    Mugen. miss ko na pagdila mo.



    Soltero: malditang baklita lang talaga yung "customer" pwamis!

    Guy: can you be my teacher??? ;)

    Carrie: dali. skype na.



    Iuri: di ko na tatanungin kung anong klaseng kaligayahan ang binenta mo hihihihi

    Chichirya: aw chenks :D

    John Stan: sa totoo lang, muntikan ko ng pluck-an ng kilay yung vekvek na coach na yun!

    Xtian: nakabawi naman yata ako sa 3rd mock call ko hihihihi

  11. ikaw si ternie e! nyahaha! anong point ko. wala! nyahahaha! gusto ko lang magpasalamat sa tawag... tenchu

  12. kaninong hole. yung hinuhukay ng mga taga maynilad? ay daming lalake nun! =)

  13. Commuter: sus, wala yun noh. saan ang party?!

    Paci: mga -er!!!!! ahahahaha

  14. failure builds character

  15. para mock call lang... heheh joke....

    actual calls are way easier... Mock calls are meant to be hard i guess...

    welcome to my world...

    am sure its not sykes cause we dont use the term "coach".. hehehhe

  16. Rat3r: sabi nga raw :P

    Clipped: naku, i'm gunning for o.m. kaya every call, mock or not, matters to my situation BWAHAHAHAHAHA