I once worked with a girl who was named Taryn, in a call centre.
The last thing you want in a call centre is to have a unique name. You would think having a unique name would be awesome but believe me, it costs you time on the phone. Here is how the average wrap up for a Taryn call would go.. the side fellow call centre operators would hear, anyway.
“You’ve been speaking with Taryn today”
“No, not Karen, Taryn, with a T”
“T.. A.. R.. Y.. N”
“Yes, with a T”
Yes, T.. A.. R.. Y.. N, that is right”
“I’m not sure where the name came from. Now before I let you go, is there anything else I can do for you today?”
(A long, long gap, during which the caller usually tells Taryn an unusual name story for no apparent reason)
“Thank you for sharing that with me. I really have to go now, there are calls in the queue that I need to answer. Thanks for your time today.”
The trouble with this was, every single time the call centre would review her calls, the ending wrap up as described above would be at least 2 minutes long. Sometimes a lot longer when the story the caller told her would be 5-10 minutes long. Plus, that last line did not fit in with the smiley happy warm and fuzzy vibe that operators were meant to portray.
Several times, Taryn was told she should use a pseudonym on the phones. Each and every time, Taryn refused to do this. Her call times were always much longer than everyone elses and a major reason was the above conversation which she was having over and over again, on every single call she took. Even when they moved her to making outgoing calls in the hope of shortening her call times, this exact same conversation would happen.
Eventually, the general manager of the company approached her about it and told her changing her phone name was a requirement for continuing employment with the company. Taryn went back to her desk, wrote her resignation, printed it out, signed it, and went back to give it to the general manager. She was then escorted from the building.
Taryn was an incredible call centre operator. One of the best I have ever worked with. She was also incredibly stubborn about her name and at the time I was totally on board with that, but as time has gone by I have seen how little it really matters.
Callers do not care what your name is. They are unlikely to call back looking for you to speak to, and if they do, 99% of the time they will get your name completely wrong. I got called Shannon all the time, and that is nowhere near my actual real name. My name has 3 syllables, Shannon only has two, plus the letter my name starts with is at the total opposite end of the alphabet.
I’ve had people call me Veronica, Alexandra, Cassandra, Katherine, Karen, Mary, Elizabeth, princess, darling, darl, sweety, dear.. the list of names I have been called is long and there are many names on it, and my actual real name is rarely to be seen on that list.
Taryn was right to quit, though. I only lasted 9 months in that same call centre and that place was awful, caring more about call times and stats than actual people.
I was tagged by Fish of Gold for this name game blog hop.
I’ll tag Kenton Musings as I have not seen them tagged anywhere yet, and their about page says “I am always on the lookout for the next writing topic.” The rules can be found over here.
Here’s who has contributed so far:
The Chatter Blog
Lucy at the Excessive Gardener
DebraB at Debra Books
Fish of Gold