17 November 2009 – what kind of people am I working for?

A fish out of water

A fish out of water

Today I found out a little more about Tom, the man who sits next to Maddie and always looks slightly uncomfortable and a little scared, like a fish out of water. Mind you, I know just how he feels. From the outset I thought he didn’t really seem to fit in, he hardly speaks to anyone and never comes to the canteen. This morning in team talk Maddie told him he was going to be put on special coaching and he looked like he was going to cry. I felt terribly sorry for him and it made me wonder what his story was.

Panda and I ended up finishing our calls at exactly the same time at break this morning so we went down to the canteen together. As it was just the two of us I took the opportunity to ask her about Tom. It’s a sad and somewhat worrying story. Tom is sixty three, just two years off retirement, and he only joined the team six months ago. Before that he was a top manager in one of the service centres but they closed it down. Everyone else who worked there was made redundant but, for some reason, they didn’t make Tom redundant, they told him he had to go and work in the call centre. It seems so unfair, especially at his age.

Tom has worked for the company all his life, starting out as an engineer and working his way up to manager. He’s never worked on phones before and isn’t exactly computer literate, no wonder he’s struggling. Maddie feels sorry for him and he sits next to her so she can help him but there’s only so much she can do. Because he doesn’t hit his targets his three month probation period was extended to six months but he’s coming to the end of that. No one seems to know what will happen next. It seems unbelievable a company as big and profitable as this would treat someone so badly and it doesn’t bode well for me.

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