Thursday, July 20, 2006

Artificial Conversations

Do I really speak to people? In the course of my job on the helpdesk, talking to numerous clients every single day, do I really actually take part in a civil conversation? Deep down the question I am truly asking is, are my conversations 'real'? Real in the sense of a sincere two way communication between two persons, rather than going through a predetermined agenda in a robotic like fashion. While it is perhaps harsh to single out particular people from particular organisations that you enjoy talking to. It is quite easy, looking back to distinguish between the proactive and passive discussions that take place. At this point I should perhaps interject with some amazing fact on the number of seconds I have spent answering the phone but there is no need. The reality is I spend a great deal of time on the telephone. Strange when you consider just a few years ago, you would be lucky for me to speak on the phone for more than five minutes. Amazing when you consider the transformation of the phone from foe to friend. Particularly now when at times I will rather pick up the phone to speak to a friend, rather than send them an e-mail.

How has work been recently? After the highs of Madrid, I landed back to England with a bump. While it has not been very busy in terms of call volume, the number of calls on the log has shot up, with us at times hitting the three figure mark. At times my motivation has dipped way below the normal expected level. I would be the first to admit morale has been suffering. Although somehow the team get through it. Well I say 'somehow' but I can actually give you exactly the reasons why. On one side we have the twenty-two year old in body, 1st line guy, trapped in his own little bubble from when he was around seventeen. Listening to Chris Moyles (either on the BBC podcast or radio player. Then we have my dearest colleague and beloved team member on 2nd line, who only has the need for some wakeup juice and hearty meal from the local friendly sandwich shop. What about Andrew? Just as Superman harnesses his energy from the sun, Andrew is powered by a 250ml, 30g sugar carton of the purple stuff.

The main problem with work at the moment is the lack of sense of achievement. You would spend a day on the phone, building laptops and fixing various problems, but the fact that the call queue is so slow to reduce in number, you feel at times you are facing an uphill struggle. Driving home and reflecting on my day, I do not feel that buzz of having got things done. Sometimes I wish I was a clog in a monster machine, just processing paperwork, rather than working on a helpdesk. Every morning I would see my work physically work from the in tray to the out tray. Then again, what would be the fun in that? For the first time in eighty four weeks I am actually considering my next step. The stepping stones between starting on the service desk and finding the next big break, will be a big challenge. I must be sure not to underestimate what the future holds but the clock is well and truly ticking.

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