Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wow. I feel like I'm back in a call centre. There is a reason I stopped working in customer service, and today those reasons have come back to haunt me!

One poor guy, who I will call Mr X, has followed incorrect procedure and sent something directly to us instead of going through a third party (which he needs to do because said third party has information we require). The item has gone missing at some point, either in the post or in our internal mail processing/delivery systems. He urgently needs it back so that he can follow correct procedure and then get a response from us before March, so that immigration don't kick him out of Australia. I started out feeling sorry for him, but he's been calling four times a day for the last week or so, and today I had to get firm: "We have told you all we currently know. I fully appreciate the urgency of your situation, but you in turn have to appreciate I can do no further right now. We are looking into it, and calling us every few hours is not going to speed up the process. You are not telling me anything I don't already know." And so on and so on.

And then there's the woman Sylvia has been talking to all day. The woman has failed the test once already, and is currently so afraid of failing again and disappointing her family that she is in tears. Sylvia is playing "mum" and telling her to think positively, to practice and revise and learn... this has been going on for hours now.

And that's about my day so far - apart from lots of paperwork, letters, spreadsheets, and lunch!


Donn Coppens said...

I wish that we could kick out more people. I would let the Nite Club Bouncers take over the Immigration Department and just let in really fun and interesting people that know how to have a good time!

Does that make me a bad person?

Hilary said...

I hope it works out for both of them. It must be hard (aside from the multi phone calls a day) to hear their desperation and not be able to help.

Ubiquitous said...

Donn: I don't know, but it does make you a bad judge of character IMO! Night club bouncers tend to let in the superficially attractive females, leaving everyone else waiting in line, don't they? Unjust, isn't it? Anyway, it sounds like fundamentally you want the country to be full of people more like yourself, or at least those you find fun and interesting. What happened to respecting diversity? One man's "fun" and "interesting" is another man's "shallow" and "boring", respectively. :)

Stace said...

Donn - Kicking around in the back of my mind is still a desire to create my own country... with stringent entry and citizenship requirements!! hehe

Hilary - it is hard, but part of me just says, "This guy should have done the right thing to start with" - he's brought the trouble on himself. Maybe that's mean of me, but it's true.

Dave - diversity is overrated. Isn't diversity among the human race part of the reason for religious and cultural tension, wars, terrorism, misunderstandings, hatred, and cruelty? Sometimes a world like "Equilibrium" almost seems attractive.

Ubiquitous said...

Stace.. Well I'd say that simple human nature is the reason for religious and cultural tension, wars, terrorism, misunderstandings, hatred, and cruelty etc... If you got rid of all the fundamentalists of various kinds in the world today, I'm sure another bunch would rise up to take their place.

But yes, equilibrium is the goal, I guess. :) It might not seem like it sometimes, but I do think we're in some weird form of equilibrium, oscillating a bit every now and then but ultimately fairly well balanced. Maybe not us - civilization in other words - but the planet and the universe, I mean. Reminds me of a great rant by George Carlin actually.

He's got an abrasive sense of humour, but he's absolutely right if you think about it. :) So there you go, my philosophical ramble for today.

Stace said...

"Simply human nature", as you put it, IS diverse. It is the diversity of humans, and human nature, to which I referred.

As for the universe... I guess whether or not it has a kind of equilibrium depends on how long a view you're willing to take. In a way, I suppose it is reasonably balanced, if you take the cosmic view.

Ubiquitous said...

Well yes, humans are diverse by virtue of being individuals.

But my point was that you could isolate a group of people, even if they shared very similar values, backgrounds, ideas etc, and given enough time they would form factions, splinter groups etc. Evolution over millions of years has shaped our instincts to form tribes, and therefore see other tribes as rivals not to be trusted, in order to survive. As such, we find it difficult to stay out of conflicts for long!