Saturday, August 18, 2012
I was just thinking back on the jobs that I had for the past few years and out of all of them, I love my current job the most.
In fact, I think that the past 3 full-time jobs I had was actually training me to take on this job. I had experience in 2 local travel agencies plus got the opportunity to travel during my tourleading assignments. I also had experience in call centre work when I was in Apple Tech Support (though it was very short-lived). Combined all 3 and it's perfect for my current role working in Amex Travel as a call centre consultant.
Dealing with customers over phone and email are different from walk-in customers. In fact, I excel the best for walk-in customers. Also, a call centre environment is really stressful. Honestly, not a lot of Singaporeans can take this kind of stress.. that's why in Apple and over here, the majority of the employees are not locals. We are always plug into the phones waiting for calls to come in and we cannot just go off the lines as we wish. There's a strict schedule we have to adhere to based on the call projection and everything we do are tracked and monitored. 2 of my local colleagues quit last month and currently there are only a handful of Singaporeans left. Hiring and training staff is a challenge because some people have the technical skills but they don't have the soft skills, vice versa.
For me, I have the soft skills and my technical skills (in travel) is fairly good. I just need to study more on the flights and their rules because flight ticketing is a whole new world in travel. There's so many restrictions and rules we have to study and not all airlines are the same.
I am working 5 days a week and get the full 21 days annual leave and every public holiday that I worked I get allowance plus 1 day off in lieu. I am working the night shift for 6 months and if a PH falls on my work day, I can't take the day off so I get to clock quite a number of off in lieu days. I can never ever go on 3 long holidays in a single year in any of my previous employment.
In the first travel agency I worked at (quite obvious if you read my blog), I had to work 6 days a week including weekends and only received 10 days annual leave. We get a off in lieu during public holidays but no extra pay. My basic salary was so pathetic and I did not receive any commissions despite being Top 3 in sales every month... All these I can bear because I take it as "training", but the thing that made me leave was the evil people who spread horrible gossip about me because they felt threatened by my youth (I was the youngest full-timer in the office) and capability. And my manager went on maternity leave so she's not around to shield me from their evilness.. when she came back it was too late because I already couldn't take it anymore. I actually waited for her to come back before I quit because there's so much work to do and I didn't want to be so irresponsible. I owe it to her cos she's very nice to me and gave me a lot of advice and guidance. Well, she was headhunted by my current company and she introduced me in here to work.. so, all's well ends well! :)
At my last company (local travel agency), I had to work 6 days a week and they only gave me 7 days annual leave! That's the bare minimum as per MOM's law.. Worst of all, they don't allow us to take leave in the 1st year that you worked - which is honestly such a ridiculous rule and I am surprised no one challenged it except for me. Like seriously?! I always argued with my boss and manager that it is riddiculous that I have to 'earn' my leave for this year to use for next year. As an employee I am entitled to a certain number of leave a year (which is the bare minimum 7 days for them), so why do I need to wait till next year before I can use them? Commonsense will tell you that will make the company owe me 7 days and hold it over me until the day I resign so instead of 1 month's notice I only serve 3 weeks. Utter bullshit. Anyway the manager had a horrible ending (he ended in jail).. he was ultra 100% dodgy TTM and I've warned the boss many times of his dodginess and even showed him proof of his dishonesty but he refused to listen to reason. I gave up and quit because there's no hope in wasting time in a company who has so much tied up in family connections instead of capability. Yes, you can be the boss if your father set up the company.. but if you are not capable nor responsible enough, your employees will not respect you or listen to you because most of the things you say are bullshit.