Problem Agent to Top Agent - How TL Gerry Changed Me

June 12, 2020 • written by

During my OJT, I got assigned to TL Gerry.

I learned from the other agents that I met that Gerry is a top-performing Team Leader.

I suspect he’s really strict.

He was kind to me during the first meeting.

He was smiling and asked me if I needed any help and to go see him after my shift.

The day went on as usual.

Since it was my first month, I was doing poorly on all my stats.

I’m pretty discouraged.

I was probably late once already and was almost late several times.

I really wanted to join my training batches who were quitting one by one.

A part of me says that nobody will blame me.

Call center work is hard.

Even people with call center experience gets fired from our company.

Even people who were former BPO supervisors got eliminated.

I see the faces of all my co-trainees that I looked up to during training.

They’re all gone.

We have a Facebook group, and on the feed, all I see are complaints.

I see the first batch who left the company inviting everyone to an outing.

The younger version of me wanted to go.

The other me is thinking, they’re so irresponsible.

Now they’re unemployed again.

Troy told me that if I switch jobs, I’d probably spend 7k to 12k to get another job because of all those clearances and requirement leg-work.

I don’t want to fail here.

I didn’t really connect with any of the people who were eliminated.

Maybe I’m better than them, I told myself.

After all, I’m still here, and they’re all dead as far as the job goes.

If we were playing a game, I’m one of the few remaining survivors, and the game is still on.

If I am better than them simply because I’m still here, then I should keep going.

I already won the elimination round.

Being able to say that I’m better than them sure makes me feel good.

I didn’t feel good connecting with any of them.

I heard people calling me abnormal for dressing formally, for writing notes, and for repeatedly asking questions during training.

I was also eating Lentils for lunch and didn’t join drinking sessions.

My food looks like “munggo,” so they called me munggo behind my back.

Enrico wanted to have a fistfight with me for smoking with Eri and getting her number.

I told him I didn’t have any money to pay for his hospital bill, and I don’t want to go to jail because of what might happen to him if we fought.

He backed off immediately, and he ignored me ever since.

Like I said, my people skills weren’t very good.

I don’t naturally connect with ordinary people.

I am superior, I tell myself.

My mind goes between self-doubt and me trying to reassure myself that I am superior.

My shift ends.

A new team-mate went to my desk and reminded me that TL Gerry asked me to go to his workstation after my shift.

He asked me about my shift.

I said it was okay.

He showed me a “for your eyes-only email.”

You shouldn’t share this information with my other co-trainees, he told me.

I’m not close to anyone, I quietly thought to myself.

I said, yes.

I won’t tell anyone.

He showed me an email addressed to him.

On the subject line, in “all caps,” it said: LIST OF TRAINEES RECOMMENDED FOR TERMINATION.

I see the names of people on my batch.

Enrico is gone.

Eri is also gone.

I’m not friends with any of them.

I recognize the names of people who go on unauthorized two-hour lunches.

I recognize the names of people who went to the shift late.

I recognize the names of people who logged out and left the office without permission.

I recognize the names of the people who I heard had angry arguments with the customer over the phone.

Then I saw my name.

Kevin Olega batch 69-a.

My eyes went back to the subject.

LIST OF TRAINEES RECOMMENDED FOR TERMINATION.

My eyes lingered on the big word that said, TERMINATION.

I see my name on the list.

I’m going to be eliminated next.

I thought to myself.

Now I’m disheartened.

I was telling myself just earlier that “I am superior.”

Now I discovered that I’m not very different.

I’m not better than anyone.

I’m one of the remaining survivors, but I had terrible stats.

And the only difference is I had slightly better attendance than everyone else.

But It looks like I’ll be eliminated next.

I picture having to go through 16 interviews again.

I visualize how much money I had left.

I recall my conversation with Troy about how it costs anywhere from 7k to 12k from job hunting to my first paycheck.

He opened by saying, as you may already know, batch 69-a is known as a problem batch.

You probably know why many of your co-trainees are recommended for termination.

I said, yes.

I told him what each of the people on the list did wrong.

The reason why we’re talking is you don’t have the same violations.

But you have a big problem, he told me.

Your stats are embarrassingly low, and you already have one late.

TL Gerry told me that it was too late.

He was surprised that I was even transferred to his team.

Gerry was the team leader of “the top team.”

He said I’m in an almost impossible situation.

I needed almost a perfect score in every deliverable to pass.

I’m thinking I’m doomed.

He could read my thoughts through my eyes and facial expression.

He asked me what my plans were.

At this point, I have an option to begin looking for a new job.

If I had plans to leave, I need to start applying as early as now.

If I decided to quit, he wouldn’t take it against me.

I would still receive my pay for the days that I went to work, and I processed my clearance after I was terminated.

I told Gerry that I didn’t mind moving to another company.

But something was bothering me.

I wanted to see how I would fare if I decided to move forward.

If management decided to terminate me for failing to hit the scores, then that’s fine.

I’m worried that if I quit, I’d fail, and I’m 100% the reason why I failed.

I want to fail because I failed.

I don’t want to fail because I quit.

I couldn’t put these feelings into words then.

But this is what I meant to say at that moment, but didn’t have the words.

I wanted to fail because I failed.

I don’t want to fail because the reason is I quit.

I asked TL Gerry what I could do.

He told me to see my target as a challenge and said nothing more.

We went downstairs to smoke.

Whenever you have a big problem, just see it as a challenge.

He repeated as we headed downstairs.

Using the word “problem” has a tendency to freeze you, then you’re defeated.

Challenges are there to overcome.

So if you think of a problem as a challenge, your competitive and creative self begins to fight for you.

I asked him what I needed to do.

He told me to go to work earlier.

He will give me tips before my shift began.

He told me that the moment I have a difficult problem, I should go to him immediately and he will teach me.

He will help me fix my mistakes, and he will suggest better solutions to my problems.

One advantage that I had is I have better English than a lot of the other agents.

There’s a smaller chance a customer will distrust me and not cooperate because I had a heavy accent.

That’s the only positive compliment I heard about myself.

You don’t need to give me an answer now.

Let me know tomorrow, he told me.

We had another cigarette, then I went home.

When I woke up for my next shift, I was ready to give up.

I had to make an effort to remember everything Gerry told me.

I went back to work the next day.

I was early.

He gave me some tips on how to approach my calls.

I asked him about the most frequent calls, and he walked me through how to best approach the problems I’m going to encounter.

Our goal is just to make me perform a little better every day.

I need to make sure that I’m always early for work.

If the customers love me, I’ll have higher overall stats.

If I make a sale, management will value me better.

If I become efficient at processing the call, it adds a little to my score.

My priority is to have perfect attendance so I won’t prematurely get fired.

When I get to work, I had to make sure that my customers are always happy.

Whenever I had a customer who may want to buy, I asked him what product or upgrade to offer.

Whenever the customer had an advanced tech support question, I always asked Gerry.

If he didn’t know how to fix it, we always escalated to higher-level technicians.

We kept going for a few more weeks.

My attendance was perfect.

My scores were improving.

I have a few sales.

A few months later, I’m part of the top 5% of the highest sales performers in our department.

I also got the highest customer service score according to customer feedback.

I couldn’t believe it.

One day, Gerry told me that our Operations Manager had an announcement and that I should pay attention to what she says.

The OM announced that I was the top agent who has the highest number of perfect customer feedback.

Not only did I get to avoid getting fired, but I also got recognized as a top performer.

What changed?

My results are results.

Results are a product of my methods.

If I change my methods, I can change my results.

TL Gerry taught me how to change my steps so I can change my outcome.

There were several steps that I am doing correctly and several steps that I am doing incorrectly.

TL Gerry helped me identify the wrong steps and make adjustments.

As a result, I was able to change the results.

If I suck at the task, it means I haven’t learned the steps yet.

There’s nothing new about my approach.

I discovered this method from the time playing computer games.

I learned this again in my first sales job.

I kept hearing this lesson when I attended entrepreneurial seminars.

I also heard the priest and the pastor discuss this in church.

When stressful situations arose, I only kept forgetting.

I kept thinking that the reality of my problems is more significant than my capacity to handle my issues.

I kept forgetting that I am capable, and I have a God who is always there to support me.

I became cynical and thought that everyone is out to get me and put me down.

But that is simply not true.

If I accept challenges and kept going, I’ll eventually keep winning.

TL Gerry changed my life.

First by changing my attitude.

Second by teaching me the skills.

You need both to succeed.

Thank you TL Gerry!!!

Thank you for reading this far and thank you for your attention.

If you made it this far, you should introduce yourself.

I am praying for your success. God bless!

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