Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The World's Largest Junk Removal Company

In April of 2016, about a month into our Canadian adventure, I accepted full time employment with the self-proclaimed largest junk removal company in the world.

I was to be an agent in their call centre, taking incoming calls from whoever felt like calling in, with the ultimate goal of booking as many junk removal jobs as possible. As often seems to be the case in my life, it was a job I had no experience with in a totally foreign environment, the perfect opportunity to learn new skills.

The company was a franchised business started up and still headquartered in Vancouver, with owner/operator franchises throughout Canada, the U.S.A. and Australia. Most calls required dealing with Americans, the ultimate test of patience, though I worked later shifts to coincide with peak call times from Australia (time differences, yo).

Basically the system worked like this: customer has a bunch of old furniture or household rubbish lying around, they call in, we give them a run-down of the service over the phone and arrange a time for two guys in a truck to show up at their location to give them an estimate on the cost of removing the items based on the space the items take up in their truck, if the customer likes the price the guys go to work and get the stuff they have loaded up to be taken off and disposed of with recycling or donating being the preferred method where available.

For the most part it was an enjoyable experience. By nature of the job, the people I worked with were all very friendly and made for a lot of fun in between calls. Fostering a positive workplace culture was high on the list of company priorities and they did a pretty good job of it. In particular the other people on the Australian team were all great and a good source of home culture (or close enough to it anyways).

While working in a call centre got boringly repetitive pretty quick, I was trained in different aspects of the job pretty frequently. Between that and sales competitions on a daily, weekly and monthly basis it was bearable for the 6 or so months I was there. It was rare that I got through a full week without some kind of bonus money from comps and I even managed to win myself a kindle in one of the monthly contests which was pretty sweet.

On top of being relatively well paid and incentivised, the company also gave me a benefits package which I got a few free chiropractor sessions and a couple of therapeutic massages out of. My one regret is not using more of the benefit money offered while I was there. Oh and an endless supply of decent filter coffee didn't hurt either.

While I'm definitely glad to be on the other side of the experience, it was a huge help to have stable full time work in Vancouver. It enabled Clem and I to live comfortably while both putting enough away to be enjoying our travel time as a I write this and never thinking twice about getting out to experience what Vancouver had to offer (So many good restaurants, a couple of good coffee spots, Ellie Goulding live, Canucks hockey, Book of Mormon, Grouse Grind, Capilano suspension bridge to name a few).

The getting sworn at by people who called us in the first place over things as trivial as pricing was never fun, the people dumb enough to think a free service could afford extensive advertising and a 1-800 number were insufferable but the many happy customers served both new and returning and the friends I worked with made it worthwhile. Working in a call centre co-ordinating junk removal was a test of patience, an opportunity to improve sales skills, an opportunity to improve customer service skills and lead to some solid friendships along the way. As much as I don't miss it, I'm glad to have had the experience.

1 comment:

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