My last week in work was the best week since the first one, in terms of entertainment at least, and I didn’t even have to change anyone’s name to “smug twat” and send them a new card to make it so (not that I would do that, just to make that clear.)
The main item of interest was on Thursday, when 48 of us were called into the meeting room on our floor to receive an unexplained talk from the manager of the callcentre. He had news to tell us and it wasn’t exactly good. First he showed everyone a series of powerpoint slides demonstrating that we had a problem with call volumes between 5pm and 8pm due to half the staff going home at 5. Nothing to disagree with there, though the fact stands that the person responsible for planning all the shift changes in June was him. So, what was the solution? “We” could hire more staff, but that would be too expensive, “we” could get people on part time, though that would also be too expensive or “we” could change the shift patterns yet again for those on “flexicontracts.”
What this amounted to was 48 people being told they could either work 12pm-10pm 4 days a week (including some weekends) or, if that wasn’t to their satisfaction, just leave.
This wasn’t popular.
It was entirely clear to everyone in that room that Lloyds rate the well-being of their staff below the normal priority issues of customers, money and regulations and way below the all-consuming religion of the company, “targets”. The target in question this time was the average call queuing time. It had to go down and if sacking competent staff who’ve been through 2 months of training was the easiest and cheapest way to do it then so be it. All praise the lord of targets, he must be obeyed.
One girl was crying, other people were drafting resignation letters as the walked back to their desks. I just wish everyone had had the guts to stage a walkout. They should’ve done, no doubt about that, but these days everyone is resigned to being treated like a slave at work and a customer the rest of the time.
Still, didn’t apply to me. Neither did the one-to-one training session I had on my next-to-last day, but I wasn’t complaining about that. The end was in sight, and tasting sweet. I had planned to just slip out of there, but my team leader got wind of it and got everyone off the phones for five minutes to present me with a card and a round of applause. I wasn’t expecting either, and was surprised to be quite touched by it. They’re generally good people there, such a shame they get treated so shabbily by the management.

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