14
   

On death and dying

 
 
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Fri 24 Jan, 2020 06:30 pm
@jespah,
Ok, back home after gallivanting all over.

In the course our our 1/2 hour chat while waiting to be called, I found out the following from my DMV co-waiter.

He said that besides actual technical issues, the biggest complaint is from customers regarding the communication styles of the CSR's. Namely, and I'm just going to put it out there, the CSR's from India.

And it's not just, as said below, the accents. It's everything I've already said.

To be honest, I do not think that supervisors are listening to calls where the customer asks that the CSR stop doing a specific thing, like repeating themselves over & over, or making a simple yes or no answer into War & Peace, then reprimand them for doing as the customer asked.

Back to the DMV guy. I had just asked him Why they are not trained in how their customer base, in this case American, communicate.
His response was "They do. They are regularly informed of these issues, and it just doesn't change."



Below is a copy and paste, along with a link, with is basically what I'm talking about.

There’s a real language problem
UK and US companies have been outsourcing call center jobs to India for a while now and Indian call centers employees usually have a rather good level of english. However rather good isn’t good enough! The last thing customers want is to struggle with basic communication when they are trying to get a problem solved. A lot of US customers will now actually hang up if they hear that they are being transferred offshore or spot a foreign accent when the representative answers. Your customers are not being racists, they are just looking for a quick solution to their problem, they don’t want to struggle. A strong foreign accent will make the communication harder, especially over the phone when voice is the only thing people can rely on. Phone communication can even be challenging between people from the same country.

Lately, India has lost a lot of call centers seats to the Philippines where children grow up hearing and speaking American English. Accent and cultural knowledge matters! Working in a call center as an entry level employees is a far harder job that it seems for non-native speakers. It requires an excellent knowledge of another culture that even most intercultural communication experts don’t fully have.

https://www.business2community.com/customer-experience/customers-hate-offshore-call-center-much-0855971
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Fri 24 Jan, 2020 06:32 pm
@Sturgis,
Good post, great post actually.

Why were the cops there?
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Fri 24 Jan, 2020 07:38 pm
@chai2,
I'd like to talk about this customer service from India. Within my own company I frequently have called our help desk for IT services and get an Indian associate. To be blunt it sucks.

Once I had someone on the phone and it sounded like they were reading from a script to help me. So I asked if they understood the actual problem or if they were simply reading from instructions .. I also said it is OK if they are reading from instructions I just need to understand how this problem is being resolved. Well this person let me know she understood it..long story short after being on the phone for over an hour they had to write a ticket for someone else to resolve it. I ended up talking with ano IT guy in my direct office building who resolved it in minutes. I told him of the understanding conversation and he said that is what they do they just say yes no matter what you say.

I've also hung up on our help desk when I get either an obviously incompetent person or someone wit such a thick accent I cannot understand them and call back to try to get the right person.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jan, 2020 08:59 pm
@Linkat,
I do that too. Hang up if I hear it's someone from India I mean.

Now I guess we'll both get slammed by you know who for being "bigots"

Don't care.

Seriously, if companies are going to hire overseas people that are going to be communicating primarily with a particular country, they need to be trained in the proper communicatin style for that country.

0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Fri 24 Jan, 2020 09:28 pm
I hate talking to businesses on the phone. What works best for me is online chat features.
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Sat 25 Jan, 2020 06:17 am
@chai2,
Managers, though, are looking at how long it takes to resolve issues (I know because we do this at my company; calls are logged through Zendesk). And while you're right that managers aren't listening in on everything or going nuts about an extra "I'm sorry" (or whatever), a CSR who isn't solving problems is a CSR who is costing the company too much $$.

Pivoting to my truly wonderful colleagues from the Philippines. Of course they all have accents (we all do). I have also never seen a more hard-working dedicated bunch, I think ever. I truly love my assistant and I would be lost without her. She's from an area called Zambales: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zambales

Our designer is a guy in Bangladesh. Definitely not a "yes you to death" culture. He can sometimes be tough to understand. Fortunately, we do most of our communicating via Slack or other written media, and the beautiful things he makes speak for themselves.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Sat 25 Jan, 2020 07:39 am
@edgarblythe,
Agreed I have often did that for that specific reason. Unfortunately that is not an option for my work helpdesk. I often work from so when there is an IT that doesn't require immediate help....I wait until I go in the office and go see someone in person.
Linkat
 
  3  
Reply Sat 25 Jan, 2020 07:52 am
@Linkat,
This is how much of a joke the helpdesk is at our company....I once was having problems getting Internet access while I was in the office. I went to our IT area here in the office ... it took all of a minute to fix and he showed me how to do ifor it happened again and how to avoid it in the future.

I mentioned I thought it better just to come downstairs and seek help than call the helpdesk. His comment...you wouldn't want to call them...who knows what they would have done to your computer.

Now I do work directly with some coworkers in India and there are some that are really really good and great to work with, but to be honest those are few. We have a team of about 10 that we directly work with and two of the 10 are fantastic...they rest are pretty bad at their jobs. The two that are great are difficult to understand when talking with hehe but our jobs are not centered on communication as us locals can communicate directly with the client so it doesn't hamper us too much. But if your job is talking over the phone and resolving issuea you are meeting your job expectations if the majority of your client base cannot understand you.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Sat 25 Jan, 2020 10:54 am
@jespah,
jespah wrote:

Managers, though, are looking at how long it takes to resolve issues (I know because we do this at my company; calls are logged through Zendesk). And while you're right that managers aren't listening in on everything or going nuts about an extra "I'm sorry" (or whatever), a CSR who isn't solving problems is a CSR who is costing the company too much $$.

Pivoting to my truly wonderful colleagues from the Philippines. Of course they all have accents (we all do). I have also never seen a more hard-working dedicated bunch, I think ever. I truly love my assistant and I would be lost without her. She's from an area called Zambales: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zambales

Our designer is a guy in Bangladesh. Definitely not a "yes you to death" culture. He can sometimes be tough to understand. Fortunately, we do most of our communicating via Slack or other written media, and the beautiful things he makes speak for themselves.


I'm really glad you brought this up jes.
Because indeed there are really great call center/IT helpdesk/CSR's etc out there.
Believe me, if someone did their job well, and truly solved a problem for me, I'm all over it thanking them for their help, and how knowledgeable/professional they are.

But.....
I'm addressing environments where it's not about an extra "I'm sorry, or whatever"
I think the environment you're talking about is intra company. I'm not.
I'm talking about people who can be anything from someone who is themselves experienced with the system, how it all works, etc. to the (again, not saying intelligence is lacking) the high school drop out, 80 year old grandma who has never left Alabama and just wants to send a picture to her grandson.

Yes, managers are supposed to be looking at how long it takes to solve an issue, and they are. Time is money.

However, that is a big reason for the inordinately high attrition rate at call centers.
In the US, the attrition rate for all industries combined hovers around 15%

In large size call centers, it's 44%
Medium size 37%
Small size 17%

So when the average joe with a problem makes a call to their credit card, cell provider, etc and they may be frustrated already, they are probably getting someone who has been there less than 6 months, and probably won't be there in another 6.

A big part of this is "warm body syndrome" Get them in there, if they last they last, if they're gone, there's a line outside that all knows they'll hire anybody.

This costs the big companies hundreds of thousands of dollars at least, a year.
But no one is willing to bite the bullet and commit to having it take a couple of years to get a core of really good people.

Just knowing your job specs isn't enough. That may be really impressive on paper, but if the quality of the interactions between the employee and the customer is fraught with many negative outcomes on the quality of the call, there's something wrong.

I'm not hating of people who need a job.
I'm saying they are not the right person for that job if they consistently can't help the customer in a manner the customer understands.



jespah
 
  2  
Reply Sat 25 Jan, 2020 12:28 pm
@chai2,
Totally - and it's a hard job even on a good day, I'm sure. People yelling at you, impatience, etc. It wouldn't surprise me if anyone who's any good at it either leaves quickly because they've got other prospects (I mean faster than the average), or gets kicked upstairs into management and taken off the front lines.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  5  
Reply Sat 25 Jan, 2020 04:02 pm
Finding pictures like this is so hard.

https://scontent-dfw5-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/83037124_1591406181012213_3480720356572921856_n.jpg?_nc_cat=107&_nc_ohc=QIJx0Yic1zEAX8hAu9m&_nc_ht=scontent-dfw5-2.xx&oh=443a8ad79f7a9a0c93e5eee9e407a6cf&oe=5E97F7DD
0 Replies
 
Sturgis
 
  2  
Reply Sat 25 Jan, 2020 06:38 pm
@chai2,
Quote:
Why were the cops there?


It was standard procedure (perhaps still is in NYC) the time for 'suspected ' suicide.

It had the hallmarks of suicide; eventually, it was listed as 'natural causes and mention of service connected disability ' on his death certificate. A family friend and somewhat high ranking doctor took care of it and A new or updated certificate was issued which listed the cause as 'Service connected disability ' By doing so, we were able to receive VA survivors benefits. For the kids it went through until age 22 if we were in school (including college). Mother received a monthly payment until she died.
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Sat 25 Jan, 2020 07:39 pm
@Sturgis,
One of the things I’m waiting to get his the Death Certificate.

I can’t apply for his social security benefits and surging spouse benefits until I have it.

BTW, I did not realize that I can collect 71.5% of his social security even though I’m not 62. That was a windfall. I’m not clear from the verbiage if I have to then take my own social security when I’m 62, or just keep collecting his 71.5% until I decide to take it to maximize my benefits. When I go to apply I’’m sure I’ll get the answer.

Also need to have the cert to apply for the surviving spouse monthly check from the VA.
The hospitalist was a really great doctor. I went to see him a couple days after Kirk passed to make sure his heart condition would be listed as a contributing factor. He said he would make sure he documented it that way.
2PacksAday
 
  3  
Reply Sun 26 Jan, 2020 08:54 pm
@chai2,
We all know that you are one tough cookie....I have no doubt in my mind that you are gonna be just fine...but you know that already, just got to get there...takes time.

It's ok to cry...to be angry...to break few things...find something that he owned that you hated....break it...laugh about it....it's ok I give you permission.

PS....My offer still stands to be your pool boy...just need you to write a note to my wife....I'm sure she'll be fine with it.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Sun 26 Jan, 2020 09:17 pm
@2PacksAday,
Howdy, Stranger
0 Replies
 
glitterbag
 
  3  
Reply Mon 27 Jan, 2020 03:11 am
My Dad had a stroke when he was 82, he was taken to the VA hospital in Baltimore and I was there everyday.....many stories about treatment at the VA, but mostly good stories. He was uncooperative any times, I think was just done. He wouldn't eat, which is never a good sign, but I kept taking food/cookies/ice cream anything I could think of to coax him to eat. The Doctors wanted me to agree to place a feeding tube....and my heart sank....If I had asked him, I knew would furiously say no, if I had given permission and he woke up to see he had a feeding tube.......he would have been incandescent, and I really really dreaded having to face that. I managed to stall that decision.

A few days later when I got to his room, he had 4 or 5 visitors. They all were staff members from a local diner that was his second home. He had an early dinner nearly everyday with a bunch of kindred souls. It was so nice, they brought some of his favorite foods, he was eating and laughing and for the first time in six weeks I thought he was really going to get better. Then around 3 A.M. the doctor called to tell me my father had died. He asked me if I was coming up, but I really didn't want to my father dead. I was with my mother when she died and I just wasn't able to do it for Dad.

My father wanted to buried next to my mother, so we did the whole funeral thing. I think it was easier in a way when we buried my mother....probably because I still had my father and I was more concerned about his grief than my own. When Dad died, I had to deal with this sense of being an orphan...I had to be in my 50's but I felt a lot like a child. But I wasn't a child so we went thru all the steps. (I'll address that later)

The afternoon we arrived to view his body, my brother was 45 minutes late, because everybody has to wait for the Michael. Michael was so late my Dad's next door neighbor 'Joe' showed up and attempted to go in with us. Somebody told him to give us a minute.....I just figured Joe was stupid, or dense. But I was wrong, Joe arrived with his brand new real estate tag on his jacket. And he stayed the entire time....the greedy sonofabitch even walked us to our car. In a perverse way, it was funny...he kept standing next to me or my brother turning to make sure one of us could see his real estate tag.

When we were finally alone in the car leaving the mortuary, Rodney said "I reckon Joe was working the entire room", it made me laugh...then I said "What I desperately want to do is to call Dad and tell him what Joe did, Dad would have laughed his butt off".

There is a lot more to this story, but too much for one post. I was mostly oddly fascinated by the strange behavior of the visitors, I wouldn't call them mourners, some were just looky loos....






chai2
 
  3  
Reply Mon 27 Jan, 2020 09:20 am
@glitterbag,
glitterbag wrote:


Dad's next door neighbor 'Joe' showed up and attempted to go in with us. Somebody told him to give us a minute.....I just figured Joe was stupid, or dense. But I was wrong, Joe arrived with his brand new real estate tag on his jacket. And he stayed the entire time....the greedy sonofabitch even walked us to our car.





I'm in a great mood this morning, so saying this just as what I consider a fact, not bitter, just accepting....

Yes, people are just that stupid, dense, or greedy. That's fine, it's the way it is.
But let them be stupid or greedy with someone else.

When I went to take his cell phone over to the TMobile store to turn in (didn't know if they wanted to refurbish/resell/whatever) they asked why I was returning it, so I told them it was my husbands and he passed.

The employee there (luckily) had common sense and just said "Oh, sorry" and went to take the phone.
Another man at the counter looked over and said "Sorry for your loss" and I said "Thank you"

Then, without missing a beat he said "Are you making your probate plans yet?"

I didn't miss a beat either and asked "Are you a lawyer?"

Him: "oh... yes I am"

Me: "Well then you know that as the surviving spouse there's no need for probate. It all goes to me"

He did have the good graces to look slightly abashed, but Jesus wept, he's one of the reasons for lawyer jokes.

He would have liked nothing better than to get the poor little lady into his office, charging her a few hundred dollars, just to tell her that.

Nope.








Sturgis
 
  2  
Reply Mon 27 Jan, 2020 03:37 pm
@chai2,
Many lawyers and funeral home directors, count on the grieving families or just one person, to be struck down with severe stupidity when their loved one passes. Yet another reason to have always talked about this sort of thing in advance.

The weirdest item I ever received was from the agency in charge of Food Stamp benefits. They sent a letter to my friend (the decedent), informing him: "As of.... You will no longer be receiving benefits." A little later it listed the reason: "This action is due to your death."

If the person has died, why address the letter to them?


He also got a summons for jury duty around then...
chai2
 
  3  
Reply Sat 1 Feb, 2020 10:19 am
@Sturgis,
Sturgis wrote:


If the person has died, why address the letter to them?



I got a letter from United Healthcare a couple days ago.
I think they worded it nicely.

First off, it was addressed to "The Estate of...."

Then (I've got the letter in front of me) "We're sorry to hear about the recent loss of XXX. We want to share some information with you without placing any extra burden on you at this time."

That is so perfect. Condolences, and acknowledging they don't want to make things harder, but we gotta tell you something.

It was actually good info, saying that Medicare notified them to end his MedicareRX as of 1/31/2020. Then, if I was mistakenly charged in Feb, to contact them.

Actually, big task completed yesterday.

I had mistakenly thought I needed his Death Cert to have Social Security Survivors benefits apply to me.
For some reason, I was actually looking at the SS website on 1/30. It said that whenever you apply, the benefits do Not go back retroactive to the time of death, but when you apply, so the sooner the better.

I called their 800 number, but it was maybe 6:30pm or later, and the auto operator estimated that the wait time was over 2 hours.

I saw they opened their lines at 7am. So on 1/31 I was ringing their number at 7:01am
Turns out what I needed was a copy of the marriage license, bank info, and something showing what I made last year (I couldn't have earned more than $17K or something)

The CSR suggested on just show up at the local office, and would be fit in.
I saw the office oppened at 9am, so I arrived at 8:35am, so there were only maybe 20-25 people waiting at the door.

Within the hour I found out that not only would I receive 71.5% of his check, but that I could collect my Full retirement amount at 66 plus some months. That would be an increase at that time of over $700 a month. I was approved and there will be no gap in benefits.

71.5% of his check is about $200 less than what mine would be when I turn 62 this coming december.

Running the numbers, it's a win win. I'll end up getting about $3K less in total between my current age 61, and 66 years and 8 months, but then get that big jump forever.

That was a big thing to cross off my list.


hightor
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Feb, 2020 11:40 am
@chai2,
Quote:
That was a big thing to cross off my list.


Good for you, chai!
 

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