C.E.O., Gobloc Insulting
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Basic Literature is a corporate satire blog, updated with satirical and humorous commentary on the corporate world, including career advice, management tips, business strategies and marketing tactics.
a satirical blog about our corporate world

Career Advice for Call Center Executives

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Oh crap. This past week my ISP have decided to irritate me, everything becomes so slow, my internet speed is measured in light-years.

When I called their customer call center, not surprisingly, my complaints have fallen to deft ears. Just to make myself happy, I told the guy I'm a renowned consultant and I'll share my career advice with him. He concurred to listen.

"Happiness is a distant feeling"

Unlike those advertisements where call center executives are beaming with smiles answering calls, the following fact remains true: customers like me will never call you to sing a praise, to congratulate on a job well done, nor to share our joy for your services.

I will only call to whine, complain, grumble, curse, abuse, and "I want to talk to your manager."

Caption: A scene from heaven

"I will only know you for the wrong reason."

Even you're answering my call using the standard "Hi my name is ......, what can I help you" - if you did a good job to satisfy me, all you have is your sorry hand to pat your back.

Because if callers like me took an effort to remember your name, we will only use it to report your incompetence to your boss. So the most pat will come from your supervisor's hand. And it will be on your forehead.

"I am not the only one you say 'hello' to"

The best thing about consumers like me is that we're full of determination. I'll make a point to solve my problem. And guess what? I call during night-time and weekends.

Because your company will never let the answering machine proves its worth, you'll work in rotating shifts! Say hello to uncertainty, along with any plan with your peers and loved ones. "I'll have to wait for the next roaster to come out" you say with a glimpse of hope. But when it do come out, all you gonna say is "Hello disappointment!"

"Your company love me more than they love you"

Oh yes. So whenever heated arguments take place, you will always be on the receiving end of the blame. I'm the divine, righteous and godly creature. I'm free to curse you anything.

You're wrong, and you will always be. Because I'm the customer. And according to any customer service bible, I'm always right. You're the Satan.

"Your future is bleak"

Call centers are technologically-improved and geographically independent, so more and more 'cost-savvy' companies are outsourcing their services to India, the place with abundant of cheap manpowers who are well-versed in English. So go look for another job.


After I was finished with my advice, the chap on the line paused momentarily. "I hate you, but I'm starting to hate my job even worse" His fake energetic tone had faded.

"That's because my advice is leukemia my son. Yes, the truth can be damaging. In the corporate world, it will always be."
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How To Handle Complaints

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Customer complaints are annoying and irritating. If you're on the supply side of doing business, complaints are like your staple food. Here's some of responses I recommend for you guys facing the wrath of customers:

Blame other department.

Blaming other division of your business is good. It projects the image that you're the competent star among your company's pool of slackers. "If I'm the one assembling this product for you, I'll make sure you're smiling to your ears".

"Sorry this happens to you, I'll give them a good shove in the butt so they'll remember this mistake" It'll give them a better peace of mind. A fake one.

Blame the top management.

This is a different trick from above, where you project yourself as a sorry victim of your company's ruthless management.

"We've told them this feature will be disastrous, but they won't listen. At the end of the day, we're just a wimp trying to make a living here". Sympathy will soften their anger a bit.

Blame the uniqueness of the case.

"I say, we've never encountered this situation before. Yours is very unique. We need more time to rectify this." will actually make the complainer feel more exclusive, as if the whole company is now working hard just for his lone whining. May even result to higher satisfaction.

Blame own inexperience.

This is an old classic. "I'm sorry, I am new here." Of course they'll blame your company for fielding such noob in the line, but hey. As long as you're safe, it's all right. Right?

Blame the customer.

This is a perfect mirror. It deflects the ray back to them. "Sir, with all due respect, we think you've done something that jeopardized the product". Of course they'll be more defensive than ever, but your company is the one producing those product/services, you should know better about them.

Create something that's even remotely possible, get some ideas by interviewing the complainer. There's always common mistakes around. Use them. Like how auto insurance companies use in the case of a theft.

"If you sleep in your car, this wouldn't happen. This is negligence on your part. Your fault."

Blame humanity.

And quit your job. Because there's bozos who just like to complain, even for trivial things. Things that can be solved if they take half a second and think.
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Uninspiring Quotes for Your Career

Monday, July 21, 2008


"Ability is of little account without opportunity."
Napoleon Bonaparte

Whatever your talent is, it's useless if you're not the best @ss-kisser around.


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
Margaret Mead

Because the majority of people are whining idiots, the probability you're one of them is always higher.


"In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative original thinker unless you can also sell what you create."
David Ogilvy

Tell your bright ideas to your boss, and the higher management will be impressed with him/her, not you.


"In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities."
János Arany

Because your dreams are crushed and love turns into hatred every time your boss makes a decision, everything in your career becomes impossible.


"The true worth of a man is to be measured by the objects he pursues."
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

You're worthless if your boss didn't know what you pursue, you're a threat if he/she knows what it is. Either way, by trying to prove your worth, you'll become more worthless.


"Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them."
Paul Hawken

Keep whining about your salary to the management. It will be within their interest. Duh.


"We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Talent is nothing once you've screwed up.


Beware of thinkers whose minds function only when they are fueled by a quotation.
Emil Cioran

So if you're thinking of opening your presentation with a famous quotation, shut up.

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Fight The Monday Blues. Or Not.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Everybody is familiar with this day- it's a day when zombies rise from their death, walking aimlessly looking for things to remind them the suffering is real.

It's a day when your cubicle mood reaches the weekly low, it's a day when you just wish sleep-walking is a synonym for 'auto-pilot'. You wish all work is done without doing any work.

There's decent pointers around to counter this phenomenon, but seriously..being lazy by default, the last thing you would want to do is deceiving your unconscious soul to wake up.

Mundane Monday is a must. Even if you can temporarily disable the lethargic aura and face the day with your false sense of optimism, there's some 50 Mondays waiting next.

You know persistence is never your middle-name, and before you know it, the next Monday you will always realize that:

  • You spend an entire week just to rest for (at most) 2 days. Without any excuse to switch your cell-phone off.

  • Sluggishness becomes the one only similarity between you and all your colleagues.

  • You wish everyone's office is next door from their home. The morning traffic is unbearable.

  • You regret the way you spent your weekend- thanks to your standard 'How's your weekend?' pitch to start the ho-hum ball rolling.

  • You have a greater urge to be the boss, after watching his morning tardiness often went unpunished.

Don't fool yourself. Your body knows the truth whichever mean you use to cloak them. You had your break the day before, the lag will always be there when you start your working day again. It's the inertia effect. And I've even profited from it.

Don't be a hypocrite. Let's counter this Monday Blues using a more direct way - let's break this curse on Monday, let there be no more negative feeling on this very day.

Here's my ultimate prescription for you to weed off the effect of Monday Blues once and for all:

Work 7 days a week.

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Should You Work In Big Corporations?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Lots of corporate aspirants favor big giant companies when they decide who to work for. Although generally a better paymaster, are big companies a right place to spring your career?

Because when you work in companies with so many people....

Rules will always be broken....

... by someone on a daily basis. And so does the HR efforts to cover the loopholes. And company guidelines will change every other day. And you'll be left in the limbo, because when you start to refer to the employee handbook for pointers, they are already outdated. I mean, who wants to reprint thousands of those useless guide that no one seems to care about except the Domestic Inquiry panel?

What you'll accomplish: Discover "I didn't' know that...." doesn't work.

Haywires are bound to happen...

...which HR advocates have found a way to deal with them. It's called the 'effective organizational structure' with a trillion chains of command and hierarchies of authority. Which means you're 1000 superiors away from impressing your C.E.O. Which means you're probably reporting to someone that's out of power to even say 'I think you're doing a good job'.

What you'll accomplish: Ability to work without recognition.

Repetitive task will be more appalling....

..and something must be done to minimize the problem of having millions of idiots doing 1 same work. That's why someone decided to find out who Adam Smith is and some reading later, 'job specialization' was born. Which means you'll be so specialized in a single work, and doomed to do the same routine task every day for years.

What you'll accomplish: Better understanding of a Zombie.

Everything seems to be standardized....

.....because it's hard to play fair if you're dealing with whiners, more so if they exist in thousands. Management can't grant flexibility to one department without employees in another crying out favoritism. So no. No special treatment. You're entitled to the same employee rights, claim rates, benefits and compensation tiers as the weakest looser in the entire company.

What you'll accomplish: First hand experience of "We are an equal opportunity employer"

Cost is a big factor....

....because big corps tends to have a big appetite for operational cost. Hence the micromanagement of expenditures (but not in employee satisfactions). So every simple proposal will have to go through millions of different committees before you can even start to consider calling them a proposal.

What you'll accomplish: Learn new jargon - "To Propose a Proposal"

Geographical placement is crucial.....

....that's why big corporations are often nestled inside one big building. If modern architecture is correct, parking spaces will never be built to match the number of occupants inside. So there's always short of parking spot, which means either you have to come the night before to secure a parking lot, or start calling roller-blade your car.

What you'll accomplish: Sharpen the road rage talent

Office antiques are more intensified...

..because when there's so many actors, the office drama will have a wider variety of scenes, so your life will always be filled with new chapters of gossips, smears, conspiracies, bullies and social quarantines.

What you'll accomplish: Higher potential to play a leading role- the naive victim.


There you have it. Now take a look at these Fortune 500 companies. Avoid them. If it's too late already, STOP BRAGGING about your company. Because now we all know that big corporations suck - big time.

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Don't Avoid The Ads!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I don't normally appeal to the public conscience to elevate my business prospects because I believe their lack of one keeps consultancy firms like mine going.

But I must say, since advertising-campaigns consultation contributed significantly to our revenue stream, I must do something to protect them.

Be alert. There's an increasingly widespread plague among the human race which may endanger your bliss in life.

If you have any of the following symptoms, you're likely affected:

Consistent belief that the world has ended long time ago and now human is living in the delightful nirvana where freebies fall from the sky.


Belief that you have been elevated to the highest social strata who could possibly be rewarded with free goodies.


Belief that you are living on a social service where businesses serve you at a loss.


Whatever reason that you deem fit to start avoiding and whining about advertisements.

You know it's an open fact that advertisements subsidize the cost of productions and publications.

Take terrestrials TV channels for example. How on earth can you possibly get them for free (thank you advertisements). Or those 100+ pages glossy magazines that you pay just a tiny fraction of its publication costs to buy (thank you advertisements).

Or our beloved YouTube- which had they decided to charge you for their daily $1 million bandwidth cost (yes, that's daily), you'll be left with only underpants stolen from your neighboring clothesline (thank you advertisements).

Yet these infected people decided to hate ads. But being a sick dolt, they also despise paying for these services. Thus creating another paradox that'll keep philosophers busy.

To spot any possibly infected people, look for people who loves and owns TiVo. Or internet users who installed Adblocker with their Firefox. Or any of these people whining about another Google's unobtrusive business model.

This plague, it's not a zero-sum game. If more people are infected and start avoiding ads, it is possible one day, advertisers will stop advertising (since there's no response).

With no ads income, publishers will have to start charging and increasing their rates. Heck, when the days finally come, YOU have to pay more for almost everything.

Not that I care about you, but damn, I will loose my business!

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