Thursday, September 18, 2008

Right hand, meet the left hand

Converge is a word denoting the coming together of at least two things.

Therefore, a company that spends a good amount of money promoting their corporate identity and it's name, Convergys, should at the very least know what it's right and left hands are doing.

It all started with an email from an online friend whom I met via this blog. She was interested in pursuing some work-at-home opportunities and turned to me for some succor. After some research, I turned up several companies that offered phone/computer based jobs where all one needed was a dedicated phone line and net-accessed computer to work as a remote (home based) call-center agent.

Basically, say you call Big Faceless Company for technical help, or to order a sweater vest, or with a general question regarding that non-narcotic male enhancement solution you've been receiving emails for, and instead of sending you to some in-house call center, your call gets switched to inmates at a low-security prison or perhaps even to India where you'll be speaking to some guy named "Damon" aka Rahjneesh.

If you're really fortunate your "very important" call will be sent to the next highly-paid, highly-trained and highly-hidely-ho "home working professional agent" complete with Plantronics headset and 1.5 mpbs download speed net connection.

When I started to dig deeper into Convergys' perfect "Home Agent Program" world, the cracks on the happy faces of the generic employee jpegs at the website started seeping through the digital make-up.

First off, Firefox tossed this message at me when I wanted to find out more about the "application" process...

Since Microsoft hasn't released a version of IE for Mac in 8 years (good riddance, I say), the lack of programming support (and let's face it, code writing skill) was about to be revealed on Convergy's Windoze lemming-like faces.

Further digging revealed that they only supported Windoze clients for their Home Agent workers, claiming that their "software" would only work on Microsoft based systems. Um, software such as Acrobat Reader, Flash and Windows Media Player...all of which do work on a Mac. The topper was the propaganda video they stream off their site labeled, Benefits

See, the retired teacher sporting the sporty headsets, sitting in the sparsely decorated room taking calls and seemingly having a ball doing working on a Powerbook. A MAC Powerbook. Running an OS that isn't supported by Convergys.

Onto the Contact Us section I went to send an email pointing out the discrepancy with a slightly sarcastic reminder of the definition of the word "converge."

To their credit, the email response was not immediate, but timely enough (24-hours).
Response (Mariam) - 09/15/2008 04:28 PM
Dear Prospective Applicant,

We do appreciate your interest in our Convergys Remote Agent program.

To answer your question, no our systems are not all web-based and that is why "Windows" systems are required. Our platform is not compatible with Mac systems. Please review our requirements below.

Our videos are based on the benefits of working from home and a disclaimer is announced in the beginning of our video that reads " Actor portrayed not actual Convergys employee".

Best Regards,
Home Agent Team
"Actor portrayed not actual Convergys employee" = you will not be this happy working as a Home Agent for us, because we chose to hire actors to portray our employees since our actual Home Agents would not accurately present the image we'd like to sell you in this cheesy video.

Having previously worked for a big corporation that was often clueless in it's marketing, employment practices, and benefit shenanigans, I'll always hoot for joy (with a quick sigh of discouragement) when stupid stuff like this falls through the cracks and ends up as blogger fodder.

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