Eight a.m. Monday, August 29, 2005. I show up for my first day of work for AT&T just as Hurricane Katrina plows into New Orleans. I should've listened to my instincts and realized I'd just embarked on a collision course for disaster - my own personal hurricane to equal the regional turmoil at that moment embroiling the Gulf Coast.
This is a report on rigged competition in a call center sales program for a Fortune 500 company - AT&T. It's about cooked books and intentionally faked "races" to see which AT&T phone representative (reps) taking customer service calls can sell the most cell phone lines of service, along with devices and accessories.
The public at large remains unaware of what daily transpires in these heavily staged boiler rooms - the call center sales department. When AT&T subscribers pick up their handsets to call the phone company, they reach a chamber of horrors akin to a dinner date with Hannibal Lectur.
The most insidious aspect of what I'm about to relate is that corporations like AT&T have successfully lobbied state legislatures to enact laws that apparently allow them to use their hi-tech computerized call center systems to mercilessly rig competition between supposedly competing employees. The extreme level of favoritism they engage in is in my opinion violence provoking - an in-your-face answer to the question of WHY do kids pick up guns and blow away schoolmates? WHY do guys arm themselves to the teeth and go "hunting" in the jungle workplace?
After contemplating what's described below, this question of "why" (which media so frequently poses, yet refuses to answer) will be put to rest - R.I.P. (Rail In Pain
To start, just try
to google for info about this decades old phenomenon. Type in a search for "call center rigged competition" or "skewed databases for sales workers at call centers" or "fake staged competition in call center sales" - whatever the phrase(s) - the same results stare back at your face - zilch! Nothing
is being reported about this national issue which every day shoots blood pressure rates through the roof in these corporate chokehold hot houses. Fortune 500 payola funds to media have succeeded in concealing and covering up these workplace practices to such an extent that the rigged competition issue is invisible
. However, there are tens, if not hundreds of thousands of American workers who're unfortunately tortured daily in the insanely stressed confines of call center cubicles. Worse, the practice is sanctioned by government and concealed by media. Now, First Century Press
blows their cover with our exclusive investigative reportů
My credentials and work history within call centers is unusual and relevant to this report. For seven years I'd worked as a writer and consultant, doing lots of phone work for the official Jimi Hendrix production company, then located in Hollywood, CA. That was an extremely competitive and fast paced job of non-stop deadlines to meet production schedules for major media companies like MCA, Warner Bros., Polydor, Atlantic Records, etc. Although I was trained to be the next director of the Hendrix production company, the visibility of that position (my published writings released with 14 official Jimi Hendrix CDs were distributed to more than 6 million people) attracted the attention (made me the target) of Microsoft co-founder, and Hendrix fanatic, Paul Allen. Mr. Allen took such exception to my insights on Hendrix that, out of intense pathological jealousy, he spent many millions to instigate a bogus lawsuit to halt my writing career and prevent me from assuming the directorship of the Hendrix company. But that's "another movie" partially described in my book Rock Prophecy
(1999 First Century Press).
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