Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The Customer Centre, Croker & Cucumber Sandwiches

More insights from Luke O'Donnell on answering calls at The City Bin Co.'s headquarters...

The working day, like grey bin contents, is a vague entity at The City Bin Co.'s headquarters. There are no hours as we know them in civilian life. Calls and silences punctuate the day in ever-changing symphonies of feverish crescendoes and eerie lulls. At peak, more than a dozen phones go Hell-for-leather ably-backed by the odd warble of an outspoken mobile or the guzhirt-guzhirt of an ever-ready photocopier.


When nothing's ringing, we can hear the tumbleweed yawn. The former bears a striking resemblance to full-time at Croker; whereas the latter is more like dusk on the third day, before God made telephones. Each is equally fascinating.

Roaring like the four horsemen during happy hour, the din here with all guns blazing is both a miracle of modern engineering and a gleaming testament to the harmony of human interaction. The reason we're able to answer your calls on the first ring and carry out a sensible conversation thereafter is because it's important. We're not emptying bins here in the office nor are we negotiating traffic. We're minding your queries and fielding your concerns. We mightn't be nearly as helpful if we were changing lanes on the M50 at the same time.

Hitherto, the only comparison I could have drawn to rival this phenomenon was the memory of my grandmother and her two sisters having tea. They didn't so much meet for a chat as invade one another's airspace with a full-scale verbal battery of one-way narratives about six different stories involving two dozen people in the face of equally vehement counter-strikes from their siblings. We might chalk up a good few conversations on any given day but they only ever involve two people. Odds on, one of them is you. 

So while The City Bin Co. is not nearly as loud (and has fewer cucumber sandwiches), the combined age and words-per-minute is about the same. And so it goes throughout the day. Spikes and troughs, ebbs and flows. Noise and noise (and silence). As our immensely popular Dublin City introductory offer winds to a close after four months on the go phone activity is hotting up once more.

While the radio ads once yielded ferocious activity around Christmas and the New Year the television efforts induced half-hour bouts of unbridled carnage. City councillor Gerry Breen was equally impressive. The €99 all-in-for-a-year deal so enamoured the former Lord Mayor he shared the good news with his constituency via text message. They called for weeks after. All through December he justified his own “how’d ya hear ‘bout us buddy?” box on the registration form.

The March 31 deadline looms for our €99 introductory offer so ye best get in quick Dublin, before our lives go back to normal.

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