Please forgive me my sins... a confession
I did work for PC Servicecall on their helplines.
I'm not exactly an idiot (although the odd lapse in common sense isn't unheard of) and I did go in with the best of intentions and to 'tide me over until I decided what I wanted to do with my life' after failing my degree (again - not a lack of knowledge really, more to do with lectures being next to a large selection of pubs).
Eventually I worked my way up to the glorious position of 'Technical Advisor' where one of my duties was covering the branch action line and dealing with queries from store staff in addition to the confused customers who in many cases did seem to have been spoonfed some utter crap to get them out of door a couple of grand lighter and weighed down by a PC that would do anything except what they wanted to do in the first place (usually selling fast PCs with almost no graphics features as a 'gaming machine').
You could sit there, cover the phone display and I swear half the time if it wasn't for the fact that store staff anounce themselves you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between the staff and customers!
For what it is worth though when I was there I was around a group of people who did genuinely know what they were doing and care. They were only too happy to pull out all the stops and get the customer back on track doing exactly what they wanted to be doing. Sadly this did often mean reversing something one of the muppet callcentre or store staff had done that had only made things worse and I felt a customer had been royally shafted I would actually brief them on the sales of goods act, coaching them with the required wording to get the store manager to take note. Probably made me unpopular a few times but I value my self respect more than my managers opinion any day of the week.
But alas the targets went up and up, catheta* (sorry - capita) took over and customers were getting a rougher ride as time went by due to some decsions which could only be described as 'really bloody stupid' by people on the shop floor, managers only knew how to scream variations of 'work faster or else!' in order to meet targets and apathy ran rampant everywhere.
Apart from the people who saw the writing on the wall who promptly buggered off in the summer exodus of 2006. And by christ I'm glad to say I'm one of them!
I'm finishing up a software engineering degree now and there's no way in hell I'm going to give up or be tempted into slacking off this time because I know where I'm going to end up if I don't succeed. I'm going to end up a tech guy.
If that doesn't motivate me nothing will.
*Always thought this was a more appropriate name for the company seeing as they seem to excel at taking the piss.