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Posted: 05.14.2003
Lies lies lies, yeah - they won't forget you
I'm not going to say who we know that works at this corporation for their protection -- let's just say that it's either a very close friend or family member we know back home. Close enough that we spent a half-hour online and on the phone with their national parent company last week until we found a local number to call and check on this person's safety. I won't blog the name either, as I don't wish to eventually get Googled for it.

But during last week's Moore tornado, no one at this company's main call center (the largest employer in the city) -- less than a mile from the destruction -- was even notified of it. All televisions in the building were turned off, the blinds were drawn. The phones were left plugged in and they were kept working offering national phone support as usual. It was only after these employees even got off work that they learned an F4 tornado had touched down merely blocks from them.  [see the story on video from OKC's News 9]  Some of these employees had lost their homes.

Oh and about that call we placed to check on the individual we know? We were told they were plugged into their phone and couldn't accept incoming calls, but would return our call in 30 minutes to an hour when they were on break. Seemed like a reasonable excuse at the time. They told us they were "hand-delivering" our message. We never received a call back, but since we'd received verbal verification they were ok after the tornado we assumed they had enough to deal with at the time given their location. We just learned this message was never, in fact, passed along. Normally I can understand messages like that getting lost -- but it doesn't take a conspiracy theorist to wonder if that message purposely vanished that night.

To say I'm livid on this individual's behalf (and that of all their coworkers) would be an understatement. To say I'm shocked in this day and age...well sadly, not much seems shocking anymore, now does it?

Hey boy take a look at me...let me dirty up your mind...

Christ on a damn cracker! All I heard on the TV was Oklahoma and tornado and I started praying "Please let Robyn and Todd's families by OK" and these people don't even have the damn decency to protect their own employees (physically or emotionally?) Whose ass do I have to kick?

¤ ¤ credit: Zuly | 05.14.03 at 12:34 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Yay. Thompson Twins!

¤ ¤ credit: cordle | 05.14.03 at 12:37 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I work for an, er, "outsourcing" company and I've been on the other end of that situation - and never once did I deny one of my reps the ability to communicate if required. I'd be totally pissed if someone did this to me; why in hell would I turn around and do it to someone else?

On 9/11 word of what happened started filtering in almost immediately, and naturally, reps stopped working to talk about it. Rather than fight their natural instinct to want to learn more, I told my director to go get a t.v. and bring it into the center and we'd rotate reps off the floor in 20 minute intervals so everyone could get first-hand information. We also allowed reps to call home, loved ones, whoever they needed/wanted to call. These people needed to communicate.

Our telephone giant client called us to say they were closing all of their internal centers nationwide so their own people could be with their families. But they were switching all that traffic to us and we were told we couldn't close. I was PISSED! In the first place, our incoming calls had dropped to zero (GEE! ya think people were doing other things at the time?). Second, it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that very few people were going to be calling in to buy something the rest of that day, either. Ultimately, we just told them we were closing down and they backed off.

Wonder what the company you're talking about would have said if their center had been leveled by the twister? Bastards.

¤ ¤ credit: rickg | 05.14.03 at 12:42 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Unbelievable! So *nice* to know there are some companies that value money and doing business so much than their human employees. Sheesh. I hate tornadoes! Get me outta here!!!

(side note) I respect that your personal blogging is now more private. Have enjoyed your blog for awhile now (off and on) and it was one of the first I read regularly. A shame that in your blogging popularity you've also had to deal with stalkers and idiot commenters. Glad you haven't let them, or the awful things that have happened this past year, keep you down. My best to you and your husband.

¤ ¤ credit: Texas T-Bone | 05.14.03 at 02:48 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Having rode out that very tornado in a ditch and knowing where that company is and the tornado path that is unforgiveable. I'm sure nothing can truly be done about it, but I'd be looking for another job.

¤ ¤ credit: daisy | 05.14.03 at 02:48 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

My grandparents live in Moore and I did until 3rd grade - Moore is like a 2nd home for me and this completely outrages me. Thank god my grandmother works for a caring family - not only was she and the remainder of the company moved to the basement. But when my grandfather showed up worried about her, they allowed him into their basement as well. This company that was on the news ought to be ashamed of themselves. Human lives outweigh the bucks. Plain and simple

¤ ¤ credit: jewdez | 05.14.03 at 04:04 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

They should be ashamed. They won't be, but they should. Do they make anything /have services that I can consciously boycott?

¤ ¤ credit: Cyberangel | 05.14.03 at 04:44 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Well, I can't really say that.
I used to work for an outsourcing co., too.
Disappearing messages, worried family members during crisis...it's all too familiar.
The bottom line and the cash flow is all that matters to some companies..with that goes low wages, poor morale, poor working conditions...smoke blown up employees asses by management...
Ask any former employee of DirecTV Broadband...

¤ ¤ credit: Greg | 05.14.03 at 04:55 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

That's disgraceful. I remember working for a company where we manned a helpdesk and bushfires were coming very close. I'm glad my shift was over because god knows how long they would have made me stay in there.

¤ ¤ credit: Jessica Parker | 05.14.03 at 05:50 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

It's amazing, it's been a week already and yet people still HAVE to slow down passing the area. Move along, nothing to see here... It just amazes me that the damage is less than a block away from the May 3rd stuff. Only one of the new buildings from after the May 3rd disaster was even touched - a new hotel had a few windows blown out but that was it. Very weird, almost forgiving, but still not quite...

¤ ¤ credit: jana | 05.15.03 at 12:23 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Ok, the darn video is not there, but I can tell you that at the place I work at things are just the opposite. I am in the upper levels at the technical and customer support centers and after that tornadow (and another one today) I suggested that we make some way that we can contact back the customers. At first I was deniged because they didn't even want the phone people to even save there work, just get up and move to the shelter.

At times I really love working where I do.

Could someone post a link to the text that went with that video?

¤ ¤ credit: Craig | 05.17.03 at 03:04 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

Jeez. I missed this bit of news altogther until a friend emailed me about it (which I forwarded to you). That same company has a branch here in NS - Microsoft outsourced Windows XP support to them here in ol' NoSco.
Scary. And unacceptable. :(

¤ ¤ credit: Quinn MacDonald | 05.17.03 at 09:26 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

Unfortunately I don't believe there was any text accompanied with it. It was video footage from a local Oklahoma News 9 newscast.

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 05.17.03 at 01:04 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Yeah, I did not see it the first time as I try to boycot them as much as possible (long story) and then did not catch the video before it died... Oh well, don't plan on looking for work in the city anytime soon anyhow. lol

¤ ¤ credit: Craig | 05.18.03 at 02:13 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

What the *&!@? Perhaps you should email me with details of this?

¤ ¤ credit: Kitty | 05.18.03 at 05:59 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

Umm.. Kitty, were you talking to me?

¤ ¤ credit: craig | 05.19.03 at 01:31 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

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