Friday at Stupid Pepsi, I was watching the clock and working as little as possible when my supervisor dropped a sheet of paper on my desk. This is not unusual, it seems like every day someone is giving me some piece of paper with sales incentives, or upselling tips, sales contests: “Win a free jeans day! Win chips & pop!” Sometimes I like to wear nice pants or a skirt, and drinking pop and eating chips isn’t nearly as exciting as it was when I was eight. No wonder some many full-time people at Stupid Pepsi are morbidly obese. Plus, the only chips they ever give away are either Lays original or sour cream & onion, and the soda’s always warm. I could put it in the fridge, but then someone would steal it.
That’s right, people can buy a can of soda from the machines for $0.25, but they would rather steal it. Not just soda either, HR actually circulated a memo not too long ago asking people to please stop taking lunches that aren’t theirs. I believe it included the phrase “if you open a container that you think is yours and it doesn’t contain what you brought for lunch that day, please return it to where you found it.”
This particular sheet of paper labeled “calls per hour and upsell tracker” was a convoluted grid designed (I guess) to let us record each call and upsell. I snorted derisively at the sight of this and stuck it in a corner of my cube to use as scratch paper. Then comes the Instant Message “Power hour! Track all your calls and upsells for the next hour and whoever does the best wins a prize!” Prizes are rarely specified, and rarely worth trying for, but the supervisors pelt you with IM’s full of exclamation points to try to convince you that this is fun! Sadly, it does seem to work on most people.
Since I was done on 30 minutes and would not be able to participate in the entire “Power hour”, I decided to keep half-assing my way though the afternoon. About 10 minutes later, I get an IM “You need to upsell on every call.” There is no way (that I know of) to tell of an instant message is going out to just me or to everyone. I continue to not upsell. Another 10 minutes goes by and I get the same message again. So I decide to upsell on the next call just so I know for sure.
Naturally, the next call was a Chinese restaurant, and the man I talked to barely spoke English. I managed to get him to try the Lipton green tea with citrus, and felt horrible about it because I’m sure he had no idea what I was saying. As I was finishing up the account, my supervisor snuck up behind me and said “Good job on that upsell, I’m over there listening to you and you need to be upselling every call.” Ew. This woman is the supervisor of about 20-30 people and she has nothing better to do than listen to me for 30 minutes. I’m failing in my quest to be left alone at Stupid Pepsi, which I guess means I need to revamp my strategy. The only problem is, the only way to get them to leave me alone about upselling is to upsell, and I’m just not willing to do that.