Skip Tracer, Loan Detective|
2009-11-22 12:00 p.m.
My official job title is Skip Tracer. I believe Skip Tracer was the protagonist in a film noir from 1942, Loan Detective. You must have seen it. A gritty tale of bourbon and betrayal, centered around a calling center in southern Wisconsin.
I spent the whole of last week on the phone by myself. A lead worker is reading everything I type, and twice a day, she comes over to my cubicle with pages and pages of corrections I need to go back and fix. She finds the accounts in question and prints a screen shot for each one, so it always looks like I've made about 1000 mistakes. Then, we go through it and it turns out that there's only five or six. Actually, she says I'm doing well. I'm making fewer mistakes than most people do in the first week alone.
The calling part of the job is surprisingly easy. I had a telemarketing job just out of college, and it was awful. I was soliciting donations for non profit groups, and the idea was to stay on the phone until the person said yes, or hung up. It sucked, and it never really got any easier.
Here, I ask a simple question: "Bob listed you as a personal reference. Do you know how to find him?" If they say no, or if they say they don't want to tell me, I say "Will you write down our toll-free number, to pass on to Bob, so he can call us?" If they say no to that, "Ok, thanks for your time."
If they get distracted somehow, and start telling me all about how Bob took them to the museum once in 2004 and he tied an onion to his belt which was the style at the time, I can repeat the question twice. Then, I thank them, and say goodbye.
Calling people at work is a little more tricky. We're trying to keep the reason for our call on a need-to-know basis, while talking to secretaries and such who have been trained to always take a message. Sometimes, the secretaries are also trying to be discrete. "I have no listing for Bob" means something different than "Bob does not work here." Maybe, after a few more questions, the end result is the same, but I have to ask the right questions, and then make sure I record the conversation accurately.
Then, I file the account in the correct place by pushing the right button. Did you know there are actually about 20 different telephone company error messages? Some of them are filed under "disconnect" and I have to be sure to take the number out of the system. The others are "temporary disconnect" and I have to remember to NOT do anything crazy, unless of course the number is for a borrower, in which case sometimes you do stuff and sometimes you don't.
I only work three days this week. I am a temp with less than 500 hours under my belt, so I will not receive holiday pay, but December is a 5-payday month, so I should be ok. So, yaay for Jen's 1st real four-day weekend!