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AOL stole my soul for 2 months severance and a frisbee

I sit here, now in my 4th, and almost fifth month of unemployment wondering where the hell I went wrong.  I wake up, job search and find that the last six years of my life were wasted on taking a road to nowhere with a hobo named Jarvis that would open my eyes to new levels of craptacularism.  Jarvis being AOL that is…

You see, Jarvis taught me how to be cynical and conniving.  It told me to take a hammer to Jiminy Crickets head if he dared chirp at me.  For where I was there was no need for hope.  All I needed were the brains of a chimp and the ability to accept what I was doing wouldn’t help the customer.  For five years I thought, “Hey they can’t be that dumb.” or ,”They’ll listen this time.”

So here I am before you, at home, in my chonies and looking to gain my humanity back.  Never again will I let a corporation take away pieces of me… well not unless they pay much better and give me some skills and experience I can take somewhere else…  Ugh, if I do that then I’ll have to say how much I’ve wasted trying to be successful in the eyes of those around me.  But at least I’ll be doing it from a leather chair in silk boxers.

 Portzer #2

Looking for a better life

::sniff:: ::sniff:: and crap like that…

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[@nn3d

Yes sah. We got canned here at AOL, as predicted. Our Tucson site will be closing in December 16th and along with it our jobs. We get one month severance package (yay). I only wish they would start the severance early so I could chill while finding another job.

In any case here is how the day went. On Wednesday, October 18th I went into work and I saw the Channel 13 news van. I figured, either someone got shot, or we’re getting laid off. It was that simple. And I was correct on the second account. I walked in and immediately was greeted by the Workforce management person. They had us go into a room where we listened to a Human Resources person give a spiel about why our site was getting shutdown, and what our benefits were. Well we know this was going to happen (refer to this article).

It was funny, because I was already going to jump the second I got another job offer, so this did not have the “scary” effect they supposed it would have on me. I do however, feel sorry for those who were counting on this job as it will no doubt affect them unless they can get employment quickly.

In any case, I left with a bottled water and a threat not to talk to the media or we risk losing our severance package. (Good luck figuring out who I am). Obviously that went over well. I don’t know why they didn’t want us talking to the media, maybe the media would paint them in a bad light because they are keeping India call centers open. But people should’ve known that was going to happen the second the India callcenter’s opened.

They don’t “augment” workforces with India, they replace them. And it’s so common now no one will make a big fuss when it happens. Any remaining employees working for Dell or any other big company that outsources, your jobs are in jeopardy whether your company admits it or not. I suggest education and training, and looking for a more reliable position. I will not give away my plans as I feel it may be used to identify me, but needless to say I will not be in bad shape.

For those who got canned, we salute you!

portzer #3

We Gettin’ Canned Yo

At one time there was a great deal of speculation concerning AOL layoff rumors. That speculation is no more. It is now clear that all of the Tucson sites will be laid off in the near future (i.e. less than 6 months from now).

It’s an inevitable state of affairs if you look at AOL’s changing business model. They are changing revenue to be advertisement based and not subscription based. To accelerate that, they are giving free service to those who have high speed and do not want tech support. Clearly they are stepping away from a software platform, and embracing one that is web based. Hence no need for techs (us).

To make the possibility even more clear, they admitted to needing to layoff 5,000 people (duh), 3,000 of which will come from Europe. The other 2,000 will likely be us here in Tucson, and whatever callcenters remain (I think Abequerque). It is our belief that India will stay on to be the last techs. Why cut the cheap ones first? (thinking like an idiot bean counter).

So anyway we post here to put any speculation to rest, and plan for the future. Yes we were those guys that walked you through deleting files and reinstalling CD’s. Yes we wrote disgusting articles shortly after talking with you. We were those guys.

We hold little ill-will towards our employer. Much like you would not hold ill-will toward a retarded kid that hits you with a baseball he was playing with. You can’t get mad at him, because he’s retarded. The same holds for our company. I could go into a lengthy diatrabe about corporate stupidity. Let me just say, I have never understood the figure of speech “right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing”, more clearly than I have in the years I’ve been working at this company. For those about to be canned, we salute you!

Cell phone rage

Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell – taking lessons from Ike Turner, is beating the crap out of her subordinates.  It is not clear what have driven her to violence, but a combination of getting older, a face that looks like it is covered in parafin wax, and crack cocaine are likely culprits.

In 2003, Naomi threw a cell phone at her victim, an assistant, while throwing a temper tantrum.  It became clear that Naomi loves using phones as weapons.  In 2006 she upped the anti by apparently wielding a cell phone and dropping bombs on her replacement assistant’s dome. This latest assistant needed four stitches to the cranium after they cleaned her up.

What causes cell phone rage?  As mentioned Naomi has had a lot of plastic surgery.  Her face looks like it has been preserved by aliens, with a 1,000 year shelf life.  Most people just get old, Naomi gets even, with her face.  Now this kind of mentality can lead to random violence, like when she looks in the mirror and notices what looks like a piece of cellophane peeling off of her cheek.  That type of occurence does not promote inner peace.

What’s next for Naomi?  I would recommend a dual-wield setup with a Motorola in the main hand and a Kyocera in the weak hand for maximum damage.  Motorola’s are heavier and have more stopping power.  While Kyocera’s allow for light and quick attacks that send the target fleeing in terror.  As for durability of the phones, that is not certain as it was not their design to be wielded as a weapon.

There are pioneers for everything, for Naomi campbell, her claim to fame will be cell phone rage.

Bill Gates and the Oompa Loompa Empire…

Am I not turtley enough for the turtle club. Turtle, turtle, turtle!

Well it appears that Mr. Gates is going to step down from running day to day operations at Microsoft.  I guess it will be really nice to chill at home and sip a 40.  I mean come on, the dude is more powerful than Oprah.  I guess he is going to retire so that he can protect the secret treasure that our forefathers had hidden for hundreds of years.  Or he can hopefully go through a mid-life crisis, buy a Jag, get a Clay Aiken haircut, two monkeys that do Aikido and eat broccoli, and learn a new sense of fashion from Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen (that's right oversized rose colored glasses, big wooden beads and a shirt that will show off his non-existent chest).  I say hopefully because he looks like the character Dana Carvey played to get into the Turtle club.  What makes it even further amusing is if you imagine Gates running in slow motion with his lips out and his head hunched over while Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive" plays in the background.  'Im a coWboy, on a steel horse IIII riiIIIIiide!!! IIIII'mMm WANTED DEAD OR ALIIIIIIIIVE!!!'

Well, I think we portzers (not portzer #1) will be ruling the world soon.  Through ninjitsu, |_33+ [0d||\|G, and our savvy business sense.  While I think portzer #1 will be left homeless having lost all of his money running a poop site with Mr. Greenstein.  Although, by our search and tag hits, it looks like the poo is popular.

Well good luck and have fun Bill.

Ride on cowboy… ride on…

portzer #2

TOP 10 signs your call center will be laid off soon

Here at IRQportz, we are sensitive to the recent transitions made at AOL. We wish nothing but the best of luck for those who were let go, and that they have strength during the uncertain road ahead.

That being said, we want to help our fellow techs by sharing our analysis of this process. There are warning signs that your call center may be closing soon. If you see them, it is best to make preparations early, and not be caught off guard. In no particular order:

# 10) A new call center opens in India. Company spokesmen are abuzz about the new "world class talent", that will "take the product to the next level."

# 9) The local news mentions a new Walmart will be built, its address is strangely similar to your call center.

# 8 ) At the weekly raffle, instead of giving away Game boy advance, the prize is a month's supply of Ramen.

# 7) You catch your supervisor surfing monster.com.

# 6) You catch your site manager surfing monster.com.

# 5) Some important exec says the company needs to "streamline its infrastructure."

# 4) Your site manager sends a mass email assuring you everything is ok.

# 3) When you go to your workstation, you find a rotory phone and a spiral notebook where your computer used to be.

# 2) The company fails to throw a big party on employee appreciation day, instead, the main event is a janitorial staff talent show.

# 1) The company issues a press release stating they do not respond to unofficial rumors.

Again, if you see any of these signs, it may be time to check into some alternatives for employment.

AOL search – Thou Art Loosed!!

Well, I was looking for a topic to talk about that would be AOL related. And it was promised earlier, so here it is…

The site of focus is AOL Advanced search
I ran along this while reading the FAQ's on AOL's searchsite. If you want to refine a search and don't feel like typing (OR, AND, -, NOT) it has fields which you can fill out.

Here are some tips for searching

  • Make use of the NOT field why search for Starsky and Hutch and get endless pictures of Ben and Owen when you want the original bad mamma jamma's of law enforcement
  • If you are looking for something exact like a quote use the exact phrase field
  • Lets say you lost a pdf that you once had concerning the IRS or the latest House M.D. fanfic, choose Adobe Acrobat PDF (*.pdf) from the format menu
  • Got a problem you think microsoft has the answer for and you only want their take on the issue?  Then enter microsoft.com in the domain search only.  Or exclude them if they make you angry ::shakes fist::

Well those are just a few nifty features of the Advanced Search.  Enjoy!