When is a door not a door?

by davebarclay1954

That my friends is the topic for this post…

How can someone be suspended for gross misconduct to be investigated, taken back following the investigation and put back on the phone to do their job. Three months later they are told they’re dismissed for gross misconduct relating to the original investigation. You might assume, as I did, that 5 plus years would mean a tribunal hearing a case of unfair dismissal. Not so, my ex-employer changed my contract from temp to permanent six months prior to my dismissal, my role didn’t change only my employer. In the eyes of the tribunal, however, I had not worked directly for British Telecommunications plc for a period of at least 12 months.

As I was campaigning to have the law changed in favour of total service in a role this really rankled me at the time and even more so now, 5 years on, and I seem to be getting interviews but as soon as the references get submitted I am persona non grata. Is it fair that a company can railroad an employee with outdated legality and then refuse me permission to start earning again? If everyone in the UK reading this suddenly left BT to go with Sky, Virgin or Talk Talk for their services (telephone, mobile, broadband and television) then it would serve them right and hit them in their pockets as that seems to be the only thing they care about.

I really didn’t want this blog becoming a forum for political outpouring, however, I received a letter from BT yesterday pressing me for payment of a debt of £150 relating directly to them unfairly dismissing me. When I lost my job, my home was repossessed, my son was taken into care and my marriage broke up over the arguments about trivial things. That all happened in the space of 3 months which is when I became suicidal, wanted to end my life and almost succeeded by accident a few months ago. The people who should be around to take care of me and make sure I stay safe are nowhere to be found. I lost my mum in 1985 to a heart attack when she would have turned 57 a month later, I am divorced 3 times and, now that legal aid has been withdrawn, am having to remain married to someone who I have been estranged from for 4 years now. What is going on in my head? Funny you should ask that, I look forward to seeing my son every other Saturday for the day, but he is coming to the age now where he will not want to come and see his dad, what will I do then? I can barely afford to keep myself fed and watered but my GP wants me to find employment, and to be brutally honest so do I, but at my age and being so close to retirement (not to mention my physical and mental problems) I can’t really see anyone taking me on without requiring references.

Going back to my ex-paymasters, I kept being told that the length of time I was taking on every call was not right, the business wanted me off the phone as quickly as possible as “you should be escalating 75% of your calls to 2nd line, they have time to spend resolving issues.” The fact I was resolving 95% of my calls at first point of contact (and resolving them so well I received praise from my customers) leaving only 5% to be picked up by 2nd line seemed to really annoy my team leader and the centre manager. It must have been a godsend when that one obnoxious woman decided to complain about my language (she said I swore which I did not) and hanging up on me (I didn’t but my system crashed and since the computer had control of the telephone system I think that terminated the call). None of her allegations were born out by listening to the call (I had lost my temper and some others working there at the time said they had all heard the call and it was priceless for me to use an off the cuff comment while she was shouting thinking she wouldn’t hear me).

I think I’ve ranted enough, and it is getting late and I feel that I should be winding things down with caffeine and,  alcohol (lovely combination) as well as my night time anti-depressants (not to be confused with the ones I take in the morning, when I remember). I have also managed to get my hands on some top quality pain relief (thank the stars some people will sell you anything). So I shall bid you a fond farewell and publish and be damned (Rat Scabies I managed to plug your band, any donation will be gratefully received). Goodnight dear reader from my garrett somewhere in England.

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