May 22, 2004

Still Alive

Well What do you know? The old immune system comes through after all. It amazes me sometimes that it just hasn't completely failed from overuse, but I guess if you don't use it, you lose it.

I have no idea why I am currently rapping on this keyboard instead of sleeping. I sometimes get bouts of extreme insomnia, and no matter how tired I am, I can't get to sleep. The wheels just turn and turn, and I can't get them to stop. More booze seldom helps, and the sleeping pills (all over the counter) have little to no effect. I just deal with it. That's just the way I'm built.

The absolute worst part of these things is the fact that my mind turns from situation to situation with little or no guidance. Memory, anecdote, experience, professional, personal, mistake, triumph, guilt, pride, greed, humility, responsibility... It just never seems to stop, until it's time for it to stop.

Sometimes it seems that I have an uncanny knack for predicting things when I am in this state. Especially concerning whatever job I am doing at the time. the last company that I worked for is a great example. They are in the "Customer Contact Outsourcing" bidness. For those of you not in the know, this is the practice of one company contracting out all (or most) of their "Customer Contacts" to another company that specializes in it. Things like: Sustomer Service calls, Technical Support calls, Sales calls (both inbound, and the people who interrupt your dinner), and web/email contacts of all the aforementioned stripes. Companies that use outsourcers are ones that you know of. Dell, Microsoft, BellSouth, UPS, American Express, and several others who I can't even think of right now.

I don't want to put a disparaging spin on this at all. If the lines o communication are good between the outsourcer, and the contractor, then this is a fine symbiotic relationship, and both parties (and the customer) can benefit greatly. Conversely, when it is done poorly, it can get to be very poor indeed.

Anyway, I was able to correctly predict that the outsourcer that I worked for would lose its largest client, and shortly become unstable and unprofitable. So I left. (There were other reasons as well, but that was the biggie.) Meanwhile, I still have contacts with people who work for the company that I left, so I get to hear what all is going on. They have scaled the tech support aspects of the "big client" from 3 sites down to 2, the hours of operation from 24/7/365 to 12/7/365, and they just shut down all the inbound and outbound customer service. This client is drying up and blowing away in a huge way.

I'm glad that I predicted it and bugged out, but it sucks that I have to lie awake at night to reap the benefit.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at May 22, 2004 02:02 AM
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