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Neil Bulman

I joined Sitel in November 2017 at The Ship – Spirit of Enterprise in Plymouth, an absolutely gorgeous building based on HMS Ark Royal, equidistant between the phenomenally haunting Dartmoor and the ever-changing, yet famously historic Plymouth Sound.

My first day live on the phones was Black Friday, talk about the baptism of fire! It was pandemonium, absolute organised chaos, and utterly brilliant. We had Team Managers doing trolley dolly duty, ensuring everyone had a brew or cold drink when they needed them, floorwalkers “on loan” from Didsbury and Hamilton to help us noobs and I’m still in contact with many of them, a few, especially Natalie Muir, from Hamilton, were absolutely inspirational.

Well, from there on, I went on quite a roller-coaster ride, from extreme highs and huge confidence boosts to awful lows and serious challenges of my confidence and even, so I thought, my sanity!

After about four months, I was lucky enough to be successful in my application to become a Learning Specialist Track. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the role and was truly welcomed and supported by the amazing Training Team here in Plymouth, after a few months, I had to make the difficult decision that was not the position I was most suited to and returned to the front office campaign. Many of my colleagues were gobsmacked, they couldn’t understand why I’d given up a “cushy number” to come back to the coal face, so to speak! I have huge respect and admiration for my Learning Specialist colleagues but it just wasn’t for me, and as I thoroughly enjoy the role as Customer Services Agent. It wasn’t a difficult choice to make.

My TM and Ops team etc. were (and still are) immensely supportive and encouraging, and it wasn’t long before I was asked to start floorwalking. For those that don’t know this role, it is, in essence, a team of walking assistants that circulate around the call floor, helping and advising agents with call issues, difficult questions (or customers) and even taking escalations. This role no longer exists here in Plymouth as we use an internal instant messaging system (STC) but doing this helped me to decide what was the position I wanted the most in the Contact Centre.

Whilst floorwalking main floor, I was frequently called upon to cover for the GradBay Coach/Mentors when they had training, meetings, or were otherwise occupied within The Ship. Yes, I wanted to become a GradBay Coach/Mentor. In my eyes, this was the ideal role for me as it is a perfect blend of my strongest skills and would allow me to assist incoming new agents to realise their full potential and go on to become fantastic agents; and even TMs in a few cases.

I have been in this role now since January 2019, and I’m still totally enjoying my job. I have an absolutely amazing, completely barmy bunch of people as my fellow GradBay colleagues and friends, my TM (now also a Senior TM) is fully supportive and constantly challenging us with new tasks whilst were in a recruitment hiatus. Our most recent diversion and use of our well-honed skills set are manning the Escalation Line between 09.00 and 17.30hrs Monday to Friday. It’s absolutely amazing and something I was really not looking forward to when told we might be required to take on this role, but a couple of months in and I’m loving it.

Who knows what the future holds, certainly not me, but one thing I CAN guarantee is that I will most certainly NOT be leaving this job any time soon.

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