Thursday, March 23, 2006

Good wastes of money...

Okay, the big story in the news here lately is that when people call 9-1-1 no one answers. A lady on the opposite side of town from us caught her kitchen on fire and called 9-1-1 six or seven times before they answered. This of course made news headlines every night this week. Now, with further investigation our news team has found out that last month there were about 10,000 calls made to 9-1-1, and 2,200 of them were not answered. The police chief came forward and said it was his fault and he'd fix it. Good for him, at least he's owning up to it and not saying he doesn't have the budget for it or something lame like that. Well handled. When they investigated more, they found that the night the lady with the flaming kitchen called, there were four people working. Three people were on break and one was taking calls. 9-1-1 actually didn't get to help kitchen lady. Her nine year old son ran down the street to the fire department and the fire department responded before 9-1-1 answered. To beat all, the city's 9-1-1 coordinator (not sure why we have that position, but that's just me) has said they need to further analyze this situation. They're going to appoint a comittee to conduct a four month study to find out why calls aren't being answered and develop a solution. Is this the best we can come up with? Calls aren't being answered so rather than tell these three people to not all take a break together, or hire more people, we're conducting a survey. How dumb is that? Am I the only one that thinks this is insane? I've got a better idea. Elimated the 9-1-1 coordinator because he's not needed. Instead, make him (or someone) the call center supervisor. In fact, we should have two or three of those and they can work 24 hours a day, splitting the day and night shifts however they'd like but they're also taking calls, not just playing video games on taxpayers money. This way there is always a supervisor on duty. This should also eliminate everyone taking a smoke break at once so three people aren't on break while one guy takes all the calls. How easy was that? No waste of tax money, and it's done in four minutes not four months. I'd like to think that there is something more complicated than these people flat out not doing their jobs, or that we do need a four month survey, but somehow I really believe it's that simple. I could preach for days about wastes of money, but this is the one making headlines here this week. Just thought everyone not in the area might want to know.


I'm completely with you on this. The solution seems obvious, so naturally they're taking the longest possible route to figure out what to do.
posted by Blogger Chas at 5:54 PM  
Yeah I agree with you on this one. When I used to manage if there was something going on that kept people out (sickness or whatever) I always stepped up to the plate and helped that department when it was needed. It was mainly the customer service department, but would help others if need be.
posted by Blogger Chris D. at 7:32 AM  
It makes sense. It's not like 9-1-1 is that much different than any other call center, right? People take calls, but instead of placing orders they're handling emergencies. It's unreal that they're conducting a four month investigation. At least I'm not the only one.

I did recently hear that part of their problem is old people tying up the lines. They say old people call and say they need someone to take them to get their medication, or take them to the grocery store and that's why they're lines are always tied up. I think instead of wasting money on a survey, we should make a different number for them to call if that's the case and we have a service that would do that for them. That would make more sense to me than throwing away money when the solution is obvious.

Chris, you're way more different than any supervisor I had when I worked a call center. My boss's wouldn't answer the phones if we were stacked 30 calls deep because they were "supervisors," and that "wasn't their job." Looks like we've got the same mentality running the 9-1-1 center here.
posted by Blogger Raul Duke at 8:41 AM  
patrick - I'm more of a people person which goes totally against, or so I've seen, management which is where i'm probably going to end up. I think it has to do with the way I was brought up and the work ethic we had then. so it should be interesting to see what happens as I end up in management again.
posted by Blogger Chris D. at 1:30 PM  

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