Where I come from, Zimbabwe (Southern Africa), call centers are not a common part of a business. From the top of my head I can recall very few operational call centers, where a simple call can be quite a nerve wrecking experience.
I remember watching the movie “The Call” and thinking how Halle Berry made the job look so invigorating. So I often wondered how that experience would be like for me…
Growing up, I was always a spontaneous child and my dad to this day often laughs at my answer to “what do you want to be when you grow up”. My answer had been simple, “a tourist,” I had said with the innocence of a 4/5 year old.
You see, I grew up in a small town where everyone knew everyone and what you would call downtown comprised of a single stretch along a highway. It is on this highway that I would see big safari trucks and vehicles laden with different sporting gear and equipment, often pulling huge fancy speed boats and canoes. Its passengers would be wearing casual clothing enroute to Kariba, a tourist resort town that boasts magnificent wildlife and the world’s largest man-made lake – Lake Kariba, which tells a spell binding tale of the separated river god Nyami – Nyami, described in ancient folklore as having the body of a snake and the head of a fish and his lover, who is now believed to be on the other end of the dam wall.
Back to my story; I remember clearly my dad maintained a straight face and did not laugh at my ambition. I was convinced then, that someone was paying these people to travel and see the world, and then write reviews about their experiences. It is now in my adult life that he explained why he had kept a straight face. He noticed that I had always hated routine, so I could never be happy doing the same things over and over again. So when I decided to study journalism, he was thrilled. And when I thrived in that profession-working with one of the world’s largest news agencies, even I knew that I had made the right decision. So you may ask how being a call center agent does not become tedious for someone who hates routine? I will explain.
Every day is a great day at Mainstreet. And being on the other end of the phone means that my wonderful colleagues and I, get to speak to different people, from different backgrounds and all under different circumstances. They include current tenants and prospects, service providers and a whole lot more.
We have laughed with our callers, shared jokes, sympathized with some and have had to hang up on some verbally abusive tenants. Callers call with different issues that have to do with their suites; something is not functioning, I broke my key, add so and so to my lease, remove so and so to my lease, there is a leak in my bathroom, what breed of a dog can I have…just to mention a few.
We also call tenants to follow up on repairs or installations that would have been done in their apartments – asking if the job was done on time, are they satisfied and were our maintenance person respectful and professional. We then relay this information to the relevant manager. By doing this, Mainstreet is ensuring that the tenant experience is as flawless and error free as possible. The Call Center is only a few months old by the way. We have made some mistakes, learnt from them and have come up with more effective communication strategies. And the spontaneous part of my job? You may ask; How about birthday celebrations, a Vaisakhi celebration, lunches, dinners or just a casual walk down the street on a warm spring day with a bunch of coworkers to grab some sort after ice cream.
Oh, and how about that giant Panda that seems to move around the office, doing different stunts! Or the random throwing of snow balls! There’s never a dull moment at Mainstreet. This is certainly my kind of thing. I am in a good place.
Mainstreet Equity Corp. is a publicly traded (TSX: MEQ) residential real estate company in Canada. Mainstreet currently owns and operates properties in Surrey, BC; New Westminster, BC; Abbotsford, BC; Calgary, AB; Cochrane, AB; Lethbridge, AB; Edmonton, AB; Fort Saskatchewan, AB; and Saskatoon, SK.
Mainstreet provides affordable, renovated apartment suites to Canadians, and is committed to creating real value without diluting shareholder interests.