I want to thank everyone my readers and friends who have supported me the past few months , and well even since last year, around this hotline thing.
I went in today for the in person interview this time around. The volunteer coordinator had told me I didn’t need to bring my tech stuff but it’s a good thing I did. Basically it was a test of my “raw ability” as the supervisor kept saying, how my technology is with their super customized technology, and my ability to multitask and be a super independent phone operator according to him I guess.
Even though I spent all that time with Icarol they were just showing me a basic form. NRS had made so many changes to this and nothing was coded for accessibility! I think what did work was pure accident. So you had dialogue boxes and pop ups that said nothing, stuff you were supposed to click to open that would not open it was like accessibility hell! Wish my super techy friends, Robbie, Nai, and others were there. If it were a different situation it would have been funny.
So of course I was slow with this brand new site, on a very dirty keyboard that was not like my keyboard at home. I did say a couple times I’d be faster if I got a chance to practice with the site at home. When I gave any suggestions like that, like in terms of the phone wearing headphones with a splitter for one ear on the computer, he said I was giving fine tuning suggestions and he was looking at my raw ability.
This guy was super intense so I just kept quiet.
So basically he had an issue with my ability to quickly multitask “in real time.” In spite of the assistant’s reassurances to us at orientation that there’s usually no big rush in terms of for example looking up resources, and that supervisors can always help, the supervisor clearly made it out to be this hugely high pressure environment. Which honestly in witnessing bits of it in action feels quite the opposite.
I did see this in reviews of the place some time ago, a huge disconnect between management and the volunteer community. And management blaming those lower down for mistakes ETC.
So that was kinda it. I mean there was just no winning with him. Clearly they just don’t want to expand their idea of who would make a good volunteer. Like I said observing the call center which is in a wide open area practically, the people are so nice in there and it’s so laid back. So there’s a disconnect somewhere. He was not thrilled when I told him what the volunteer coordinator assistant had to say.
Previously not in the know/ not friendly volunteer coordinator, standing next to this guy was like my best friend. She even gave me a little not that cuddly but still hug at the end.
So that’s the end of the NRS story. Yeah that was deffinetely the most unique hotline experience I’ve ever had. People I talk to their first reaction is how surprised they are if in fact it is such a high pressure environment when it’s not even a paid job!
Hoping that at some point I’ll be able to move somewhere where I can volunteer at hotlines that are a bit less intense in terms of expectations.