“Managers are not the issue. It’s the company.”

17. Dezember 2012: Antjuan Adams worked at T-Mobile Nashville for five years. Until 2011, he felt it was one of the best places to work.

“I used to enjoy going to work. I received bonuses.” Then, according to Antjuan, “last year they started changing the metrics pretty much every week if not every other day. And they were incredibly hard to achieve.”

“We went from a situation of ‘everything for the customer’ to ‘sell, sell, sell.’ We received no training at all for sales, although later we got training. They told us the amount we need to sell but the amount changed all the time. One week it was ten contracts a day, then twelve, then higher.”

As a customer service representative, he was a high performer. He was fielding questions about account balances, plan updates, new devices, and ways for the customer to save money. In early 2011, Antjuan was promoted from customer service to customer loyalty.

“After the promotion, my job was to save customers. No matter what the situation, I was told to save that account.”

“If I had to close the account, my performance got nicked. You are responsible. If someone was upset that T-Mobile did not have iPhone, I was blamed for losing that account.

In May 2012 Antjuan lost his job. “I was terminated because I was not achieving the standard – the required contracts saved per hour. They wanted me to save five contracts per hour. I was averaging 2-3. You cannot make people do what they don’t want to do.”

Atjuan thinks many customers are leaving the company because of bad customer service.

“It went from ‘all about the customer’ to ‘all about the numbers.’ Every call people were complaining about customer service. People were say, “your customer service is horrible” or “I can’t stand you all.” One lady got so upset that she wished that God would strike her down and she would just die so she wouldn’t have to deal with us anymore.”

Customer anger accelerated for a number of reasons. “If a customer’s bill was incorrect and we said it was correct and there was nothing we were going to do about it, they would get upset. They would also get upset if they could not get the phones at the price that was fair or their friend got a phone for a certain amount of money and we are not going to offer if for a certain amount of money.”

Foreign call centers? “That was a big part of it. I was frequently asked if I was American or if I spoke English.” People were angry because someone else could not handle a customer’s problem.

Antjuan’s last day of employment was in May 2012. “I was on the phone, getting a couple of contracts. The manager at the time tapped me on the shoulder and said we have to talk. They took me into the office and they said the reason they were getting rid of me was because I’m not meeting stats, their stats, and they started pulling up stuff from a year ago as far as attendance. These were situations in which I had doctors’ notes for the time I was out. They’re telling me, ‘We’re letting you go because of this.’ I said I had doctors’ notes for this time. They say, ‘This is not just one instance. It’s what you did over the year.’ I said, ‘I have been performing, and I got promoted and, again, I have the doctors’ notes.’"

However, Antjuan is not bitter about his termination. He says he feels grateful. “I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.”

“It’s pretty normal for people to get walked out the door. We called it the ‘white box.’ You know somebody is heading out when you see the white box on their desk. White box means that you have been terminated and pack your stuff. It’s for their personal effects. It’s crazy because at time they were escorted them to the cars. Security escorted them to their cars with their box in hand. A lot of times it was handled unprofessionally.

“Everybody needs a job. I don’t think anyone should have to work under such stressful conditions every single day that you are on the clock. People know this. Even managers said this was crazy but we need to make a living. Managers are not the issue. It’s the company.”