The Dump, LIC, New York

“Hi my name is Nadine. I’m calling from Added Value a national market research firm. We’re doing a survey in South Dakota and would like to include your household.”
A few minutes later…
“AT&T gives good value for the money. Do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, neither agree or disagree, strongly disagree or somewhat disagree?”
“Are we almost done? We’ve been on the phone for over 15 minutes now”, respondent.
“I’m almost at the end.”
A few minutes later.
“AT & T is fun. Do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, neither agree or disagree, strongly disagree or somewhat disagree?”
“Fun?”
“Yes, fun. Strongly agree, somewhat agree, neither agree or disagree, strongly disagree or somewhat disagree?”
“Are we almost done?”
“Yes.”
“That what you said ten minutes ago.”
“We only have about 300 seconds left.”
Nadine hears a baby crying in the background and a dog barking in her headset. There’s a click and a silence in the headset.
The monitor who was listening to the call comes over to Nadine.
“Why didn’t you fight that break off?”
“Her baby was crying & the dog was barking”
“You could have done a much better job of fighting that break off.’Ma’am, do you need a moment to attend to your baby?’ And you’re not supposed to tell the respondent that there’s only five minutes left when it’s not true”

That’s how we, telephone interviewers, did surveys at the dump. You better complete 4 surveys in 2 hours or you would be sent home. The pay was $7.25 an hour. If you got sent home after two hours your paycheck was really pitiful. Rent, groceries, forget it that check would barely cover your subway fare. It was a dump in Long Island City, Queens. This is the place you go to work when you hit rock bottom. Since I had that’s where I went to work, after my period in custody. I had a felony and my previous place of employment didn’t hire anyone with a felony. I was having a hard time finding work. The place was filthy and filled with people like me, those who were just out of prison & needed a job, those who were sent from the Welfare office, and those who liked being at rock bottom.
The calling floor was run by the crime syndicate which included: the shift stupidvisor* , a mean woman who did 121 months in the feds for armed bank robbery, her favorite thug at the company, a guy who did time in the feds for possession of a weapons used in furtherance of drug trafficking and possession of a weapon by someone who was previously convicted as a felon, his best friend at work, a guy who he had time with in the feds, who did time for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance crack cocaine, the Columbian sample manager with the gang executioner’s tattoo and Kris. The stupidvisor was only good at threatening to fire you otherwise she rarely spoke to any of the interviewers. The thug always advised telephone interviewers not to speak to the stupivisor and occasionally he would talk for two hours, at the beginning of the shift, mostly about reasons why you would be fired. When you do telephone interviews (surveys), you talk on the phone an there’s very little time for idle chit chat. At the time I was employed there, I had multiple blogs, now deleted blogs, on line where I wrote about things that happened to me and about my co-defendant. I rarely spoke to anyone in the syndicate. After I left the company I was surprised to find out the syndicate were doing internet searches about me and my codefendant behind my back and reading my blog. What was painful to me was funny to them? Why was this professional or appropriate?
*After I left the company, I googled the companies name and found the resume of the stupidvisor. I was shocked to find out that she had been to prison. Where did she go to prison? If you read my blog, just guess. Yes, she was at the Federal Prison Camp in Danbury, Ct. She was actually there at the same time as Piper Kerman. I did google my stupidvisor some more and that’s how I found out that she did 121 months for armed bank robbery. Is she in the book “Orange is the New Black”? Probably. Did Piper know what she did? The stupidvisor was the kind of person to never say.

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