It's Friday and its raining, and they are predicting rain for the weekend, so what else is now. It is getting harder and harder for the office to find people to man the phones. The budget has been slashed so much that they can only afford a morning receptionist one Mon-Fri. She stays until 1:00 PM and then goes home. The rest of the time the desk is covered by agents. But if an agent can't make his or her shift, or for what every reason, doesn't want to go in that day they either have to find a replacement, or they close the switchboard.
I get a lot of calls to fill in, but sometimes like today, two agents couldn't make it so coverage for two consecutive shifts was needed. I agreed to take the first one, but said no to the second one. I guess either someone will cover, or the office will close early.
There has been a lot of company trumpeting about how good the market has been BUT...
1) they apparently have cut the budget for the personal marketing managers (these are the folks who make up the brochures, etc. for newer agents)
2) they have cut the receptionist budget
3) they have cut the advertising subsidy to agents
4) they have increased all the fees for agent services
5) office income is way down
6) agents are leaving to take full-time positions to pay their bills. - we now have half the number of agents in this office we had a year and a half ago
7) A year and a half ago, the office took over most of the third floor and turned it into office space for the gents (some got single offices, some shared a group office and some got a cubicle in the bull pen) word has it that the manager is now trying to unload that space.
And the beat goes on.