SPRINT forces its Oklahoma City employees to work through storm

This is a discussion on SPRINT forces its Oklahoma City employees to work through storm within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Normally I'm not much for CNN... but a friend sent me this and I was pretty outraged. SPRINT forces its Oklahoma City employees to work ...

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Thread: SPRINT forces its Oklahoma City employees to work through storm

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array gdm320's Avatar
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    SPRINT forces its Oklahoma City employees to work through storm

    Normally I'm not much for CNN... but a friend sent me this and I was pretty outraged.

    SPRINT forces its Oklahoma City employees to work through storm - CNN iReport

    December 25, 2009 | Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    iReport —

    I am writing to report a story about the Sprint call center in Oklahoma City. I have been employed with Sprint for over four years, and today during the snow storm, Sprint refused to release its employees to go home even after the Governor declared a state of emergency. We were forced to work all day until we were told that we could leave around 3:45 pm. Although I was one of the lucky ones who was able to leave her car in the parking lot and called someone for a ride, over 200 employees are spending the night inside the call center on Christamas eve simply because Sprint was extremeley irresponsible and negligent towards its employees. During my trip back home, I was stuck at least 4 times in the snow, and the car slid at least 6 times and it took at 3 hours to drive 10 miles. At least 3 people that I know were forced to leave their children overnight at their daycares forcing the daycare employees to work overnight on Christmas eve. Sprint did not even clean the parking lot, or offer any asistance for hundreds of employees trapped inside the building. I am extremely disappointed at Sprint's conduct showing absulte disregard for employee safety and well being. My heart goes to the hundreds of employees sleeping right now inside the Sprint building, away from their families during the holidays inside their own town.

    Sincerely

    A (I prefer to remain anonymous)
    For those who don't know, CNN's iReport thing seems to be just a place where CNN readers/viewers can go and submit their own "news" stories. This is obviously a very angry Call Center employee, and many other extremely upset Call Center employees have chimed in in the "Comments" section.

    Now obviously some of the details of the incident are in dispute. The exact time the Call Center was finally closed, when the Call Center Director was told to close the Center, the number of employees stuck overnight at the facility, and so on. However, I think the basics are disturbing enough.

    I wish I could say I was shocked by this story. I'm appalled, sure, but not shocked.

    In August of 2006 I was working in the Coral Springs, FL Sprint retail store. I worked the day that Tropical Storm Ernesto made landfall. Our store was kept open "to serve our valued customers" until Emergency Services were automatically suspended by the County due to high winds. About 20 minutes after we learned from the news that we were on our own, we got word to close the store.

    I ended up driving an hour to my fiancee's parent's place, which we had prepared as our shelter for the storm, through the rain bands and Tropical Storm Force (> 45MPH) winds.

    I found that, and this, to be outrageous! What if something had happened during my drive home? Even if I were to dial 911, nobody would be coming to the rescue since emergency services were suspended. Same thing in the case of these poor folks in OKC...
    "Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death." -- General Omar Bradley

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  3. #2
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    It's an employer market out there. Anyone not willing to follow the game plan will be replaced by someone more than willing. Just the cold, hard facts.

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    Member Array jimtem's Avatar
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    Wow,,, that's crazy, idiots. I hope they get a good whipping for that.

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    Huh. Taking a job and being expected to do it. There's a novelty.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    VIP Member Array deadeye72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    Huh. Taking a job and being expected to do it. There's a novelty.
    +1 I had to work Christmas Eve and did not complain the first time. I knew when I took this job that I would have to work some holidays and even during disasters. It can be hard on the family, but you make adjustments. If you don't want to work on their schedule, then find another job.
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  7. #6
    Member Array jimtem's Avatar
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    But its a call center. Its not IT, they didn't need to stay at work and get stranded during a snow storm. All they do is explain to customers why they were charged extra for going over on their minutes and how much picture mail costs. It would be different if Sprint needed to maintain a technical staff to ensure communication lines were kept open during a disaster but this was non essential personnel that was forced to stay the night at work or drive in dangerous conditions just so that Sprint wouldn't lose customer service satisfaction points. Sprints customer satisfaction rating was 56% (dead last in the cell market) last time I checked and this is why.. They treat their employees just as bad as their customers. I worked at Verizon and they would have never don't that to their employees. Our manager would pop into the store and say, "There is a big storm coming I want everyone to take off early and drive safe". That's why Verizon is number one in customer service. Sprint is dying, they're last chance was their bid from Verizon to buy them but then Verizon decided that buying Alltel was a better deal. Sprint is trying dam hard not to sink and they may have saved a few hundredth of a percent in customer service numbers by having more CS reps answering calls that night but they would lose them just as easily if this story gets around.

    I worked in health care and we came to work even when not scheduled if there were emergencies and I was totally fine with that but these folks were just CS phone reps,,,,, and with their children in the daycare for pete sake. If one call center is closed early its no big deal they are non esential and the question reguarding "how do I download wall paper to my phone" would just go to the next open call center anyway.

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    Member Array abjz71's Avatar
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    cry me a river they should be happy to have jobs

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    Member Array jimtem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abjz71 View Post
    cry me a river they should be happy to have jobs
    If it were easy to get a job would they then have more of a right to be upset with their employer. The acceptance of being put into a dangerous situation shouldn't be contingent on unemployment rates. How is that a rational thing to say?

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    Member Array abjz71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimtem View Post
    If it were easy to get a job would they then have more of a right to be upset with their employer. The acceptance of being put into a dangerous situation shouldn't be contingent on unemployment rates. How is that a rational thing to say?
    nope its called right to work you dont like it there's the door. they knew it was getting a little snow and slick outside they could have gotten up and walked out anytime they wanted to.

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    Member Array jimtem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abjz71 View Post
    nope its called right to work you dont like it there's the door. they knew it was getting a little snow and slick outside they could have gotten up and walked out anytime they wanted to.
    Labor laws ensure a certain amount of decency. Take for example a lunch break 29CFR785.785.19 - Meal. back in the day a lunch break was not written into labor laws but poor working conditions were improved upon by the U.S. Department of Labor because it was the right thing to do. Back then there were surly people mumbling, "who needs lunch they should be thankful to have a job, they new they were getting hungry, they could walk out and get something to eat", (and risk getting fired).

    Its just the right thing to do. We shouldn't need a law to force a company to not hold their non essential staff for a couple extra hours until a dangerous snowstorm hits just so they can get a little extra work out of them.

    We shouldn't need a law to force companies to allow a lunch break but we do. Its indecent that a company would do this.

    You are right they could have just left,,,, and got fired.

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array gdm320's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    Huh. Taking a job and being expected to do it. There's a novelty.
    I don't think being expected to work on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day is the issue. It's not about being expected to work anytime for that matter. The issue is the employer's seeming lack of concern for its own people.

    Frankly, I'm appalled at the reactions that some members here seem to be having. Would you be so cavalier if it was your loved one stuck in such a situation? Don't you go for cover if a tornado is roaring a few hundred yards away?

    Just sayin'...
    "Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death." -- General Omar Bradley

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    Member Array ibesarcasm's Avatar
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    I'll chime in with this....... I bet if you checked with AT&T, they prolly had most of thier employees off that day anyway.....and never would have treated the employees like that......and I'm not sayin that because I love AT&T, I'm sayin that because they are UNIONIZED!
    There is someone to speak for the employees when something like that occures, and employees are a companies BEST asset. Treat the employees well, and you have a good company, treat them like crap, and you have a 56% approval rating....... Just sayin' as well...... :)
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  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdm320 View Post
    I don't think being expected to work on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day is the issue. It's not about being expected to work anytime for that matter. The issue is the employer's seeming lack of concern for its own people.

    Frankly, I'm appalled at the reactions that some members here seem to be having. Would you be so cavalier if it was your loved one stuck in such a situation? Don't you go for cover if a tornado is roaring a few hundred yards away?

    Just sayin'...
    They are not expected to work anytime, they are expected to finish their shift.
    This wasn't a tornado or other impending doom. It was a snow storm. Nobody was being denied breaks, or food and water.
    Would I be so cavalier if a loved one was stuck in that situation? Yes, because its not being cavalier. Many many times has this happened to my family. Both my wife and I have jobs that we cannot simply take the day off when a little precipitation is falling.
    In the same situation, If I wanted my loved one home after their shift, I'd simply go get them.

    Now, would it be nice if Sprint let their people go home early? Yes.
    But, school days have been over now for sometime. Welcome to the adult world.

    I also get what people are saying about treating employees right. I agree with that. Treat people right, and you will get twice the return. I've been an employer. I learned that lesson early on. Probably, if they treated their people right in the first place, people wouldn't be belly aching on the internet about having to work during a snow storm.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Senior Member Array Hot Wing's Avatar
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    I have been in retail management for 30 years in Florida .

    And have been screwed and put in dangerous situation

    more times than I care to count . hurricanes , storms , fires ,

    ect. The companys have zero reguard for health , or safety

    of the employees .What it will take is a tradgy to wake these

    companys up and when that happens the family's should

    be made whole . And these companys held 110 % liable .

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    I wonder how many of these complaining employees would have driven in the snowstorm to GET their paychecks?
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