Ahead were three weeks of working in Sri Lanka. After the initial shock during the first day or so I quickly adapted to being in Sri Lanka and started to work.
The “call centre” was tiny but was located in the HSBC building in central Colombo which was quite a decent location. And very handy for cash withdrawals.
The journey to work was done by cab and as long as I was not paying attention to the traffic it was all OK. People there drive like maniacs and it can be a bit scary to be inside a car.
In the office I was welcomed like royalty. Everyone was super nice to me and so helpful. We quickly got to work and rushed through the recruitment process. Once that was out of the way I started the classroom training. I was very new to training but still managed to put it all together myself. Gathered ideas I found online and was inspired by the training I got at Vodafone Portugal.
I had a very young crowd to teach about customer services and the product. They were very respectful and generally excited about the new job. We played games, tested their knowledge and training was a breeze.
A memorable day was when one of my trainees showed up with a Portuguese football t-shirt just to impress me. I must say it worked and made me feel even more welcome and appreciated.
Once the lines were open I kept giving them support and over viewing all the operations. Soon I realized the way of working in Sri Lanka was a bit different from the UK one. There was no stress and everyone worked at their own pace. Things were getting done but not at the UK speed. Strangely I adapted very quickly to it. No point in going against it anyway. Their ways were contagious and so was their happiness.
I had my lunch brought to me every day by our tea maker. Yes, there is a person in charge of teas. Usually I ate a box of chicken fried rice or something similar, it was delicious and I think it cost under £2. Conversations at lunch time were the best and I learned a lot about their culture. Even tried to understand cricket, but failed at that.
We had a couple of staff issues but nothing major. My journey to work was easy and I had my own cab driver. Days at work were busy but so enjoyable. Later my work hours were adjusted to UK time so my manager would feel a bit more in control of what was happening. That meant I had the mornings free and would get back home around 11pm.
I bonded with most of the “kids” in the team. They made this experience so much better than I could have ever imagined.
To this date I still keep in touch with some of them. And I get the occasional thank you for the training I put together.