- Breakout Day
Run at KapCon X, Northland Hall, Wellington, New Zealand
by Morgan Davie, Zak Clark, Luke Walker, Jonathan Todd and Nate Cull
It’s Breakout Day for the call centre staff of Zonix Inc, an evening devoted to training and teambuilding. But there's an efficiency expert on site, and rumours of layoffs are pending. Secrets abound, mysteries flourish, and it might be true that the night teams are full of vampires. And what on earth is the product you sell when you make these calls?
ZONIX INC is a multinational company, but a fairly small one. The company sells products to customers by means of cold calls from a call centre. In the call centre, employees use computers to manage their calls. They cannot make personal calls, and the computer places each call. As soon as a call is answered the computer provides a simple script, standard sales stuff but with a numerical code instead of a product name. All the customers on the database know who Zonix is and what the numbers refer to, because many of them agree to make a purchase. Few of them ask questions. No-one who works in the call centre knows what the products actually are. The call centre has a high employee turnover and is not a very happy place to work.
Employees are divided up into small teams named after cities in the USA. The teams work closely together and everyone in a team is familiar with their teammates. Zonix’s local branch is run by Leonard Bracklee, who seems a perfectly typical member of senior management. It was Bracklee who announced this paid, compulsory “breakout day”, probably to counter drooping morale.