[Editor's Note: The following requires a little background. A certain
bank/credit card company I used to work for, which shall remain nameless
(but if you're really curious you can narrow it down by checking out my
resume), makes all officers and exempt employees (which are employees who
get all the work and hassle, but none of the benefits, of being an
officer...guess what I was?) spend four hours per month answering calls on
its customer service lines. Most of these calls are routine inquiries, such
as, "What's my balance?" and "I need a credit line increase." But there are
enough complicated ones that for a technical person whose expertise lies
somewhere besides dealing with customers in a non-technical venue and who
has not been trained to answer every type of question that comes along,
those four hours a month can be absolute living hell. We got a total of
about five hours of training to prepare us for TACS; the folks who actually
work on the TACS lines get at least a couple weeks of intensive training to
help them answer every question that might be asked. TACS, btw, stands for
Telephone Access Customer Satisfaction. The mandatory 4 hours a month were
referred to by us as "TACS duty", and by the management as "TACS
participation", as if we actually had any choice in the matter. I seem to
remember hearing of someone being fired for skipping TACS. Anyway, the
following was written by Mark Taylor, a former co-worker of mine who's
still with the company.]
From email@example.com Tue Feb 27 23:07:52 1996
Brandy was just called to jury duty, and it got me to thinkin'...
Two^H^Hhree Things are Certain in Life:
Death and TACS Duty
...and Jury Duty
A Brief Comparison of TACS Duty and Jury Duty
Invented by a higher authority (i.e. "The Man").
Referred to as a "duty" to convince you that it is a noble thing to do.
Mandatory because, even as a noble duty, nobody wants to do it.
When it is your time to go, you have to go.
You need a note from God to get officially excused from it.
If you decide not to show up, you get hunted down and punished.
You are there to solve other people's issues for them.
You sit crammed in with other people who are doing their duty.
You don't do it often enough to ever know the rules, so you just pretend.
They record everything that goes on.
You can't just get up to go pee whenever you feel like it.
Fighting city hall about having to do it won't change anything.
(I'm sure the list goes on)