Infamous Blackout Days

So here I am, another day at work. Taking chats, pulling up items; the whole deal. I was recently on what’s called an LOA (leave of absence) for my wisdom teeth removal, and came back a few days ago to find I’m scheduled 9 days in a row, with split days off at the end (off, work, off); instead of my normal 5 days in a row.

Normally I could care less, I mean 9 days in a row…big deal. But when you come back with your mouth all jacked up, and have to focus on a couple of customers at once; it can suck pretty bad. How were they able to do this drastic change out of nowhere you ask?  The answer is blackout days. Well what the hell are those?

Blackout days are a contact center rep’s worst nightmare. Pretty much, everything is what’d I’d like to refer to as a ‘no go’. Trying to use sick hours to go home if you’re feeling under the weather…no go! Need a day off for something important? No go! They’ll be happy to give you an occurrence though. They’ll give those out like candy! Occurrences and blackout days go with each other hand in hand.

They’re like a big helping of ‘screw up your day’ in one sitting. If you’re a bit late, and normally use a few minutes of sick time to cover it, well kiss that goodbye. You get that occurrence! So what this means, is that if you’re late or miss half the day… you get .5 points added. If you miss the whole day, you get a full point. On non-blackout days on point can cover 3 missed days if you’re sick.  If you build up 8 total points, you’re out of there!

The schedulers pretty much hold full power over your schedule, and you can do nothing as they laugh, “Muhahahaha!”, at your agony.You watch as the schedule you originally chose crumbles. They can literally make you come in hours earlier or later, and give you several days to work in row while spreading out the mandatory days off they have to give us (thanks unions for limiting this tyranny some!).

Thanks for reading!

~J. A. Ross



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