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Violating company policy to get a job back

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Donut Man

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For the last year and a half, I’ve been doing home-based call center work as an independent contractor through particular company (henceforth called “the network”) who obtains contracts with outside companies (henceforth called “clients”) who want to outsource their customer service departments, and then subcontracts that work out to people like me who work from home as self-employed agents. I do not like call center work, but the freedom and flexibility that this arrangement provides, as well as the low barriers to entry compared to working as an employee, make it a vitally important opportunity for me. In general, I’ve done an excellent job, regularly exceeding the performance requirements in spite of my dislike of the work.

However, about two weeks ago, the client I was serving terminated my contract without warning because I hung up on an abusive caller without first warming him properly. This wasn’t something I attempted to get away with; the reason management found out about it is that I forwarded the call to them for review as part of the protocol for reporting abusive customers. I was told they have a zero-tolerance policy for disconnected calls. While it is permissible to hang up on abusive callers, you are required to warn them first...a policy that that I did not appreciate the importance of following.

While I can live without servicing the client who terminated my contract, having a contract termination on file within the network is devastating because it makes me ineligible to service most other clients in the future. According to the network, some client programs accept agents with terminations; however, I have not yet seen one that does.

To get around this, I am considering attempting to create a new account with the network so I can get a clean slate. Although doing so is strictly forbidden, it is possible that I could get away with it, and I have little to lose if I get caught since I am already ineligible to service most clients anyway. I would not lie or submit any fake information. I would simply go through the same admission process as all new agents and hope they don’t notice. I really have no idea what the odds of success would be or how long I would be able to get away with it before they found me out.

The reason I am considering this is that my alternatives are very few, and very unappealing. I am a semi-disabled recluse with a serious chronic health problem and do not like to leave my apartment, nor do I feel able to hold down a regular job anymore. If I were try to get another job, I would have to not only leave my apartment, but also leave my town...something I don't know that I'm willing to do at this point. Working as an independent contractor allows me to bypass the barriers to normal employment posed by government regulations, which are almost insurmountable for me anymore. This job may be my last stand.

Please analyze the morality of the actions that I am considering and their potential consequences. Thanks.


Edited by Donut Man
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First, there's a lot of work available through the net. If you hate phone calls it would probably be best to put together a two or three year plan to work toward another type of independent contractor work. Develop an uncommon skill which you think you could excel at -- a specific software expertise, for example. Peruse freelancer.com and you could get an idea of the type of work available. A good reputation on a site like that could be enough to earn a decent living.

As for your current situation, I'd cut loose if I were you. Even if you go through the whole song and dance, it's probably a time bomb to getting fired from most work again. Then you'd be back to needing a different employer. There have got to be competitors who use the same independent contractor scheme -- have you tried getting work through them?

If absolutely desperate, I'd flat out create a new identity to survive. But that level of desperation isn't sustainable, and you'd probably be no worse off to get a job at a local call center around coworkers, or a similar type of job. There is always work somewhere for those motivated enough.

Considering your proposed scheme for a moment, I wouldn't consider it "immoral" to try to trick The Network (besides the obvious conflict with your own long term interest), nor to even lie to them under a different name. Obviously neither them nor The Client cares all that much about their customer service if they're contracting it out in such a way. They seem to lazily want something (Five Star Employees in a junk job) for nothing (draconian policies as a substitute for a decent employee/employer value exchange). If you judge yourself to be providing a good service, it looks like you're putting in more effort than The Client cares to, if they can't even be bothered to look into a conflict with one of their best contractors.

Edited by JASKN
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