My Support History or I used to be a poker dealer

This is post one in a series of 6 for the Support Driven Writing Challenge

For a good while of my career, I wanted to get into web development, but for various reasons, I didn’t get past making a few websites, and doing some testing. I realised looking back, that actually I love helping people as the main focus of my job role.

I will use Customer Service and Customer Support interchangeably

My first job focused on customer service was as a stock room assistant for the UK catalogue shop Argos. I worked mainly evenings taking in deliveries and making sure the stock room was correctly replenished and in good order. At times, I would help “out front” bringing customer orders out to them, or helping with queries about products.

After this, and what is currently my longest served company, I took a job with Tesco, the UK multichannel retailer, most well known for their grocery stores.I started on letters for product complaints, and moved onto ‘phone support for the Grocery online website, and Tesco Direct (their non-food retail business). I spent most of my career within the Tesco Direct Business Support team – this entailed providing phone support for Stores, and colleagues within the business, and also web based chat support for the small group of Homeworking agents at the time. My main enjoyment within that team was problem solving, there are standard calls and contacts, but there often was a good head scratcher, and I do love problem solving! Being in that team was my first foray into making contacts in the wider business and doing a lot of testing, in a general sense.
I was single point of contact within the contact centre for rolling out a new support application and platform when there was a relaunch of a business area, I helped with the breaking testing of the Android Grocery application, which in turn landed me a week at HQ at the request of much revered Nick Lansley, and a small group of people related to R&D at Tesco who went on to form Tesco Labs.
I went onto a secondment with the Resource Planning department for 20 months, which, although I loved and was told I was pretty good at, was the first time that I realised I loved working directly in some way with customers.

I moved on from Tesco to try something new – sales within O2 (UK Telco). Helping customers face to face with their communication desires, I loved all aspects of the tech involved, but realised after a year that maybe sales of that sort wasn’t for me.

It was at this time that I had been looking into working for a company who were remote, and to pay the bills until this happened, I worked as a Poker Dealer. A total departure from traditional customer service, this is still a customer service job – I was providing an experience and helping people enjoy an environment. I hadn’t properly played poker at all, never mind not knowing any Hand rankings!

I went onto do some Quality Assurance, and Knowledgebase work for a WordPress agency, and, what will become finally another post in itself, I applied to Automattic.

So I reached what I had only dreamed of for years before – working with customers, solving problems for them, for a tech company. Not too bad!

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