A while back we received a call from someone who needed help beyond that of a food pantry or a volunteer position. This man called because he was considering suicide. Sadly, these calls are not as rare as we would hope. On the day that this man called, he was one of 9 people who was thinking of ending his or her life. What was unusual was the fact that the woman who answered his call and connected him with the help he needed had been on our phones for only 4 days. She did her job, she changed this man’s outlook and she saved a life that day. She did all of this because she was well trained and prepared to take Any Call, at Any Time.
This is part of our training mantra; anyone who takes a call at Connect2Help 211 has to be trained to take any kind of call. That is why we invest 3 weeks of classroom training with extensive reading, role playing, homework and tests before our Specialists ever take a call. Add to that the fact that no Specialist takes a call without a Supervisor nearby until they have over 200 hours of training.
Many times, when we advertise open positions in our Contact Center, we hear back from applicants, “Oh, I am great on the phone! I can talk on the phone all day.” But working at Connect2Help 211 is so much more than answering the phone. You need to understand how social services work, you have to be a tech wizard to master our software, and you have to have a compassionate heart, because most calls will be from people who are frightened, angry or embarrassed to call. What you get in return is priceless. Every day our Specialists walk out the door knowing that they have fed families, moved victims out of homes plagued by domestic violence, and saved lives. Some calls are about food stamps, many are about utility payment assistance – but EVERY call changes a life.
It’s what we do.