Virtual Phone Center and Phone Volunteers
With technology from Database Systems Corp., the concept of a virtual call center is now a practical reality. Consider having your call center workforce accepting and making calls from remote offices or even from home. Also consider having monitoring and control technology in place to make this scenario possible. Perhaps even your supervisors are working from home as well. Also consider having a phone system that answers your customer inquiries on its own, but with agents available if ever needed. This phone system can even contact your customers or prospects with announcements and alerts.
Allowing your employees to work from home gives you a competitive edge over traditional call centers. Now you can hire highly qualified individuals who could not otherwise commute to your center. Handicapped individuals, single parents and the elderly can now become an integral part of your remote workforce.
The following is an article relating to work at home technology products and services.
Students balance school, work with campaigning efforts
By Sarah Kleiner
About half of the students on the West Mall to whom Andrew Dobbs attempts to pass fliers shake their heads and keep walking. Another quarter idly take the paper without noticing what it says.
Dobbs said he has grown thick-skinned while passing leaflets to students. Wednesday he was campaigning for Howard Dean, governor of Vermont and a hopeful for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Many students at the University balance school work with volunteering for electoral or political campaigns. Dobbs, a communications studies sophomore, said the work can be difficult.
"It's really tough," said Dobbs, who hopes to someday run for an office. "Sometimes you've got to make a choice between skipping class and going to [an] event, or going to class and skipping [an] event. I've prioritized campaigns pretty high on my list."
He spent the summer in Vermont working 60 hours a week at Dean's national campaign headquarters. He hopes Dean will win the nomination so he can work out-of-state again next summer.
During the semester, Dobbs said he spends as many as 30 hours a week working on campaigns. Other students find campaigning is conducive to students' schedules because of its flexibility.
"Usually [a campaign is] not something that's got a time deadline," said Scott Muehlberger, campaign director of Young Conservatives of Texas and a fifth-year PPA student. "If you have a test or if you have to read a lot for the next day, you don't have to go and work on the campaign. It's not a job. They'll take as much as you can give them."
Muehlberger volunteers two to three hours a week for President Bush's re-election campaign. He said he hopes to eventually become more involved in the campaign.
"For me, going in and stuffing envelopes is not my idea of a good time, but you have to look at the bigger picture," Muehl-berger said. "What are you helping out? You are furthering the ideology or the positions of the candidate that you are supporting, and that's what really motivates me to do it right now."
Campaigning at the college level is not a hobby, he said.
"When you're a college student, it's never really that glamorous. You've got to have a little bit of a passion to do it," Muehlberger said. "It's really not that fun, but if you want to get in on the ground floor of a political campaign, it's where to be."
He said listening to a political talk show during his freshman year in college prompted his interest in politics.
"I think everybody has that spark, whether it's a candidate or whether it's somebody on TV that says something," Muehl-berger said. "I think for me, it was starting to listen to Rush Limbaugh ... and something just clicked, and I got really interested in it."
He said he does not see himself running for an office after he graduates but hopes to work in politics.
Sean Byrne, who graduated from Texas Lutheran University in 2000 and now works for the Texas Democratic Party, said he worked on political campaigns when he was in college.
"I can't think of a better way to get your foot in the door than to ask yourself, 'What do I believe in? What causes do I want to devote some of my talents to?' and then dive into it," Byrne said. "If you take initiative and show determination and prove that you are a hard worker, you can move up rather fast and learn quite a bit in the process."
Byrne said campaigns could not function without the volunteer efforts of students.
"The energy they bring is really necessary for campaigns," Byrne said.
Trey Ditto, a spokesman for the Republican Party of Texas, agreed.
"The Republican Party of Texas wouldn't function without the younger people here helping to keep the wheel in motion," Ditto said. "I think it's important for everyone to do something they are passionate in."
But the political spectrum extends beyond Republicans and Democrats.
Brent Perdue, history senior and a member of the Campus Greens, campaigned when he was in high school for Ralph Nader in the 2000 presidential election. This semester, Perdue is taking the LSAT and has had to cut back on the number of hours he spends campaigning.
"My grades have definitely suffered from various campaigns as well as my mental health," Perdue said. "I've had a major burnout, but I'm getting better at it."
Ben Woosley, an electrical engineering junior and president of the Libertarian Longhorns, volunteers five hours a week working to promote libertarian ideals.
Woosley invited Michael Badnarik, one of the two Libertarian front-runners in the presidential campaign, to speak on campus in November. Next semester he will work to collect the 50,000 signatures required for access to the ballot for Libertarian candidates in Texas.
Woosley's interest in politics began when he read literature in high school like John Locke's Second Treatise on Government.
"Most of the time people don't concern themselves with the things that are really important, and politics is more important than most people realize," Woosley said.
Some students view campaigning as part of their civic duty.
"If everybody just took a couple minutes out of their day ... and devoted it to a cause that they truly believed in, something they would die for, something that's so important to them that it overshadows almost everything else, we would have a dramatically different world in just a couple of months," Dobbs said.