Working with the Night Watchers
A while ago a job ad searching for Service Desk Agents to Tallinn caught my eye. I thought it sounded cool and without any hesitations I decided to apply for the job. Soon after sending out my application I was invited into a job interview. And that was the first moment I stopped to think about it – is this what I really want for myself? Am I ready to take this step?
And that was the first time I stopped to really think about what it would mean to apply for this position. After thinking about it, I came to a conclusion that the ferries go both ways. I can always come back if it doesn’t work out for me.
The recruitment process ended in a positive way – I got the job, and I was supposed to start in the beginning of August. I had to find an apartment and get the paperwork done in one month. Luckily I received a lot of help because I couldn’t have managed to do this by myself. Thanks to Tieto’s HR agent for helping me with the apartment and answering my endless list of questions. And to my friend Joona, who helped me move in and to many others who supported me in this process.
I was chosen to work with the 24/7 support service. As an exception to other teams, our team interacts with multiple customers and our service language is also English. We have named our team playfully the “Night’s Watch” inspired by TV series with the same name. As our “colleagues” in this TV-show, we watch the wall incessantly night and day without ever feeling tired.
Compared to Finnish team’s working hours we work 12 hour shifts. We start at 7 am in the morning when the night shift leaves home. Normally we work 3-4 days in a row and have spare time of 3-5 days after that. I find this very convenient. Our team of six people has grown to have strong spirit and feeling of togetherness during the past months We are flexible and switch shifts with each other whenever someone has the need to change schedules. Small, tight and flexible would be the three words I would use to describe this team. Everyone’s wish and voice are heard.
My typical day in a day shift can be really busy. I wake up before 6 am, pack my lunch bag and head off to the office. I live a few kilometers away from the office so I try to walk there as often as I can. But sometimes I rely on the bus that go very often even on Sundays. At the office I say hi to the Night Watchers and have a cup of coffee. The phone can start ringing right away, or a bit later depending on the day. The weekends start usually at 9 am.
The customer’s problems vary a lot, but I’ve noticed that I haven’t spoken to the same customer twice. And still, after working for many months I come across problems that are new and unfamiliar with me. Sometimes the days go by quickly and sometimes you have time to do something else like study during the day. The most important thing is that you’re ready to face the upcoming challenges.
The day ends when the night shift comes in and I go back to my home. I might stop by at the grocery store but most of the days I try to make food for many days and eat at the office during working days. Sleeping is my first priority these days. But then again, I have 14-15 days off in a month – who can say they have so much spare time? Well, I can.
You could easily imagine that the night shifts are quiet and boring but this isn’t the case. Our customers are big, global companies and even the smallest problem in a critical service may cost big losses. In this case we are responsible for transferring the information. Of course all nights aren’t filled with action, but some are and when the catastrophe hits, we are ready to take care of it. But it isn’t all just the big problems, we also handle the basic requests at the same time. And again, sometimes I just admire the nightly Tallinn from the window of the office or watch a movie.
I haven’t regretted leaving to so called South Helsinki. This move has given me a lot and I believe that it will give me even more. My hope for the future is that our team will grow as promised. It is rather challenging to have the 24-hour rotation with only 6 people in the team.
To fit in our team, you need to be punctual, independence, have strong stress tolerance, humor, patience and the ability to cooperate. In our tight group, we solve problems together, however during the night, you need to handle them on your own. Leaving to work in Tallinn requires courage, but you are definitely not going to be alone. We are here, waiting for you.