Sponsored by Oregon Business

Springfield call center offers innovative space

| Print |  Email
Saturday, July 01, 2006

SPRINGFIELD — It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s a cruise ship… No, it’s a call center. Coming to rest prominently by Interstate 5 in Springfield is the next generation in call sites: Royal Caribbean’s months-old customer care building, with an entrance shaped like a ship’s prow and an interior that boasts ample natural lighting, a spacious fitness center and a cafeteria that would keep Oregon’s most dogmatic vegetarians happy.

The company, which runs cruises all over North America and Europe, began staffing up in Springfield late last year and officially opened up this spring. At full employment, between 800 and 900 people will work there. Already 300 employees are on the site, the vast majority of them service reps, and they are arguably getting the most bang in Oregon for their starting wage bucks: $9.25 an hour (plus benefits). The U.S. Green Building Council recently granted the center LEED gold status for environmental efforts in construction. The layout conjures a cruise ship, with its whitewashed walls, huge portal-like windows, rainbowed tapestries, arching halls and a spiral staircase up to the cafeteria.

“A lot of our employees haven’t cruised yet so we wanted to give them the feeling,” says Lena Kostopulos, Royal Caribbean’s human resources director in Springfield.

A Royal Caribbean employee also collected cruise memorabilia, such as original first-class
china, that is scattered around the center. The motif extends to a collection of eerie mannequins donned in cruise staff wear at one end of the building.

Toward the end of employees’ first year, the company does give them a taste of the real thing with a free cruise. Customer rep Tina Walling, who recently sailed out of Los Angeles, reports that the similarities between the ship and her new home port were uncanny. “The ship was so big — kind of like the center — that I didn’t even get seasick.” In Springfield, she uses a personal trainer in the fitness center and is eating more salads. And that’s helping her keep that cheery phone voice for eight hours straight. “You can’t help but be in a better mood here,” Walling says. “They’ve gone all out.”

— Oakley Brooks

Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


More Articles

Child care challenge

September 2015
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
0927OHSUhealthystarts-thumbBY KIM MOORE AND LINDA BAKER

Child care in Oregon is expensive and hard to find. We delved into the numbers and talked to a few executives and managers about day care costs, accessibility and work-life balance.


More Than Meets the Eye

Guest Blog
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Janet Yellen official Federal Reserve portrait-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | CFA

On September 17, the much anticipated Fed decision was delivered and the equity markets haven't liked it.


The Cover Story

The Latest
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
100515-cover1015-news-thumbBY CHRIS NOBLE

As we worked on the October cover, it became evident that Nick Symmonds is a hard man to catch — even when he’s not hotfooting it around a track.


Reader Input: School Choice

September 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015

Which of the following would be most effective in reducing the cost of operating a public university in Oregon?


Getting What You Pay For

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A conversation with Chris Maples, president of the Oregon Institute of Technology.


Photos: 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon awards dinner

The Latest
Thursday, October 01, 2015
100best202thumbPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Images from the big 2015 celebration of worker-friendly organizations that make a difference.


Down on the Bayou

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

A Power Lunch at Zydeco Kitchen and Cocktails in Bend.

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02