Customer Service Representative | Calgary, AB | Jul 21, 2013
Thank you for calling individual enquiries.
The co-workers are pleasant, team leaders tend to behave like bullies, and management doesn't give care what you like. The culture is very cliquey. Some employees can't do anything right, some can do no wrong. Typically the more people in your circle you have working there, the more you can get away with.
The pay is respectable, and benefits (once you've been there a number of months) are respectable. Hours tend to fluctuate from full time to part time (I had my days vary from 5 days a week down to 3 days a week). Emails are sent out, for employees to apply for additional hours, but are not a guarantee.
Job security is virtually non-existent, with employees contracts being renewed on an ongoing basis. Your contract renewal if you are out of favour, will be dangled over your head. This can be very stressful.
Training is decent, but I found myself in hot water for doing exactly what my training instructors told me to do. The standards seem to be anything but standard. Again, this is all depending on if you are "in" or "out" seems to make a big difference.
You pay for your own parking at the Calgary International Airport location it's $40.00/month for the "green" lot which is a pretty hefty walk if you follow the route your're SUPPOSED TO (not jay walking across airport trail) or if there is construction preventing you from jay walking across airport trail. Parking closer will cost you $120.00/month. Noteworthy here is that your employee i.d. will land you 10% off at
Average demographic is middle-aged and caucasian. Most "lifer" workers are miserable, behave in a privileged manner, and are amazingly lazy. Management goes on 2-3 hour lunch breaks and some males will sexually harass female employees- nothing will be done about it, other than their eventual transfer to another office. The union is useless and you cannot opt out of paying union dues- they come off your paycheque automatically.
I was told by management that the reason for the high pay rate is to "keep your mouth shut about what goes on around here", i.e. poorly managed/stored classified taxpayer information, huge backlog of work (more than 4 months backdated), among other issues. No proper services for ESL/French-speaking taxpayers unless you reside in Quebec.
You are required to do constant "competency" testing, which is done fortunately for you during work hours (unfortunately for the taxpayers). These are mandatory psychological tests issued to employees to basically ensure that the people they promote are of the same hegemonic mindset that has always existed there.
They say that overtime is voluntary, but if you don't sign up for it you will be shunned and mistreated by management.
Everyone is sleeping with everyone and many employees also show up smelling of liquor. It's really unsettling. There are also never any vegan/vegetarian options at the mandatory staff BBQ's, which alienates some staff members into not participating, for which they are reprimanded.
ConsHarassment from management, lazy coworkers, gossip, public drunkenness
This company provided me the basis that I needed to carry myself forward to where I am today. My team and management was awesome and supportive.
A typical day at work was data entry, calling clients and collecting information. I was however able to volunteer and take on the Women's Employment Equity leadership role. This added variety to my everyday work. Through this experience I was able to create a happier working environment within CRA. I had approval from the Directors to put together programs/workshops/brown baggers for the employees. I worked on some things with the EAP counsellors and was able to bring in my own materials. I was able to use my intuitive sense to bring a positive mindset (to some) by allowing them to see how honoring your values is important to your happiness (including your happiness in the workplace). I was able to create the job I wanted through volunteering my services. CRA saw the benefit to do.
What did I learn? I learned that CRA was only a stepping stone. There was no place for me to go there. I committed 12 years of my life there and did gained valuable work experience but had a lot of curve balls thrown my way throughout. The work was generic and the same and sitting a computer all day was taking it's toll.
Management - in my team was awesome, understanding and supportive. Management did their best with what they had to work with. I was able to be a brief part of seeing how things funnel down from the Director and VP's.
My co-workers - for the most part were great. Again it is what you make it. There is always gossip and negativity for many things that tran
Call Center Representative | Ottawa, ON | Sept 24, 2019
Horrible repetitive job, decent pay
Took a little over a year to hear back from application process. After hearing back, training was just about two weeks of very dry material. While training it was very difficult to understand what the job actually really entailed. They really just explain how to do it, not really what it is. After being on the phones for a little while, you understand your job just consists of taking inbound and making outbound calls dealing with taxpayers with outstanding amounts owing. This is a PERFORMANCE based position. Which means, you are heavily timed on how quick you are on the phone, after call work, breaks etc... Even if you are a couple seconds late coming back from your break, you will have to e-mail your team lead and let them know you were late or else it will go against you as everything is timed. There is a lot of micromanagement in the office. If you even dare to take a UNSCHEDULED bathroom break or go for a sip of some water, you will be penalized on your stats if not on a scheduled break. Your time here really depends on how you perform. Team leads can really make or break your enjoyment to work. Operational hours are from 7am-11pm. You will need to be available to work ANYTIME between these hours. Having a dedicated schedule is very tough as everyone's schedule rotates every couple of weeks and alternates. You will sit in a cubicle for your entire shift and endlessly be on the phone. You have a 30 min lunch (unpaid) and two 15 minute breaks which are paid. This position
So the CRA is supposedly an all inclusive workplace and the 'best company' for providing accommodations to employees who request them...but let me tell you what they really mean by accomodation....they well supply you with coaching or as they call it 'Buddying' where you will have someone listen to your calls and scrutinize every little thing to the point that, it doesn't matter if you're excelling above your coworkers, they will try even harder to look for things you did 'wrong' and make it seem as if you're not improving at all ...the CRA's idea to accommodating an individual who has provided a Doctors note is to discredit it and ask for 'additional information that was missing' when they can't justify why you aren't a perfect mistake-free employee yet.
And let's just take a moment to look at the questionable way things are handled when it comes to one coaches perspective being different from the next, when a so called 'policy or procedure' is supposed to be black or White.
If you question something you better be prepared to explain your exact reasoning for doing so and CYA mentality is very prevalent.
The CRA will hire a bunch of people who fill out the employee equity questionnaire to meet their stats, and then once they do so, well you just better hope you know how to learn quickly and deal with all different personality types... and take advice from people who have been there so long it doesn't matter if they're giving you sound advice or not, because there will be
Senior Public Affairs Specialist | Ottawa, ON | Feb 3, 2014
Biased work environment
My managers were a disaster: they played favourites among the staff and prevented me from having adequate contact with clients. In one case they plotted my failure in a specific assignment, but the plot backfired when the client instructed my manager and the one who participated in the plot to modify their work to match the quality of mine.
Although I raised my complaints in writing to management, the latter ignored me utterly; yet when a colleague reported something overheard--admitting that my comment was addressed to no one and that there was no context--management brought me in for questioning regarding a matter I was completely unaware of.
Unable to answer my grievances, the agency's management found a way to "silence" me.
A typical work day: reporting to my boss in the presence of my colleagues that I was available to take on more work and being overtly and embarrassingly ignored in front of my peers. Carrying out make-work projects and even being "assigned" work by a summer student, although I was at the highest administrative level, just below management. I alone in the Agency had to produce a daily report of the tasks I performed....every day!
The racism in CRA management was kept hidden from others but was effective in undermining my career and poisoning my experience in the Public Service.
My most enjoyable experience was serving clients.
I didn't believe the nightmare of bias that was present in Canada's Public Service...until I lived it!
ProsI met some individuals who were professional and had good self estime.
A typical day at work involved providing a high degree of customer service to resolve client enquiries both by telephone and in person.
I maintained a database of Clearance Requests received for estates and processed them, obtained all documents and information required for auditors to perform their review to approve or deny the clearance certificate, then completed review process by analyzing account balances and after ensuring all balances were clear issued Clearance Certificates. Where amounts were owed I was responsible to collect them before the Certificate could be issued.
I also sorted and distributed incoming correspondence for the Estate Section. I performed Inventory control and created reports as required to management. Created letters to request missing information, advising of denials, advising of transfer of requests to other offices based on address of the executor(s).
I learned the most important requirements when dealing with people who have experienced personal loss were empathy and patience.
The hardest part of the job was having to limit time spent with those who were grieving their loss. But the most rewarding part was when I could help them through their difficult time. I often had verbal feedback thanking me for my patience and caring handling of their request.
I was part of an excellent team of professionals who
Proshelping people, working independently & in a dynamic team
Conshaving to limit time spend with clients who were grieving or lonely
They do provide a solid training which lasts a year for income tax auditors. They are slowly changing for the better and try to recruit younger employees because many people are retiring. Most people work there for the S-A-L-A-R-Y and JOB SECURITY.
-HUGE LACK OF TEAMWORK: Almost no one likes the audit job. Only people who have been in the industry/private sector understand how boring the CRA is. They claim there is teamwork but no one is a "good" team player. You mostly work on your own cases and solve/discuss with your team leaders/managers. Most employees are like robots and their personalities are questionable. Don't expect to meet a "star" employee like in the private sector where most employees are mostly genuine and well rounded.
-CLOSED DOORS: You are forbidden to speak with managers unless there is a matter with your team leaders. Team leaders/management just don't even go to lunches with their teams. You are basically on your own or try make some friends there! (but most people don't care about anyone! yay, loner!)
-LOTS OF GOSSIPS AND FAVORITISMS: since the workload is not overwhelming, people tend to gossip a lot about anyone. If you fall in a certain team, you may have more chance to move up quicker. Otherwise, good luck!! Pass all the exams and make sure the recruiters like you.
Typical day consists of answering incoming calls relating to tax and benefit inquiries for programs administered by the CRA. The training on the Income Tax Act once you're hired is very comprehensive. However once the actual job starts management will try everything in their power to fire you before your contract is up. If you're stuck on a call when it's supposed to be your break or lunch period too bad for you as you will need permission from your team leader to go on break or lunch after your scheduled times. If your computer breaks down then that's also too bad for you as you were supposed to be answering calls. You will have to make up for the time your computer was not working by taking calls during your lunch period for example. Management and your team leader also make up false accusations against you and it's up to you to prove them wrong. Examples include surfing the internet or being late for work. If you do indeed prove management wrong then nothing really happens. The hardest part of the job is being called into disciplinary hearings on a regular basis by your team leader and manager. The most enjoyable part is the training you get once you're hired. Be prepared to get fired on the spot if you do get hired at this place.
ProsTraining, pay, benefits
ConsDealing with constant micromanagement, made up performance reviews
A typical day in my position is a busy and fulfilling day filled with puzzles and discrepancies in accounts under which I must solve. I learn how to manage my time as in instances some cases may be quite time consuming. We have deadlines to meet therefore I must be diligent in time management.
I work with a great Team, we all excel at one part of the Pensions Verification Program. If lacking information in a certain area we can depend on one another to have information that may help solve the issue. We spend 7.5 hrs daily together and it is a well spent 7.5hrs. We are constantly learning together and in my Department are all Team Players.
The most difficult part of my job, I would have to say is awaiting correspondence from clients. Our clients have a deadline to submit their proof, however if it is just one day late we cannot accept their submission. Unfortunately this happens quite often and it is very disappointing to the clients, but they are notified well in advance on when their submissions are due.
The most enjoyable part of my job is solving the puzzles the difficult cases, time consuming yes, but very challenging.
ProsIn house courses, Connexions our Library and the various celebrations such as Canada Day
ConsI enjoy my job tremendously, however due to family I must look at relocating.
The CRA provides the most incredibly mixed bag of employment I've ever endured, and it's clear that several folks on here are more interested in keeping their job than being honest and/or are dangerously lacking perspective. Further, the four-star rating is entirely undeserved as the metrics employed by Indeed cannot accurately measure the reality of working for an incumbent government enterprise. Having quit with no intention to ever return, I can finally post my opinions without fear of reproach!
Work/life balance gets a 5 star rating exclusively, as this is the single redeeming quality of the CRA. People are treated like people! If only the agency would take it upon itself to use its position of power to force private employers to such a standard, Canada would be in a position to set the worldwide standard for employment in the future. I urge the agency to export its work culture lest it face redundancy in the age of the internet and alternative currencies.
The hearts of the individuals working at CRA are in the right place, but the level of job security and ability to get away with just about anything on the job eventually perverts even the most ethical of persons. Anyone who has managed to work out the social dynamics and become popular will stick around, but the rest move on. Many people work themselves out of the environment - either accidentally or intentionally - due to ethical reasons. Draw from that what you will.
Internally, this is incredibly well known.
ProsUnlimited personal time
ConsLack of desire to export work culture
Questions and answers about Canada Revenue Agency
How often do you get a raise at Canada Revenue Agency?
Asked Dec 8, 2022
Answered May 18, 2023
Answered Apr 29, 2023
How long does the entire hiring process take for a full time job?
Asked Jul 22, 2017
It took me one year from application to hire date. Lots of testing in the meantime.
Answered Feb 23, 2020
So fast! One month - from my first email response through to HR phone call inviting me to accept 5 month contract.
Answered Jan 8, 2020
Why did you leave your job at Canada Revenue Agency?
Asked Mar 16, 2017
Early retirement. Wanted to do something I enjoyed. CRA great organization. However, very political and extremely regimented towards legislation. I was not able to contribute my ideas.
Answered Jul 10, 2019
They kept me on contracts of 60-90 days, and waited until the last minute to tell me i was extended. It was really tough trying to plan and live. Buying a car was next to impossible because each employment and income proof letter showed only a few days left before the end of my contract. After 5 years we are supposed to be permanent but it’s too stressful to wait that long. I found better employment.
Answered Dec 10, 2017
What is the work environment and culture like at the company?
Asked Jun 22, 2017
Yes this is a clean country
Answered Nov 19, 2019
Excellent clean work environment
Answered Aug 7, 2018
How is feedback from management delivered at Canada Revenue Agency?
Asked Jan 30, 2020
Très bon relaxant et cultivant
Answered May 10, 2023
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