Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Life of call center agents

A friend of mine sent me an email regarding call center agents and I cant help my self but laugh while reading it because I can really relate on this article. Good thing that I'm not working in a call center anymore thank God!



To my great shock and horror, I have been employed at a call center. Every evening the sense of dread that envelops me is overwhelming, and I am not sure how I have managed to muster up the strength to show up every day. Every day when I'm off to work I have to fight the urge not to turn right back around, go back home, and go to bed. I've done that a couple of times and it was great, except for the grief I got the next day due to the strict and impossible attendance guidelines.

Every day while sitting in my itty bitty cubicle I dream about making a run for it.
Call center work is demeaning and soul sucking. I feel a little piece of me dying every day. Being literally tied to a headset for 8 hours a day is hell. I am yelled at constantly by people and by the end of the day I have been called every nasty name in the book.

Being tied to a desk by a headset, having to deal with the rudest and most arrogant human beings in the world

My supervisor says this is just something everyone has to get used to and that I need to develop a tougher skin. I don't want a tougher skin, and I am sick of this place telling me who I need to be and how I need to think. The supervisors don't care anyway. All they care about is average handle time and how high your scores are on the calls that were monitored.

I'm not sure what keeps me going back every day. The health benefits are great, but you can never get the time off approved to actually go to the doctor. Maybe I secretly enjoy being tortured every day, who knows.

I have not made any friends. I choose to call then acquaintances. If you get to close you will become one of then. The seasoned agents here all are bitter, angry men and women. You can even smell the whiskey on the breath of some of them. I do feel myself slowly becoming more like them though, angry all the time, too wiped out at the end of day to enjoy my life. Why am i still here. I used to be happy. Life is too short to be miserable.

Call Centers, ugh, they are a necessary evil, however I have stories to tell you about call centers.. The horrors are all true. Not being allowed to go to the bathroom, no breaks, except for the 30 minute lunch where you wolf down your food, then right back at it for the next 4 hours or so. Not getting up from your cubicle for coffee, water, or soda.
Your thirsty? Forget about it, don't dare go and get a drink. Your in jail now so deal with it.

No snacking in your booth, even if you are diabetic and need it. I am not kidding here people. This is all true! You are basically chained to your booth through your headset. There are no sick days, there are no excuses for anything! They don't care if your child is sick or if you are sick. They don't care about anything except you making or taking that next call. Calls are money, and most call centers have automated dialers that continually dial. You barely get to breath before you are talking again.

. I don't even like having to constantly talk all day-there's hardly anything left of my voice by the time I'm done. I can forget about ever making it as a singer if I keep this up.

Working in a call center is simple, go to hell and take a right. You are locked in a cubicle and that is suppose to be your life. The pressures that are put on you on are not about your job. I did my job, I did my job well. They are about control! Control! Control is all that seems to be their game.
You are constantly stressed, dealing with a never ending stream of calls, unable to pause to think. Most of the people who speak to you are angry, impatient or upset. You are blamed for everything: the time people spend in the call queue, the problems they had with your service, the lack of assistance you can give them. Since I had no real power, all I could do was apologize and promise to pass it on to the right department - not what a customer wants to hear after they've spent six months trying to sort something out, and being ferried from one department to another

As a call center worker, we have absolutely no respect! We are even less than the common household pet. There are no laws to help us, no unions want to step in and make it better. Why? Most people who work in call centers are poor, undergraduate, single parents, older people ages 30 and up.. So companies feel that they can easily manipulate us into thinking that we will have nothing else if it weren't for this great job. I have never felt more humililated than when I worked in a call center. . I was so beat down mentally, that I felt I was not good enough to work anywhere else. The way that they treat you completely strips you of any dignity or self esteem.

I will not name the company or companies that I have worked for, but trust me when I tell you, they constantly treat their employees like mud

In reality, I hate working in a call centre. Unfortunately, there are limited options for employment near where I live, as I choose to live in the province. This is just the thing I need! For some unknown reason getting up on a Monday is harder than any other day of the week; I guess that everyone feels the same and that is why everyone is running a little later and that is why the traffic is a little heavier than usual.

I would often be humiliated by superiors in front of others in the call center for taking too long in the bathroom. Can you imagine being a 20 plus something adult and being required to raise our hand to ask permission to go to the bathroom? God forbid if someone else was already in the bathroom, you had to wait your turn which often would be a half hour or longer. A lot of the time, I was asked to wait for the lunch break which would often be over an hour away!

I would always have to go to work deathly ill with the flu or cold because I had no vacation time to cover my illness. Then if I would accidently sneeze or cough while in a call and Quality Control heard it, I would get a bad qc (quality control) rating. Yet I was not allowed to stay home to recover. Then if while sick, your production percentage fell, you would be wrote up for bad production and put on probation. Simply, you were no longer allowed to be human while working there. You were nothing more than a robot who was not allowed to get sick, not allowed to have bodily functions, not allowed to cough, sneeze, or yawn. Not allowed to talk to co-workers sitting beside you, not allowed to be one minute late or you were docked for 15 minutes. If you were standing in line to clock in which sometimes seemed like an eternity, if that clocked clicked onto 9:01am, you were immediately docked 15 minutes. To make matters worse, you were expected to clock in 5 minutes early to prepare for the days work, yet you could not log out of your computer until exactly 5pm or you were docked and wrote up. None of this even begins to point out the other horrors of the job.

The actual calls and the way you are treated on the phones. We are cursed at, threatened, reported and other horrible things. We are not allowed to respond in anyway, we are not allowed to hang up, we are expected to just sit there and be verbally abused no matter what they are saying. If we were to respond in anyway or hang up, pay is docked, your job is threatened, and you are then abused in the call center by your superiors for a length of time.

The joke going around at work. Why do call center agents die early? Because they want to. So why do I do it. Why do I get up every morning and drag myself to one of worst working environments I have ever had the misfortune to experience? Because at the end of the day, I walk out of my cell with a feeling that I am not the dumbest, most incompetent, worthless person in the world. It's a good feeling.

As a call center employee, you are always treated as though you are their property, never a human being. There did come a time when I decided that I was better than that, and the mental anguish was no longer worth the paycheck. I quit!

In closing, to those who are on the other end of the phone call. When a telemarketer calls you. Or if you decided to call customer service. No matter how irritated you are by the call, please try to be somewhat respectful. Please remember that is a human being on the other end just doing what they are told. That is a human being on the other end who is probably poor and desperately needs this job to live and raise their family. Please try to keep that in mind.

If you relish your freedom and enjoy having control over the path your day takes, then I advise you to never accept a job in a call center.


  1. after reading your post, i do not know if i have to thank you or praise you...i was rejected trice in a call center in our province but again i have no work until now. what can you say about it? thankful i have no problems facing those kind of work or no work until now? then how can i cope with my financial problems? am i lucky or unlucky ....

  2. interestingly, i just entered the cc industry myself. and contrary to doomsday warnings, i find my self enjoying the grind. or maybe i'm just lucky the account is nice and laid-back, and the people on the floor are nice :D

  3. @alex mayo

    may mga free training ata for call center agents kung gusto mo talaga pumasok its true na malaki ang sweldo pero di ka naman happy sa work mo para wala na ang value ng pera

    @eternal wanderer

    good for you very rare ako makadinig ng ganyan sa mga call center agents let me guess sa nonvoice ka ba or sa chat

  4. hard: tech voice account.

    let's put it this way, it's always a choice to look at the glass half-empty or half-full ;)

  5. ako dati ay tech support din! masok kasi ang tech acct than customer service acct.

    hmm eternal wanderer siguro pagnalipat ka sa sprint account baka magbago isip mo bwahahaha

  6. late post.. backreading ur blog..

    i entered the cc industry with all the enthusiasm until i realized that it's not my path, im no longer happy plus the fact by quoting "mental anguish was no longer worth the pay cheque"


    and yes, pag nalipat ka sa sprint account, where you can find all the monster-customers, maaring makapagpabago ng isip... been there for like 1 and 9 mos as csr.. hahaha