COMPANY CULTURE / NOV. 22, 2014
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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Working in a Call Center

Not everyone can be a globe-trotting millionaire running seminars on how to be epically awesome. There are jobs out there that are a bit more pleasant and some jobs that are like getting road-rash between your thighs while waist deep in vinegar. One of these road-rashed-thigh in vinegar jobs is that of a call-center agent. Here are the good, the bad and the ugly of working in a call center.

Everyone hates you

Call center jobs are one of the most loathsome jobs out there; most people hate you once they realize it isn’t their Great Aunt Bertha calling. From the first few words out your mouth… “Hi, may I speak to…” eighty percent of people will hang up. The other twenty percent tend to be a bit more abrasive.

Your mother will never be safe while you work in a call center

We live in the pinnacle era of Profanity. We have accepted the f-word, the s-word and crap into our daily lives. We expect to hear it in movies, TV shows and music. The profanity that you will hear in a call center though is on a whole other level of creativity. This is a word for word account of one of my experiences: “Hello may I speak with Mr. Pottymouthington?”, “I’ll tell you what you ‘may’ do! You ‘may’ take your mother up to the top of electrical post and @#$% her!” Wow man. That specific insult takes mother-cussing to new heights. Literally.

You be insulted by EVERYONE

One of my colleagues was going about his daily task of calling a customer trying to make sales. Suddenly he said: “OK…” with a look of total befuddlement and hung up. He said that a seven to eight year old boy answered the phone, and when he asked for this boy’s mother (as my colleague presumed) this sweet innocent child told him to suck something and it wasn’t his thumb.

Even the people working are foul-mouthed

If you haven’t picked up yet if you have a delicate constitution I would definitely not recommend working in a call center. Not only are the people you’re calling going to pile on the verbal manure but the employees make up the foulest-mouthed crew you’ll ever meet on land. Usually the best guys or gals on the phones are also the craziest so expect melt-downs, property damage, fisticuffs and a lot of profanity.

Thick as thieves

The best thing about working in a call center though is the camaraderie. These people are paid to speak, and speak they do. They dish it out and take like champs, and epithets are freely thrown about. The laughs are plenty and the pranks even more. It’s competitive but it’s also strangely friendly. 

It’s monotonous

To call back to back clients for 8-10 hours a day would even make Einstein lose a brain cell or two. Some nights you will not get through to a single human being. You just dedicated eight hours of your day to listening to dial tones and answering machine.

Strangely it’s also exciting

Once you make that big sale you feel great! You’re smiling, your adrenaline’s pumping and you’re elated. Because you deal with a lot of different people, not on a daily basis but an hourly basis, there is bound to be a pleasant conversation, a crazy or a profanity laced call thrown in there. This mixes things up and keeps the job exciting.

Everything can be resolved with “Let me speak to my supervisor and I’ll get back to you”

Passing the buck is a call center tradition since the invention of the telephone. If the customer’s being difficult, persistent or the agent doesn’t have the power to help they will "speak" to a supervisor, never fails!

Have you worked in a call center? Well congratulations for surviving! If you had any experiences that I didn’t touch on feel free to call 1-800-I-SURVIVED or leave your comments below (for those of you that might have lost too many brain cells working in a C.C. that phone number is a joke, just leave a comment)!

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