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Call Center Job: Expectation (Brainless Job) vs. Reality
Call Center agents were called so many names but never a profession nor a formal industry. For years that I have been working as one, I personally got mocked because I chose this job.
Let me give you a lil background though. In our area, when you reach college or graduate college for that matter people would expect you to get a decent job. When I say decent job that would mean they expect you to become a MANAGER, SUPERVISOR or someone with a high position in a company when you get hired. I am not degrading those who have not been to college but there are really cases when ignorance makes people stupid! (Opps! Sorry for the word)
Only if people would choose to be kind then we could have/had a better world.
Days after I graduated I got hired without spilling the beans not even to my family because I wanted to surprise them. When my mom knew she got so overwhelmed that she informed some of the people she knows and even our neighbors that I have lend a job.
One night, I went out of our gate and was going to work when one of our neighbor approached me and asked:
"Glez, what is your job?"
I proudly answered:
"I am a CALL CENTER AGENT"
But what shocked me is when my neighbor responded:
"Ohh really?! You studied for four years and your mom was even so proud every time you get an award and you ONLY ended up with JUST being a CALL CENTER AGENT?!"
I got dumbfounded and was even left speechless with how she respond. Never in my wildest dreams that I could receive such embarrassment.
So I decided to ask some of my co-workers if they are also getting the same feedback and one of them mentioned that her parents would want her to stop working because call centers are "WHORES" and "UNEDUCATED". While some of my other workmates mentioned in common that some of the people they knew referred our job as a "BRAINLESS JOB".
These information made me even more curious to know, "what started this assumptions and why are they calling call center agents these names?"
So I tried to contemplate, for one, call center company now accepts ''High School Graduates" which made them tagged the industry as not a profession because anyone can just get hired without a degree unlike other professions that they get to take board exams in order to officially be tagged as Professionals.
To simplify, Professional has something to do with being ethical in business abiding the policy while on the other hand, Profession is more like of what is your position and what you believe in life. Whichever you refer to you cannot see anything that states you would have to be a DEGREE HOLDER or GRADUATE in COLLEGE to be called professional but there are people who just love to mock other people instead of listening to our explanation.
Then pandemic came and they were so shocked when I started working from home while they are losing their jobs. While the world is busy panicking because of pandemic we were first busy with making sure most of us if not ALL can work at home. When the President announced that the funds are getting low, no one ever thank call center agents for striving hard and going to the office despite the danger especially for those who can't work at home because of signal issues. We were working hand in hand to actually support not just our families but the economy. Not to brag, but when you depend on to the governments help that is coming from our TAXES.
I realized, why should I explain? Why should I let these judgements and names get into my system?
Pretty simple, because the job that they are mocking is the job that keeps me alive up to now. This is what made me support my brother in college til he graduated and the reason why I can buy milk for my daughters. This is my main source of income!
Just to give you guys an overview, first thing that you have to do as a call center agent is to MULTITASK. Whenever a call comes in you'd have to talk fast but not too fast that your customer would notice, you have to make sure that you make your customer feel you are concern and you have to empathize. We answer technical, billing or just pure customer inquiries not only that when I say billing that would mean we would have to understand a LOT of tools and process codes that has never been taught in school.
If you are an Information Technology professional you get c#, html and/or java as a programming language then call center agents has to learn and understand a different type of codes.
Every call counts and every lil detail within a certain call could make or break us. We are graded based on how we perform every month and we have scorecards to pass. If we are scheduled to start our shift at 2AM then we take calls at 2AM if we logged in at 2:01AM the that is considered LATE unlike the "PROFESSIONAL" jobs that they are referring to that when scheduled to work at 7AM you arrive at the office 6:59AM, talk with your officemates while doing make up til 10AM before you even start your job.
DISCLAIMER: I am not saying that this is for ALL. I am pretty much stating in general.
One of the hardest thing to swallow as a call center agent is when a customer is shouting at us over the phone saying profanity words towards us when it is not even our fault.
I'd be very transparent but a call center job is something that you cannot survive if you won't successfully get through anxiety and depression.
Imagine growing up sheltered with love and just go work in a call center only to get shouted by people you don't even know with names and hurtful words that even your mom did not said against you but that's a job and we have to stay professional.
Customers wanted to talk to human but treats us like robots who just accepts hurtful words still that is fine. I get to care and I learned to value customers as I've been within this industry for quite a while. I cry when customers cry before, and I am more than happy when I get a customers issue resolved. For once, I did not care how my stats would look like as long as I get to end a call would the exact resolution.
We do have time limits on each and every call once exceeded then that messes up our scorecards which means we won't pass our score for the month and would give a big possibility for us not to get any incentive or increase.
So to all the CALL CENTER AGENTS reading this and to those who have experienced being in a CALL CENTER industry, was it a BRAINLESS JOB?
A tap on the back to my colleagues out there who still chooses to smile to their customers despite what they are going through! You are the best and you will all be fine!
I appreciate you guys for reading til here! You are awesome!
Let me end this article with this:
Not all heroes wear capes. Some of them wears headset.