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Old 05-29-2012, 12:52 PM
Location: in Mary Ann and Ginger's hut
639 posts, read 681,294 times
Reputation: 575


ya, its funny, I agree with a lot of the above. There is a lot of contradictory directives-- we want one call resolution so the customer doesn't have to keep calling back and drive up our hold time/call center costs, BUT if you try to take enough time to actually solve the problem, they get on you about AHT "handle time" being too long. So you have to shuffle customers through and blow them off to have your "talk time"/handle time in line and not get yelled at. Also, there is always some nitpicking about how to speak, no matter how articulate you are
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:31 PM
2 posts, read 10,983 times
Reputation: 11
Call center companies are different from each other. Here in the Philippines, there are several that are very strict and have high attrition rates. While ours isn't and have been keeping happy agents for a long time now. It all depends on the management and employee benefits.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:01 AM
Location: Los Angeles
1,458 posts, read 2,148,998 times
Reputation: 1275
I have a friend who works a call center. She takes xanax to get through the day. When I asked her how she got xanax she said "I told my doctor I work in a call center and need something for anxiety."

The call center I work at is pretty chill. Most people work at home and are barely supervised which has led to a major loss of business over the years.

Actually worked in a more admin type position for several years before being demoted when the company downsized. I can still sometimes find other things to do than just take calls and am also lucky enough to keep my off-peak hours.

I'm one of those lifers spoken about here.

If any callers are too difficult I just pass it off to a supervisor. This is probably my last call center job. Too used to a laid back environment and do too many things I could never get away with anywhere else - refuse to work weekends, pass off difficult callers or just hang up on them, be incredibly incompetent. At least I don't do drugs or drink alcohol on the job which is more than I can say for my co-workers.
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:21 AM
18,856 posts, read 30,440,508 times
Reputation: 25990
Nothing like being stuck in a cube smaller than a cattle pen for over eight hours a day, tethered to a phone like a cow chained to a barn. Humans are not designed to talk for eight hours a day.

I will be shoveling cow manure or pig crap before working in a call center again.
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Old 06-02-2013, 04:18 PM
Location: South Hampton Roads
203 posts, read 248,231 times
Reputation: 361
Originally Posted by NorthStarDelight View Post
I keep reading about the atrocious working conditions normally found in call centers around the US. Strict monitoring, not being able to use the bathroom without permission and an array of workplace rules that would make any prison warden blush. And of course the pay and hours suck, you have almost no chance of being promoted to "management,", etc, etc.

So why is this particular line of work so horrid? Has it always been this way, or just in the past decade or so as the economy deteriorated?

Of course, if I was sentenced to a stint in a call center, I'd organize a "flash strike," in which everyone walks at a pre-arranged time, have "slow-down" days so that everyone falls well below the required quotas, and encourage everyone to break every stupid rule they attempt to impose upon the staff. It's not like they could fire everyone in one go, or could they? At the very least, the "managers" would probably see the end of their careers, and good riddance.
Here's the deal with call center work: The only way you are going to want to get up everyday and go to work for a call center is if you work for a solid, well liked company/corporation by the public. If you are working for a cell phone company, a credit card company, most banks and retailers, you are not going to enjoy your job much (there are a few exceptions to this, but not many). To the point, when customers either don't feel a need to call you because their needs are being met OR when they do call you the company you work for takes such good care of them, then customers will always be happy and your employer will always be happy -- -- which in turn will make you happy because you are not getting yelled out or talked down to, your employer will train you well to have good answers and positive resolutions (one stop shop) resolutions to customer questions and problems, and more than likely your employer will pay you well because they know that a happy, well paid, well treated employee will take excellent care of their customer base.

Now... obviously this is not the trend because most companies/corporations are in it for the buck-- they are not overly concerned about their customer's needs. They want a warm body in a seat (whether or not you speak English well is optional - lol) and they want you to answer as many calls as you can within seconds (i.e. they care about squeezing as much labor out of you as possible and giving the customer as little as possible so they can make more money off of both you and the customer).

The only call center environments that I have EVER enjoyed (and I've worked for call centers most of my working adult life, but that is going to change in the next year - lol) was working for a children's Medical Non Profit Organization (everyone was happy to talk to you because they wanted to give money to a cause they cared deeply about) and a financial investment firm that made loads of money, took excellent care of their clients and took excellent (and I do mean excellent) care of their employees. I left the Children's Medical Non Profit due to a poor manager that had BPD (lol) and left the financial investment firm because I needed a job working nights and weekends (became a parent and did not want to put my child in daycare during the day)... and let me tell you, it has been rough! LOL My current employer is awesome -- it's just that they are a third party vendor for several financial firms that (IMHO) don't take very good care of their customers and the customers know it and are angry all of the time.

My Advice: Don't EVER work for a call center unless it is a well regarded non profit and/or a well regarded financial investment company -- you will most likely regret it and burn out rather quickly.

Check Out This Article: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...lying-frontier
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:38 AM
1,463 posts, read 1,811,795 times
Reputation: 2481
I hated my call center job. People called in sick everyday, or was late, or left early. We were so short staffed and hard up for workers, they all got away with it. I never did it, so the brunt of the work was on me. People ignored the rising amount of people waiting on hold, screwed around, etc. Therefore the callers got more angry by the time they were answered, making the job more difficult. The manager played favorites. Her pet could clean her desk, talk to her buddies, arrange her flowers, do what she wanted, and take just 25 calls in her shift and that was fine, while someone like me was expected to take at least 80 per day. Another worker was constantly micromanaged and baby-sat to the point of tears. I don't know why manager nazi chose to do this, and chose one worker to scrutinize and the other to favor. She had her pets and her whipping boys. Some people ignored callers and surfed the web and got away with it, while another might be asking someone an honest question or doing real work for 1 minute and get laid into for not being on the phone at every second, or get in trouble for using the restroom.

I had to quit, or go on Xanax as well. We were cursed at, talked down too, called names, and threatened almost daily. My family pushed me to quit and said I stayed too long. I hate being jobless, but being there is about as bad. I was a temp so my pay was less, but I worked harder than everyone else. Management couldn't take it when I left, one of the literally ran out the door after me as I left on that last day.
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:01 AM
Location: San Bernardino County (previously L.A.)
4,482 posts, read 7,530,097 times
Reputation: 3862
I worked at a major call center for 7.5 yrs from 1999 - 2007. I was only a 15-20 hr/week employee, but I liked it & it was good extra money. I had a primary job but it was on-call, which is why I still kept this job & it was very flexible around my college schedules.

I liked working there while it lasted. I would still have been there at least a few more yrs if the facility hadn't closed in which 2000+ people were all out of work.

That workplace had the biggest bathroom I'd ever seen in my life...it had tons of stalls & was always nice & clean! We could take bathroom breaks whenever we wanted, but you probbly didn't want to get up more than 3x's in an hour, which was just a given/hidden request. The only thing I disliked was the manager listening in on a few calls to evaluate you, but other than that, it was good for me.

Last edited by Forever Blue; 06-03-2013 at 11:10 AM..
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:06 AM
Location: where people are either too stupid to leave or too stuck to move
3,998 posts, read 5,489,466 times
Reputation: 3618
Originally Posted by Three Wolves In Snow View Post
No, it's not just in the past decade, it's been like that. The call center I worked in was more than a decade ago.

Also, good luck with your "flash strike". It's obvious you have never worked in a call center, (be thankful), because while most of them sit around bitching and moaning about the conditions, hardly a one of them has a spine to do a thing about it. Like I said in the other thread about this, MOST people working in a call center are infantile.

I had an acquaintance I worked with at that call center and in training, because it was around the holidays, we got a lot of logo crap. I will never forget her hugging her new logo blanket like a teddy bear and saying, "I love this place!"
probably that whole "i need this job to pay my rent i rather take it all in stride than be fired and starving thing"
people don't work in call centers because they want to, they do it because they have to
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:44 AM
2,465 posts, read 2,722,968 times
Reputation: 2563
I had a lot of retail/restaurant types of jobs in high school, college and just right out of college. I took a call center job that lasted a few years but turned into better opportunities at the same company that got me off the phones.

Sure, I disliked it most of the time, but the parts I did like after having some really hard-labor jobs were: decent pay, sitting down, not seeing "irate" customers in person, learning more technical material and some other perks.

I think if you work in a call center such an environment long term, say over 5 years or so burn out can happen, but it is overall easier than being on your feet all day in the service sector. Some call center work can pay well, while other jobs pay peanuts. I think a lot of it us somewhat of a dead-end job unless you can improve yourself by moving up in the company or moving onto another better-paying job.
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:54 AM
Location: West Coast
1,199 posts, read 2,113,233 times
Reputation: 2098
I despise cubicles, so call center jobs would not work for me. If I absolutely had to work in that environment, I would be a 911 operator. All the calls are incoming, and you help people in emergencies. I would not be upset at being yelled at because people are in distress.
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