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Old 05-25-2012, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
4,444 posts, read 4,605,906 times
Reputation: 3351

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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.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Out West
22,698 posts, read 16,804,243 times
Reputation: 26275
Quote:
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.
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!"
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:06 AM
 
8,680 posts, read 13,294,701 times
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Quote:
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.
Good thing you specified that you were talking about call centers in the U.S., because when I read the title of the thread, my knee-jerk reaction was "Because employees get paid in rupees."

Maybe it depends on the place. I worked for an organization that had a call center where people could call up and ask for information to be sent to them, report cases of discrimination, and so on, in addition to resolve questions about their membership and billing. There was relatively little turnover--and this was before the economic downturn.

They did treat these employees very well, though. Decent pay, excellent benefits, and inclusion in everything the organization did as a whole--including having opportunities to travel and work the booths at conferences.

Maybe that is unusual, though. I can see where if someone worked for a big company or a financial institution that it could feel like a gulag if it's not managed right.
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Austin
2,173 posts, read 2,874,897 times
Reputation: 2186
Quote:
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.
The bottom line is- no one wants to be yelled at, called names and hung up on all day or night long. It's just not fun, never was. Someone has to do it...personally, I think machines can do it.
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
4,444 posts, read 4,605,906 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redvelvet709 View Post
The bottom line is- no one wants to be yelled at, called names and hung up on all day or night long. It's just not fun, never was. Someone has to do it...personally, I think machines can do it.
Yeah, I really hope A.I. advances to the point so that we'd not need call centers any longer - nobody should ever be subjected to that kind of abuse, from both customers and management.
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Out West
22,698 posts, read 16,804,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthStarDelight View Post
Yeah, I really hope A.I. advances to the point so that we'd not need call centers any longer - nobody should ever be subjected to that kind of abuse, from both customers and management.
But then what will frumpy, middle aged, bitter about life, never applied themselves people do without a call center to fall back on?

There's two types of people at call centers:

Students who are working as they get through college and then, when they get their degree, search out employment in their field and, when landing such employment, leave the call center. Those people are in call centers MAX three years. (Which is torture enough but knowing that you're getting the hell out soon keeps ya going.)

The ones I mentioned above. Where will those people go? Wal Mart greeters? No thank you! They are some nasty, NASTY people! Leave 'em in call centers. We only have to deal with them once in a blue moon.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:39 PM
 
18,852 posts, read 31,694,472 times
Reputation: 26111
Call center work is like working in a coal mine. Talk incessantly for eight hours a day. You are tethered to a phone by a six foot cord /leash. Hated it. You either work there to get out, or you end up there because you can't get anything else.
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:29 PM
 
Location: On the edge of the universe
994 posts, read 1,351,910 times
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Prison = Call Center. Enough Said.
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:47 PM
 
841 posts, read 1,661,677 times
Reputation: 1163
I hated the abusive customers until I learned to promise them anything like the veterans at the company.

I realized there was a reason John and Jan and Mike weren't being abused by the public. They were replacing their parts at no charge. I caught on and did it too. Life got better at the call center.

The coworkers who slacked off made the job suck. I handled a ton of calls and was burnt out.

Then there was the old lady who worked near me in another non-phone capacity who pretended to be friendly.S

She would not let us have a radio on and when she felt like it she would complain we were too loud talking on the phone.
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Southeast
175 posts, read 541,686 times
Reputation: 154
I currently work for a call center and my job pays me quite well. However, I don't like the incompetent management, office politics, lazy coworkers, rude customers. I really don't like my job all that much but it pays the bills. I'm a college dropout due to financial (student loan debt) and situational reasons and so when the economy tanked I got trapped here. I'm hoping that will change soon as I now have the resources to go back to college and with the economy recovering, hopefully I can find a decent, tolerable job in the meantime.
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