Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Thursday, May 13, 2004
  Alienation-Part III

Part II

In the last post we were discussing the idea that the industrial revolution and such technology as the assembly line and standardized parts made the workers themselves feel indistinct and anonymous.

I can't think of a better illustration of these feelings of alienation than the lyrics from James Taylor's song "Millworker".

Now my grandfather was a sailor.
He blew in off the water.
My father was a farmer.
and I, his only daughter,
took up with a no good millworking man ,
from Massachusetts,
who dies from too much whiskey,
and leaves me these three faces to feed.

Millwork ain't easy,
millwork ain't hard,
millwork it ain't nothing,
but an awful boring job.
I'm waiting on a daydream,
to take me through the morning,
and put me in my coffee break
where I can have a sandwich
and remember...

Then it's me and my machine,
for the rest of the morning,
and the rest of the afternoon
and the rest of my life...

Now my mind begins to wander,
to the days back on the farm.
I can see my father smiling at me,
swinging on his arm.
I can hear my granddad's stories,
of the storms out on Lake Erie.
Where vessels and cargos and fortunes,
and sailors's lives were lost.

Yeah, but its my life that's been wasted,
and I have been the fool.
to let this manufacturer,
use my body for a tool.
I'll ride home in the evening,
staring at my hands.
Swearing by my sorrow that a young girl,
ought to stand a better chance.

So may I work the mills just as long as I am able,
and never meet the man whose name is on the label.

Still it's me and my machine,
for the rest of the morning,
and the rest of the afternoon....
for the rest of my life...

[Part IV looks at how this alienation has moved to the customer service sector]

Click here to read part IV

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Exploring the mind numbing insanity and childish corporate culture of an unknown call center employee.

Purgatory: A place of suffering and torment with an unknown duration. In Roman Catholic Theology-the place where the dead are purified from their sins.

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"One must know oneself, if this does not serve to discover truth, it at least serves as a rule of life, and there is nothing better." -Blaise Pascal

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By Rage Against The Machine

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