Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Sunday, February 27, 2005
  Call Centers Mean Never Having to Say "You're Sorry".

I'm not sure exactly when call centers came into being. We do know at some point in our post-industrial past that companies that provided goods and services determined that it was much cheaper to have someone else do the clerical grunt work of answering the phone and actually dealing with the people that would buy their goods and services.

Before call centers like mine that provide services in the name of many other companies, all of those companies were much smaller entities. You had a much better chance of speaking to the people that could really solve your problems. There weren't eight levels of phones between you and the people that made, shipped and sold the things you bought.

The call center is really a tool to control customers. Notice I did not say to please customers, or take care of their needs. No, call centers are designed to control customers and to deflect blame for bad customer service.

Let me show you how. The call center becomes a scape goat for anything that happens between taking the order and billing. The parent company gets all the profit, but anytime there are real complaints they can always blame the call center, that mysterious entity. The call center lost the order, the call center hires rude people, the call center didn't understand our instructions. Call centers are not just a way to outsource clerical duties, they outsource blame and responsibility.

You may be asking me why I am biting the hand that feeds me. I'm not just being a malcontent, but I really do feel bad for my callers when they get frustrated. They were promised services and information and guidance, and they don't get it. Instead they are treated to a buffet of half-ass excuses why they don't get what they pay for. I guess I'm just tired of helping my weasely customers take advantage of good people.

Thanks for reading,


I don't think questioning your work amounts to bit the hand that feeds you. I myself work in an area whose methods, ethics and usefulness i find particularly arguable.
We used to call it the old Blame Game. It seems the sole reason for becoming a manager is to have people ready to take the blame for your mistakes at any given moment. I wonder if anyone out there ever feels like a hired scapegoat?

Of course, this isn't all companies. I've worked for some pretty nice people too, but it's not like I didn't notice it happening to others.

At one job I had, I can say I learned the art of covering my own ass very well. Any time anyone tried to blame me, I always had paperwork proving that it wasn't. A good lesson to learn, but it was sad that I always expected to get blamed for something.
I totally dig it. That's all I'll say ;)
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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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