Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Friday, April 29, 2005
  It's not as easy as it looks...

Sometimes blogging about this job can be difficult. Every day is not that interesting by a long shot. Many of the days are numbing. You do the same work day after day, complete the same transactions day after day. You get an incredible feeling of Deja Vu. The same coffee, the same conversations, the same paycheck. I hear my co-workers bitching about the same headaches and the same people that I bitch about here on the blog. That's the point too, I don't want to just bitch and moan. That does me no good in the long run. I want to understand why I feel like I do, I want to be the voice crying in the wilderness that "Work should not suck this bad!"

Anyone that has read many of my posts will notice recurring themes: depression, anger, boredom, breakfast, and trying to discover how to leave this place for a job that doesn't suck my soul and doesn't just plain suck. Money, I want money too...

Friday was one of those numb days where it all melted into one long phone call. But there were free donuts, so that was good. When I walked out into the parking lot, for one minute it all melted away, like the glaze from the cruller that got stuck on my upper lip. I saw the birds in the trees, the green grass, and felt the waning afternoon sun on my face with that cool spring wind washing away all the grumpiness and dirty feelings that being in close contact with the public all day can bring you.

I put on my new "Greatest hits of U2" CD and Bono was singing "It's a Beautiful Day". I could finally agree with him. At least this part of the Deja Vu I don't mind.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, April 28, 2005
  Getting Snippy...

It happens to everyone. Even the best call center employess bust out the "I-don't- give-a-rat's-ass-attitude-about-you" tone now and then. Call it audio chemistry with bad reactions, personality clash, whatever.

Even today I caught myself stiff-arming a customer with a complaint. They started getting rude about something not getting handled right:

Customer:"You guys really fucked this up! I want it fixed!"
AC(brusquely):"I'll get the agent that set this up for you."
Customer:"I don't want to talk to her, I want this fixed now."
AC(losing it):"Alright, check this out, She's the specialist for this type of transaction, and the supervisor on duty. OK?-hold-please-thanks!-CLICK!-"

I told the supervisor to pick up the call and that I wasn't messing with it. She never picked it up, and the customer called back later and lost time and money because we blew them off. Of course, using the "F" word with any call center agent pretty much ruins any chance of good service.

The rest of the day, I didn't do much better. I caught myself gossipping and trash talking other agents. Sometimes I slacked off more than usual. I cursed, talked filthy, and ate junk food, and then left work muttering to myself...

Not a day that I was proud to be me...

Thanks for reading,


  New residents in Call Center Purgatory

Check out these two new call center bloggers:


Call Center Redemption

Also check out two other blogs that caught my attention:

Work-related Blogs and Work
Helping to make sense of work: Bringing work blogs and work-related news together.

The Boss Man
a view from the other side-this guy lets us know how human he is..

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, April 27, 2005
  He's as cold as ice...

I’ve talked a lot about my general manager, but I realized something very interesting about him the other day: the fact that he is so cold and distant makes it so much easier to make him the scapegoat for everything wrong that goes
on around here.

It’s not just that he’s “not a people person”, its more than that. He’s not even good at the small talk or just normal politeness. He rarely says “Good morning” or “How are you?”. When he does have to speak to us, its almost always a bad thing. I don’t remember the word “Thank you” ever coming out of his mouth. I don’t expect him to hug us every day, or have in depth discussions about our feelings, that’s stupid. We’re all big boys and girls, still, a little kindness goes a long way to making work not suck.

I know there is probably more going on than meets the eye. I’ve figured he either really does not like his job either and really does not have a plan and he wants to appear like he knows what he’s doing (from the results around here, this plan isn’t working). Maybe he really does not like us and shows his contempt for us any way he can. Then again, he may just be not good at social things.

Whatever his problem is, he’s the coldest boss I have ever had. It’s a real shame too, because he’s shooting himself in the foot with the workers. Its not just me that feels this way, so many of the agents on the floor have went into his office for a meeting and they all come out pissed and in some cases crying.

He’s not the sum total of all of the problems with the call center. The multi-national corporation that owns us has frozen wages and keeps a very close eye on the money. His managers and administrators aren’t all winners either. None of that matters though, because he won’t give us enough of a glimpse of his humanity, so we can give him the benefit of a doubt. We can’t put anything on that mental list of good traits that we all keep on everyone we know. We can’t say “Sure he’s an asshole, but he tells a great joke”, or “Sure he’s not the best boss, but he always says good morning like he means it.” His coldness and distance converts him into the symbol of all that is bad with our company. The flesh and blood representation of everything that causes us misery and pain.

I know that’s totally wrong. There are very few “super villains” that are 100% Grade A evil in the world. So many times in this world we have to define something as either black or white, and very little grey in between. I hear he’s got a family and some kids. He has to have another side, a softer kinder side. But unfortunately all we ever see is the icy, unfriendly, profit at any cost side.

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, April 26, 2005
  Back in the Saddle...

Hey Campers !!

I'm back! Sorry about the lack of posting. It's pretty hard to not blog when you are used to it. Luckily, I kept a list of things to blog about in my notebook, so I should be pretty regular from this point on(provided the metamucil kicks in).

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, April 03, 2005
  Cog on the loose...

Hey everybody,

I have a trip out of town coming up and about four other projects going on at once. Something has to give. Unfortunately, Call Center Purgatory is what will have to suffer for now. Please check back around the 26th of April for new posts. I will still be checking my mail from time to time.

Thanks for reading,


Friday, April 01, 2005

"If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."-John 20:23
"If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life."-I John 5:16
I don't have one trite answer how to keep hatred out of your life totally. I think the answer is different for everyone. Every job, every boss, every situation is different.

Take my situation for example: I can't really "reach out" to my supervisor, or general manager. The general manager doesn't like me, and doesn't speak to me unless its business related. He's not interested in being my buddy, or talking about spiritual things, its not an option... My direct supervisor is about the same, as are some people in the other areas of management. I'm not copping out, I'm just being pragmatic. I've failed enough in front of these people, that being real is the only option.

As far as my own spiritual solution for hatred what has worked the best for me is praying for the people I work for. Specifically, asking God to forgive them for their sins, and asking him to bless them in all that they do. It really puts a damper on those thoughts of wanting the jump across their cherry oak desks and choking them.

Hey, that's all I've got to say about this. Thanks for reading,


Click Here to Read Conclusion

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.

Email:anonymous.cog at

"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

The Cog is listening to:
"Wake Up"
By Rage Against The Machine

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