Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Monday, June 13, 2005
  "The Decision"

There were more calls waiting in the queue than I had seen in a long time. I was doing my best to keep up and I was falling way behind. I was having one of those days where I attracted the most difficult calls and could not do anything easy. The supervisors weren't even yelling anymore, they were just picking up as many calls as they could and hoping this would let up soon.

When it gets like this, you take 3 or 4 calls and then turn your phone off and finish the transactions and then take more calls. Of course, the management at my center does not keep track of how many calls you have undone, that is unless they start getting old and people start calling back for confirmation on the trade.

"Anonymous Investments, This is AC, How can I help you?"
"It's about time! I didn't think you guys would ever answer the phone!" Answered a woman with a distinctly nasally midwest accent.
"I'm sorry about the hold time. What can I do for you?"
"Listen, I need this trade expedited. I may have already lost money being on hold for so long! Do you understand me?"

I took her information and gave her a control number and said I would try to send her an email when it was done. Then she got one more dig in...

"I want a call back when the trade is completed. I am not waiting on hold again! You people need to get your act together and start providing more prompt service! [CLICK]"
With that unceremonious click in my ear this little ray of sunshine was gone..

I stopped for a minute and thought about what I should do next. With her order, I had two orders waiting to be completed. She would probabally lose some money if I did not do hers now. Policy states I need to take four before I turn off the phone, but they don't check it.

I reached over and pressed the button to accept another call. She was not worthy of expedited service. She was rude, and selfish and had treated me like I was her slave and she was the only person in this world that had ever been inconvenienced by holding. I know it was the wrong thing to do. I guess its important I share my sins with you guys as much as I share my successes. I almost felt guilty about it.

"Anonymous Investments, This is AC, How can I help you?....."

Thanks for reading,


Nah, you did nothing wrong. I do the same thing when people call me wanting to expedite a password reset or when they need to escalate a ticket priority.
In this day and age of broadband internet access, why would anybody pick up the phone, dial a number and then be on hold to place a trade they are supposedly loosing money on every minute?
I'm still in a call center, but thankfully in a reporting capacity and no where NEAR the phones anymore. I really like your site, and the honesty!

God the phones SUCK!
Although slavery was abolished for a long time people's ideas of treating people like slaves haven't. In Canada I wish I could say that it isn't the case but it is.

Rude customers looking for special treatment from me get nothing if they are rude. In fact it makes me angrier.

My pain will be there pain 10 fold. They are hindering not helping themselves.

Reminds me to be nice everytime I am about to talk to ANY person.

Rage On,

Sinned Often
i also work in a "call center" and I feel the same if you are calling me and want help BE NICE or it aint happening what can I say tickets get lost all the time. It is nice to know I am not the only one feeling this way, I deal with people who barely make minimum wage and they call me wanting help with the equipment in a gas station and have the nerve to be hateful to me. Can anyone say sorry disconnected!!
You were following policy, dude :) I'da done the same thing. Then i'd have made fun of her with my coworkers, thus making it take even LONGER to put the request through :)
I hear you... oh do I hear you. I have the benefit of working for 911, so I can claim that every call is life and death. Most are so far from life and death... you have no idea.. well, actually you probably do.

Great blog!
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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.

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

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By Rage Against The Machine

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