Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
  "A Cog in Retail Hell"

Part IV in the series entitled, "Self Examination", Click here to read Part I

After leaving the last job, I made a real effort to find something more suitable. I wanted something that where I wasn't judged on how many burgers I flipped, or how many fries I wasted, how many windows I washed, or how many pieces of scrap paper I had missed in cleaning the foyer.

Because I've always been such a freakin' people person, I naively wandered toward a local mall. I found a store that I always liked. They sold all kind of products, both expensive and cheap. I interviewed with a really nice guy that reminded me of a kind John Cleese, not the John Cleese in Fawlty Towers, who is probably the worst example of a boss ever seen.

They didn't have an opening at the mall, but they sent me out to one of their satellite stores to work with a new manager. The pay was minimum wage or commission, whatever was greater. I was sure that I could make big commissions, and do really well with my charming personality.

Soon after I started, I was sent to an employee training session at some mid-priced motel meeting room. There I met the district sales manager, I disliked him after the first five words he said. He was a most excellent weasel, not an average weasel, who wanders in and out of human decency. No, he was all weasel, all the time. Sales were all he lived for. I soon learned that being a good salesman was not about truthfulness, or making the customer happy. No, it was all about the numbers. Lying was wrong, but only if you got caught. Pressure the customer to make a decision now, tell them that the sale won't last. I had a bad feeling in my stomach.

After the sales meeting, I started working in the satellite store. The manager was only a little older than me. He got the job because he had been a superstar at the mall store. Soon after I started, he cut my hours. I asked him why, and he said I wasn't selling enough and I didn't get a shipment put away the last night. As weeks went on, he made it clear that I had attracted the attention of the district manager with my lack of sales.

I tried to sell hard, but it wasn't in me, I couldn't pressure people to buy something overpriced. If they wanted something, or were interested in something, I would go out of my way to help them.

I didn't know what I was going to do, it was looking like I would lose another job...

More in Part II: "Dancing Waters, Chili Dogs, Its All Here At Retail Heaven!"

Thanks for reading


Previous entries in "Self Examination":

"Mini Skirts, Lucky Strikes, and Shiny Floors"
"Would You Like Fries With That?"
Self Examination-Introduction

Dude. Nobody loves a salesman, I spend my whole day deflecting telesales people from my boss. Get out quick before you morph into something you hate. And give yourself the satisfaction of sticking one to them before they do it to you. You should tell them exactly how sucky the job is, on your terms..
PS, you could even put on your resume, 'quit last job, didn't want to be a salesman' and I swear it would go in your favour! ;-)
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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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"Wake Up"
By Rage Against The Machine

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