Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Monday, September 26, 2005
  Is It The Job, Or Is It Me?

I'd be wrong if I told you every day at the call center was bad. I even have good weeks, and on very, very, very rare occasions, I have a good month(I think there have been three of those).

There are some days that I love the people I work with. We act like one big family, teasing and helping each other and joking around all day long. Then there are others where we seem to be running to the boss every time anyone sneezes and everyone is trying to figure out how they can pull the daggers out of their backs.

There is not really any clear leadership, and yelling at everyone and vague memos have to suffice for real training.

That said, I'm still here. I haven't been fired in the five plus years, I haven't been forced to sign any kind of oral or written warning, I have only had one review (I asked for more, they said they were coming). Then on the other hand, I haven't gotten any kind of raise, I haven't got one of those high performer plaques that they give out in the Friday morning sales meetings. I have had one really good ass chewing, and got yelled at across the floor a couple times, but nothing more than that.

Part of me is pragmatic enough to realize they aren't going to fire me, because they would have done it by now. Its more trouble than its worth to them to fire me. I've always called in when I was sick, and have very few sick days. I'm never more than five minutes late. Every year I am here is just that much more experience I have in a job that has high turnover (at least in normal people). I'm pleasant to customers. I want to help the people who call in here(to a point). The sensible part of me knows this. I'm fairly certain I would have to something on the level of waggling my private parts at the ladies in the accounting department, wearing nothing but a purple bow (hunter green would probably be an ok choice too), in order to get fired really fast.

The pragmatism and cold hard facts end there. After that there are rumors, innuendos, snide comments from people other than my manager, just a general uneasy feeling that permeates everything about this place. The atmosphere of uneasiness really seems to feed the other part of me. That would be the dark brooding part that haunts me. It tells me they are just waiting until I make a "real" mistake, and then they will pounce, and I will leave this place in shame of losing my job. The dark irrational side tells me that there are people all over the company that hate my guts, and are just waiting to find a way to get rid of me.

Pretty nuts, huh?

Sometimes I turn to myself and say, "Dude, how old are you? 16? Grow up! Stop acting like such a little drama freak!".

That's the beauty of this blog. When I have these kind of dark, irrational, stupid, ignorant feelings, just writing them down remove their power to haunt me and make me miserable. Putting those thoughts on "digital paper" shows them for the kind of trash they are. It also reminds me that a lot of my sense of being in purgatory is just that, my sense. I own it. I always try to comprehend, or at least ask the question, "How much of my purgatory is my own feelings and the way I see this world around me, and how much is really this place?"

I have a friend from college who is a missionary. He talked about how he was miserable for years in the mission field until he became willing to do what God asked him, he said after that, things changed for the better, and he had real results. I often wonder if that applies to me working here. The thing I can't tell you is all that happens outside the call center, everything that I'm arranging to make my life better, and facilitate leaving this place.

Thanks for reading,


I have referenced some of your comments in my blog about call centers. I appreciate your candid view of life as an agent.
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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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