Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Thursday, December 01, 2005
  High Drama

A couple of weeks ago I was sitting in the local coffee shop blogging away on the WIFI in the corner booth, enjoying an extra frothy Latte made with Kona coffee with an extra shot of espresso and flavored with a shot of Caramel syrup,(Who needs alcohol with this kind of coffee?). I had Miles Davis on the MP3 player, my comfortable shoes and softest flannel shirt on, punctuated by a smile on my face and joy in my heart.


I decided to check my sitemeter. I only do that more than I care to admit. An query from Google read, "Financial Services Call Center Blog". The query had spent about twenty minutes on the site and had viewed 15 pages, I was only a little concerned at this point to say the least. I pulled a little folded up piece of steno paper I keep in my wallet that has the IP address of my company on it. They were the same number! In one fell swoop I had gone from a state of caffeine and jazz induced euphoria to a state of hyper-ventilating paranoia.

The rest of the day I was kind of a mess. I wondered if I would get a pink slip in the morning, what would my wife do if I got fired, especially for something as stupid as a blogging?!

By morning, I had made peace with the fact that they might have caught me. I remembered I have good references with other companies, and that being fired is not the end of the world. In fact, I was almost hoping it would happen. I could finally be as honest in person as I have been here. In some ways, it would be some drama to an otherwise mind-numbing, ass-kissing, state of non-existence. I would finally feel like a criminal, when most of my life, I have been the model student, obedient son and all around good citizen. Maybe I'd even get a tattoo after I got fired, and start wearing an earring! Drinking beer from the can, instead of some sissy-ass Latte! Yeah, Damn straight!

Hold up...Guys over thirty-five should not try to become dangerous. The minivan and the Ralph-Reed like haircut have already taken away that possibility. I just sound extremely stupid when I try to say things like "Don't talk that shit to me Beeatch!" . I know my limits...

Well, like so many times in my over-anxious little life, nothing materialized. Not only did nothing materialize, I wrote down the wrong IP address! So nothing happened, I just created my own drama and ruined a perfectly good afternoon.

Thanks for reading,


Anonymous Cog

For those of you new to this blog, here's a post that is sort of related:
How to Blog Anonymously

OMG...I would have been a paranoid mess all day. I always say to myself "they can fire me for my blog or anything they want...doesn't phase me...I'll go to a temp agency and be working again by Monday"...but when the time comes I don't think I'll be so assertive. I'd probably beg to keep this job...lame as a wet noodle.

Glad it was nothing though for your sake...we all gotta work til that lottery ticket comes through!!
First off, I've been reading your blog for some time - great stuff! - and finally got the chance to comment. I worked in a call center - tech support for a major ISP - for about 3 1/2 yrs. It started off as "just a short-term thing" but, over time, I became more and more enmeshed in that world. I was in the top tenth percentile out of several hundred agents (numbers-wise, which, as you know, is all that matters in call centers); I was sent to other countries to train new employees. I rocked, in other words. My supervisor - and his supervisor - had no idea that, deep inside, I loathed what I did for a living. It was during this time that I started reading your blog (probably by googling "" between calls...heh). Anyway, I recently left - prompted by my wife - to start a career in education, making about a third of what I once did. But it's awesome. No more migraines, no more constant irritability, no more days off ruined by paranoia (a la your last post), no more hating the world and my place in it. Yeah, this probably sounds dramatic, but I firmly believe that it's what this kind of work can do to an otherwise well-adjusted person. I simply could no longer spend my days with every second of my time being monitored, worrying that I might forget to dot an i or cross a t somewhere, hearing nothing but problems and complaints for 8 hours - and doing it week after week like I was living out "Groundhog Day". So...kudos to you for not only sticking it out but also for being able to write so articulately about the whole experience. Some, I realize, like it and can do it - but not me. Not anymore. I used to think that unionization was the answer. Maybe more time off or higher pay. A company-paid trip to Cabo San Lucas? Montreal? But then, when those things actually came to pass for me, I realized they weren't enough. Come Monday I was back on the phones. Always back on the phones. So I left it all behind. Left a career track which, within a year or so, would have possibly gotten me into management. And I've never been happier. Anyhow, keep fighting the good fight and know that your words matter!
Thanks for the great comment!

Uh oh, AC. You're starting to sound like you *want* to be caught!
I've been reading this excellent blog now for more then a year, but never have been compelled to post until now. I am, unfortunately a call center telesales rep, and although the money has been good, I have found myself depressed and almost to the point of giving up on life. The previous comment regarding hating this world and my place in it seems very much like the way I feel right now. Maybe my issues are a result of working in a call center on the phones for over two years. Maybe I need a change, for my emotional health.
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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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"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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