Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Sunday, March 19, 2006
  The Funeral

I went to a funeral this weekend for a woman that I knew for some time. She was quiet, she did not say much. But she loved people. She sought out kids that society had thrown away or was not interested in, and she packed her minivan full and brought them over forty miles every Sunday to attend a youth group. I remember I prayed with one of those kids to accept Jesus as his saviour. He was this big ole, redneck farmboy, who had a tender heart. That was her triumph more than mine. She was an everyday hero in my eyes in that the world was a better place because she had been here. She was a good wife and a mother who loved people.

Everybody thinks about what life means and how they will be remembered, or even what this world is all about. There's one part in Ecclesiastes that I always remember:

The words of the Teacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem: " 'Meaningless! Meaningless!' says the Teacher. 'Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.' What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again. All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, 'Look! This is something new?' It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time. There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow."~Ecclesiastes 1:1-11
This is one of those rough passages, because you have to read the whole book to "get it". Solomon tried to fill his life with everything that he thought was important: riches, knowledge, grand accomplishments, and none of it satisfied him.

In my world all that the people at work think about is how to improve sales, how to improve numbers, how to cut hold time, all of that. I know they have to think about that if we are all going to stay employed. But someday the call center will close, the call records will fade from the excel files and we will all look at our lives outside of those things.

Someday all of us will meet mortality, in a cold shock and quicker than we ever thought. Then all that will ultimately matter is what we did in the lives of others. Mercy, love, justice, compassion, they will be what we are remembered for, and the average hold times, call metrix, average transactions will mean nothing.

Thanks for reading,

Anonymous Cog

I'm sorry for the loss of your friend, AC. She sounds like a wonderful woman, and I'm glad you had someone like that in your life.
Thanks Spring. She was pretty cool. She made me realize that even if I remain a call-center-lackey, I can still make the world a better place.

Amen, amen, and amen! Eccelsiastes is one of my favorites.

Thanks for the reminder to focus on the things that are important (as I stare at 20 calls I have to score before lunch!)
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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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