Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
  Leaving Purgatory-The Last Day

It started like any other day. The sky was dark because I hit the clock at 7 am on a Friday morning. But it wasn't just another day, it was the day. For six years I had come here over and over, punched the clock, drank the bad coffee, listened to the voices in my headphone drone on and on.

This was the end of it. I had dreamed about leaving. There had been so many versions, from the dramatic Dead Poet's Society version where I stand on the desk and make a grand speech to the Chuck Norris version where I kicked someone's ass on the way out and then every version in-between.

At one point, I reconsidered the Chuck Norris verson. My boss gave me a set of multiple trades that I knew would go wrong and then he coldly told me to remember why I was leaving. I told him he didn't need to worry about me forgetting that. He didn't speak three words to me for the rest of the day. I couldn't have cared less.

I told some of my customers that it was my last day, those that I had a relationship with. One of them, one of the hard-ass demanding people I had become used to, told me that I could call him if I ever needed a personal reference.

One of the girls from accounting brought me a bag of M&M's. Someone bought me some ribs for lunch. The girls on the floor bought me a cake. Finally, it was time to pack up. One of my best friends came over and spoke to me. He had been there the same amount of time I had. He was sort of emotional, and I could see he was sad.

"I know this sounds sappy, but I'm proud of you. You went after your dream of getting a degree, and now you are leaving this place."

We hugged and he was gone.

What I never told anyone on the blog was that I went back to school to get a degree so I could leave this place. I knew I had no skills that would translate to a better job. Half of the time spent here at Call Center Purgatory was spent biding my time until I got my degree.

I carried my cardboard out the double doors to the parking lot. I stood there and looked up at the ugly building I had hated for so long. I actually felt more than a twinge of sadness. How would I survive in a new job? I had been here so long, I had friends here, Now I had to start all over.

I remembered the speech Morgan Freeman gave in Shawshank Redemption,

"These walls are funny. First you hate them, then you get used to them, until it gets to you depend on them. That's institutionalized."
But I also remembered the one quote from Shawshank that was the real message, "Get busy living or get busy dying." I'd had enough of this place. A life outside of here had to be better, no matter what. If I failed, at least I failed trying. And I would give all I could. If I stayed here, I'd always wonder what could have been, what might have been. There had to be a better world somewhere outside of this place.

I took one last look around, incredibly, it started to rain. I have made up details in my writing to keep you off my trail, but not this time. This really happened. I finally loaded up my car, and rolled up to the security gate. It rolled open on a chain and I drove through.

I turned on the CD player and found a song by Tom Petty that made the day complete...

"It was a beautiful day, the sun beat down
I had the radio on, I was driving.
Trees flew by, me and Del were singing,
Little Runaway, I was sublime.

Yeah running down a dream,
That never would come to me.
Working on a mystery,
Going wherever it leads.
Running down a dream..."

Thanks for reading,

Anonymous Cog

Tuesday, September 04, 2007
  Leaving Purgatory-Leaving Hatred Behind
During my time at Call Center Purgatory, I dealt with a lot of hate. I hated the management, my direct supervisors, my customers, and finally I hated myself for where I had ended up. There was also a person at my call center who really seemed to go out of their way to make me want to hate them, probably because they started out by presenting themself as a friend and then turned on me. They brought out the kind of hatred I did not know could exist inside of me. That's where the blog came in handy. When I felt hate I could write about how I felt. It was as good as any therapist. It helped me leave it behind, or at least understand how I felt. Here's some posts that were part of this.

Class Warfare
Wandering through a wonderland of rage
What I am..

Eventually all these feelings made me really try to understand the nature of evil and hatred. I found myself taking a look at my own evil. Here's what I wrote about that:

Dealing with Hatred
What is Evil?
Hidden Evil
Excuse me, but is there a stick in my eye?

I don't know how to describe it, but little by little, even before I was having any luck job hunting, the hate for this person sort of faded away. At one point during the last year at the call center, I did actually express how I felt to this person, but in a constructive, polite way. They seemed to change their attitude for the better, but more important, I finally could see their own frustration with the place. They hated it as much as I did, maybe more. They were just as messed up as me, and just as human.

After Larry and the first GM left, I had my hopes up that the change in management would make things better. The new managers tried hard, but they became like the ones before them. It was then I finally realized that this was not just a couple of bad managers, or a bad vice-president, it was the whole corporation. It was like a body with a brain tumor. Take all the vitamins you want, work out, and run a marathon, but there is still something at the top that is unhealthy and will never get better on its own.

In the end, my nemesis came up to me and shook my hand. He graciously wished me good luck with a sincere smile and firm handshake. I felt like the world had lifted off my shoulders. The hate was gone for good.

Thanks for reading,


Anonymous Cog


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

The Cog is listening to:
"Wake Up"
By Rage Against The Machine

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