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Life as a Philippines Call Center Agent #02

I woke up and just when I was still half awake, and all wrapped up with my blanket, “where am i?

“oh… thank God I’m at home…is it late in the afternoon?” I asked myself, my eyes were still closed. Then I suddenly gasped, and all of the sweet, cozy feeling of having to sleep more went away,

“I’m at work!” I confirmed. “it’s my one hour break! And I’m just in the sleeping lounge.” I said disappointingly to myself. And at times I would ask, “It’s Wednesday today, isn’t it?”.

“No, it’s Thursday here and it’s Wednesday there in the US” my colleague replied. “Ohhhh yeahhh..gosshhh…days seem to run so fast.

It’s like today, it’s Monday and then, the next thing you’ll know, it’s way past the middle of the week.”

But this is just a common situation you know even to people who are not staying up the whole night working in Philippines call centers, it just happens so often. We get disoriented with time and because we work for clients in an opposite time zone, we get it all really mixed up. Well, maybe for a time before having to adjust.

Anyway, this is my second job working in a call center. The first was not really that good. I was a customer service rep. I handled complicated accounts of customers like billing, hours of usage, verifications,

What affected me most was the customers. Some were so mean and irate and some were kind and polite. Well, I tell you, most of them are irate but I can’t blame them because most of the time, they have a point and that they’re not mad at you but they’re mad at what they got with the services, the company and especially, when they’re charged more than what they expect.

Then there were the supervisors who kept pushing you all the time, yelling at you, even in the middle of a call that makes a really “perfect” day at work. It gave me a terrible headache every day. And literally every day, just minutes before the start of my shift, I would pass by the clinic and ask for a hot water bag, a pain reliever, and Salonpas, a muscle pain reliever wherein you’ll just stick it on the part where your muscles feel sore but they don’t help that much. It was really awful to have felt that way.

Even if the pay was quite good…it just can’t help the headaches. So, I quit. I only worked there for 3 months. Then now, my 2nd call center, I’m going to be on my 6th month this month of March. It’s an achievement on my part that at last, I was able to stay this long. I can hardly believe it really. With this kind of lifestyle? You go to work at 11 in the evening and go home at 8 in the morning. And when I get home, and in my bed, I hear the cars passing by, honking their horns all day and the heat rising up especially on mid day to 38 degrees Celsius or 105.4 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m like toasted inside my room. Like a turkey in the oven even if the electric fan is already on number 3.

So, how am I supposed to get a good sleep with that? And if I really get so sleepy, I would get a wet towel and lie on it or cover myself with it on the bed. It’s cooler and I can sleep at least without having to sweat that much. It would be really lucky for me to be able to sleep 8 hours straight during the day but that’s totally impossible. How I wish that would happen every day you know. So, after almost six months, I’m already used to having only 4-5 hours of sleep and some naps and eat once or twice because I would rather get some sleep than eat. Sometimes I would drag myself to work especially when it’s night time already and it’s when I get to sleep better because it’s dark, quiet and cool.

I wanted to sleep more on my cozy bed with my cozy blanket and pillow but I needed to get up to go to work. But every time I get to work, I sit on my station, I’m just comfortable and happy. I guess I’ve found a place. Maybe working in a call center is not really bad at all. With little work experience and being a fresh graduate, I would not get a salary as big as this but since it’s an offshore call center, it gives me good pay, incentives, good health and insurance benefits. So, it puts good food in the refrigerator…. things that you can’t buy or can’t do when you’re working on a day-time job. Yes, that’s life in a call center.

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