You have to learn the rules of the game. And you have to play better than everyone else.” For a start, I don’t have any philosophical quotes to give. But what I just gave was a simple statement which I’ve always believed to be meaningful and can be related to my experience as a call center agent. In a call center life your world is different, you go to work in a different time frame, you work while others fall deeply into sleep, you sleep when everyone else is working. It’s not an easy life… that’s why you have to condition your mind and body from all the changes of what we call “the call center life”.
When I graduated from college I always told myself to practice the profession that I graduated from. Few years back call center companies had boomed and became very popular as for people who are in great need of money. I remember before in my freshmen years I had a classmate, she was very daring and confident just by judging on how she speaks. I thought of her as someone very influential and maybe someday can become one of the famous speakers of our school but then the second semester came she didn’t enrolled back unlike the rest of us. I heard she got a job as a Philippine call center agent and had a starting salary of 10,000 pesos. I said to my self “wow, that’s big money” well perhaps someone who never experienced working would think the same as me. And then I asked myself. Is that job really worth giving up your education so you could be earning that kind of salary? I was intrigued by people’s amazement about me getting a call center job and thought to myself… I could do the same in the future. But when I graduated, I got very fond of my major. I have gained so much in my four years of studying and learning on how to become a dignified teacher.
When I had my first Job as an ESL teacher I met some people who came from contact center companies, they’re stories about stress, sleepless nights, insomnia, coffee addiction and of course the powerful influence of smoking scared me. They say your life becomes boring and meaningless as the days go by, reiterating the same script everyday and you also get shouted at by irate customers, calling you names which you don’t even know what they are talking about. Attacking and hurting you emotionally and mentally. I was blown out of the water. Whew! I never thought it would be that alarming. And so I thought, I would never imagine myself working for a call center company.
Three years later here I am in working at a inbound call center in Cebu.It’s very funny though because of all the stories that I have heard is not exactly how scary I imagined it to be. Somehow here at this call center I found new friends and a new life. All through the months that I’ve worked here, I find my new job experience an enjoyable one.I learned how to be at your best especially when you’re working for a client. The kind of job that I started is a personal virtual assistant. What makes this one different from other call center is that most of the agents work from Tuesdays to Saturdays only and get to spend the weekend with their families. We get to work for professionals in the U.S which is rewarding because these people are willing to train and help you do your job well. I’ve been very lucky so far because I’ve been working for my client since I started here.
At first I was a little worried about my computer skills but thanks to my client and my on the job training I was motivated to push through and learn. Never once did my client reprimanded or make me feel that she was not happy with the work I was doing for her.
The owners at my business process outsourcing company care a lot for their agents, our minds and feelings means a lot to them. As much as possible they want their agents to be dedicated and happy with their job and so far in my years of working for foreigners they are the only ones who care more for their workers. I am truly happy for what the company has achieved after eight shaky months. We have earned our way to the top and are becoming a great call center company. There might have been some moments which were very difficult, some agents left while other new agents are always joining. New rules, old problems but finally we know this company has more to offer for all people… clients, and Filipinos out there who need work.