Excuse Me, But My Job is No Joke

Let’s get ready for another rant by yours truly. Well, isn’t this fun, eh?

I don’t talk about my line of work very often. Mainly because I don’t want to deal with all the judgemental assholes who’ve corrupted our society and whose probable main source of life is looking down on people.

If you’re from the Philippines, you’ve probably heard or even said yourself (shame on you) things like:

“Ay, call center lang naman pala ‘yan e!”
“Sa call center lang naman siya nagta-trabaho!”
“Sayang naman yung grinaduate mo nu’ng college, call center ka lang pala!”
“Ang dali-dali lang naman sa call center, ‘e—uupo ka lang at sasagot ng tawag.”
“Hindi naman mahirap sa call center, kaya nga kahit HS grad lang tinatanggap nila.”

(Foreigner friends, sorry, but I can’t translate, lol.)

Usually, I brush these things off. But there are instances when these non-sense and idiotic comments get on my nerves, especially because they’re exactly that: non-sense and idiotic.

I admit—going into the BPO industry (aka call center) was, and still is, not my first choice. And it most definitely is not my ideal job and what I want as my actual career. But since I’m a college undergraduate and here in the Philippines, a college diploma is very important, there were very few options for me. And the one option that would pay most is, obviously, this industry.

Of course, there’s always that option of going back to school and actually getting that degree but that would mean killing myself (poor health, can’t juggle a lot of shit and can’t manage to lose a lot of sleep) and/or killing my family (breadwinner so letting go of my job would mean no money for food, bills, etc.).

And neither seems like a great option.

So here I am, sitting at my desk, waiting for another call to come in (yes, I’m writing this post while at work) and dreading every minute that I’m here and counting every second ‘till I can finally go home.

You have no idea how many times I utter the words “kill me now”, “go fuck yourself”, “you are so fucking stupid”, and of course, the ever-so-popular: “PUTANGINA PUTANGINA PUTANGINA” on a daily basis.

Imagine having to deal with stupid people with stupid questions/issues such as: “hey my TV’s not working!” and as it turns out, their TV or STB (that little box that provides them with their cable) is unplugged from the power outlet. Well, duh, of course you’re not going to get anything because it’s not powered on! But I mean, why couldn’t you have checked this first before wasting your time and my time by calling?

Or “why don’t I have internet service???” then you look at their account and you see that the imbecile failed to pay his/her bill for 3 straight months which, of course, caused the temporary disconnection. And yet, knowing this (I doubt that he doesn’t know), the idiot still had the audacity to call and ask why he doesn’t have service.

Then we have these morons who can’t understand simple things like “outage” like it’s some kind of rocket science or something. They can’t understand that we, people who are not even in the same continent as they are, can’t do anything about it. They somehow feel like we have some magical wands on our end and we can simply swish swoosh and everything will go back to the way it was.

And talk about shooting the messenger?

We are, apparently, to blame for all of this! We deal with the endless cursing and name-calling—I’ve personally been called an idiot, a bitch, a whore, a stupid-ass bitch, a fucking bitch, a fucking idiot, a stupid Filipina who’s very uneducated and very stupid (yes, stupid twice in one sentence), and so on. And of course, we deal with racism and racist comments—how are we the idiots and the uneducated when they are the ones who can’t even tell if their TVs are plugged into the power or not or if they’ve managed to pay their bills or not? *endless eye rolling*

This is how fucking stressful working in the BPO industry is. It may not strain us physically, but trust me, the psychological and mental pull is thrice-fold. But still, people think that we just sit around and answer calls—nothing more.

We deal with very difficult people on a daily basis. We deal with degrading comments and endless insults. We deal with clients’ more-often-than-not unreasonable demands. We deal with taking the blame for things that are not even our fault and/or are beyond our control.

And at the same time, we deal with the very toxic environment—the politics (I know every office/workplace has this), the bosses who would much rather kiss some foreigner’s ass instead of taking care of their own people, and the shallow and narrow-minded colleagues who can’t simply mind their own businesses.

Bottomline, working at a call center is no joke. Even the shifting schedule is no joke, especially to one’s health and safety. So I’m tired of hearing other people belittle what I do and the industry that I am in as if it’s as easy as 1-2-3 or anybody can fucking do it so what’s the big deal?

Until you have actually been in my position and have managed to last at least 6 months, then you have no right to say any crap about call centers as a whole and those who are employees of it.

But as bullshit as it may be, this industry pays for my bills, pays for my endless food cravings, pays for my clothes, and definitely allows me to pay for those Chanel lipsticks and NARS blushes. So suck on that.


Side note: I cannot believe that it’s the first of August already. Before we know it, we’re into another year again. Damn.


Featured image from Neri Illustration Agency.

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Author: Victoria

A 20-something corporate slave, professional procrastinator and on-and-off blogger who writes to keep herself sane.

24 thoughts on “Excuse Me, But My Job is No Joke”

  1. It is why I don’t apply job for call center. XD But seriously, it is insane especially you working on the tech company. You never know how silly and evil people can be. I can feel you. My job needs alot of phone calls too. It wastes me so much time to explain there is a second page of the PDF attached in the email. XD
    It is also dumb when people look down on these job. I mean if I am not working on it, who is going to answer your stupid questions?
    By the way, take care of your ears. I don’t know why sone people can’t talk normally. Or maybe their phone just has higher volume?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you haven’t tried working at a call center, don’t start. It’s a tedious job and people are annoying. Lol.

      Oh don’t worry. My ears are still perfect. Even after 7 years in this industry, I sure as hell am glad that my ears haven’t fallen off yet. Haha

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve worked in IT-BPO before. It was actually a good job, not too stressful because it wasn’t a front-office role. It was with a good company too: an offshore firm, not outsourced, so we were treated like first-rate employees. But still, the moment I tell people that it involves irregular work hours and entails some graveyard shifts, they start pitying me. It’s as if working at night automatically signifies that one’s job sucks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Is this a back-office position at Telus? Haha tsismosa. :p

      I’ve personally always preferred the graveyard shift. But you’re right. When I tell my older relatives (Tito/Tita) that I work at night, they’re all like “hala okay lang ba yan? Sigurado ka ba? Nako kawawa naman tong batang to”, Seriously?? How about doctors and nurses and police officers?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No haha. 🙂 it’s some foreign bank that’s quite strict about using their name/brand in social media.

        May perks din, ‘diba? Like in Manila, we get to avoid the EDSA traffic. And yeah! I remember when I got sick, and went to the doctor to get a med cert. I told her I blame the night shifts for my flu. Then she scoffed at me, saying she’s been up 24 hours herself. I think she was implying that I was really just weak, I should stop complaining about my job, lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Aw. I just remember seeing Telus IT-BPO on jackets and lanyards, so I assumed. 🙂

        Hahahaha. Nung bago palang ako sa night shift, after the first week, I seriously got sick. As in I had to take some rest and stay on bed for 5 days. Sobrang weak rin talaga. 😦 LOL

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The job is not exactly that hard once you get the hang-of-it. The really hard part is listening and absorbing the negative vibes of people (callers if you must) on a daily basis. Well not absorbing per say but their negativity will rub-off on you, and that leaves you with really exhausted even before the day ends. Although I had one batch-mate before who was a lawyer, who was belittling call center agents and wanted to know all about it first hand. 3+ months into it and he quit. saying he can’t do what we do and got a new found respect for the call center industry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thing is, it’s ONCE you get the hang of it. Not many people CAN get the hang of working in this industry, especially having to take in all the negativity that many customers/clients throw our way.

      Haynako, Cody. Magtrabaho ka na nga! Hahaha

      Like

  4. Damn, this reminds me of my first job!

    I was part of a content writing team back then, and we were in the same compound as graphic artists and customer support agents (calls + live website editing). You could hear the Whites insult and degrade the agents in real time, and it was sickening. Some acquaintances who were assigned to customer support were visibly stressed after that.

    It really affected me to the point when I directly told the HR associate that I was not interested in taking calls when we were assigned to other jobs. (Thankfully, I got laid off haha)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is super stressful if you do not have thick skin and are easily affected by the superiority complex of these people. Once I got the hang of it, though, I could now just easily brush off their bullshit. Although, admittedly, there are still times when I can’t help but answer back and be rude and condescending and patronizing because they’re just fucking annoying.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I can’t imagine working in a call centre… it’s a thankless job! But like you said, it’s a means to an end. I hope one day you’ll find a job that doesn’t cause this level of stress! I personally would probably get fired for retaliating…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m just glad that the company I’m with now has many perks and they give out a lot of incentives. So it’s all good. Plus, the account I’m handling are for Canadian customers–a thousand, nah, A MILLION TIMES better and more stress-free than dealing with US customers. Canadians are nice. And I have only encountered ONE racist client (out of the thousands that I’ve so far dealt with).

      And oh, I have retaliated many times. Thankfully, our auditors either did not listen to that particular call OR they know that I answered back rudely because the client was rude as well so s/he just let it pass. :p

      Like

  6. After working for an underpaid job, I also applied at a call center. The entire application process in that industry is the hardest! I think I stayed at the cc office for around 6 hours to complete the tests and the interview process. To be honest, if I was single, maybe I’d be in that industry as well. People can say things but it is only your bank account that gets emptied in the end when the monthly bills come lining up.

    But I am surprised na nakalulusot ka sa IT niyo. hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sa call center talaga pinaka madugo na hiring process. Ewan ko ba bakit sobrang tagaaaal and sobrang daming eme. Hahaha.

      And we are actually allowed to browse. Just not while we are on a call. Pag waley at nganga, kebs lang. lol

      Like

  7. Many jobs are like this. And call centre work is hard work. And no matter if you deal with TVs or insurance, customers are the same everywhere – you’ve got regular csutomers, angry ones, and stupid ones. The people who bug you even though their tv thing isn’t plugged in are the same people who phone up their insurance company to ask “did you receive my premium?” because they’re too lazy to check their own bank statements. Or maybe they’re too stupid. Or maybe they’re lonely and they just want to speak to someone, regardless who it is and what the conversation is about…

    What I wanted to say is… it’s the same everywhere. And the people who look down on others because of their jobs are usually the ones who can’t be bothered to check their own bank statements or check whether their appliances are actually plugged in…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ramdam kita, teh. 9 years in this industry at nakakastress din talaga. I’m trying to guess what account you’re in and I pretty have an idea what it is, pero sige na nga, para sa company churva eme eme, wag na nating imention.

    I’m a nurse by profession but I ended up working in a call center. It’s not the job I want though you are right, it pays the bills and gives you extra for savings, travel, etc. The people who belittle the work we do doesn’t know how hard it is to work in a call center. Wala namang key metrics sa kanila, AHT, CSAT/DSAT, attendance na malate ka lang konting konti-point na agad, required OTs, no holidays, saves/sales rate, at mga boss na ang sarap itapon from the rooftop.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha. I think your guess sa account ko is TWC? Amirite amirite??? Lol

      And yes, tangina, di ba? Akala nila napakasimple na uupo upo lang tayo, sagot sagot, then tapos na, yehey! If only they know how fucked up our industry is, jusko lang talaga, baka mauna pa silang kumaripas palabas ng floor.

      Ang dami ngang nurses sa BPO, mga ayaw sa 8k a month na sahod. -.-

      Like

      1. Saan naman kasi aabutin ang 8k ngaun diba? Eh nung time na naghahanap ako ng work nun, ako pa ang magbabayad sa hospital para lang makapagtraining at walang pang assurity na maabsorb ka.

        Hindi ko alam kung mas stressful yan or ung english ng ulam. HAHAHA. Sa satellite radio ako, kaya gets ko gaano kaengeng ung iba. Minsan pa may narinig ako, mapagtripan lang: turn off the engine, get your keys, open your car door and walk 20m away from your car, wait for 15 minutes for the signal. Si koya naman sinunod. HAHAHAAHHA.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Awa ng universe, inaabot naman na ng 8k. May mga friends ako na talagang push sa pagnnurse, pero yun nga 8k. Then again, kargo pa rin sila ng magulang. So yung 8k na yun e kanila lang. Di na rin masama kung wala kang bills at sustentado pa rin ng magulang. Saraaap…(sampalin, charot hahahaha).

        Ay alam ko English ng ulam, te! #pabibo hahahahaha. Parang alam ko yang Satellite Radio na yan. Yan ba yung lugar na merong site sa IPI at sa QP? Haha. Tarages. Mga tanga tanga talagaaaaa, mga hinayupak!!!! Hahahaha

        Like

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