​Society’s stereotypical point-of-view on Call Center Agents – And our side of the story

Being in a BPO industry is “TOXIC” or atleast that’s what most people say how it is. Why?

People who tell these are either the one’s who’ve been there long enough to know what they’re talking about or the one’s who doesn’t have a clue at all how the BPO industry works.

Many think that having a normie day-job is something that they could be proud of. It’s considered a “normal life”, a basic thing to have if you’re a grown up. Leave early in the morning, have lunch at 12nn, go home and experience the traffic, sleep at 9pm, spend family time on weekends, etc. Okay, I guess that does sound good. Since that is what is acceptable in society.

A Call center agent works at night, mid shift, sometimes the schedule varies depending on the availability of a desk. It’s open 24 hours to serve, guess who? People. It’s customer service, technical support, employee assistance, business provider and many more. Without the “call center” who would you call to configure your latest Iphone if you’re dumb enough to not know how google works? Who would set up at delivery at your house in the middle of the night? What will you scream at when your electricity is down? Call center agents. And you call it a menial job!

Let’s see, why is it considered menial? Is it because we can dress anyway we want? Gays have the freedom to crossdress, we can wear shorts and slippers inside the operation floor, supervisors can just wear a shirt and regular jeans, sometimes the actual boss doesn’t even look like one. Or is it the way we talk? Beki language is something very much used in this industry and since it’s also used in comedy and gay bars (that society also considers menial they think are just there to entertain either their worthless lives or their limp dicks) people think we don’t sound professional enough to talk to them, business wise or even in just normal conversations. How about tattoos, on our necks, backs, arms, legs? We are not judged by the company whether we have a colored demon on our back, a barcode on our necks, a feather on our collarbone or a flower on our wrist. A tattoo is considered as a battle scar and we are proud of the people who have it. How many times have we heard of an applicant being turned down for having a tattoo again? In a BPO? NONE. Hair color? (Oooh I can relate to this one) if you go inside a call center, you can see a dude with pink hair, one with rainbows, My hair color is green! It’s like tattoos and piercings, it’s an expression of one’s self. Hey, I wanted to be like Tatsumaki from One Punch Man, I’m living up to it. Dafuq do you care? How about grammar? I can attest to this that some, NOT ALL, some! Are not really that fluent. And it gets cringy at some point. But those people are hardworkers that don’t really have a choice. They work at a call center because it’s the only industry that gave them a chance.

In a BPO, there varies a lot of people. We have students (that includes me, lol I was a student last year though I stopped due to reasons), a teacher – lol believe it or not, he’s a part time teacher in UP, business owners, a family-man, single moms and dads, separated with spouses and are living in with their new partners, kids who decided to leave their nests and try to live on their own (naglayas), graduated but doesn’t have any experience yet so they decided to take the BPO industry as a stepping stone, people who consistently have sex, people who doesn’t have sex, people who drink almost every day, people who don’t drink, previously worked for tedious day-jobs like a bus conductor, service crew, drivers, and one’s who had no experience working yet, people who passed board exams, people who failed, people who signed up for the army, people who think this is not worth it, and others who think it’s a dream come true to work for this industry. Point here is, even though all of these people exist here, differences aside, we work BAU. Business As Usual. Judging one another isn’t really much of a big deal. We’re here, we have goals and it’s up to you if you wanna talk about your drama or just shut the fuck up.

In some scenarios:

“hey, I was with this guy I met online last night.”

Normie reaction “Dapat mag-ingat ka sa mga ganyan, nako tigilan mo nga yang kakaganyan mo, maghanap ka nalang dito sa office okaya manlligaw sayo.”
Our reaction “so how was it? Kumeme nanaman kayo? Pun***** ka talaga hahahaha! Oi pero proteksyon a pakyu ka baka pagbalik mo dito may aida ka na kelan daw kayo magkkita uli? Patingin nga, ay gwashi beh, patry minsan hahahah”

My point is, unlike the other people, most of us here are open minded and doesn’t really stop you from making mistakes and pursuing your choices in life. Because that’s how you learn. BY MAKING MISTAKES. And I guess that’s the thing about other people, some of them will stop you from doing what you want. (Pakialamera, if you may)

I’m not generalizing that all of the day-job people are like this, but from what i’ve been hearing them say about us – “mga pokpok nasa call center”, “maaarte feeling mayaman”, “hindi kasi makakuha ng normal na trabaho kaya sa call center nalang” Tch. Hahahaha! Bet you’re saying that because you can’t even get hired in a call center yourself or can’t handle the pressure of a call. Hey, I’m not kidding, there are irate customers, customers that needs a lot of patience, CUSTOMERS THAT DONT SPEAK ENGLISH AND NEEDS A TRANSLATOR, racist customers, customers that will drop the call on you and many more. It’s not easy. But unlike you day-job people, we don’t bring the work at home. It stays there. There are no deadlines because we process realtime.

Let me go back to the meaning of Toxic – something that makes the workplace difficult to deal with. For people who’ve actually been in the CC industry long enough, Toxic is when it’s too hard to meet the expectations of your supervisors and they embarrass you for it. Or that the place is full of people who judge you and talk about you behind your back and you cant take it because it’s too much for your personal ego even though you know to yourself that you do it anyway. And for people who haven’t been in one, it’s because they say that if you enter the CC industry you’ll learn a lot of things normies don’t do and it’s culturally shocking. Either way, everything is toxic if you ask me. Your day-job is toxic as well, experiencing traffic jams, your boss screaming at you because of you not meeting the deadline. Everything is hard if you don’t match with the type of work you can deal with.

I’m proud that I work for this industry, it gives me the right to say that “without me you’re helpless”. Not all agents are like me though. There are people in here that hate the job too, but it gives a high pay so they’re just trying to live with it.

This may not have changed the way you think about call center agents, but guess what? We don’t give a flying fuck. 🙂

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