My philippine friend told that you can work without a stress, if you have encountered some difficulty about your working.
Before she told me I thought we have to work with a stress because working is not entertainment, we have to work hard and we have to develop our skill with pressure and pain. However her experience was different.
I didn’t last long in the call center industry. I just couldn’t handle the lifestyle of a call center agent, the work schedule, the customers even the management sometimes. Some people might choose to stay in this kind of career but not me. I know I’m stressed out and its affecting my physical and mental health thus I’d rather leave this company. I’ve been pondering about my resignation to the company for about a week, because during those times I’ve been feeling so down and helpless, it seems as if my life is being sucked out of darkness. I’m not happy anymore, I’m always tired and I just couldn’t handle the toxic attitude of some customers. Imagine talking to an American who shouts at you over the phone with some issues regarding their mortgage in which all the solutions are found in the website, are they too lazy to read?
One day I got sick and I have to go to a doctor for a checkup. I was on a sick leave when I drafted my resignation letter. Because for me, it seems like it’s already a sign for to leave my job as a customer service representative. I’ve sent my resignation letter to my manger and she was shocked when she received it. She told me she could give me a Leave of Absence so that I could rest but I told her that I’d rather leave and I added that I wanted to go home to my family for a while. And so I did.
You might be wondering why it’s so easy for me to just quit my job like that. Here are some of the reasons and the disadvantages of working in a call center industry.
First is work schedule. During my interview, I was asked “Are you willing to work on a shifting schedule and graveyard shift?” I said yes, and now I regret it. During the training, our schedule is 1pm to 10 pm and after the training they changed our schedule from 9pm to 6am. During my first few weeks after training it’s a struggle for me to not feel sleepy at the middle of my duty and I’ve always drink coffee to feel awake. It’s a different feeling when you have to wake up at night and sleep in the morning. My colleagues says we are like vampires because of our schedule. The schedule is also one of the reasons why I wanted leave and I wanted to save my sanity.
Second, we still need to report to work even if there’s a storm, holiday or an earthquake. Yes that’s right unfortunately we don’t have holidays, but the good thing about it is that they pay us double during holidays. We even experience an earthquake with a 6.1 magnitude. During that time our office was in a bad condition. Our computers were damaged and there are some cracks on the wall, we thought were already having the day off since we can’t work with damaged computers but then they find a way for us to operate. We were transported to one of the sites in Manila and used the facility for us to work. So there, earthquake can’t stop the business. But honestly I badly wanted a day off back then.
Third, business matters over employees. I don’t want to be bitter to my previous job but it’s the truth. I’ve been observing the managers and the directors and they would prioritize their business over their employees. An example here is, they make us to handle workflow process even if we don’t have a formal training about it, so the output is we have to ask the tenured folks on how do we handle such workflows. Because working as customer service representative we don’t just talk to a customer but we also need to do some stuff to their account to solve their problems.
Fourth is customers. Some are nice and some are a pain in the ass. There are racist customers whom I’m willing to assist but would think I’m stupid just because I have a Filipino accent, thus I transfer them to their fellow American. It’s really offensive when they do that. Sometimes I wonder why they don’t want to talk to foreigners like us or the Indian Customer Service representatives, it’s just funny how they invested their business to our country and the Americans still want to ask assistance to their fellow. Sometimes I think Americans are weird.
After my resignation, I went home to my family for a while to enjoy and relax. So I was unemployed that time. Days have passed and I feel the need to look for another job but I didn’t want pressure myself because I kinda want to chill for a moment and not rush into things. So I savored my time with my family, requested my mother to cook the dishes that I like and hang out with my old pals. One day while I was browsing facebook I’ve encountered a job advertisement which says “Experience working in a less stressful environment and guaranteed no customer interaction.” I got curious because it’s too good to be true, is there really a less stressful job for me out there? So I googled the company name and read some of its reviews. I decided to give it a shot. I left my province that time to give my resume to the company. There are a lot of applicants there, I guess they also read the advertisement. That day I was so nervous, I mean, who doesn’t get nervous when you’re about to be interviewed for a job?
My name was called for the initial interview together with another applicant, so there are three of us in the interview room. The interviewer introduced himself and talked to the other applicant first before me, which is a good thing because I’d be able to observe them and prepare myself. When it was my turn he ask me some basic questions like my educational attainment my previous jobs and my expected salary and then that’s it. After the interview we were ask to wait in the lobby for the next step in application which is the test. While we were in the lobby the applicant that I was with in the interview talked to me and we got to know a bit. She even shared to me that she have a friend that works in the job that were applying to and says that the advertisement is legit. She says that the job is easy and it’s really stress free. The moment she said that, I was convinced that I have to get this job. I don’t want to go back to being a call center agent anymore.
I was then called to do the test. It was 105 items that consists of Math, English, Puzzles, Essay and Transcription. I am confident in all of that except for math, I always knew I’m not good at math. We were given 1 hour and 20 minutes to finish the test. I finished the test after 50 minutes, I’ve notice that I’m the first one to finish the exam so I checked my answers first before I submit my it. After reviewing my answers, I was confident enough to click submit. The person in charge told me to wait in the lobby for another 10 minutes for the result of the test. Less than ten minutes have passed when they call my name for the result and fortunately, I passed! I got 84 over 105 wherein the passing score is 70. They told me that I will be notified through text for my final interview. Saturday afternoon I received the schedule for my final interview. I was excited and nervous at the same time.
It was Monday night at 7:15pm, I was ready for the interview. My name was called and I went to interview room. The interviewer was nice and sweet, we introduce ourselves and started the interview. She begins the interview with the question “Tell me something about yourself.” I was prepared to that because that is the most common question in all interviews. After that she asked me the reason why I left my previous job and I told her everything and the reason why I quit. She asks me a lot of things from job experience to education and even my family. I was really nervous at first but as time goes by, it feels as if we were just having a conversation. After that she told me that I have a good communication and listening skills and she even gave me an advice towards handling stress since I’ve told her my experience at my previous job which is very stressful. I was also given a chance to ask her a question, so I asked what exactly the work is, she told me she can’t disclose any information regarding the work that they do but she gave an idea of their process of the job. She said it’s not really that hard. After the interview I was asked to wait in the lobby for the result. After waiting for 10 minutes, finally, I was hired and signed the contract that same day. Me and the other applicants who also got hired were congratulated and informed us about our star date and the schedule of our training.
Our training lasted for 3 weeks and it was not easy. One of our trainers said the job is easy but we have to pass the training first. In every test we take we need to have a passing score of 85% in order for us to be endorsed in the production floor. Good thing all of us pass the training.
If I would compare this job to my previous job, there is a really big difference. First, the job does not require a customer interaction, thus I don’t have to deal with Americans dilemma anymore. Second, they provide free food and drinks in the pantry such as biscuits, coffee, hot chocolate, iced tea and milk tea. Whenever I feel hungry I would just walk down the pantry and grab a bite. Third, we play games every day, we call it power hour. These are just simple games to keep us awake and be engaged in some activities like quiz bee, pass the charades game (it’s basically a charades with a twist wherein the team will form a line and all of us will act out the answer one by one until it reaches the last person and that person will guess the answer) name that song, guess the movie and a lot more. It’s really fun because we have to work as a team in these games, and there are lots of laughter every time we play charades wherein we act so silly sometimes. Fourth is the people. The first time I met my supervisor I thought he was strict, but as time goes by and I get to know him even more, he is actually the total opposite. He’s a very considerate person and a humorous guy. He’s just like a friend that teases and makes fun of you from time to time. But of course he still knows when to act professional. Also the rest of my teammates are nice and funny, there is no day that they didn’t make fun of each other and laugh.
The reason why this job is less stressful is because our task is really simple. We just need to review a content and look for a specific violation that might affect the people. We have a lot of workload but most of the tasks have no violation thus makes it really easy. To be honest this job doesn’t give me much in terms of salary compared to my previous job back when I was a call center agent but it’s still worth it, the important thing is I can still pay my bills and afford my basic needs.
I feel so lucky with my status right now. This might be a simple career but it has a good environment and I never have to worry about irate customers anymore. I think everyone of us can have the career we want, we just have to believe in ourselves that we can. The most important thing right now is I’m happy and contented.
I learned about job and working style from her and it is interesting.