5 things I’ve learnt from working in #callcentrelife 

Last month marked my 5th year of working in a call centre environment with my employer. For privacy reasons, I won’t be naming them, but I do want it put on record that I love my job. You could say it’s been a love/hate relationship over the years, but that really always boiled back to the different campaigns rather than the actual job itself. I’ve noticed a massive change in certain areas of my life since taking this job, which I 100% credit the job for helping me with, so I thought for this week’s blog I would compile the 5 big things to come out of working here.

1. Forces you out of your shell
When I first started working here, I was so quiet and shy. I would go out of my way to not speak to people. I specifically remember, just prior to starting here, I was walking to the gym when I lived in Canada and I would cross to the other side of the road so that I didn’t have to speak to random’s walking on the same footpath as me. I was genuinely scared of talking to people I didn’t know, or didn’t know well. Now though, having spent 5 years working in the call centre environment and running morning meetings and the like, I feel like I could hold a conversation with just about anyone without wanting to curl up and die (except for the members of Slipknot, I’d curl up and die from excitement if I ever met them). There’s just something about this environment that just really forces you to be more outspoken.

2. You’ll make a second family
Now this is not to say it’s going to be a loving family that you create, it’s more than likely going to be a dysfunctional one, but it’ll be a family none the less. There are times working in a call centre (any call centre, I’m not singling anyone out) where the day will literally feel like hell. Things will change suddenly or customers will abuse the ever-loving crap out of you, but the people around you will more than likely have been through the same thing. So they will be there to support you. Although a lot of people have come and gone from this job while I’ve been here – I can safely say I’ve made friends in this job that will be with me for life, that I genuinely consider family.

3. You’ll get better at judging character, due to the sheer amount of people you’ll deal with.
The turn-over in call centres is kind of ridiculous. There are just so many people coming in and out of them, and that’s not necessarily anything to do with the employer, I think it’s just the nature of the work. But dealing with all the different sorts of people that come through regularly, I genuinely think it’s made me a better judge of character. It’s also taught me not to judge a book by its cover, or should I say – it’s reinforced that for me.

4. Change won’t be scary
They say change is as good as a holiday. By ‘they’ I mean my bosses every time we change campaigns. Change is the only thing you can 100% count on here, but believe it or not – I now love it. I used to get so anxious about it, but now I love it and it stops the job from getting boring. I’m more in the management side of things now, so I can definitely appreciate that for my team on the phones – they might say something different, but even when I was back on the phones I 100% appreciated a change of campaigns.

5. You’ll become more aware of racism
This point is quite negative compared to the first 4 but I’m just going to come right out and say this – Australia is more racist than it thinks. You’ve heard of keyboard warriors, but over the phone warriors are worse. Some of the things I’ve heard on the phone directed at either myself or agents I’ve worked with, you would be absolutely horrified if you heard it. All because customers think they can get away with saying whatever they want ‘because it’s just words’ and it’s our job ‘to listen’. And it usually boils back to one thing – people want to speak to Australian staff. My office is obviously based in Australia, but we are extremely multi-cultural which is something I personally love because it brings a good mix of personality to the teams. Some of our guys have accents, ranging from slight to strong, and the abuse they cop is entirely unnecessary. You may want to speak to an Australian based office with an Australian agent, but that in no way is an excuse for some of the things I’ve heard from customers. I think this point is the number one thing I’ve learnt from my time in a call centre, I have never been as aware of racism within Australia until I took this job.

Again, that last point was a little negative, but I’m a big believer that this job has shaped who I’ve ‘grown up’ to be or ‘grown into’, however you want to phrase it. Call centres get such a bad rap lately, especially in the media, so I just wanted it made clear that I support call centres. I guess number 5 just makes it clear that customers are douchebags (lol) but that’s more of a personal opinion. Have any of you guys ever worked in a call centre before? I’d love to hear if there’s any of this that you agree with or disagree with.

As always, thank you for reading, like and subscribe if you liked what you read J

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