My Year At A Call Center

Call centers are known for being the type of job that’s surely going to make your blood pressure rise. From angry customers who would like to do nothing more than rip your face off; to customers that tell you your’e the best customer service agent they’ve ever had because you just gave them 10% off their order. It certainly can be an interesting job!

Currently I’ve been working at a call center for exactly a year today. The first 8 months I was a phone agent; that was pretty ridiculous. We have fairly slow systems so just imagine sitting there for 5 minutes trying to pull up an order, while a pissed off customer tells you their life’s story and mountains of complaints. All the while, you hit the mute button every now and again and express you anger to the customer with plenty of colorful obscenities (good thing that mute button worked). You eventually find their order and see that they’re mad about something that was actually caused by them.

Later, they try to say it was really us that really that put in that wrong delivery address when they placed the order themselves. Not all calls were bad of course; I did talk to a lot of nice, genuine people who would end up making my day because of how pleasant they were. I used to only be trained in appliances so that meant that some of those nice customers could be rare on occasion. Due to the large costs of appliances, they can certainly get people fired up (this can be described in both good and bad ways).

I was starting to get a lot better at this job. I was going from highly angry customers saying, “where the fuck is my order?!” to, ” thanks so much for helping out with this order,” in the same call, instead of them being irate the entire time. After a few months of this, I was able to escape appliance only hell by getting trained on the rest of what we sell. Fast forward even more months and my time with the phones came to an end.

I transferred departments and became a chat representative. Those last few months on the phones hadn’t been too bad as I was getting a lot less appliance calls,( I still got appliance calls as I was still trained in it). Entirely, I was beginning to get a much higher range of happier and more pleasant customers. But alas, chat welcomed me with open arms.

The only thing that does suck about being a chat agent, is we chat with two customers at the same time. It’s easily possible to get two assholes chatting in at once, instead of just one like on the phones. As a whole, it’s a fantastic trade off because I can yell at them without worrying about the mute button being on; and not have to hear them yelling at me. No more having to decipher model numbers, order numbers, you name it! The major perk is that I can listen to my own music instead of the awful pop music played in their department.

But boy, let me tell you! Now that they’re hiding behind a computer screen, instead of a phone, they can be fairly more aggressive, insulting, and…stupid. They will ask the most idiotic questions you’ll ever hear. I had one genius ask me if he’s supposed to put the oil with gas for a snowblower. Can you imagine what it might be like living with someone like that? They probably break stuff all the time! Another question I got a couple months back, was seeing if a basic oven would work without counters being around it.

My immediate reaction was a face-palm while thinking, “you’re shitting me. Why…why are you this this dumb?! Do you need a counter to make your fridge work? Your washer or dryer? Because you know, the counter itself powers the appliance. The only exception would be a dishwasher, and that would be to hide it; due to their design. (it wouldn’t be its source of power, so they would revise the question for that at least).

Overall as pestilent and aggravating that many chat customers can be, I do strangely enjoy my job for the most part…due to the entertainment value. There will always be those days though where you wish for a skip button. I also would just like to add in my gratitude again that I was able to get off of those damnable phones!

The last thing that I’m thankful for, is that we’re not far enough in the future where they may try to innovate face to face technology more in-depth, to not have to use phones or a chat system. I do feel like this could easily be a thing in the future. Can you just imagine how horrendous that would be? The customer just staring at you the whole time; watching your every move. Give me shudders thinking about that!

We’ll see how this job treats me in upcoming months. Cheers to another year! Well…maybe.