working at a call center

call center

At every moment you can feel yourself slowly dying. That’s not depressing, that’s just how it is. But environment and your perception of said environment affects the degree to which one feels this inevitable decomposition.

On a balcony staring at green treetops, pleased with the illusion of a luscious jungle despite the fact that the sky doesn’t look quite right enough for the tropics. You’re still a little bored, still a little anxious and unsure of what to do with your time and yourself. But you remember the possibilities of picking up a book or even writing about this very anxiety and displacement

Displacement is interesting; it comes with the assumption that there is somewhere where the feeling of displacement is minimal, perhaps even nonexistent.

The call center. Everyone puffing down their last cigarette before going to stare at gray cubicle walls and a computer screen that looks as though it was coded in the 90s. White typewriter text against a black screen. Don’t forget the sanitizing wipes for your headset. Who knows what the previous caller was carrying. And they try to pump you up so much, trying to get everyone excited about raising money. But it’s not quite raising money; it’s harassing people until they give you money so you’ll go away. If you have to ask five or six or seven times, then this person simply does not want to give you money. I felt bad when they would finally give in. And then you’d have to convince them to put it on a credit card so you can get that $2 bonus. What a bonus right?

And the scripts. So poorly written it’s difficult to flow from a ridiculously pronounced name to a flimsy script. And they always know you’re simply reading from a script. They know you don’t care

“This call may be recorded for my quality”. Of course it’s for my quality. It’s so the supervisors can listen in and keep coming over to ask me to turn my phone off so they can give me advice for being better at something I abhor.

At times I’d fall into a rabbit hole of conversation; good ones and bad ones.

Once I spoke with a man who had a philosophy degree and we talked about politics and Mill for about twenty minutes, at the end of which he told me that he’d donate $10 simply for the conversation. That may have been the only time I felt as though I was doing well at my job.

Then there was the man who began yelling at me about the government and how we actually need more guns and gun violence is just a ploy by the government and kept me on the phone for half an hour while I couldn’t interject and end the conversation. When I was finally able to finish the call, I was reprimanded for not controlling the conversation.


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