Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What I MIss Most About the Call Center Industry

Posted in Multiply Jan 17 08

Though bashful and very reserved (my closest friends would disagree, but this is so true!), I have been part of the training world since my professional life began. I do not really know how I got myself entangled in this industry, but I believe God wanted me to overcome my shyness, thus, the nerve wracking, crowd-facing and life-touching profession.

I would like to believe that I am succeeding in this career (sometimes to my own disbelief). I always strive to be one of the best (ahem, kayabangan to the highest degree) trainers in the companies I have joined (although I admit, I don't always enjoy being in center stage -- I always ask myself during the first day of class, "What am I doing here?! Why am I doing this to myself?!). I attribute this to the fact that I was with Guthrie-Jensen then and that I reported to the best trainer alive (and my life-idol), Patty Trinidad. Should Patty ever get to read this, yes Patty, you are my life-idol.

Being a trainer had exposed me to a lot of different industries. But what I had been part longest of is the call center training industry (from 2003 to 2007). I just moved to another industry late last year and it's a whole new world.

Lately, I've been missing the Call Center world. I sooooo soooo wanted to join in the TDS Training Convention. I even haggled my way to a free ticket thanks to Ms O (so long as I bring my "paying" boss - as stated by Bambi. hehehe). Unfortunately, my work schedule won't permit. Haaaaay, somehow, I still feel that there is where I belong.

Anyway, here are some things I miss about the Call Center Industry:

1. Speaking in English. This is the world where speaking in English is the norm. It's where grammar and pronunciation matter. In the call center world, you're expected to be good in the language and to use it. It's not unusual for 2 people who meet on the street to greet and chat in English. In my industry now (Shipping), English is a second language (actually third -- after Tagalog and Ilonggo). Sure we speak in English, but not as often, and not as meticulously. I cringe when I hear P and F defects and mispronounced words thrown everywhere. But hey, it's not like I should correct them and tell them to change the way they speak -- when it's not needed in our industry.

2. Snazzy office facilities and equipment. Call center office spaces are normally designed to be appealing to young people. Thus the artsy-fartsy and ultra modern office designs. I soo miss that. I like beautiful things. It's a far cry from office spaces here. But hey, I have my own corner with a view of the docked vessels, so I can't complain. Hehehe.

3. Fun and Friendly Culture. Most call center companies try to create a friendly atmosphere for its young manpower. Thus they try to lessen the structure and the bureaucracy. Levels are there but people are free to speak with anyone about anything. Here, it's not as simple and easy to deal with new people. Not everyone's ready to be friendly. It's the culture, people are very clannish/clique-ish.

4. Fast Internet Connection. Yes, mababaw as it may seem, I miss this. It's something I took for granted when I was part of the industry. Internet connection is expected. And it should be fast. Everyone has access to the internet (though maybe agents have limited access), still there's internet. Here, not everyone is connected. It's considered a privilege to have access. You have to request to have connection and even an email address. I couldn't believe it at first but it's true. I couldn't imagine how some of my colleagues work without it.

5. Two Rest Days. I have work half-day Saturdays. And it's not so bad. But I still have not adjusted to the fact that Friday night (Richard and my date night) is not the start of the weekend. There's work the next day. When I get home, it's already afternoon of Saturday! Little time left to enjoy the day and the next day's already Sunday! Gaaaah. Then Monday, I go back to work again. It is something I don't think I will ever get used to. But I gotta try. My only consolation is that Richard brings me to work and hangs out with me here in my office on Saturdays. He plays his computer games while I do other stuff. At least once a week, I get to work having him beside me. Kahit hindi kami mag-usap basta andyan lang siya, ok na.

Haaaay, wala, ranting ranting lang on a Saturday morning here at work. Hehehe.

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