Don’t you just wish you could have a glimpse of other people’s days? What does their job feel like? Is it as awesome or as hard as we see on social media?
What is it really like to be them?
We reached out to people from different niches and tried to come up with the answer, so you can get a front row seat and see how their typical workday goes. Let’s start with one of the most common and most easily misunderstood occupations today: a call center agent.
And there’s no one better to give you a first-hand account than yours truly. Read on and find out what it’s really like to be a call center girl.
Tell us bit about yourself and your work.
Hi, I’m Krisha! If you’re a frequent visitor here at Zerothreetwo, you might know me as one of the writers and this site’s resident nerd. When I’m not out giving book recommendations and writing, I work full time as a customer service representative for one of the biggest BPOs in the country. Yep, I am a call center girl.
What are the common misconceptions about your line of work?
Well, let’s be honest. People think we’re a bunch of slackers who want easy money. We’re young, arrogant and we burn through our payday cash like there’s no tomorrow. We’re supposed to be the lazy ones who don’t wanna go abroad, but can’t be bothered to work on our college degrees or “real” professions.
I even read this one article that said we don’t have any real goals in life. How did she say it? Wala’ng pangarap sa buhay. Yikes.
Apparently, all of us smoke like chimneys. We spend more than our means. We buy fancy phones, go to extravagant vacations and feign sickness just to be excused from work. We also happen to be carriers of STD. We speak English, like, all the time and are very self-important because we have big salaries. That last bit can’t be farther from the truth.
Describe your typical work day.
Let me describe my typical work night instead. First, you log in. Pull up your tools. Get cozy and brace yourself for the wave of zombies— I mean callers— coming your way. There’s gonna be a lot of them. You help them out with their problems. And their problems are a lot. My account deals with insurance. Other accounts deal with cable, internet, tech, sales— name it, there’s a BPO for it. This goes on for 8 hours with lunch and breaks in between.
What’s the most enjoyable part of your job?
BPO work is mentally draining, but the best part of it is actually your workmates. In the BPO industry, you meet people from all walks of life. There’s no other place where you can meet a crowd this varied. And they’re a lot of good fun.
On the flipside, what’s the hardest part of your job? What makes it fulfilling? Will you trade it for something else?
Well there are a lot of hard parts. I sometimes wonder where people get the idea that we have it easy, because easy is not what I’d describe it. It’s hard! First, you have to learn concepts that are foreign to you. I mean, did I know anything about insurance before I applied for this job? No, sir. It’s a constant learning process.
Next, you have to deal with people who think they are better than everyone else. I’m not even joking. Racists? They’re real. And if you let them, they can make you feel like you’re only two feet tall. I learned early on that I shouldn’t let these people affect me. It’s a hard skill to learn.
Another is the working hours. Working nights takes its toll on your body, no matter how hard you try.
The most fulfilling part is when you solve a caller’s issue and they thank you sincerely for it, especially if they’ve been struggling with it for a while. Another is fostering the younger colleagues and teaching them how to be better at their jobs. When you see them learning, you kind of feel good about it.
Any message to those who want to pursue the same career? What does it take to be successful or happy in your field?
The BPO game is not for everyone. It takes a lot of guts and patience to truly last in the industry. If you want to try your hand at working for this industry, be prepared to learn and take on a lot of mental stress. Rise above the ranks, too. Don’t stay tied to your cubicle forever. Move up, or develop side hobbies to occupy yourself in your free time. Take genuine effort to keep healthy. Keep a positive attitude and keep your expenses in check! The pay is great, sure, but it’s not really how much you earn, but how much you keep. Be smart and stay positive!