I never thought I’d post here, I’m not even sure why I joined because my “day” job working for the government is as far away from a call centre as you can get. I guess I just subscribed because I never wanted to be the a**hole customer you have to deal with.
However, my government recently asked for people to volunteer to temporarily transer to a call centre to help people who have lost their job due to COVID make an application for benefits. I put my hand up.
Today was day 2 on the phones. I listened to people’s heartbreaking uncertainty and worry and it made me appreciate so much that I have a job that’s secure.
It was my last call of the day where I nearly lost it. I was talking a 20 year old guy through the application process. He was relatively new to my country, with no family here. He was matter-of-fact throughout the phone call, asking relevant questions, providing the required information and being patient through the whole 20 minute process.
At the end, I jokingly told him I was sorry he had to put up with me in his ear for so long! And then he started bawling. If ever anyone needed a hug he did, and he had zero support where he was living. He thanked me like I’d promised him eternal life. I could barely keep myself from breaking down. In the end all I could say was good luck, and I wished the best for him.
I’m sitting at home now so emotional. I’ve rarely let my work impact me personally, but I desperately hope things work out for these people I’ve spoken to today. Realistically, bureaucracy sucks and for some of them there’s going to be ongoing hassle for years.
So how do you guys disconnect at night? I feel wound up like a coiled spring.