Advice for coping with depression/anxiety from call center work?

I have been doing call center work for an Internet/Phone/Cable provider for 4 years now. It is my first real job, I got it straight out of high school.

For the first year, I had a decent time. There were still a lot of people from my training class that I had become acquainted with, I was excited to have actual paychecks & was hopeful for the future.

I think I started truly hating my job a year ago. Over time I have become more aware of how customers act when they’re on the phone with me. I no longer have empathy for anyone if they act condescending or sarcastic to me. I no longer “understand” why you would treat someone like shit who is just doing their job. For some reason, the longer I have been at this job the worse I have been able to handle it emotionally. I requested 2 weeks of personal leave off due to stress & mental health but it was denied so I asked my manager and they gave me 4 days off instead.

Even though I am working from home for now, I still feel crippling anxiety and depression from this job. I hate waking up in the morning because I know I will have to talk to assholes for 8 hours that blame me for things I have no control over. I hate the anxiety of feeling like I cannot step back for a moment if I am stressed, because management will begin asking questions. I hate the anxiety of spinning the roulette wheel every time I end the call and possibly end up with an even angrier person. I hate the things that I have to say, I hate the things I have to try to make sense of because they make no sense, I hate the headaches, I hate that this job made my voice raspy, I hate almost everything.

How do you deal with it? How do you get by?

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What do you think?


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  1. One phone call at a time. You are worrying about the phone calls for the whole day. Take the one that comes in. Concentrate on that one til it’s done. Then when a new one comes in take care of them. You can’t change the next one that comes in. Even if you worry yourself into ulcers it’s not going to change the next phone call that comes in. It will however make you feel nervous on the phone call you are already on. Customers can feel that. A slight hesitation or perceived weakness they will let you have it.
    I am very sorry that you are working in a call center during COVID. I have worked for the same company for 10 years. It has never been so difficult. It’s summer people are hot and cranky. Bc they are home more their appliances are being used more so they are breaking. Their kids have been climbing on them for months. People are angry. They have had enough. Truth is not one of those angry callers could make it a week doing what we do. Especially now. You are doing great if you have lasted 4 months. Great job.
    One more piece of advice: sometimes I pretend I am a phone operator that is not me. The customer doesn’t know any different. It helps me unplug my emotions. I know that’s weird but it helps so much. This will get better. Hang in there friend.


  2. I have been working in a call center for 5 years. I was once quality. Ive been on 3 different campaigns. 2 of which was medicare advantage insurance. I would get the bad calls. Find an inspirational quote to focus on. After a call you look at that quote and it may make you smile. My quote is oddly enough, everything is awesome. You just have to remember that you don’t have to talk to that person again. Always have a smile on the call it can really change your tone and change the call. Focus on what is good in your life. Dont focus on the bad!

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Why I quit my call center job.

Today I realised just how little call centres care