I do not want to sound like an over optimistic person—I am not. Nor do I care about the company I work for in any way, or their stats.
But I’ve been working in call centers for a long time. I make decent money at this point and time. But every time I answer the phone I am filled with dread and almost hatred towards the person I am speaking to.
Is this the persons fault or mine? I’d say neither. Humans were not made to communicate in the ways we are forced to now. With hundreds of strangers a day, navigating a huge bureaucracy.
Often, I find myself siding with the company over some bullshit policy they have simply because I know the client will get angry. Clients become non-human to me. Just something to endure and kick off my line.
Personally, I don’t have huge career goals besides being comfortable. I have stayed in call centers for this reason, despite having certifications and experience that could put me into an off the phone (but much more stressful) role.
So if I’m going to be here, how do I make the best of my time?
I’ve been taking a step back and remembering each customer is a human being. Yes, even the snotty ones. Some I don’t bother with, but many are actually just fearful and have no one. For instance, I realized a lot of recent widows put up a front of anger and bitterness because they are afraid. Their husbands did everything for them and they want to appear like they know too, so they don’t get screwed over.
Older people in general act like technology is an issue and not themeselves, because they are terrified that they exist ina world in which they can’t even accomplish basic tasks.
All it takes is kindness, and non-patronizing patience and I swear these people act like you’ve made their year. And maybe you have because you are treating them like a human in a vast sea of bureaucracy and hold times and institutions, and maybe their family visits them once a week as the only real “human” contact.
I also go out of my way to waive any fees for people because, personally, I care more about people than my corporation and I sort of like the thought of using all the powers I have to help a common human at the cost of my job.
I am in a position where I can even send gifts, so if Theres a customer going through a particularly hard time I’ll send flowers on the companies dime.
I’m not saying this is easy or even makes the job better, but I feel like it allows me to work on my own self as a human being in one of the most demanding trials to do so that exists. So my time isn’t wasted.