Saturday, 7 February 2009

Call Center Central

This was Thursday's Shoe, which I receive in My Yahoo! every day:
Cartoons like these send out a pretty negative vibe. I can understand that.

I can also understand that here in the Philippines, call center jobs are some of the most sought-after jobs in the nation.

Call center workers must face the ire of callers from abroad who are already upset over having to wait to talk to a human being, and practically every caller is calling because they have a problem, and calling was the last act of desperation after consulting manuals, brochures, or contracts. Now here, in the wee hours of the morning (Remember: Manila is half a day ahead of America's east coast!) a worker who has been coached in dialect, culture, product or service, and customer service procedures now must deal with an irate caller from Mishawaka, Indiana (without laughing at Mishawaka.)

Calls like these are always unpleasant for the person on either end of the line. Imagine having to spend eight hours a day dealing with them!

You don't want to, do you?

Neither do the call center workers, but they are paid more than college professors here, so they eagerly line up to apply do it.

And believe me when I tell you I've never been more ashamed of my countrymen when I hear some of the stories call center workers relate to me. Dealing with so many of the callers from the US (As well as other countries, but these workers keep the discussions to Americans when speaking with me.) leaves them with the very deep impression we're a land of spoiled, petty, demanding, quick-tempered, cheapskates who spend money on a ton of stuff we don't need and have values reflecting this. Many are regularly reduced to tears due to the treatment they receive on the line.

And somewhere in the minds of these callers is probably some anger that they know they are speaking with someone from halfway around the world who took an American's job.

Of course we all know that's bunk. Corporations did that, not the twenty-something on the other end of the line making four hundred dollars a month.

So when you are on the phone to Mumbai or Manila trying to resolve your cell phone bill, hotel reservation, or computer issue, at least be civil to the person on the other end of the phone. They're either:

a. trying to assist you to the best of their training and abilities,

or

b. trying to keep it together as best they can without wanting to quit right then and there due to their experience with the caller before you.

If you don't like dealing with overseas workers, tell the company that hired them instead. And I don't care how bad the economy gets in the US, it will never be so bad that Americans would take these jobs. Americans aren't desperate enough to take them.

So, as my sister (Hey Shari!) always says: Get Over It!

1 comment:

marvin said...

Philippine call center is getting lots of exposures all over the world. That is also why there are numbers of foreign countries who want to outsource their online businesses here. Having said that, it's a good thing that there are many people who can speak english fluently and are also fit for the call center jobs.