Treated like a lesser person by working in a Call Center
When asked, I have always been proud to tell people what I do for a living, but it seems that when you tell them you work in a call center, common reactions would be – “Ha? Why is it not in line with your educational background?” or “What happened?”. People would then think you were desperate and had nowhere else to go. It’s like a very unfortunate incident in my life occurred and bam, brought me here. I even had a date with a Medical Student a few years back. We started having a conversation about my job, then she quips, “are you ok with being underemployed?“. I was taken aback, I felt a slight stab at my ego. Well, by this time I was already used with these type of comments about my profession and proceeded on giving her my default answer.
“You know I felt like I needed to help my family right away. I’m a practical type of person. I know this job would enable me to help our family on our finances right away. I know this job is not for the long term so I’m saving money for me to put up a business someday.”
(oh db pang pageant lang…)
As the years go by after so many repetitions giving the same exact answers, perhaps expounding a little more on some occasions. I realized. Why the hell do I need to explain myself each and every time? Why do we get singled out? Why can’t these people be happy for us? Considering the big boost this industry has given our economy. We ought to be called the ‘modern day unsung heroes’.They should be happy we are not competing for the same jobs. Imagine what that would be like. In an era where some doctors go outside the country to become nurses, or nurses become caregivers. People from different educational backgrounds go abroad, working in various jobs, some not even related to what they studied in school. We never hear anything about it. I have the utmost respect for all types of jobs, and I think we in the call center industry don’t discriminate people working in other industries. What have we done to deserve this?
I am a graduate of BS Computer Engineering. When I graduated, I had 3 options, so contrary to popular belief, I did have choices. I was also a scholar so I pretty much have at least, an average IQ. There are also a lot of brilliant people working in this industry. So back to the 3 options: To be a College instructor, a Computer programmer for an outsourcing company based in Ireland, and I also had a job offer for a Call center company who at that time was doing their provincial job fair. I loved teaching and I was even a good programmer back then. I had other things in my mind though, I felt like my calling and my expertise really lies on talking to people. Practicality also settled in, I also needed to help my family right away so I took the job. I never turned back.
Fast forward to the future. Midst all the things they say about the call center industry. Whether we’re promiscuous, unethical, ‘social climbers’, prone to aids and other illnesses. There’s only one thing I can say, it’s also happening in other industries. Remember that it’s not only us who are working in night shifts too. We have security guards, hotel attendants, nurses, doctors etc., props to the jobs that they do, I have nothing against them. I just don’t know why it get’s overblown when it comes to us. That is exactly why I’m very thankful that more and more people are trying to defend our industry nowadays, including this blog website www.bpotruestories.com, this really inspired me to send my story.
In the call center industry I learned a lot of things and I was able to go to a lot of places. I learned what it is like to be working in the corporate world. They are very process oriented, you get to learn a lot of things about management, personal development and growth etc. You really just have to persevere and have the right attitude. If you are in a good company you seldom have issues about your pay coming in and getting your benefits. There were times I needed to be rushed to the hospital and I never paid a penny. I also got to travel because I was sent to training, seminars and vacation incentives. I never would have thought I would reach those places in my lifetime, but I did. There’s still a ton of things I can share but I’ll end it here.
I’ve been working in this industry for 6 years now, and when someone asks me where I work. I confidently say “SA CALL CENTER, bakit, (palag)?”.
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