I was with some old friends last night and we went touched the topic of careers.  One of them (I killed this person already…) rudely commented why i still chose tro stick to the call center industry.  I  said that it was a fulfilling and challenging career, an answer which my dead friend (well not literally dead, but he is now dead to me) laughed at.

“Eh ang callcenter naman e pang bobo lang a…”

…excuse me?

As a cartified ‘callboy’, I am often bombarded with the question of why I chose to have a career in the call center industry.  Family and friends always argue that I have achieved a degree in which I can look for a job someplace else, but it’s so strange that I opted to work in an industry that is categorized by the general unknowing public as an occupation that does not require mental power.

The reality is that, you learn a lot and profit from working in Call centers.  Most of us, CC employees, already know that to be true.  Being with my current company, I have already picked up lots benefits and lessons that I would not have been able to get anywhere else.  Lessons that are aptly unique to the world of the Call Center Industry and probably the reason why I remain as an agent.

Allow me to share with you the things that I’ve picked up as a Callboy…

Independence. 

Most people grow up to be 30 and still don’t know how to take care of themselves.  When working in Call centers (especially the shifts for the dead), you will unavoidably learn how to practically live alone and survive.  When you go home, you either go to a house where everyone has left for school or work, or you just fall asleep in your room where no one notices you.  This experience makes you realize that your parents will not cook and clean and watch out for you forever.  You learn to be independent and you strive to survive.  The power of common sense (which isn’t very common at all) is developed.

Having a proper budget. 

While some agents spend all their wages on Starbucks, cellphones, clothes and pirated dvd’s, I have seen that a lot more agents learn the value of money.  They learn that money is not easily gained, and their paychecks came from enduring frustrations and curses from irate clients who have IQ’s below 22.  Their night differentials and bonuses came from risking their safety and health, which makes them respect their earnings more. 

 

A Computer Literacy Upgrade

If you work as a callboy or a callgirl, you become tech savvy.  Gone are the days when you panic at the first sign of PC trouble.  Whenever there’s a problem with any computer you immediately say, Clear the cache and delete temporary internet files, (even if that computer has no internet).  You also develop swiftness in typing, and you get exposed to the amazing time saving power of ctrl+c & ctrl+v.  You become exposed in the realm of computers and technology — training that you wont easily get from anywhere else.  And bukas makalawa..hacker ka na, nag pipirata na…etcetc

You learn respect for people.

You get exposed to a wide array of individuals, attitudes, preferences, cultures and sexualities.  In call Centers, racists and judgmental people are seen as the ones who should be dragged out in Edsa and shot.  Minds get broadened and understanding evolves – a CC agent gets to accept intellectuals, idiots, ugly people, weird people, eccentric people, smelly people, etc. 

You get to be who you really are.

Unlike other industries, acceptance is a norm in a call center.  You have the freedom to just be yourself.  If you have three kids by the age of 28 or if you are gay or you are quite old; or even if you are an old gay, people won’t raise this as an issue. You will be evaluated based on the work you do and not by what you are.

Your communication skill improves.

Gone are the days of nosebleeds.  Within three months, you’ll eventually learn the meaning of escalate and sub-categorize.  English is caught and not taught.  Speech Power courses mean little to a call center agent who has worked for a year handling calls from North America.

Other health benefits.

While others spend thousands for the miraculous powers of Belo and other skin whitening essentials, like glutathione and jobos, you naturally get whiter because you do not get that exposed to sunlight.  Basura ang Glutathione at Metathione samin!!!  You get panda-eyes though…but you just cannot win it all.

You will also be far from the dangers of cancer.  Coffee has lots of antioxidants and in call centers you may drink coffee till Paquiao becomes well versed in English.  Still remember though that anything in excess is harmful.

But seriously…

I believe that the best thing that an individual gets from working in call centers is the aptitude to learn how to give.  In our industry we learn to give information, we learn to give time, we learn to give patience and we learn to give understanding to those around us.  I believe that it is also the uniqueness of the call center service that enables us agents to learn more about giving as compared to other jobs. 

The taunts and jives in my life is still an ongoing situation.  When I meet my school friends and they learn I’m from the CC industry, I still get jeers.  But I don’t try to raise a debate or argue, I just imagine that I’m putting them on mute, while I silently think that they are idiots.   

Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion…and the important thing is that we all love what we do, and that we constantly learn.

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