In my earlier post I wrote about my wife’s nephew and his job application as a call center agent. He got accepted and is now starting his career as a “callboy”. (Callboy is the term used by my lady English instructor, who is now the our campus’ institute of education head, when referring to teachers of English who leave their teaching posts to seek greener pastures as call center agents. “They are “callboys” and “callgirls” because they work in a call center.” She tells us with contempt.)
Rommel, my wife’s nephew, is temporarily staying with us. We had a talked about his new job, and because he is still new, he has a lot of exciting stories to tell. He showed me a video of his workplace and just as I expected it looked like NASA’s control center except they don’t control anything, they are the one being controlled.
This is my conversation with Rommel.
“So how’s your new work?”
Good. I had many transactions today, my first day I had only 14 transactions but today I exceeded the quota.
“What do you do in that place?”
(He showed me the video.) We answer calls, e-mails and other transaction handled by the company.
“Do you have any interesting stories to share?”
I had this enquiry by an irate customer asking why her credit card was being charged by a website. I asked her what her Credit number is, but she would not give it to me. So, I asked her husbands name and the name of the website and it turned out to be an adult site. She was apologetic when she ended the conversation.
There was this call center agent who suffered a stroke while answering the phone. Stress maybe.
I saw one of the girls crying.
I was amazed by one agent who did all his transactions with his eyes staring at the ceiling.
Some of them my coworkers work standing some sitting some slouching some walking…any positions will do.
We are allowed wear comfortable clothes in the cubicles.
I had a new name; I am now Lance and I’m thinking of an American surname.
When their off the phone, my coworkers cursed their clients with curses that will make your hair stand.
The pay is good. You know uncle, I can get a percentage for every agent that I recommend that got accepted. Are you interested?
Of course my nephew is thinking of the future. He is looking for a good paying job so that he can start a family now. Me, I spend by days thinking of the past and the sweetness of my childhood. Of course in the future when I finish my education, I will work but the pay will not be that important. Our family has survived this long in the ministry of the Lord and the Lord has been faithful to us. So, I don’t think money will really matter that much.
I am thinking what will happen to him. If he is strong and adapted to his new job, he will survive but if he wants happiness and freedom, I don’t know what will happen to him.
How many happiness and good minds have been sacrificed in the name of a good paying job?
Maybe this explains the way some call center agent behave—superior. They have this dual personality, a schizophrenic existence, one is a dignified human being working in a high paying job expecting the respect and standing of a person with a high paying job but once inside their cubicles, they are nothing more than answering machine, slaves, punching bag of stressed clients, therapists of sick people who needs attention, object of sex perverts, obscene callers…They are compensating for their loss of personality (they adopt American names), degradation of dignity (they are treated like answering machines), loss of mobility (their cubicles are prison cells), loss of community (they are asleep during the day), the loss of sleep, the loss …but the pay is good.
“Uncle I can recommend you and if you’re accepted, I can get a commission from the referral.” Rommel said.
(No more reading, no more guitars, no more wife, no more daughter, no more blogging, no more staring at nothing and meandering, no more looking at trees, no more creative and speculative thinking…no movement. Dead!)
Hmmm…. There are things that money can’t buy. Thanks, but no way. I’d rather eat dried fish and tomatoes (which is actually happening), at least I can feel my existence.