Wednesday, July 22

My job, for another week

Angie's been dominating the blogosphere as of late, so I thought with my extra time this morning I'd post an entry.

This is about my job, the call center. Now, I know a few of you have worked at a call center before, but for the rest of you, let me explain. I get to work every morning at 8:45am, sit down at my computer in my little cubicle (which yesterday was upgraded with my name taped to the inside!), sign in to the appropriate software, click a button, and receive a call that's been waiting anywhere from 3 minutes to who-knows-how-long.

"Thank you for calling customer support. My name is Anthony. How can I help you?"
I repeat this mantra dozens of times a day. And a few other phrases. In fact, I've been noticing that in my normal speech to friends and family I've begun to include my "phone phrases". It's rather depressing, actually. Phrases like "Have you had the opportunity to..." or if I interrupt someone I automatically stop and say something like "Go ahead..." or "Excuse me", without realizing it. Not that it's bad to not interrupt somebody, but it's like a Pavlovian effect. I feel somehow less of a person... ;)
I wish I could explain the wide range of calls I get, but I don't have the time. And neither do you. But I can tell you of the extremes. For instance, a couple weeks ago I had this freaky, psycho Mormon-hater guy call. I began with the mantra, and he immediately asked "Are you LDS?" I sat there a second, confused at the abnormality of the question. He repeated himself, "Are you LDS??" My mind was saying 'Don't tell him anything!!', but my mouth said "Uhh...yes...", at which point Mr. Mormon-hater asked me (quite nicely, actually) to put him on hold, and tell my supervisor that I wouldn't receive calls concerning one of the companies we do support for. I told him we couldn't do that. He began berating me for compromising my religion by working for them. I asked if I could help him somehow, and he repeated his request, which I refused for a second time. Then he asked if I knew the "big Mormon church by DC," which I have seen (DC Temple). He said "I drive by that church every day going to work, with its big spires and its golden man pointing his golden stick in the air. And evertime I pass it from now on, I'm going to think about how bad of a Mormon you are! Does that make you feel bad?!?" I spoke before I could stop myself, with a slight chuckle, "Actually, I find that quite amusing..."
That didn't make him happy.
I've also had a lady who screamed herself hoarse on the phone. Like, literally, hoarse. She couldn't speak more than a whisper by the time she was done.
But then, I've spoken to a lady who was absolutely kind and wonderful. She was 82 years old, engaged to be married in a couple months, and just talked about how life starts at 80 and how wonderful my life will be with my wife and how I should just love every minute of it. That call was about 20 minutes long, and totally made my month. :)
Either way, I have to get to work, but now you know what I do every day. Well, at least the extremes. Just try to find a midpoint, and that's my job. :) It's not that bad. Besides, I only have another 8 days in it.


Becca said...

Every time I pass the DC temple I'm going to think about what a bad mormon you are.

Geez. I expected more.

Kristi said...

When Hugh and I worked in a call center, we had the opportunity to speak to a variety of equally deranged people. It was quite the experience. My favorite thing about that job was that it ended. :)

Taylor and Aleni said...

I have totally been there Anthony. I worked at a call center for a year and a half. You brought back many memories! But I never had such amusing conversations about how bad of a Mormon I was. ;)

Dad said...

You're not a bad mormon. Give me that guy's number.

Dad said...

Don't be too quick to judge, young Benjamin. Being an identical twin, your muscles would pretty much be about the same.

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