My Life As a Former Call Center Agent and Factory Worker

Which was worse?

It's Ericajean

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Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

I’ve been working for many, many years like most people, and after a while I began to reflect on the type of work I did and what I learned from each one. Which ones did I learn the most from? Which was the worst or best to work at and would I ever work that type of job again? Now that I am in my 40s, I know what jobs I will not go back to if I can help it: Factory jobs and call center jobs.

Call center blues

This new generation do not stay at a job very long especially if it is causing more stress in their life, or not enough pay so I am blessed to be able to hop jobs when I want, but I am also blessed that the job I have now has been my bread and butter for the last three years.

Recently, my job said we may all end up having to be on the phones, and I cringed. For three years I was able to work from home. I became stressed because call centers are not a great place to work for many. Here are some common reasons why:

  • Electronic leashes.
  • Crowded cubicle space.
  • Not great for introverts.

Electronic leashes

I hated being on the “command center’s time” this is a program that schedules your breaks for you. There have been times that my lunch was scheduled for 10:30 am, and my final break at 2pm, but I got off around 5:15pm.

So from 2pm- closing I am without a break, talking nonstop to customers who hang up on me or call me the N word.

That is not good. Keeping adherences (adhering to breaks and times) and being ready for the phone at all hours and in your seat 29 minutes after lunch wreaked havoc on my senses. My lunch was 30 minutes, but I would be reprimanded if I came back at 30–31 minutes on the dot. I told my boss, “My lunch is not 29 or 28 minutes…it is 30.”

Crowded cubicle spaces

Bumping past people to go to the restroom or having them hear you stumble over your manufactured greeting was the worst.

Not great for most introverts

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It's Ericajean

Essayist and poet| Author of Rumors of Ouroboros and Sea of Iron Hands.