We’re supposed to be in a recession, but from my seat in the call centre you could be forgiven for thinking we are in a boom. Over the past year the number of faces around me has doubled. Still the calls show no sign of relenting. Pounding again and again like storm waves they make small-talk impossible so the new face next to you remains forever a stranger.
There are I conclude two possible reasons for this boom amidst the bust. The first is that most of our business is concerned with mail order catalogues. Overwhelmingly our demographic is well-heeled elderly ladies; the SAGA generation who go on cruises and live in houses with a name rather than a number. The grey pound certainly seems recession-proof. Having already retired they also do not face any concerns like looming redundancy and their benefits, like the winter fuel allowance, have largely been spared the Tories axe. Win-Win if you’re over 60.
The other factor in our success is outsourcing. When you call me I am not an employee of the company you have called. In fact I have a total of about five or six different hats. Which one I wear depends upon the name which flashes up on my screen. The recession has seen my number of hats increase presumably as companies seek to slash their costs by offloading their call-centres and getting someone else to take abuse on their behalf. Win-Win? Not if you’re me.