Last week I bumped into an old colleague who mentioned that life in the call centre had become more stressful as the downturn has affected many of our clients – particularly the smaller mail-order ones. Apparently most of the calls the call-centre is dealing with now are for 4X- a sizable multi-national company, in the business of subscription ‘collections’, whose infamous incompetence results in a never-ending stream of angry customers all queuing up and eager to have a go at you – before leaving with a chunk of your flesh between their teeth.
This person was probably one of the best, most experienced people at dealing with unhappy customers I’ve ever worked alongside – in fact she was the only person left standing from the whole ‘Team 4X’ experiment, but now, she confessed to me, she was finding it too much and longed to escape. She fancied a career change and had been applying for teaching assistant jobs. I really hope she gets one and manages to escape like I did. Not having to deal with angry people day-in day-out is a pleasure as one of my other colleagues said after leaving “at least I don’t have to deal with (expletive deleted) 4x customers anymore”
We also spoke about another call-centre colleague who had an upcoming leaving-do. This person had opted for the more dramatic option of a one-way ticket to Australia. They were following in the footsteps of another colleague who two years ago, on the cusp of turning 30, felt the need to escape the slog of the call-centre signed up to a life-guard course at the local swimming pool, got a work visa for New Zealand and after a year then hopped over the Tasman Sea to Australia without once looking back.
So that’s two people I’ve worked with who have literally fled to the other side of the world to escape the call-centre. Good luck to them.