The Thrill of the Call Centre

I’ve just spotted an ad for call centre staff online:


Job description

To apply, email CV to If you have a positive attitude and the ability to talk to people we have Customer Service opportunities to join one of the regions leading employers in a customer service/sales role where you can really shine. In this thrilling, fast paced environment advisers will be answering inbound customer enquires around a range of products and services. Each candidate must: Have an excellent telephone manner. Be personable and customer focused. Have a desire to work in a fast paced call centre environment. Have the ability to complaint/object ion handle. Work within and adhere to policies and procedures. These positions are to start ASAP.
Salary £15 000 pa
Now, forgive me my cynicism, but thrilling…. Is this the very same adjective which the Cambridge dictionary online defines as ‘extremely exciting’, or the Oxford dictionary refers to as meaning “causing excitement and pleasure; exhilarating”?  
Maybe I was in the wrong call centre, or perhaps being sat immobile for eight hours a day at a desk, plugged into a telephone and under strict orders not to move unless an emergency whilst being screamed at and insulted by irate customers is actually thrilling. I however, remain to be convinced. As for being ‘customer focused’, Really? Don’t make me giggle. Customer service/sales means the customer phones for the service, but gets the hard sell, not necessarily what they want, but what the company wants. Maybe I am being unfair though and maybe this place is different, maybe it is a fantastic place to work where the customer service is the number one priority over and above things like average call-times and maybe it is actually thrilling, but hang on….
These positions are to start ASAP.

Interview update

A huge thank you to everyone who has so far contributed to the Call Centre interviews. I Have just added three new interviews which can be seen along with the others here.

All the responses so far have been interesting and thought-provoking  such as passage from friendly pariah, in which they succinctly get to the heart of what is, at least in my experience, the problem with call centres:

unfortunately It’s too easy for a company to outsource and forget about the people taking calls. Why should they care, they paid some other company to care and that company only cares about the bottom line. I know that companies have to care about the bottom line but does it have to be set so low?

Whilst on the other hand K’s description of a celebrity encounter finds itself at the top of the list of calls-I-wish-I’d-taken:

I assisted a small-time Aussie “celebrity” apply for credit, and she was declined. Her reaction of ‘Dont you know who I am?’ was pretty priceless!

Priceless indeed.