I’ve had this diagram in my head for a while so I’m pleased to finally get it down in some form. It shows my view of how the call centre works, and my role in the whole process. My position is very much to counter the negative energy of the customers by diffusing and absorbing their anger (something Arlie Hochschild referred to as ‘emotion labor’) I’m a conduit for the system, the agglomeration of software and procedures which governs each firms day to day operations and determines the form and limitations of our interactions – If the system won’t allow it it can’t be done. The system though can’t emote, and its apologies – if it could apologise – would be as unconvincing as those tinny automated announcements you get when your train is delayed and which make me wonder if the railway companies are engaged in a secret project to build a computer which is actually sorry for your delay. Until someone succeeds that project we have the call centre.