At first, it was everything I ever wanted - a venue I can spend my time on instead of wasting it, an opportunity to widen my circles and horizons, and perhaps secretly yet most importantly - gain financial independence. And when I thought things couldn’t get any better, I began weaving bonds with my team members. No longer are they just mere coworkers I have to interact with for survival’s sake - they have become friends who shared their lives with me and my life with theirs. It was a comfortable haven that allows me to make dough, use my time for more productive reasons, and be with awesome and genuine people. Too good to be true, right? Well, it is. The friendship is good, the work is good, but the work is not.
You know those works of fiction where the protagonist is a member of a big-ass organization whose intent is superficially benevolent yet a little shady, the protagonist agent starts smelling something fishy with the organization he works for, so the protagonist decides to snoop around to uncover the truth, only to have the suspicions confirmed, so the protagonist goes rogue and rebels against the very organization that he/she had high esteems of, the very organization that honed him/her - that’s what my life feels like right now. It made me an agent, it fed me with rewards, it gave me a rocking time. Then they expected more from me, but I could not deliver, so I resorted to the dirty tricks my fellow agents have taught me, but it was wrong and was not worth the risk of getting caught, so I did not do so. But when they accuse me of a crime I did not commit, coupled by the fact that I’m already at risk for termination because I could not fulfill their impossible demands - that was the last straw. I have lost all my faith with their system, it’s due time that I left.
I have unearthed their conspiracy - the impossible metrics that they came up with is designed to cause agents to fail or risk cheating to succeed and get caught, which both result to termination. Question is - why would an employer purposely lay off its agents? Well, simple - that’s because every six months, we are to get a performance appraisal, which could either lead to a longer stay and Php1000 if you’re good, and you get either probation or outright termination if you’re not that good or have been doing forbidden techniques to pull up your metrics. And with a profit-oriented management, it’s quite expected that they’d rather cut costs instead of keeping their agents. All they need do is train you for a month, make you work under a contract without any secure promise of permanence, gauge you using unattainable stats, and discard you when you have outlived your usefulness. And since newbies get hired on a daily basis and enter production on a weekly one, it’s child’s play for the management to outpace the rate of termination, perpetuating operation without pause. That is their filthy and nefarious scheme.
Those who work earnestly or leave a trace of dirty work are banished, while those whose tricks remain undetected are kept, or even rewarded. And if the agents are rewarded by the client, so are the supervisors, and the account managers as well by the client. It’s filthy money, and I could no longer stomach how unfair the system is. I, who refuse to manipulate my metrics, note everything that has transpired, render true and honest customer service, am at risk for termination, while those who stealthily employ underhand tactics survive or even thrive…NO MORE, I CAN’T TAKE THIS!
I couldn’t really blame other agents for doing what they do in order to stay, for I understand that they need to keep the work. But as for me, I just don’t see myself in this line of dirty work, so I’ll just do things my way - the clean and legit way, and I don’t give a damn if the management discards me anytime soon, as long as I have a clear conscience. Besides, I no longer want the work anyway in the first place - assisting dumb, abusive, and greedy customers for eight hours a day, listening to their unreasonable and impossible requests and complaints, absorbing their rage. And I don’t need all that.
I don’t mean to sound like I’m arrogant enough to say no to money, and even though they’re paying me a lot considering that the job is routinely easy, it’s still not worth it because of how we are viewed and treated by the customers, the client (the account holder), and the management. To them, we’re just mercenaries who get paid to do our work, nothing more and nothing less. But not me, for I want something more and different. I want a work that promises me permanence and growth, a work where I’m considered an integral part of a force, not an expendable gear. And I guess it’s not the call center.
Soon enough I’ll be spitted out by the purgatory called work, forced to scour the limbo of unemployment once again for a new life. But whatever I’ve learned and the friends that I’ve gained in that penitential plane of call center life, I’ll never forget them and carry them with me forever. And its demons that play king to the souls their realm traps, well, their time shall end. Not anytime soon perhaps, and nor by my hand, but it will end.