The big question .How to survive 39 plus hours sitting at a desk taking calls usually getting as far as ” hello I’m calling on behalf off”. It’s not just about surviving its about keeping your sanity and your wits about you. It’s about knowing how to react to different social groups . It’s about learning how not to snap when a call you make turns into a onslaught of insults.now it’s not just about mealy existing it’s about , who am I kidding that’s exactly what it’s about. The moneys good and you need to hold on too that thought for as long as you can. I will do my best to explain the things that you may come across in the call centre so that you will be better prepared for what is to come.
First things first . Before I introduce you too the different people that you will inevitably meet during your time at the call centre you first must be introduced to the call centre it’s self.
The building more than likely will be near or around a industrial estate and buses will go back and forth over crowded and unkempt. The car parks are usually a battlefield and a victory in this case is securing a car parking spot close to the door for quick escape. Don’t let that get you down as there will be several fast food places not far and at least one over priced newsagent with a cash machine. That will of course charge for withdrawals of your hard or not so hard earned cash. Inside the building will be cold and clinical. Motervational posters strewn everywhere that almost seam sarcastic.If you have had enough of those you can move on to health and safety posters. Reading them you will teach you such life skills as how too walk up and down stairs without causing injury.Reading these you will realize pretty quickly that any sense of fun has been left at the door.
There are lots of different types of people in a call centres.However a lot fall into the same groups.you must know these groups and how to use them to help you ongoing survival in the call centre.
The Ego. You will see them when you walk in. They stand a towering four foot and are rarely seen without a gym bag in toe. They will walk around a lot while on a call and flap there arms about as thought there going to do it there going to be the first jock to fly. They will be found pacing next to the Plastic girls so they in turn inflate each others ego. When they are on a call they are cocky,force full and usually full of shit. They will make massive claims early into calls. ” were the best in the whole market .” ” We care about you.” these things can never be backed up with anything solid. When things are not going well they usually insult the customers intelligence.” You have to be stupid not to go for this.” Now when that customer eventually tells them to get lost they will spit there dummy out. The headset will be thrown and no matter how hard they search there undeveloped brain they will not understand why the customer does not Believe there pitch. Do not worry though the Plastic girls will rally round them and there little man complex.reassure him and attend to his broken ego.he will be fine.They are however the top sellers. Even if it’s mainly down to miss selling so your going to have to grin and bare them.There here to stay. Now to utilise the jocks and make them think that “were cool bro”. It’s quite simple . Make them think they are God. That you are in ore of there sales skills . In fact your in ore over anything they do.They are handy to know as with great sales comes great love from management . I’m sure that’s how spider man would have put it if he had sales targets.Hide behind them on your none selling weeks and let them mentor you .not to help you but so they can say they turned it around for you and secure this one sided but useful friendship.
You Will Notice The Plastics Strait away as you can usually follow the fake tan marks on the carpet to we’re they sit. They tend to travel in numbers and feed on call centre gossip. There computer stations are easy recognizable buy there assorted beauty products littering them. They will laugh obnoxiously on the phone and say “eee I know ” a Lie for them they don’t not no much about anything at all.They get hung up on a lot.that suits them just fine as it leaves more time to flirt with the Egos .flirting is there biggest sales tool and they use it well with older potential customers. They tend to have been at the call centre for longer as they are adapt to staring into space and have little if no ambition. I feel that there is no real need to utilise the Plastics or befriend them. They will usually stick to themselves and most information that they have stems all from gossip. However cross them and they can turn the gossip against you.it’s best to be friendly with them but stay under there radar which is easy to do with there main attention being focused on the Egos & themselves.
The Suck Up.
Every work place has got them and this is no exception . The Suck Up in a call centre however can be better described as a slimy slug like creature that feeds on praise from the higher ups.actually that’s a lot like any Suck Up.I take it back. They will betray you,they will lie too you and do whatever they need to feed there praise addiction. On the phones they are exactly the same and try to get threw the call inventing life’s for themselves that is oh so similar to that of who they are speaking too. When in fact they have little lives themselves.. Now they are not much of a threat unless you get between them and there manager when jobs , praise and instruction is being dished out.
First day , first things first.
Now I no first days are daunting and trust me this will be no different , if not worse. The pressure and self loathing starts now.There are things that you can do to make it more bearable and that starts with what you take into work. 1.Pen & Paper. That’s right you are back to school now. The main reason for these things is to help with boardom. They can be used for passing notes ,nonsensical drawings and scribbles.maybe you will write a book. Which might keep you you sane between calls. I Suppose you could also use them to take down important information too. 2.Caffeine Drinks. They energy you had before you started Will fade and fade quick.kiss those late nights goodbye . Along with those late mornings. These drinks will mainly work as a placebo for you as when you return home you will be flat out. 3.Pain killers & Other Assorted Pharmaceutical drugs. You will get a headache either caused buy shouting ,caffeine , pc screen or losing the Will to live. These drugs will obviously be helpful.they also serve as a good tool to get allies. Being able to offer them to a suffering college will secure a working friendship for life. 4.Baby Wipes , Hand Or face Wipes. May seam a strange one however you have underestimated how unclean the call centre is.your work station will be covered in dust and you will have the uncontrollable urge to clean. 5.Packed Lunch. It’s always better to bring your own lunch as the food on site is usually over priced and full of fat.eating this sort of stuff daily while Sat at a desk 9 hours day will turn you into a self loathing sales blob.
Getting On The Phone.
Seams easy dosent it. Pick up the phone and ring someone.wrong it’s terrifying.you will see many people who will be a shaking wreck. People who think that they are going to get a physical punch down the phone line for calling.people who raise there phone to there ear only to vomit over the receiver.the reality is the first call you make statistically Will be either a wrong number or an answer phone. Now if the call takes a nasty turn and Mr Goldengay does not wish to be disturbed and believes that the job you do is harassment. Just sit back and let him rant away.Getting On the phone could be described as ripping off a band aid from a gaping head wound. You have to remind yourself that these people do not expect or want these calls so they are going to be mad but there also going to be funny without knowing.
I Hope you have enjoyed what i have so far in my book “The Call Centre Survival Guide”. if you liked it feel free to share comment . More shall be updated soon.
Thank You For Your Time.