Tuesday, November 04, 2003

On Call Centers

I called up this number of Time Asia to inquire about the billing of our subscription to the said magazine. An automated voice answered me on the other end of the line. It took me a second more to think, process, and decipher what the lady was saying since she had this Chinese accent even if she was speaking in English. After waiting for other “options,” I pressed “1” since she already started speaking Chinese (I think) after explaining my option "1".

A piped in music greeted me after pressing the number, and another lady, the CSR (customer service representative), was surprisingly talking to me with a British twang. (she said something like Hilauw?).

The idea of the proliferation of call centers in our country crawled into my mind as I transacted my business to the lady. As I was speaking to her, something was telling me she is one of the many who just joined the call-canter bandwagon, and that she is a Pinay who has acquired the accent through training and practice. I have a personal dislike to the job, as it attracts the many graduates who spent four precious years of their lives earning a degree, and they will end up in a cell center.

I can’t blame them with all the perks the job offers—a hefty starting salary, a promise of promotion (to what position, I can only ask. I think it’s a dead-end job), and other tempting benefits--health, recreation, 18-month salary, etc).

I know the people who jumped into this new professional ”trend” are just being practical. During these trying times, no one seems to have the right to choose the job one had in mind back when they were still confined in the four walls of the classroom.

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