Everyone has their reasons for accepting outsourced call centers or rejecting them and of course there are the bunch that just don’t care either way. Having worked in a call center in India for over 1 year I will tell you they suck. If you are desperate to make some fast cash then maybe this would be the career for you but then prostitutes are in the same league according to me. First of all, they do not pay you enough for the amount of suffering you go through to deal with the night shifts, the shitty cafeteria food, the endless hours of complaining customers, the dangerous cab drivers transporting you to and from work.
Half the time the customers get agitated because Indian call centers force themselves to appear American. The call centers spend one month teaching Indians how to speak the American accent before they introduce them to taking live calls. They need to realize Americans are not retarded or dumb. They’re going to get more frustrated and pissed off with an agent that’s trying to pose as an American than just dealing with a regular agent who speaks the British English he’s used to. (Yes, the Brit English rubbed off on most Indians when the British ruled over India…) America is known for its diverse cultures and backgrounds that live together in towns and cities across the nation. So why can’t India call centers use the English they’re used to instead of pretending something that they’re not. Most of the time I would get customers who were so frustrated by the time I received their call because they had spent half an hour dealing with the first couple of agents posing as Americans. They were not able to understand their made up American accents, that didn’t know how to help them with their issues or appease the situation, and because the agents themselves were fed up and didn’t know what else to do, they would hang up on the customer calling in making them even more agitated with our call center. It’s just making the problem a whole lot worse if you ask me…
They try and sell it as a career prospect saying how important it is and what a difference you are making in someone’s life when most end up just making it worse (I’ll get into that later). They sell you the job by giving you seemingly important titles such as “customer care officer” and by telling how much you can grow in a call center. But the truth is they just want you taking calls for the next 5-6 years or however long they need you, till the parent company gets fed up and moves their process out of India. And no you will not grow. You will be taking back to back calls for 9 hours for however long you last there. They lie to you while pitching the idea of working there that you can start working in higher positions after 6 months. Nothing of the sort happens. I am American, have lived in NY for 20 years and I couldn’t get into accent and linguistics training. I told them pay me the same but let me do something productive and helpful that will benefit the process. But they said no. When I finally gave my two week notice after getting frustrated, the general manager called me to his office and basically threatened me to withdraw my resignation. They were hell bent on keeping me because I was good at taking calls. But they were herding me like a cow back into the pasture of taking calls. But I resigned because I didn’t want to be doing the same stagnant job my whole life.
The kind of crowd that works at these call centers is filth. The call center is a completely different lifestyle and social circle from the rest of Indian society. Most of the call center people are interested in just sex and having a good time. Most people who work at call centers don’t treat it as a job. They don’t come to work. Girls come dressed as if they’re going out to the clubs.. skirts that barely cover their asses, halter tops, and pounds of makeup… People in this circle are just out to have a good time with whoever’s ready to join. For them there is no meaning of getting to know a person or the significance of attaining a good friendship or acquaintance. It’s with whoever’s available and with random people who are ready to blow cash. Because all these deteriorated minds get together they prey on the few good people who do come to work at these call centers with an earnest mind set. They corrupt their futures without those people coming to know that theyre being corrupted with horrendous stories and gossip. Bosses and managers will be ready to sleep with agents for some quick entertainment. Marriages get flushed down the drain with rooftop sex scandals and romps in the back of the parking lot. Your mind ends up rotting when you hang out at a call center because everyone’s thinking is so corrupt and pitiful. You end up becoming so frustrated because the few handful that manage to move up within the ranks of the call center basically buttered up the managers or slept with someone to get there. I remember if I ever brought a book to read during my breaks people would look at me as if I was alien. It was beyond their thought process to think that someone reads and actually enjoys it. They assumed people read because they have to and not because they enjoy it.
Every day before you get into the cabs that are designated by the call center to take you to and from work, you need to say a prayer to hope that today isn’t your last day. The drivers have a certain amount of hours and kilometers to fulfill by the end of each month or they suffer pay cuts. In order to fulfill their quotas they sleep in their cabs and basically live in the parking lots so whenever a shift is over they are available to take employees home. Because of their lack of sleep they are literally falling asleep at the wheel. If they are late in dropping employees to work they get cuts as well. So they zoom in and out of traffic so they can transport people on time. This means they will die trying to get there on time rather than transporting you safe and sound. Because I guess to some people money means more than having your life intact. I would be rich if I could get a penny for every car accident in India involving a call center cab. Oh and by the way, because they practically live in these cabs and driving is their priority, they don’t carry for sanitary routines such as taking a bath, brushing their teeth, etc.. so if they stink after not taking a bath for two weeks, too bad for you if you’re a passenger.. I’ve heard plenty of people complaining of leaving a cab with bed bugs crawling all over them though it’s never happened to me. But a typical cab is thick with the smell of the cab driver’s sweat. Believe me it’s nothing like you’ve ever smelled before.You’d be astounded at the number of rape cases that have been filed against call center cab drivers.
The food in most Indian call center cafeterias is provided by outside hired caterers. Most of these caterers attend to weddings, parties, events, etc. as their main business. And as a side business they come every day with a menu to serve the employees of the call center. They try to save money as much as possible and so all the pulses are not gravies but just watered down slop to the core. There is no salt. There is no flavor. Every single dish has baking soda in it to fluff up and basically expand the dishes to become larger quantities. A cheap mechanism to double the amount of food. But that creates havoc on your stomach. I can’t remember how many days I had to deal with an upset stomach from eating the food at the cafeteria while I worked at the call center. Feel like perking yourself up with a nice cup of joe? Only if you’re lucky enough to find a machine that’s not broken or just hot water. You’d think in a call center that deals with agents doing a night shift the one thing you’d want running is the coffee machines. But I guess that’s too much to ask for.
I know that one day when I have kids they will grow up and go through the same experiences as I have… to go out into the world after obtaining a decent education and working and learning to make a living. But I will never ever let them work at a call center. I don’t recommend it to anyone. It’s hell on earth and I’d rather put up with anything else than go back and work in a call center…Do you think you could ever work in a call center in India? This light is turned off…
Currently listening to Taste Of India