Friday, June 28, 2013

'Call Center lang pala'

I am not against any call center or BPO agents at all. But at this point, I wish to shed light on the whole perspective/perception of ‘Call Center lang pala’. Yes, I’ve read a million posts of call center agents venting their frustration and disappointment on people who looked at them in such low manner but a particular FB post hit me the most, almost awestruck. It was written by a Law graduate.

Yes, it is impolite and indecorous to give out such comments as ‘Call Center lang pala.’ People who bluntly deliver this line, even all aware of the people around who can so hear their insensitive comment, are quite well unaware also of what their line truly insinuates. Somehow there’s a part of me wanting to believe they have a good intention of saying that. Yes, you read it right. I believe there is still a good intention behind that insensitive line; because somehow, I do say that in my head too but not in mere sarcasm or mockery.

AD MAJOREM NATUS SUM. I believe in this: ‘We are born for greater things.’

Not that I think being an agent is not being ‘great’. Well, I guess yeah somehow. It is just ‘better’ but not ‘great’. I understand the responsibilities and duties attached to an agent and I seriously salute all agents taking graveyard and mid-shifts just to fulfill their dreams, provide for their families and for others, simply earn higher income. Call Centers and BPOs have been a go-to industry of most people who wanted to earn much for a living and thereafter support their families and pursue their dreams of travel and even the wants of gizmos and gadgets. And to fulfill all these entail sleepless nights, countless cursing from callers, extreme perseverance and determination to go through each day, etc. So for all these, let us give our credits to these agents.

But…there’s a but. This type of industry usually denotes underemployment. The term ‘unemployment’ has become the most prominent subject for the career/professional world (how should I call it?) but has forgotten another quite important matter, underemployment. If you have quite also forgotten what underemployment is, it is working on a job you are overly qualified for. Now you might be thinking of your present job. ;) It is inevitable given the vacancies and the limited positions a company holds. But in the realm of things, you can still find a job suited for your skills and level of education.

Anyway, back to the main point ‘Call Center lang pala’. Why drop such line? Because agents obtained a particular job they are overqualified of. Again, I must say, I was almost awestruck when I learned even a law graduate worked as an agent. You work your ass off to complete college and for some even, subsequently complete law school/masters, etc. For what? Point being. You have reached that level of education, completed that phase of studies for hopefully, a rewarding job at the end. Almost everyone in the call center and BPO industry are indeed also respectable graduates of reputable courses and colleges in the country.

I guess what I really want to point out is for agents not to vent also to these kind of comments. Not that the comments are good, but it won’t do you any good either if you go around fussing about it. Bear in mind that you applied for that job for a particular reason, rate of income maybe or easy-in to the industry. (I’m pertaining ‘easy-in’ to those learned also, and fluent enough as well to speak English. Like come on, you wouldn’t stoop down to the level of people not even able to pass the same tests you took nor people who are actually just by-standers lacking the know-hows and the right skills for a decent job. Well, at least, that’s what I hoped you not to do.) If you had priorities in mind and certain responsibilities in life that you felt the industry is the next best thing that can help you, then go on, carry on with the job and ignore people who give such comments. You yourself know what it’s like to work in the industry, how hard the whole course is, the number of things you have to bear to stay in the industry, and all that, so go on with your job, perform, and succeed. J

To wrap it up:
For those who did not make it to the training/production floor, stop the bitterness.

For those unaware of what call center agents do, cut these agents some slack. You don’t know how hard it is to be in that industry. Nor do you know what or who it is that they are offering their jobs/earnings to.

For people in the call center/BPO industry and consistently being affected by cliché comments, you still have a choice. Well, you had the choice from the very start, and you made that choice. It is but rude to just say, live with it. So I would say, make the most out of it. ;) If you try to fight back with such none-thought-of words, only really stirred-by-emotion words, then you’re losing ground. Why not just prove what good the industry has done for you, your family; your life as a whole. There is no perfect job. So whatever nuisances the industry has for you, there is another form of nuisance also in the normal industries. But then again, bear in mind also, AD MAJOREM NATUS SUM. I know there’s more to you. ;)

written May 30, 2013


  1. I do recognize that you have a lot of points in this post. However, I think what the call center agents are mostly irked about is how people do not respect their work. Personally, I do find it insulting that we are being treated as if we are "stupid". It's a common mistake of the ignorant.

    Yes, it's absolutely right that some people that worked in this industry are overqualified, but everyone has to start somewhere. You can't be a supervisor or a manager without going through the bottom.

    But then again, it's all in the mindset. The problem with most people is that they look at the call center industry as a "job" and not as a "career". It saddens me, too, that agents come and go so fast that I can't even remember their names anymore, because, admittedly, a lot of agents do view the industry as a money mill.

    On the other hand, there are many different reasons why I chose to stay in a call center. Yes, I will admit, I am being paid probably more than some people, but my salary is meager compared to other centers. I am a supervisor and yet agents from other centers get more than what I am making.

    What really made me stay are the things people do not see--the constant feeling of happiness when you get to help another person. When a customer at the other end of the line started as a shouting megalomaniac and turns into a truly appreciative one, and when you hear them give you a genuine thanks for helping them--it is a wonderful feeling!

    You also get that sense of accomplishment when you are able to resolve something complicated. Even if you are not thanked or compensated for your work, the mere fact that you learn so many things by resolving problems makes me feel great, too.

    Not only that--I am proud to say that the industry I am in has helped so many Filipinos to get their lives back together. People that didn't have a chance to work before are able to earn their own money now. What I really didn't like about "normal" jobs is the ridiculous need for an age requirement. In this industry, as long as you can do the job, and you are able to abide by the regulations, your age will never matter.

    I am also proud to say that we are also an industry that does not look at physical limitations. I remember training five DEAF people for an email account. To be able to give some sort of life to people who are virtually dead in this country is a wonderful, wonderful thing. Creating materials and training them was so much hard work but it was fun. I even learned a few gestures in American sign language.

    I have been an agent for some time and I am now a call center trainer for almost five years. And I am a Fine Arts (major in Painting) graduate.

    So I guess my whole point is: there ARE some people that do have the BPO industry as their calling. There are people who enjoy what they do, and I guess that is what is important. Working as a CEO, a lawyer, a janitor or a call center agent--these things don't really matter. Whether other people think I should be earning more if I just use my skills somewhere else, that I am "destined for greatness" as you have long as you are earning an honest pay, then every job deserves respect.

    Just live the way you want to be. Life isn't always about competition. I am not to compare myself to anyone else, because we all live differently, and we go through our lives in different paces. If people bash your chosen career, what? At least you aren't the one who's doing the bashing. :)

  2. Woooooooow..Sorry. I am just so amazed.

    I was just revisiting my site. Planning to revive it. I was hoping to course it thru a friend's blog.

    Anyway, I have no idea how you found my blog (oh well, possible google of related searches that this blog has) but I am so happy you found this. And I am so happy you made such a comment there. At first I thought the net was in error coz I can't see the comment. Aparrently, it's really visible just that I didn't think someone would care much to comment.

    And truly I appreciate your (I dunno how to describe your comment. Sorry haha!) comment. Hope you can read this. I noticed you posted Jan 2014.

    I'm planning to revive this blog. Hope you'll be reading haha! Just heads up, these are all my views so we might really have some clashing once I make more posts haha!

    Thanks again. See you around this blog. ;)

    -randompinay (I forgot my password. Still checking my mail for it. :) )

  3. Working in a call center gives you no "GROWTH".And sometimes you feel that you are a slave.People who want's growth in themselves and career wont work in this kind of this industry. This industry are for the desperate. But I salute agents sacrificing their health to earn money and provide for their family. But i'd rather have a real life and a real living rather than working in this fake surrounded by fake and arrogant people. JUST MY OPINION

  4. Hi Anonymous on 09.10.14. I acknowledge your opinion. But somehow what Anonymous on 01.22.14 wrote hit me: there ARE some people that do have the BPO industry as their calling. There are people who enjoy what they do, and I guess that is what is important.

    Maybe he's right. :) but I acknowledge the fact that there also those who are just there, panggulo lang hehe! anyway, thanks for dropping by :)