Life of a Pinoy Call Center Agent

BPO

If you are familiar with the terms “QA,” “Queu-ing,” “EOP,” “ACW,” “Avail,” then you are one of us, the thousands of  “kolboys” and “kolgirls” in the Philippines.

We belong to the sleep-deprived, nicotine-in-hailing, cab-riding new breed of Filipino youth. We infuse our anemic, caffeinated veins with ferrous sulfate everyday so that we won’t be “NCNS” (No Call, No Show) for our next shift. Ginawa naming araw ang gabi.

Glamorous? Well, if your idea of glamorous is staggering down Ayala Avenue wearing Paris Hilton shades at 8 in the morning, looking “dog tired” while everybody else looks fresh and new, then we are the kings and queens of glamour.

Bohemian? Ha ha!We follow a very rigid schedule. we cannot go on extended breaks. we cannot hang up on cursing customers. we cannot refuse to take calls. and we have to ask permission to answer nature’s call. we are like prisoners in our stations for eight whole hours. ours is a spartan life.

I cannot help but be catty and melodramatic about it. we say “Good morning” when we all know that everybody but us (at least in the part of Pacific) is in their deepest sleep. We say (with an audible smile), “I’d be glad to assist you,” never mind if we had to leave a feverish son under the care of his yaya

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We can afford to miss family occasions and national holidays because we know we will be well compensated. Every birthday of a family member that we miss means PhP700.00 more to pay the bills, rent and tuition. The added pay for every national holiday that we had worked helps pay our taxes. Yes, my friends, we are paying for the streetlights along the avenues and highways that we must be brave very night.

Contented cats we are not. “Laway lang ang puhunan,” some people say, but we are in one of the most stressful and draining jobs you can find. and like the rest of the working class, we are overworked and underpaid.

We are forced to defend big banks, superstores, telecoms or any account we are handling. Just like any member of the proletariat, we are alienated from the giants that we work for. We apologize for the things that we do not have anything to do with. we fix problems we did not create. we are the cheap, apologetic and docile answering machines at the other end of the line; the receiving end of the frustrations and ire of the customers who feel shortchanged.

Apolitical? I have to disagree. we are tax-paying citizens like most working Filipinos. Yes, most of us get the news from Libre (while riding the MRT/LRT on our way to work), but we are also appalled by the PhP500,000 “cash gift” congressmen got to kill the Arroyo impeachment complaint last year. we are also furious with this government for spending half of the national budget on debt servicing so that it can borrow some more. and we are enraged that some people cheated their way to high offices.

We may speak in English for more than half of our waking hours, but it doesn’t make us less of a Filipino we are. We share the sentiments and burden of every landless farmers, very laid-off factory worker, every out-of-school youth, every hungry Filipino mouth. We find time mourn slain activists, priest journalists and innocent civilians. Most importantly, we share the aspirations of the Filipino people to build a just society where we can say, “I’d be glad to assist you,” and actually mean it.

 -Young Blood 4
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2 Responses to Life of a Pinoy Call Center Agent

  1. right says:

    Copied from Happyface. The facts that we cannot deny and the lies that we cannot hide no matter what call center agents may say and defend their pride to be a good agents.
    Happyface says:
    January 7, 2014 at 4:00 pm
    reality check..

    not in this world makukuha ng call center agents ang respect na gusto nilang makuha.. bago kayo ngumawngaw dahil d niyo nakukuha ang respetong hinihiling niyo.. pagpasok niyo tumingin muna kayo sa paligid niyo at tingnan ang mga nasa paligid niyo. or kung wala kayo sa workplace niyo. pumikit kayo. at isipin ninyo kung anu nakikita niyo sa work place niyo. sino sino ang mga nasa paligid niyo.

    reality sucks right., isa isahin natin kung sino nakita nio.

    1. The Fake Elites; eto si social climber. lageng naka starbucks. lageng nasa party. lageng me bagong cellphone at damet. bakit sa call center sya bumagsak. kasi me pera sa call center para sa mga luho nya. pwede dn sa sobrang social climber sya d sya nakagraduate kasi ginastos nya ung tuition nya at nag giveup na ung parents nya sa kanya.

    2. The Leechs.; eto ung me pamilya, asawa, boyfriend/girlfriend sa labas ng workplace na naglulumandi padin. na hindi nakuntento sa boyfriend//girlfriend //asawa dahil sa sobrang kati at naguumahaw sa attensyon. me aangal ba? wala dapat.. kasi totoo to. ebidensya.? AIDS/STD laganap sa inyo uy wag ka na umangal me record ang DOH.

    3.The Bakers; uy me makikita ka nalang sa mga pumapasok blood shot eyes. uyy meron pang isa dilat na dilat ang mata.wag nyo sabhing wala kayo mga kilalang adik sa office nio.. meron pa nga dyan nagbebentahan e.

    4. The Jumpers; well isa to sa mga dahilan kung bakit hirap na hirap kayo makkuha ng respeto.. natry niyo na magpply ng line or ng loan or ng creditcard? anu nkkita nio sa mukha nila pag sinabe mong bpo ka work? dba sad face minsan. tapos sasabhin mo pa. na agent ka. mas sad face.why? kasi hindi nmn stable ang call center job e. pag na dissolve account nio san punta mo? dba minsan wala na or minsan lipat account pero bumaba position mo. ang mga jumper kasi ito ung mga magtrtraining lang pag tapos ng training nawawala na.. nakapagapply na sa iba pala then ganun ulit gagawen. come and go.. kukunin lng ang sahod sa training. parang movie ng jumper. punta dito punta doon. ambilis nila.

    5. “The Warlords and the Bees” = The Crabs; eto ung magkakambal ang mga warfreak at ang mga chismosa at chismoso. parang ganto lang yan chinismis ni bee si warlord na ang ulam nya na lang lage ay monggo. nagalit si warlord at ginera na si bee. o ano napansin nio? ambabaw dba? me mga ganun talga mababaw na problema pinalalaki. at hindi inaayos sa tamang paraan. sila na din ung mga taong naghihilahan pababa. Crab Mentality ika nga. pag meron napromote, sige chismisan ng baho. then away.

    6.The Hope; eto ang mga taong nagtrtrabaho sa callcenter na dapat bigyan ng respeto.. ang mga bread winner. ang mga tatay//nanay na nag dodouble job para s pamilya nila. ang mga working student na nagtratrabaho para makagraduate sila or para makatulong sa naghhrap nilang pamilya.. ang mga desidido na umasenso sa callcenter at pinabubutihan ang trabaho. etong mga to ang mga dapat bigyan ng respeto. sila lang. pero sad di nila un makukuha. dahil kokonti lng sila. ang weird lang sila pa yung pumapasok sa tamang oras tapos madalang mag reklamo sa trabaho. alam nilang mahirap pero ginagawa nila.

    so ang point anim lahat ng nabigay kong mga uri ng tao kulang pa. isa laban sa lima. talo dba.. ang pagasa lng maging “hope” kayong lahat. in that way magiging respetado kayo as a whole.

  2. SORRY says:

    Perpekto ka tangina ka? Lakas mong magpost nang ganto, parang alam mo lahat “right” ah! ANO TRABAHO MO AT SIGURADO MAY MASASABI DIN. Tigilan mo na pagpost mo nang “masterpiece” mo. WALA KANG KARAPATAN MAGSABI NANG GANYAN kahit anung trabaho pa meron ang tao!

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