My Day At Work: A Night in Call Centre

I walked gracefully, well aware of the eyes set on me. I ignored everything and got seated on my throne, fixed the crown on my head and prepared myself to hear the distressed stories from all over the world and help them in the best way possible.

“Only you can make your hell of a job sound like you rule a kingdom.” The voice in my head shattered my optimism.

“Hi readers, I am Moxy, and she, my slave; Maryam is talking about her sick job at the BPO. The throne is nothing but a chair many customer service agents have already sat on and farted on over the years. Her crown is nothing but the headset she puts on and to take calls. People call her to tell their stories from around the world because the process she works is on a global scale.”

Shut up Moxy. I am not your slave and this job is honouring.

“I know your logic Mars. You find honour in the fact that you get to help people, sitting across seven seas. “

She’ll go on if I let her. Today I will take you on a tour of my thoughts, and my day, oops I mean night at work.

My phone starts ringing at 6pm, the cab driver asking me my address. This is an everyday struggle, a different driver every day and my poor knowledge of navigation in this city makes both the driver and me frustrated. But I have made friends in the cab who direct the driver to my pick up point. People always underestimate the power of having friends everywhere. Usually the typical people never speak in the cab but I do, it’s proven to be beneficial. The people in the cab only hug their headphones tighter to their ears, hoping to hear only what they want to hear, as they don’t get that freedom when they work for 9 hours straight.

Getting in the cab, I get sandwiched between two fellow cab-mates, I wish I could just sit on the top of the cab, so I could breathe and make it alive to work.

The driver puts on music to the loudest level possible and Moxy’s nostrils flare up as usual. To calm her, I imagine a baseball bat, breaking the shit out of the radio in slow motion. Also banging anybody’s head whoever seems to enjoy the loud volume.

Sometimes imagination works wonders!

Why don’t I live near my office? “Oh, because I like long drives!” Shit no, I just don’t want to live so far from the main city.

The pain of elevators, be it waiting for one or being in one with strangers who just gawk at you makes me prefer stairs on one of these days.

Those girls who want to turn into vampires can join a BPO. The night shift is for vampires; where personally I have started to despise sunlight. We work in a freezing environment, sipping on coffee, (blood for us) that pushes us to work. We go back to our graves after our shift is over in the day.  Day shift is for zombies, I mean you must have seen these zombies walk around you right?

Zombie apocalypse will be probably these day shift agents losing it and making you like them. A world where everybody will work for a BPO, MWUAHAHAHAHA.

Ah, well then comes the journey of making it to your floor (a special place reserved for your process). Remember you forgot your identity card; you are a stranger, just like how in the society your clothes are your identity. The process of biometrics and security is something that takes time to get accustomed to. I see security as a sign of weakness, your word itself should be enough for people to stay back and be scared. Security is screaming out loud like a damsel in distress, that you are vulnerable.

I made my way to the system and started working. I just hoped today I could be spared from her comment on my clothing but I was not. Yesterday I handled it:

‘You look so funny today.’


‘You know I can’t help but laugh at how stupid you look.’

I frowned and replied, ‘You know what? At least I can make people laugh with the way I am. You can only hurt people with the way you are. Calling you chudail (witch) is an understatement.’

My colleagues burst into laughter and I just continued working.

Today she made a comment again and she had it coming.

‘You never explained me why you wear it. Do you want attention from people?’

‘For God’s sake woman! I am tired of explaining you that these are just clothes, the way I wear it is different than yours. It’s a free country I can wear what I want to wear. Did I question, why you cut yourself and wear sleeveless clothes? Because you want attention from people, don’t you? Spare me for a day, please.’

The supervisors handled her after that.

After a while of taking calls, I get called over my supervisor. I checked the time and heard Moxy snoring, fast asleep. It was safe to take feedback.

“Maryam your AHT (average handling call time) is really high. You are taking too much time on calls. You need to be fast.”

“Yeah. I will work on that.”

Moxy abruptly woke up from her deep sleep and hovered over with her opinion.

“Yes jerk. You want her to make sure its first call resolution; she must help the customer, keep him signposted and make sure it is short? What the hell? How on earth do you expect it to be a short call, especially in a disastrous situation? And you Maryam! You don’t bloody transfer the call, you want to handle every damn call, help people when they don’t even appreciate it. Next Mother Teresa in the line. “

It’s my job. I get paid for this.

“I know you love saying that. You get sats (customer satisfaction surveys), you are punctual, and why can’t they appreciate it?”

I was happy with just writing it was your idea.

“And you weren’t getting paid for that!”

But this job was your idea, so why are you complaining now?


Image: [1], [2], [3]

About Mariyam Saigal

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