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Why it Sucks to Work in a Call Center


Who Wants to Work at a Call Center?

It’s very easy to get hired at a call center, even if you’ve never worked at one before. All you need is basic computer skills and the ability to speak somewhat clearly on the phone. But if you have worked in one and got fired or quit, chances are other call centers won’t want to hire you.

Paid training is always fun, but once that’s over and you’ve been working on your own for a few weeks, it starts to wear on you. The customers are rarely nice—in fact, most of the time they’re flat-out rude and disrespectful. The repetitive nature of the job can be both good and bad: If you’re feeling down and you really don’t want to go to work that day, the repetition can help you handle it. On the other hand, at some point you will get bored and desperate for variation.

In my opinion, the worst part about working in a call center are the rules about being late. Generally if you are more than four minutes late, you get a point. If you earn too many points, you get fired. It doesn’t matter how good of a job you do, even if you’re the best customer service person ever. If you're five minutes late, you'll be fired, and then you will have to explain why you got fired every time you apply for a job (if they even bother asking—sometimes they'll just discount you entirely).

It’s not a good idea to work in a call center if you have kids, friends, doctor’s appointments, or any other circumstances that might cause you to be late or miss a day every now and then.

What do you think?

The Truth About Working at a Call Center

Call Center Employee Loses It

Behind the Scenes at a Call Center

Call Center Training 101

Join the Conversation

If you're considering a job at or currently work at a call center, take a moment to browse through the great comments below and add your own story there.


wontgetfooled on September 19, 2016:

yeah i'm just adding to the world of crap also known as call center jobs. for example, working at "shamex" is believe you me a piece of #@!#, no matter how trusted the brand is made out to be. all depends where u are in the chain of things. best advice to ALL FUTURE GENERATIONS: stay away from call center jobs AT ALL COSTS. Don't be a part of the fools who get treated like #%@! and are enslaved to satisfy the corporate greed of the shareholders who get several times over the amount of money they pay you to work for them. There's always better out there, just don't fall into the trap. won't get fooled, no...

Morbid Solutions from USA on June 19, 2016:

I have worked at several call centers on and off. In my opinion the customers were the easy part to deal with. 99.9% of the time I could resolve the issue with the customer apologizing at the end of the call. Some days all you get is nasty customers back to back. It is a call center people are not calling you because they are happy. They are calling because of a problem. I would have to say TeleTech was the best call center I worked at. They were honest and you knew exactly what to expect. TeleTech had its nasty side too just like any center which was the metric system and attendance policy. You would request days off and not get it. I always had help when I needed it. Some of the sups and tls were jerks pretty much a typical work place.

The two worst centers were Teleperformance and First Energy. Teleperformance was ridiculous when you needed help or approval no one was there. For the most part it was pretty typical crap you would expect from the horrors of working at any call center. They had us taking calls we had no business taking like claims calls and dealing with lawyers, doctors, billing, and more. People wonder why United Health Care is terrible and there is your answer. If you were a customer and saw what goes on in the call center you would be horrified!

The worst of the worst was First Energy. They make it sound really good to work for them. Once you get hired and you are out of training it becomes a nightmare. You are hired on as a contractor with a contract lasting 18 months. Your pay is 11.00 an hour compared to full time FE employees who make 13.85 with benefits, pto, and more. You are doing the same exact job as a FE employee! Truth is they hire less than 2% of the contractors, but they try to convince you that you will be hired on in every way possible to keep you on the phone. If you are not invited to take the EEI to become a full time FE employee they will either let you go or renew the contract. Also, you have to be on call. You have no on call compensation either though they say you pick the week you want to be on call. You do not have a choice. Truth is they can call you any time and if you decline they can fire you for it. They will also keep you past your EOS time which you could be there for who knows how long well past your stop time so don't make any plans! Even though you work for a agency FE calls the shots so going to your agency is not going to help when you need something done like leaving early. The attendance policy for contractors you can only miss 16 hours and this applies for the entire 18 month contract. You can not earn pto or earn the 16 hours back no matter what the reason is. So they got you right where they want you. The number of contractors compared to full time employees shows you they want a never ending supply of people to turn over because it is cheaper for them. The metric systems is of course unobtainable and allows them every possible way to fire you or write you up. You will not meet the metric due to the system set in place; however, this is no different from any call center. You are set up to fail right from the start.

In my opinion a call center job is good for a short time job until you find something else. The sad truth is a call center could be a great place to work if they actually wanted to keep good employees. They would treat the employees better instead of throwing them away like a used tissue. They like having a high turnover with a never ending supply. It is all about the money. The more workers they have the more money they make. I no longer work in a call center. The culture is horrible, and if you think it is about providing good customer service it is not. It is a numbers game of how quick can you get the customer off the phone to keep your stats in the green.Weed through the easy calls take them get a high CEW score and the difficult ones transfer out to save your metrics. I do actual office work now which is much more rewarding. The environment is great, better pay, and the job satisfaction is 100%. I am not chained to a dog house and I get to use my full skill set.

If you do work in a call center all you have to do is show up on time, do your job the best you can, and ignore the crap. Stay out of the drama and keep your complaints to yourself. Write me up I don't care. Complain about my talk time I do not care. I'll keep taking the pay check until I find something better. A customer complains and flips out on me I don't care. That is how I got through it. I applied myself for other jobs and once I had the opportunity I left and would never go back.

Supra85 on December 31, 2015:

Call centres are like the white collar equivalent of the factory assembly line. I've worked at several ones for 11.5 years (yes you've read that right, 11.5) before finally finding a suitable job that paid a decent wage. I knew from day one that I would hate call centre job s but I stayed in the industry nonetheless because that was where I had built all of my experience. Whenever I tried to get another job, non call centre employers would look at my resume derisively and brush me off because they didn't believe that my experience could be transferred to other jobs.

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The constant micromanagement, lack of autonomy and onslaught of abusive callers really puts a strain on anyone, even the toughest.

My advice? Don't work in a call centre unless it's a transient job and you're looking for a better one.

Firelily on October 27, 2015:

I've worked in call centres and unfortunately they broke me. After years of slogging away and yes even getting awards and so on for 'great service' I have been micromanaged, even asked about the quantitative time I went to the toilet. Yes, I went to the toilet that is what AUX 3 means. I've had allsorts of abuse even a racist rant. I even had to get the police out to a lady who threatened to drive into a flyover on the M25 3 counties away (UK). My health suffered and I ended up in the hospital a few times due to chest infections spread by desk hopping and air-conditioning. There isn't an excuse I haven't heard or verbal tirade of abuse I haven't come across when all I wanted to genuinely do was help.

I was paid reasonably on the five and a half years at one call centre the other should have paid more because of the mess they, the company leave the agents to constantly sort out. The micromanagement and unrealistic targets. Both nearly damaged my relationship with my partner beyond repair and I knew many who would sneak a drink or other things to get through the day. I had raging tinnitus from the call after call after call and I am not unique. In a call centre you are jut a number and dismissed just as easily. I am currently trying to retrain into something else, hell I'd even clean toilets (I have done that in the past so I know what I am talking about).

All the jobs I am applying for are either via agencies they do not consider I am quite capable of admin or warehouse, factory etc. They zero in on call centre work. I want to ask them have you ever smashed a plate and glued it back together again? It might look like a plate it might be a plate but ultimately it is still broken.

Avoid them if you pride yourself in great customer service try not to go down this rabbit hole because it is not a wonderland of money and reward it is a time stealing hell where you are treated like a battery hen for the angry and disillusioned.

Julie on October 14, 2015:

Soul destroying places. I used to dread going to work. Journey on train was torture just thinking about the looming destination. After 4 years I had enough. I quit with no job lined up. It was seriously having a detrimental effect on my health. I was falling into a depression.

James on September 13, 2015:

So it seems most people here want a job where they can come and go as they please, be subject to no efficiency or quality standards, not have to achieve anything, not have any management and get paid a fortune - good luck finding that. I have never seen such a negative bunch of losers. No wonder the Philippines, India and the like are taking all these jobs - if this is typical of the people doing them in the States.

OhNeil on September 06, 2015:

I am just a trainee and I failed because I have a low score in my Internal Quality Assurance Test. The Quality Assurance people very much suck at our company. They are bad at speaking English but they are good at finding mistakes of others. I just applied just for the money.

Julie on August 29, 2015:

I just quit a call center job. Working at call center is psychological torture. All you hear is beep beep beep call after call talking to rude customer after customer .The metrics were unrealistic the QA was terrible damn if you damn if you. I can go on and felt like I was in jail ,call center jobs suck.

JC on August 15, 2015:

I used to work for a call center for Nutribullet, the blender, located in Los Angeles, CA. No matter if customer leaves satisfied or if you are always on time. Call centers always looks for vague reasons to disqualify you and fire you. The coach ins and PIP (performance implementation plan) are ways to let you know you could be fired. Are terrible, inhuman places where agents are treated like machines. Would never recommend you to work in this places.

Sil on July 06, 2015:

I also work at an inbound call center and am in full agreement with most of what I read. I work directly for a big company. Our salary is decent at best and we get a satisfactory benefits package. We deal with the classic metrics like aht, acw, adherence and most annoying of all : quality. Now our evaluation grid is something to behold: it is by far the most anal, nitpicky, irrelevant tool to ever grace a work place. We get 5 calls month evaluated on aspects that have nothing to do with actually solving the issue at hand. Our QA team is an absolute joke. They are sad bitter people who ironically are also in charge of helping us with tougher issues. But God forbid they actually did their jobs and helped, no, they brush you of immediately with BS incorrect information to take back the the customer, with a side of attitude of course. But the most annoying thing about the job is by far the customers themselves. 90% of the time, they call out of sheer laziness about something they could have figured out on thier own using google or simple logic. They will then proceed to act entitled, needy and out of control with their emotions. I, being one of the least emotional people you'll ever meet, cannot possibly comprehend why a simple business transaction would generate any emotion. Being "frustrated " or " upset " is irrelevant to the issue at hand and counter productive to problem solving. Telling the rep about it is a complete waste of their own time and wanting empathy and validation from a complete stranger is in fact quite pathetic. Regardless of my personal views on the matter, i am quite good at it and perform quite well. I am in line for a promotion and hope I get to move on to something more suitable for my insensitive nature.

TagalogBlues on March 09, 2015:

international life case management or innovative solutions or fil-american home health academy. Until now po wala pa rin kami 13th month pay. March na! :-( Hindi kami nkapag report thru DOLE kasi ang may-ari palaging nag promise until now...

LuisZ on March 03, 2015:

JimBob sorry for the late response. Unfortunate i know what you mean. It also seems that some people are in the right place at the right time and are just plain f'ing lucky. Part of it is personality and knowing when and how to kiss ass. I have seem people rise in the ranks just based on their personality. The "Goody two shoes that you refer to. I did once a few years back manage after a while to get out of taking calls and was laterally promoted to the Fraud Dept. Here i didn't take calls ( maybe like 3 a day) but did more research and approval. It was a welcome relief for m e. Unfortunately shortly after we lost our are major contract and people started leaving. The owner sensing that he could no longer hold on sold the company and its assets to their biggest rival. Try and post out as soon you can. I was on good terms with my asst sup who transferred to that dept. I didn't get it on my frist try but eventually I did. It helped that my asst Sup recommended me. This is just an example of course.

Johnc703 on July 23, 2014:

But a smiling visitor here to share the love , btw outstanding layout. kcdbadgdabdd

JimBob on July 12, 2014:

LuisZ, thank you for your reply. The animosity I share for dumb ass supervisors and managers is mostly because I PUT MY TIME IN and have COMPLETED A COLLEGE DEGREE. After 4 years in my career field, I find myself laid off and the only jobs hiring in my area are demeaning call center work. It has been this way since George W Bush's second term. Obama isn't helping things either. Whenever I would talk to a rep on the phone in my career days, I used to think "gee, it would suck to be the guy on the other end of the line". Now I know this first hand from being victimized by YEARS of nothing but the same kind of drudge work. I have had at least 5 call center jobs so far. I am not alone in this horrible plight. Once you fall into that rut, it is hard to get out. You will be way too exhausted and mentally drained from your work to "go back to school" too. You will also be popping anti-precedents like candy (most call center workers I know do), especially if you used to have a great job before that you were laid off of. It takes a lot out of you to have to put up with this crap day after day and for half the money. I have run into many former colleagues from my career days ALSO WORKING IN CALL CENTERS. Education and intellect wise, I speak the truth when I say that the majority of people I have worked under in call centers have been complete bafoons compared to me. I often wonder what I have done wrong and why karma is punishing me whilst the underachievers around me seem to be rewarded. I really resent these little goody two shoes pricks who come right out of high school and make just as much if not more than I do, whilst I am still paying off my student loans and they have done nothing! Underachievers rewarded by a corrupt system and a bad economy. It makes me wonder why I ever bothered applying myself and why I ever bothered working so hard all my life. It is truly depressing. Some days I wish I would fall asleep and never wake up rather than put up with another day of nasty, complaining, good for nothing morons on the phone and management which is equally as horrible to deal with.

What do you call a female half your age with half your intelligence in today's workplace? .......YOUR BOSS.

LuisZ on July 11, 2014:

Kdub ive been in the biz for close to 20 years. Yes there are a few and by that i mean maybe 10% that do like their call center jobs. I had one call center job where it was extremely relaxed. We weren't monitored, call volume was low, they never hounded us and we weren't micromanaged up the wazoo. We also didn't deal with the general public but with doctor offices, clinics, medical offices etc in the tri-state area. So we were on first name basis with most of these callers. Since these where professionals we rarely got an irate caller even on the rare occasion we goofed up. This was the exception. Working here for me was a pleasant experience. You said you know people but have your worked in one yourself? Sometimes people lie or don't like to complain. Call centers jobs are usually a last resort. You usually find three type of people in call centers. The young who are still in school or who recently graduated. The people that don't have any formal training or education (myself included), or older people some of them that where displaced from their previous jobs and are just trying to hang in to they retire. Sometimes you will get some people who have an education and are just temporarily using the job to they land a better job.

kdub on July 11, 2014:

It depends on what type of worker you are. Theres all deferent types of people from all different spectrums. Labers, transportations, technicians, scientist, doctors, desk jobs. Most of the people on this forum wouldn't survive in this world if there was nothing but desk jobs. I know people who barley miss a day of work and love there call center/desk jobs and have family aswell. When your looking for job for a long time you'll be begging for anything aspecially if you have no parents or family to help you. Young people don't know the reality of this.

LuisZ on July 11, 2014:

Listen to Jim Bob post about call center. I have over 15 years of call center experience in different fields and both large and small companies. Jim makes an excellent point if you do get hired in a company that has different depts, post out ASAP. Most will have some policy about 6 months before allowing to post out. There is a downside to this strategy. You maybe in the call center dept for a while before your accepted at another position. This is because others will want to post out of the call center as well. Do your job well and keep quiet and don't complain and try and get on the sup's good side if you want to post out. Otherwise the sups (even the lower ones) wont allow you to post out. Also don't be a superstar as then they will want to keep at the call center. If everyone is taking 80 calls and you take 150 this can backfire on you as well. Jim also made another good point. Any company function, such as Picnic's, Luncheons, presentations, call center employees are usually left out either partially or sometimes left out completely. In some call centers they will give you 5 minutes to get your food an go right back to your desk and answer calls. They usually wait to all other depts have got their share(sloppy seconds) and the luncheon line is empty. It is sort of demeaning and you will be treated as the red head stepchild. Xmas parties forget about it. What they usually do here is have a separate smaller event in which you will get some cold cuts, potato salad and you will either have to eat it at your desk or on your break. Which is a shame since customer serv is the backbone of any company, though we arent usually treated as such. I agree with Jim about 90%. The only thing i disagree slightly with is most managers at the call centers these days do usually have a degree or are usually smarter than the rest of us peons. Now low level sups are usually just your average call center peon that after 5 years were promoted. Though most call centers wont promote a total dumb-dumb to this position. You at least have to have half a brain. JimBob also pointed out one very crucial aspect of call center work. The snitches will rat you out in order to get brownie points These are the same people who are wishing to get promoted at one point or another.

JimBob on July 11, 2014:

When the worse comes to worse and there is nobody hiring in your area other than call centers, try to at least get into one that is part of a bigger business with other departments that you can eventually apply out to. You may not think this when you start your call center job, but you WILL GET BURNT OUT VERY QUICKLY. You may be happy now that you found a new job and are no longer on unemployment, but I guarantee you, the excitement WILL WEAR OFF in about 6 months, and if you are still doing this stale no-brainier job a year from now, you will be TOTALLY BURNT OUT or even MAD AT THE WORLD. If you posses any intelligence, college education, or other skills of any kind, call center work will wear you to a thread quickly. The only kind of person who will remain content with this kind of demeaning work is someone with no other practical skills and a severely limited intellect. You will run into a few of these types of people in your tenure, and believe me, these are the goody two shoes type of people who are a true thorn in the flesh to work with. Just say something negative about management, and sure enough, they will report you. These are the type of people who may eventually (after about 10 years of this) become supervisors. Most supervisors or managers in call centers have little to no education above high school and very little intellect outside the field of smiling at upper management and mistreating subordinates. If you are laid off of a much better job and end up working in a call center, you will resent it for the mere fact that your boss will likely be female, half your age, and most likely less than half your intelligence. It really sucks to have to take orders or pointers from this type of person. Call center managers aren't hired for their education or intellect. They are hired as warm bodies to fill positions. They are hired because they will be willing to enforce outright annoying, anal, and abusive company policies (which they themselves don't agree with or have to adhere to). These people are hired by upper management with the knowledge that they will do anything they are told just to keep their position as "supervisor" and their $30K per year salary. They don't care about you. They never will. All they will ever care about is "the bottom line" and how they can get more and more out of you in order to meet it. If your company has other departments besides the call center, then APPLY, APPLY, APPLY. You may very well get hired into a better job with the company. In most companies, ANY OTHER JOB is better than call center work. At the bank call center I worked for, every other employee in every other department got off for the company picnic, get togethers, the company Christmas party, etc. all while the call center employees had to work thru it all. It is truly one of the most demeaning jobs out there!

Josh on June 27, 2014:

I currently work at a call center, and yep, I hate it, haha. Mine doesn't sound quite as bad, and management is fairly laid back in comparison to some centers. I work doing in-bound sales. We sell "all-natural" health supplements and a few other things, aka dick pills. What I hate the most is the necessity of a rebuttal on cross sells. People are going to buy what they want. I mostly just go through the motions of the rebuttal so I don't get fired. You have to exploit their emotional need for the product aka, "Aren't you tired of being overweight?" and "It must be frustrating not being able to satisfy your wife." I am very quiet and respect people's boundaries, so this job is a nightmare for me.

The funniest calls are when people call up pissed about getting male enhancement fliers in their mailboxes. I'm like "so, you need to call customer service to get taken off the list." SO MANY PEOPLE DO NOT LISTEN. I know you're angry, but the funny part is, I had nothing to do with sending you those marketing materials. I'm just a drone working in a call center that sells hundreds of other products. Ha, you actually think I just sell this one brand of dick pills all day? Seriously, this job makes me grateful for my intelligence. You probably got on the list because you bought porn online, but I don't say that because I'm nice. I just ignore their anger. I'm like yeah, "I understand you're upset what's your first name, so I can take you off the list?" Then they're like "you don't need that." Well, I can't take you off the list then, you moron.

Seriously, 99% of callers are angry, stupid, mean, or rude. Also, STOP INTERRUPTING ME YOU IGNORANT HICK.

The person that YOU called doesn't deserve to be yelled at. YOU called me dumbass.

Then again, once in a great while, you get someone who is genuinely kind to you. If this job has taught me anything it's that one kind action really does make a difference.

callcentersuck on June 11, 2014:

The most ultimate worst point about working at a callcenter is that you have live like a coward!- Written by a guy working at one.

Kevenn on June 10, 2014:

I am currently training at a call center. I will not name the place I'm training but the ratio of woman to men is 80/20, a lot of the people Im training with are woman and older women. I hate it, being the only really young guy I feel so out of place. Not only that but being its older woman they don't understand the computer aspect so they draaag the classroom to such a slow pace I want to pull my hair out. I am giving it a little more time before I decide to quit

Easy to comment! on June 06, 2014:

Feel free to let loose , the call center gods will not get angry.

Doesthisnamematter? on April 16, 2014:

I've been working in call centers for 12 years. I want out.

alexis on April 15, 2014:

i don't wanna to work in a call center anymore.

incognito on April 10, 2014:

they mostly suck, but I'm doing one now for fund raising...

been doing it part time - 2 days a week - 4 hrs a day -- and I'm amazed at how tired I get doing it!

I take mini breaks between calls, but I still get burned out - I even succeed and have good calls on non-sales

what kills is the constant nature of it all - non stop work is non-human

it blows and I am probably going to quit before the end of it - I am too tired to study afterwards, and I need to study

this is for sure, the last call gig I ever take - living under a bridge is a dream life right about now

Jim Bob on April 09, 2014:

They have you coming and they have you going. There will always be at least one completely unreasonable metric (quota) that they will expect you to meet which will be nearly impossible. Usually making your bonuses or even your ability to keep your job will rely on hitting that metric. In most call centers which offer a bonus, the bonus is a complete joke because only the very top performers ever get it. Your employer also likely realizes that they will have to pay you unemployment if they fire you for failing to meet that metric. When that time comes, they will likely try to antagonize you or try to get you to do something else that they can claim as "misconduct" to fire you for. These organizations often do anything within their power to attempt to deny you unemployment benefits. If and when they do fire you (and for most of us, it is a question of when), please be sure NOT to sign anything they give you since this may be a trick to get your signature on something that may make it hard for you to collect unemployment. Since they are firing you anyway, you don't have to sign anything and you don't have to cooperate. Don't feel the need to be overly courteous in these situations either, as even the nice people are still escorted out by security.

Drew on April 09, 2014:

I worked in a call centre and left after 2 days.

Don't ever do it if you hate talking to tw@ on the phone, or working with complete tw@s the people in the office were worse than the ones on the bloody phone

Jim Bob on March 19, 2014:

Back to the first paragraph "if you have worked in one and got fired or quit, chances are every other call center you apply at won’t want to hire you"....

Actually, I have worked in several call centers and have been fired or quit most of them. The other ones in town always seem to hire me (one of the ones that fired me actually re-hired me) because I know how to account for the time spent on my resume or in the interview. The secret is NEVER ADMIT TO BEING FIRED FROM A CALL CENTER! The law states that the only information HR can relay to your next potential employer is your title and length of employment...THAT'S IT. If you don't feel like going into details about your departure, then you don't have to. The best thing to say is that you resigned from one for a better opportunity at another. If there is a serious gap in employment, simply state that the center "lost the contract" and "laid a bunch of people off.... you were one on the ones let go". It helps to then state how sad you were to leave (yeah right) and how great an experience (LOL) it was working for them. All in all, call centers are a bunch of over-demanding, under-paying, uncaring sweatshops. I don't recommend staying in any call center position for more than a year. Your first 90 days will usually be gravy because of an easy training period, and you won't likely be expected to make your complete quotas until the 90 days are up. After that, you're home free because if they fire you for not making quota, you can still get unemployment. A friend of mine called in and said he couldn't make it to work because his vehicle broke down. He was getting close to being let go for attendance anyway. He continued to call in every day for the rest of the week with the same excuse until the center was forced to lay him off due to his inability to get to work. Guess what? He was still able to collect unemployment! If and when they burn you out (and it WILL happen), unemployment is a great option. Who knows, the economy might improve and you may actually find something within your career field. Yes, most of us went to college and are now working call center jobs because we were either laid off from or unable to find positions in our areas of study. I have a degree and have still wound up in this predicament more than once. One of my former colleagues had two master's degrees and was still unable to find anything but a position as a bill collector in one of America's worst call centers.

BeautifulNightmare on February 28, 2014:

Soooooooo.... I've been working at this call center for about one month. OMG. Today I left early. I just couldn't take it. I've worked at a few call centers before but this one takes the freakin cake. The So called "csr leads" walk around like vultures all day. The call center sup comes around and just stares like we are animals behind a glass. When I first started I knew something was wrong because everyone I smiled at looked at me crazy AF. I see why now. They were looking at me with envy. Like wtf is she so dam happy about. I'm becoming one of them and I don't want to.

Everybody walks around like zombies. I feel out of place and dumbed down. The csr leads talk loud and obnoxious. I can't stand it. They are so loud and extra! If you have a question, they come to your cubicle and talk so freakin LOUD everybody hears what your talking about. I hate asking questions because the leads always talk loud enough so everybody hears what you have a question about. Sometimes you can't find help. They don't want you out of your seat. Well, how TF would somebody get help? I feel mentally numb when I'm taking calls. BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP..... Wtf:( 50 calls in the que u may get shot if you go to the bathroom. I get check number 3 this upcoming Wednesday. How many more checks will I get before I find another job O_O omg. I need the money, but my goodness I'm not about to turn into a dam zombie in the process.

Our QA sup is a snobby witch. When I first started she came over asking about some headphones that I did NOT have. She thought I took some headphones from the desk behind me. Wtf. Come to find out she was in the wrong aisle. Stupid bi***. I have never looked at her the same. And then to find out she is the person listening to all of our calls? Omg ...what.

And just think,I have to go back Monday. I already left early today. I may call in Monday. Either way it goes, I will have to face them again and talk about why I left today blah blah freakin blah. My smile doesn't wanna smile when I enter that door. Blank eyes and poker faces! Smdh

K on February 23, 2014:

I work in a call center & I also work from home...I guess you could say that is the best part about it, but one department I hate more than anything would be the QA department...It seems like they care more about setting impossible goals on a call & making your job hard as hell rather than making sure quality customer services is being provided. You can have a call where you think everything went SMOOTHLY...You followed the script I work for a payment center so you're expected to always collect payments. You follow the script, collect a payment & you STILL get a poor evaluation from QA saying you messed up on something. It's frustrating to say the least. Not to mention you have to listen to customers rant & rave even when you've informed them many times that your department doesn't handle that, & you can't hang up on them or at my job that's a terminable offense. I mean I work from home so I guess I'm happy for that but the fact remains the same I'll be SOO happy when I can find something else.

K.... on January 30, 2014:

yes, they do indeed SUCK!! I currently work at one now, and everything you mentioned in this article pretty much sums up my experiences. I have came in late a few times by about five minutes, and they took points. They only start you with 12 points in the year, and every pay period which is two weeks they will add one point, but only if you haven't been late or missed any days.........yea, sucks right? so right now they have me at 5 points, and I got written up as a warning. which means if I loose another, Im terminated..... The job does get boring after a while. and the customers are freaking smart asses!! Most of them try to test you as if you don't know what you're doing, and you have to bite your tongue each time to keep from cursing them out, or either put your phone on mute so you can get a few words out. Don't forget they're also rude, pushy and impatient. Most try to get on your nerves on purpose and call in to complain about nonsense just so you can give them an adjustment on their bill. This is what I have to go through on a daily freaking basis!! and oh yea, you barely get any vacation time.....

LuisZ on January 23, 2014:

The story above is funny. Most call centers i worked at where clean. There was one i worked at where the rugs where filthy and you could tell the cubicles, etc where ancient. When the economy crashed a few years ago one thing that was cut out was the cleaning services. While before the cleaning crew would come in 3-4 times a week, its now once a week if that. I do suggest taking a quick tour if possible. Most places will accommodate this request. Some will let you even sit with an agent for a few minutes. To the one poster we realize a job is a job. However the point some of the posters here are trying to make if possible avoid this field. Or don't make it your first choice. You can tell how bad it is when the US outsources to other countries and they don't even want to work in call centers. I would suggest finding a small company these are usually better to work for and are less demanding and fair. To the one poster yes overall the metrics are designed for you to fail. This known but not talked about a supervisor at one of the call centers i worked at admitted this to me . It as this point (or shortly after) when people figure this out and usually start to quit.

Death Spiral on January 22, 2014:

It does suck most of the time. Some call centers are far far far far better than others and contract call centers are real bad some times. If the region you are in has an actual call center owned and operated by the company the customers are calling consider yourself very lucky. If not then best of luck. Listen to this , I worked at a contractor that took calls for a contractor that had a contract with the company. Two contractors , a contractor using a contractor , that is stuuuupid. On top of that there was a three week training class where we were tought we could not do anything at all hardly. When we finally reached the floor and got requests to speak to supervisors we were told by them to say they cannot do anything more than we can , which was true. This made the calls so awesome. I agree with the comments on metrics but I will say the ones at my first call center job were changed constantly that includes how quality was graded so that made it a constant battle to adjust the normal call habits you got into. One thing that sticks out to me is how disgusting these places can be and that includes some of the agents as well. Crusty mice covered in slick hand lotion residue , desks spotted with all sorts of unidentified "stuff" and my favorite the incredibly gross chairs are quite the norm. When a good chair is found someone takes it the next day when you return unless you have what happened to me one time. This one time no one took my chair for two weeks and I was amazed until I took a closer look and discovered what was a light brown skid mark racing across the center of the seat driving away potential chair bandits. Had I not been fatigued ,suffering from eye strain, sensory overload , stress, misery and loss of soul I would have chosen a different chair. I quit shortly there after. These are things to consider when looking at call centers and my advice is to take a floor tour and look around if possible before accepting a call center job and that is only if you have been looking for some time with no luck and are one step from homelessness.

matt on January 21, 2014:

I tried working in one. I thought it was going to be fun. Boy, I was wrong by a long shot. I worked in a call center for two days. I hate sitting on my rear for 8 hours calling random people, most of which either could not hear me or we're complete jerks. It was very frustrating and I quit right on the spot. I prefer earning money doing actual general labor. I did manage to get a much much better job. Moral of the story, unless you enjoy it, DO NOT work in a call center. It isn't really worth being F-bombed all day.

joe on January 14, 2014:

I was working for western union Call centre, or the way they Call it - "centre of excelence" (part of brainwashing strategu). It was based in Vilnius, Lithuania, and it was exacly the way some of you described it. Complete manipulation of the employee and those who made it at the top were usually dump once, those who don't ASK questions and arent particularly bright. However western union went few steps further, they would try to connect you to the whole world of wu by trying to connect your whole social life, National events, to organization, so your whole world would to around their litle manipulatory reality. They would chose narcicists to higher positions who would abuse ordinary employees, in many cases employees are forced to do certain things outside their jog description. Turnover in this developing country is vert high, which says a lot, because economic situation is not that briliant, occupational mobility is very low. I hope it the future corporate will find better way to manage Customer service, and use robots insread of real people forced to act as robots. Respect to all of those who did this kine of work, you will certainly become stronger person, however IF you aspire to become professional, you would have to unlearn certain things and really concentrate on building real skills by yourself so you would not become legal slave. All the best. And sorry for the typos, im writing from the Phone.

Ass on December 30, 2013:

Thanks for your posts! I laughed so hard! My job sucks too! The worst part is having to recommend products to yelling people, and hope I get a certain percentage of easy going people just so I can get my recommends, never happens though. Any ways the good news is that your posts have motivated me to search for better jobs in my field of education, or go back to school... F this taking calls! Best of luck to you all

Zack on December 11, 2013:

afterglo 3 months ago from Cleveland, Ohio

I interviewed for a call center job once and just when it was starting to sound good, I asked "How do you handle things like time off for a doctor or dentist appointment?" "We would need a note from your doctor, that is all." I almost said, "And to go to the bathroom, must I ask for a hall pass?" I decided not to work for them.

My one actual experience in a call center was providing customer care rather than selling and thus involved no script-reading. However, one was only paid for those moments one was signed on to the system and was ready to take a call or was taking one. I had to sign out temporarily to take a leak, even during the occasional slow periods when someone else could have taken a call.

Of course, the real impetus for paying one only while signed on has to do with making sure you never put in enough hours to qualify for a full-time employee's benefits.


...Let me get this straight? You're complaining that you need a Dr. note to get a day off for a Dr. Visit? Sounds like what you're looking for is a job that will let you give a day's notice that you're going to the Dr. whenever you want, without any sort of verification or repercussions. Furthermore, sounds like you're a lazy worker if you have the mentality of that and can't even come up with the wherewithal to forge a dr. note. I work in a call center, yes it can be frustrating, but it takes a certain natural talent to do the job well, and if you can do the job well, you will be compensated well, furthermore, you'll be noticed and rise rather quickly. Sounds like a bunch of people on here are mad that they couldn't do more than a mediocre job got stuck at frontline and gave up. A job is a job, if you're too good to sit a phone, answer peoples questions, maybe you should consider switching jobs with the mexican that spends 12 hours a day in the sun, picking grapes or whatever, then we'll see which job really sucks and is " soul sapping "

Jobless/Dear It's A setup on November 20, 2013:

I have been wondering if it is indeed a setup to set people up to fail. I met with a person who only had a 540 second average handle time for the Verizon account, which didn't seem all that high, and they fired her over it. (U must be under 500 seconds, standard is 480 seconds) . I also found out why the call center was putting so much pressure is that the people who owned the center wanted to pay our wages only from the enterprise zone money and not out of their pockets. They were concerned that paying our wages from their profits would erode their profit margins, so as soon as the enterprise zone money ran out for each head, the only people they kept were those meeting ALL the metrics, which were very few people. I would have liked to have been able to meet the requirements for expected performance, but they didn't even seem remotely realistic, given the fact that you were penalized for factors beyond your control. Another thing I also noticed is that sometimes you blew another metric in the process of trying to get 1 metric. (Example: You don't want to bork your transfer rate, so you refer the customer back to the store where he bought the nonfunctioning computer instead of transferring to tech support, and you wind up bombing the survey, getting a no response) Yes, this really happened. The call center doesn't get paid for transferred calls, so U are eroding their profit margins again.

LuisZ on September 19, 2013:

Afterglo don't believe them taking off in a call center for Drs/Dentist isn't that easy. Call centers usually have strict attendance policies even if you bring in a note it will still count against you. Most only allow you to miss 7-8 days days (even with a note) before you are reprimanded or fired. I would take the name and date of the person who told you that. I have worked in about 8 call centers and they all operate almost the same. In fact there is a call center magazine which i think they all get their rules/policies and ideas from.

Fuji093 on September 19, 2013:

My first call center experience is not that good at all. It's my very first job after I graduated college and I was happy that I was hired for the very first time. The training, by the way, is good and fun. When my 1st month of taking calls started after the training, I felt down and languishing.

My ultimate problem is the distance of my home to the workplace, it's very far. It takes less than 2 hours to get there. I always commute when going to my call center and it's very expensive. Half of my small, shitty, not-so-competent salary must be saved for my food and transportation. Second, my 'employee ID' is not being recognized by the company itself. What I mean is, my physical ID is not given and activated after more than 3 weeks, my 'employee online profile' that tracks my performance, schedules, monitoring and breaks, is not functioning properly. The worst problem I had with my employee ID was when I file a call-off for my full shift and used the appropriate format given to me by the supervisor, the company always tell me that my employee ID is invalid or unauthorized. It made me feel and think, "AM I REALLY AN EMPLOYEE HERE?."

I have so many experiences that I can't even tell here.

I'm from the Philippines and there are lots of BPO/Call center companies here. I'm not bad-mouthing all of the call center companies, I just want to share my not-so-good-experience from my first job and first call-center experience.

Thomas Hunscher from Cleveland, Ohio on September 05, 2013:

I interviewed for a call center job once and just when it was starting to sound good, I asked "How do you handle things like time off for a doctor or dentist appointment?" "We would need a note from your doctor, that is all." I almost said, "And to go to the bathroom, must I ask for a hall pass?" I decided not to work for them.

My one actual experience in a call center was providing customer care rather than selling and thus involved no script-reading. However, one was only paid for those moments one was signed on to the system and was ready to take a call or was taking one. I had to sign out temporarily to take a leak, even during the occasional slow periods when someone else could have taken a call.

Of course, the real impetus for paying one only while signed on has to do with making sure you never put in enough hours to qualify for a full-time employee's benefits.

pissedoffp. on September 03, 2013:

Call center in Florida Makes a big deal about "free coffee" . The recipe for their coffee is ONE spoonful of ground coffee to 3 cups water!!! UGH. It is just beige hot water when served. They have training on the job, and when you get your first paycheck, you find they don't pay you for it. You'll work your first week for 7 hours pay at 8.00. They also lie and say all your sales didn't qualify, putting your commissions in their own pockets. Micromanage, not allow you to use the bathroom until break, when there are 2 toilets to 10 women. 15 minutes. You're supposed to pee, eat your lunch, and have a smoke and be back up on their 3rd floor within that time frame. If you're not a 20-something, look to be ridiculed, and abused.

Raja on August 27, 2013:

If you are looking at highly populated countries, call centers saves soul, keeps youths employed.

Everybody can not find job in Govt departments which although gives job security but promotes slow work & corruption.

I think some one who is working sincerely in call center for 3 years can work successfully in Govt offices.

Call center management system & spy program should be implemented to Govt departments, it will increase efficiency and save public money.

And youth will get solid jobs to use their merit & labour.

Emilia on August 23, 2013:

Haha, uhm, if you aren't a reliable employee, you don't deserve a job. I agree with their attendance policies.

shadowcrow on August 15, 2013:

I got hired to a call center a few weeks ago. Before starting to work what really pissed me off was that I had to make the calls in a foreign language and I got less money than those who did it with their native language. Supervisors were checking your calls randomly and trying to find mistakes even in your "successful" calls. All calls were recorded. The customers were rude, they shout and swear all the time. We had strictly 10 seconds of ACW time. 10 minutes break/hour,no bigger breaks. I had 2 days of training and I worked 3 days. After that I quit since I really hated this disgusting job, especially because I knew that all that we were telling in the phone were lies! I quitted and they kinda did not send me the money for those 5 days. I was just about to go to them and tell them to go to hell, i was standing at the bus station to go, and then I received my payment, which was less than I imagined. It was such a relief to quit, before they fire me. I should hgae done like 300 calls a day, i did 330 in 3 days and only 8 were "successful".

Each time someone calls me from a call center I try being kind and ask them if they like this job, doesn't it destroy their soul and feelings?

So I hope I will never work in a call center again, especially not for a multinational company. I rather be self-employed and so.

Barry´s Dad on July 25, 2013:

Quit lying son!

Barry on May 23, 2013:

I cant believe the negativity, I have averaged 22-35 dollar per hour a rep in 3 different call centers for the last 10 years. Granted its easier to find in the US, than other countries. Your numbers are watched like all jobs, and it can be stressful. Good workers in this field have a real talent more is needed than basic computer skills and the ability to talk. Many of these jobs are done by educated, well paid had working professionals.

Capizle on May 02, 2013:

Call centers Suck! I worked at an Apple call center and it is COMPLETE bullshit. All day your manager is watching you, you have to deal with customers who have no idea how to use a computer let alone an Apple. They ding you for every second your not on a call. Customers pretty much dictate how well you do, and if you fudge your stats you can get any schedule you want. Management is typically people who couldn't manage anything but maybe a McDonalds who aspire to be execs with call center manager skillsets. You have to dumb yourself down and they DO NOT PROMOTE TO NON CUSTOMER SERVICE JOBS. If you think your going to get into a company through a call center....THNIK AGAIN. You end up gaining weight, getting depressed cause the people you talk to have REAL jobs while you make around 13 bucks an hour to listen to people's bullshit and tell old people how to attach pictures to an e-mail. In my opinion ALL CALL CENTER JOBS can be OUTSOURCED. I rather get the unemployment and find another job then work in a call center.

jo on February 20, 2013:

Yes you are right I have just done two days at sales corp on the Gold coast Australia what a joke I was sacked because I did not generate sales well I had only been their two days, we were ringing people and singing them up to a grubby on line company insurance online, we were selling funeral insurance.

Being forced to use dirty underhanded methods to gain sales is evil these bastards have no soles. my advice is any company that has to be promoted by telesales is no good stay well away. I was sacked because I had too much experience and saw through them. they use the name of Australian contact center, why hide from their name? I also noticed new recruits coming in all the time which made me realize they nothing more than a bunch of low life bastards. another one is apple marketing and members alliance. telemarketing should be outlawed.

callcenterhorrors on August 21, 2012:

Call centers have a way of wearing you down. They'll turn you into an irritable anti-social wreck. I have worked in call centers for many years because I still prefer it than face to face jobs like retail. The call center I'm in now pays only $9/hour at a car dealer for one of the most popular luxury cars out there. They have marble floors, fancy furniture, a cafe for clients and all the upscale amenities imaginable to pamper our clients and $9/hr is what they pay us. I'm the only guy in the call center. The rest of the workers are twenty something girls who are so immature, mean and gossipy. They hate me. I find as a male, in predominantly female call centers, the females have a way of treating me like a big dumb dog, or others resent my presence there. I don't plan on staying here long but its gonna have to do for now. They have a very high turnover as you can expect. The women I work with tell my boss I'm not taking my share of calls but when she looks at the phone report, she finds that I'm taking an acceptable amount of calls being a relatively new hire, so you can see they just hate me being there and want to bad mouth me to get me fired, but like I said, the turnover is so high and since they can't seem to keep enough people on board to handle the phones adequately, they won't be firing anyone if they can help it. In fact, in the past 3 weeks, they hired 3 different girls, each quit after 1 or 2 days. What does that say about the job? Yeah Call centers suck for sure.

It's a Setup on August 20, 2012:

I suspect that they set up their people for failure by setting goals that most people can't meet. That is why the turnover is so high. Verizon also dings you for call avoidance if you stay on the line while the tech support rep is solving their problem, but we have to get that transfer rate down!! We also get fired if we keep having our transfer rate too high.

Jobless on August 02, 2012:

When you get a new client, you'd better hope it is not any of the cell phone companies. There are just too many insane metrics to meet. You also get fired for your Average Handle Time being too high. I have seen as many as 25+ people having to sign writeups one by one all the same day at the same time because they way exceeded their transfer limit. It got so bad that I started giving the number out to call the department, but I still got dinged at 13%. Nothing I did was ever good enough. It happened to my work friend too, who got fired over a 600 second call average time. The standard is 480 seconds. I wound up worse than my friend, as he is happily married, and I am stil single, and uncertain if I will be able to keep my apartment. They want $545 a month for a studio with newcomers, and they want you to make $1600 a month. Our call center gave $9 an hour, so the pay wasn't that good. The only way to make the $1600 to qualify would have been to work nothing but overtime.

Jymbo on July 30, 2012:

my manager told me to my face "Do whatever it takes to make your goals even the things that will get you fired but when you do get fired, we never had this conversation" There s alot more i could say but i think that pretty much sums it up.

LuisZ on July 28, 2012:

Ive been unfortunate to have worked (and still do) in call centers. For over 15 years unfortunately, in different call centers. My first call center wasn't too bad and was some what lenient versus the other places Ive worked since. What you've been reading above is true. In one word call centers are horrible place to work. You are micr0-managed down to the T. Every single minuted of a single day is monitored. Go to the bathroom too many times or for too long and they are on you. You will get coached, written up and yes even fired. Come back later from your break (even a minute) and its the same thing. Most people are miserable in call centers. You can easily spot this jut by looking at people. Yes you may see some people laugh here and there but overall we are miserable. The micromanagement, the rules, strict adherence policy, and non-stop phone calls quickly wear on you. To the person that said why do we keep coming back to work why not just quit. Well simple we need the money, have bills, mouths to feed, rent to pay. Its just not that simple to just quit. I've been through a few call centers they all are basically the same. You just go from one that's bad to one that's worse and one that's even worse yet. Back then when i first started i thought it was just the place i worked at. I quickly found out (at start of my 3rd call center job) is that they are all basically the same. That is they are horrible soul sapping places. Any and all reprieves( like maybe going to bathroom for 4 minutes to clear your head) are taking away. If you are there for say 8 hours-30 minute lunch and your typical 2 15 minute break you will be basically taking calls for 7 hours. Any little attempt or trick to take little breathers to regain your sanity will be taking away, as they monitor every single moment. If at all possible please avoid working in this field. Unfortunately for me I cant seem to shake this. Seem to be stuck in this rut and some how I always find myself back in a call center...Help!

ABCDEZ on July 27, 2012:

I have worked in call centers for over 20 years, yes 20 years. I have social anxiety so I'm more comfortable dealing with people over the phone than face to face, so I really am limited to call centers mostly. Anyway they are easy to get hired in and easy to get FIRED in. The turnover is notorious with most call centers as we all know. What really makes them hell for me is the fact that every second of your day is kept track of via computer and phone systems. They can listen to your every call, and they can run reports on your phone modes to see the time you came in, logged on, went on break, went on lunch, your average handle time for each call, whether you hung up first or if the customer did, they can track your 'hold times' are they too high? and they most definitely track the times you have your phone in what they consider to be 'unproductive' or idle modes. Depending on the phone you have at work, the button might say 'Not Ready' or 'Available/unavailable' or 'ACW' or 'other'. So each time you have to stop the calls from coming in (ie going to the restroom, getting a drink, stretching/walking, getting help, etc) the system adds this up and you better believe the supervisors/managers/team leaders DO watch this. Yes I have been fired from what is known as 'Call Avoidance' which is pretty much a self explanatory term and this is one of the biggest pitfalls for employees of a call center and is why so many get written up or fired. So why then would I (and others) do so much 'call avoidance' and risk getting fired? BECAUSE THE JOB GETS TO YOU IN TIME! How many pissed off customers can you talk to 40 hours a week, knowing that you are being recorded and they'll select random calls to grade for quality. You know what it's like having your boss come by your cubicle and ask you to follow him into a room and he's brought papers of a call he heard where you didn't do something right? Do you know what it's like coming to work on a nice sunny day knowing that you're entering a building where you will be taking calls back to back of bitchy customers and you'd better do everything you can to resolve the problem? It WILL get to you. It's hell. It makes you depressed, makes you paranoid, makes you irritable, and MAKES YOU FAT. Yes, sitting on my ass all day makes me unhealthy and much of my co-workers are also fat miserable people too. Do you want this kind of life?

Joe L on July 10, 2012:

I started working at a call center in june not knowing what it was. My mom told me to apply for the job and thy hired me on the spot. The training was fun, easy 40 hours; however, the. The real torture started. I started out he first week trying; however, I soon realized doing an excellent job was futile. He people; other than some of the collee kids, are unbearable to even make eye contact with. I now have the days left listed on the calendar at my desk. I'm so glad I have an education. The fact that I'll be making 70k a year out of. College is the only thing keeping me going

Jobless on June 21, 2012:

I think it was a good thing I got fired. I was getting diagnosed with borderline high blood pressure even though I usually watch what I eat, and I don't look overweight. I started thinking of the joke, this place never sleeps. I used to work holidays too. When we had the Verizon account, I NEVER missed. (even 1 day of work) Too bad it wasn't good enough.

Jeff on June 20, 2012:

I worked for Comcast at their call-center. It had to be the worst job I've ever had (lots of jobs btw). The managers and supervisors there are a bunch of evil clowns that try to suck the life outta you and make you forget that you once even had a life. The supervisors will coach you if you aren't selling enough; or if you are not following a certain script called "sales -pro." The pay wasn't horrible, but dealing with all the gang bangers they hire to work for them, and listening to stupid people on the phone all day isn't worth it to me. You also have to work every holiday unless you're scheduled not to work that day. STAY AWAY!!!!!!

Jobless on June 19, 2012:

The place I used to work at just added more pressure. They are currently writing people up for not selling enough upgrades. How I miss the old Funai account we used to have. They were a little more reasonable. With the Verizon account, you can get written up if you are just off a bit on just one metric. Even passing 12 out of 14 (even fired) surveys is not good enough. The only time you can dispute a survey is if neither the customer or you could hear each other. They also made the surveys all random, helping you to jack up your ACW time because you are terrified of failing a survey if they hang up and you fail to call them back. Also, people have failed surveys even after fixing the customers problem!!! I have gotten some zeroes for entire rep performance in addition to failed survey after fixing their problem. You have to always know is so stressful. If you guys happen to find a more reasonable Verizon place, let me know.

Jobless on June 12, 2012:

I know what it is like to work at a call center. I was sorry toleave our old Funai account go. There was pressure and the 6 1/2 minute call time and QAs, but the Funai account was nothing like the Verizon account. When we got the Verizon account,it was hell. Most of us old timers quit or got fired. If a customer failed you on a survey because she could not get an upgrade because she didn't qualify,or was unhappy with the store rep, too bad, it's on you. You have to get 90s on everything. Verizon does not make allowances or exceptions as to why the call time was long,or why you failed a survey, you had to take the performance hit for it. If you took a break late, you just blew adherence.If you transferred to tech su;pport too much-like over 10%, you earned writeups. Writeups were regularly earned for stupid stuff, like failing surveys, ACWtoo high,personal time too high, hold time too high, average call time too high. Plus, my call center had no union,no raises. The pressure was enormous. I would have liked to meet their threshold for expected performance, but it was just too high. My friend and I got fired because our call time average was too high, and he was at a lower call time than me!!! How can you meet the 8 minute time when there is so much tocover,and when you have tooffer upgrades,and ask themif they want extra help? Then of course,the deescalation of angry customers?

Michelle on April 30, 2012:

I only worked at one for a week. Ha ha. My title was technical csr. It was an inbound call center that resembled a cubicle farm. My stomach dropped when i saw it as the 3rd party that recruited me blew fog up my arse regarding what i'd be doing there. The first thing I noticed was the blank to grumpy faces I noticed while walking through the place. Ha ha. It seemed like everyone was miserable. They had me shadowing immediately (day 1). I moved a chair around to three different cubes. Only one of the three people that I was shadowing seemed okay with me sitting beside her. Supposedly, I was suppose to be learning something by just watching these reps click on a smorgasboard of software they had to use. I learned about what someone could have just told me in an hour over three days. Ha ha. Talk about a terrible way to train someone. Next step was nesting meaning getting acclimated to the job by having someone sit beside me if I needed them on a call. Well, the person doing that was more concerned about her nails, texting, and talking about ghetto trash then training me. She also thought it was a real riot that I didn't know what I was doing. Another thing I noticed was that the two managers for my department were never available. They were in meetings all day, how convenient. I would highly recommend avoiding these places unless you have absolutely no other option. Remember that anyone with a high school diploma can do this job which is why you run into people who can hardly speak english much less write. I do have to say that it was funny listening to people complain all day about their phone and/or internet not working. Key word there is "listening" it would have been horrible talking with these people. I would rather clean hotel rooms than take back to back calls like that for a measly so many dollars and hour. Bear in mind that this position had no benefits and was only a temporary contract for a few months. Talk about making it easy for me to bail. Ha ha.

I would suggest avoiding these places they really are horrible. However, if you are just starting out your career, have the patience of job, and can stomach the drama of these environments than more power to ya.

Call center on April 17, 2012:

Call center job is not for everyone. You know what i don't get is seeing employees who choose to show up for work everyday but so disengaged and discrunteled. Why not just quit and end it, if you're sooo unhappy and can't do the work---QUIT!

Viper on March 23, 2012:

I worked at a called center for almost 2 years, it was a living hell. They made you go to hell to get hired, and when you SAW who you were working with...well lets just say they were not top of the food chain. I worked for Telecheck. I stayed because it fit my life at the time.

I hated the management. I hate the ' Sales' Rep that were ' Selling' terminals they could not program. I started out wanting to do a good job but when I saw the whole ' we are a team' was a load of bull. I let it run wild. I used to hang up on calls ALL the time. The last 6 months I was there, I was a bitch on wheels. It got to the point were I got the rest of the CSR to hang-up, it spread like wild fire. It got so bad that the " Big Wigs" felt we needed to have a meeting...they had every CRS in that meeting and asked them not to hung up on the customer and that they needed us. Bull shit. I kicked it up a notch. I almost got caught, but I did not.

I left there hanging up on a least 100 people.

Tech Guy on March 22, 2012:

I work in third party call center handling very bad wireless carrier service plus cheap stupid indians and shitty immigrants in canada.

What the hell after i was enjoying my LIfe in many many jobs i am tied on station with headset stupid job

Sarah on March 16, 2012:

Wanted to leave a comment about incentives. I've come across call center managers that think a raffle you are entered in because of a good score on a call is an incentive. Sorry but putting my name in a hat with a dozen other people to possibly when a whopping five or ten dollar prize isn't an incentive to me. It is simply retarded and stupid. It doesn't motivate me in the least and makes me painfully aware of what a ridiculous job I have.

e_tristani on March 15, 2012:

i work for a large cell phone company call center i'm not gonna go into all the specifics of how much this job drains your soul but i am going to say if you can find something else take it even if it pays a little less don't make the same mistake i did....either that or just sell weed :)

Kay on February 13, 2012:

I work at a call center as well. I work full time the typical Monday through Friday 8-5 and the mandatory overtime Saturdays each month. About 30 minutes ago I just made an excuse to not come in because I dread this job THAT bad (I have only missed a few days over the past few months) and her reply was, "You'll get a call later to see when you can make up the hours you have missed." WTF?

The job is horrible. We have a team lead that is breathing down our necks all day, if you look tired they pretty much tell you that you aren't allowed to look tired. And you cant even sit in a comfortable way because your body language "shows through your voice" And you have to get a certain amount of sales each day or your pretty much in trouble. And if you make too many trips to the bathroom they will send each group a mass message saying "What's up with the bathroom breaks this is how many minutes each person has taken blah blah"


Maddie on February 10, 2012:

I didn't spell you're incorrectly. You idiot. An even if I did, what are you the grammar police.

Joseph Kerr on February 09, 2012:

...You spelled "you're" incorrectly.

Maddie on February 03, 2012:

Here are some examples from my experience working in a call center. An email stating that we needed to deduct bathroom trips from our break or lunch. Sending us home early if the call volume was low. Literally pain from the damn headset pinching my ear all day b/c I wear glasses. Training that didn't prepare us at all for the calls. Coming home beat down tired, stressed, and with a general dislike for humanity. I remember an interview where a CS Mgr. told me that the call ctr. position was available b/c someone working the front counter had retired and one of her reps. moved to fill that role. Wow! What does that say about the position you're trying to fill when someone would rather work at the counter than on the phone. Ha ha. Sadly, the counter work probably paid the same amount and was much easier work. Like the forum heading says..Call Centers Suck!

Joe on February 02, 2012:

Call centers suck because you have to put up with either idiots, complaints (usually unjustified), and feeling like just a number in a sea of cubicles. You don't receive any praise for a job well done, only grief over something stupid like too much hold time during the day. Maybe you get an email saying good job. Thanks but that doesn't pay the bills. Management only cares about the numbers not the quality of service. Even though, they will lie and tell you otherwise. Pay is just enough to keep your head above water so you end up either getting lucky by getting out of it or losing your sanity by the burn out. Sadly, b/c of the repetitiveness of these types of jobs the burn out can come as soon as six months to a year on the job. I've decided to just say "no" to call centers. I owe it to myself to not being a phone jockey playing the broken record bit all day long! Blah

Jun Valasek on December 04, 2011:

Call centers and BPO is the main reason why America is in recession. Shipping American jobs abroad is the main reason why the the unemployment rate is still high... Call center job sucks!

DAN on June 14, 2011:

it sucks I only worked for a month and a half. the company will always tell you "you can win a lot of money" which is not all true, i worked to repair cable and people always called angry and if your English is "funny" they get even angrier, but i must say some customers are wonderful and not stupid. the worst part about "video repair" call centers is that you are timed on every single call and some people take too long to turn off their tv hahahahaha and they want everything fixed fast. its just tooo stupid to work at a call center my advice don't even think about working at those places sure its "well paid" "just to take calls" but the supervisors are a pain in the ass I also had to ask to go to the bathroom which is stupid.

Glassgow1 on April 07, 2011:

Commercial call centers must suck based on these comments, but they are not all this way. I supervise a staff of 22 employees who work a call center for a state agency. They are all highly trained, paid well and there is no micro-managing; there is no need. Bathroom breaks are at the operators discretion. I cannot even imagine trying to regulate that for them, crazy! The problems we have stem from too many calls coming in and not enough staff to take the calls so staff gets wore out. State budgets won't allow for any hiring and they are expected to take more calls than is possible. Burn out.

The hiring freeze is just now starting to let up so if you want a good paying job in a reasonable environment with great benefits and educated supervisors look to your state government job listings for a phone center job.

Rinki Nandy on February 22, 2011:

cHorrible is the only word I can use to describe BPos/ call centers'. One has to leave respect, forget education, learn to be patient and simply "appreciate" all that is said and done. After six yrs, I stand no where, i have experienced only ignornance, fake accents, fake people; there is NO LIFE here, I am now a person with high tolerance levels whos an idiot. This is exploitation and big money involved of which the mgmnt makes the most and the rest of the team has to survive on cigarettes, booze, causal sex, discos and brands to feel happy and SURVIVE. I wish I was born rich or not born at all.

Telemarketer666 on January 09, 2011:

What Witness said is totally true. Incompetent people are always at the top of the food chain in call centers, most of them get there because they are friends with someone, it never has anything to do with performance or quality.

The worst part about call centers is that if you need a day off or have an emergency, you practically have to beg.

In the call center where I work we have to ASK for permission to go to the bathroom.

Even worse than that, is that if you have any kind of education, you sit there all day and wonder how the hell, with the skills you have other than talking on the phone, you ended up taking BS from some dumb hick who thinks he's better than you, all while, you, as opposed to him, have a job and are trying to make a living.

Witness on November 12, 2010:

Call centers do suck. The part about the free time is true. But the main thing I notice about call centers is that it is a haven for incompetent managers who would or could not be a manger at any other real professional job. They listen to your calls and no matter how great the call went, in order to so-called "coach you" they pull you to the side and begin splitting hairs over how your voice sounded and what words you used and what you could have said etc. I understand the need for quality but I lot of it is BS. Each company has its guidelines as to how they like their customer service delivered so your manager attempts to mandate these rules through call listening based on their own interpretation. The problem is however that whenever you get a new manager (which happens often) they will look at those same rules and interpret them completely opposite of what you were previously coached to do. Its a real joke. There is no consistency and when anything goes wrong, the nature of a call center's operation allows them to ultimately place the blame completely on you. No matter how uninformed you have been about certain job functions or how disorganized (which is typical) the operation truly is it will always be your fault. That's why the turnover is high. If you can help it, stay away from call centers. You don't want a bunch of dumb asses telling you what to do.

anne on July 01, 2010:

call center sucks, most of the people are rude and stupid and people get worse because the companies do not try to educate the customer who can tell you anything they want and the representatives cant said a thing

AOkay12 from Florida on June 19, 2010:

It is true that call centers have a very high turnover. This is partly because of the reasons you describe in this Hub. Call center work is not for everyone, especially persons with little patience.

david on October 31, 2009:


pato on October 26, 2009:

I work in a call center in Argentina and that its really bad. All that you said its true, and here its worst. I´m sorry if I write something wrong but I never learn english. Here the call centers explote people until we get tired. And they pay joust the minimal. For you to now It´s something like $500 a month.

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