A thankless job

This is an email I got from my co-worker that I would like to share with you guys especially to those who are currently, previously or are thinking of working in the call center industry. It's a letter made by a Filipino based in Manila who's working as a call center agent for an ISP (Internet Service Provider) company based in the US.

Thanks to my friend / co-worker Karell Cruz for sharing this email with me.

This is a thankless job. I am working 8 hours a day (or night...whatever), talking to people of another race in another timezone about problems with the products they are using of which I care nothing about.

I work in a call center. And I am about to call it quits.

I start work at a time when my family and friends (most of them, anyway) are into their first REM cycle. I eat "lunch" during my brother's breakfast time and I come home to say "goodnight" to my mother cooking lunch. I miss all outings, I don't go to church with my sisters (I work Sundays) and I can't tell what day it is.

I am in limbo.

The people I talk to everyday (night...whatever!) put me in a state of limbo. Some are so stupid (I apologize, I'm only being truthful here) that they won't know the difference between a potato and a cucumber. Some are so funny that I have to hit the mute button ten times in a span of three minutes to guffaw. For crying out loud, everybody knows how to type in a "colon" right? Some are so technical (but still stupid just the same) to blame their ISP (that's the client) of blocking his emails just because he's using MacAfee Scan Mail. Naturally, I told him it scans his emails and rejects them, labeling them "virus". They just don't get it.

I hate my job and I love it.

I hate being yelled at (as if it's my fault they can't get their mail when their mail servers are f*cked up) and being cussed at (of course I release the call after three misses. Hehehe...) and blamed for problems in a country I never dreamed of seeing (the hell with the American dream). I hate being called "stupid" even when I'm doing my best to get them connected to the Internet (guess who turned out to be "stupid" for not having the phone line plugged into the computer?) so they can surf those sick porn sites?

But, as I said, I am in limbo.

May mga taong ang sarap tulungan... (there are those who you'd love to help)

There's a lady who was very upset because she kept getting disconnected. A simple modem init string and I stayed with her for five minutes to make sure she stays on... and she showered me with thanks. A lola (grandma) wanted to get her email because her grandson is sick and her health can't stand another five-state crossing. When we got her Outlook Express configured, she gleefully shared with me the news that her grandson made it to his first birthday and offered to email me the pictures. An old couple in Montana thanked me profusely for connecting them to the internet: their petition to adopt a Chinese baby girl has been granted and they could get her next week.

I love my job because a simple Thank You makes it all worth it. To hell with the obnoxious know-it-all idiots. These special customers give my existence one more reason for continuing.

One time, I told my supervisor that my job is thankless. He told me to stick around and let it grow on me. One of these days, he said, you will see why we all stay.

Last night, I got an email from our corporate headquarters. Remember that woman who kept getting disconnected? Management barged in on that call...and I got another word of thanks.

In an environment like this, "thank you" is the greatest treasure of all.

So maybe, this job is not that thankless after all.

But a raise won't hurt, would it? I sure won't mind saying "thank you" to a thankless job like this.

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