A long long time ago, I had the fortunate luck of working in a call centre. Fresh out of university, this was the only job I could find with my limited work experience, so I was not complaining… Yet.
It was difficult. The hours were long, my conversational armoury was devoid of chit-chat and to top it off, I have the voice of a little girl (I know this for a fact because one of the customers asked me what grade I was in and whether my parents knew I was using the phone). I was very put out afterward, I decided not to speak to anyone for a week, except at work because I got paid to do so. The speaking I did at work outweighed the speaking I did out of work so this was a very moot exercise.
That said, I’m generally empathetic towards Call Centre agents but I loathe receiving calls from them. I feel like I’m on the Call Centre Agents Association most wanted list.
Typical conversation between me and a CCA:
CCA: “Hi, this is X from YZandBullshit Incorporated”
Me: *Shame, a call centre agent. I know how difficult their lives are. I shall be nice to this fine fellow (Because I think in an old British accent, evidently)*
“Hi, this is ChocMilk from Planet Earth”
CCA: “I’ve called to tell you about an amazing opportunity that your friend Bla thought you might be interested in”
Me: *Bla, she’s a really good friend of mine, she wouldn’t give my number out to just ANYONE*
CCA: “ Great, well, we at YZandBullshit Inc are offering some amazing discount vouchers that you could use when you go out for dinner with, say, your boyfriend”
Me: *It’s very presumptuous to think I even have one, what if I had a girlfriend and interjected to correct him? Wait… I totally should interject! WOOO! CURVEBALL!*
CCA: “Awesome! Now, you may be wondering….”
Me: -zones out-
2 minutes later
CCA: “… and all that for just R95 a month! How does that sound?”
Me: *Shit! I just made him recite that whole speech. I know that doing so takes a great deal of effort and builds a false sense of WIN! I should have cut the call when I had the chance! I SHOULD HAVE TOLD HIM THAT I AM A LESBIAN! Fuck. FUCK!*
“Great but I don’t think I have my banking details on me…”
CCA: “Not a problem, I’ll call you at another time”
And he did – multiply. Even though I avoided calls from private numbers for days afterwards, he managed to break through my barrier and make me feel even more guilty by saying that he realises how very busy I am…
As a result, I have to give him 5 recommendations – of close friends that may be interested too.
Not only do I have to suffer through the pain of speaking to him again, I have to bring my friends down with me and they will hate me for it and I will be alone and I’ll have to get a dozen cats and my house will smell of tuna and the kids in the neighbourhood will refer to me as ‘that crazy cat lady’ and when the kids in the neighbourhood tell tales of my infamous lack of sanity, they will say that I was brought down by a call centre agent.
That’s the very last time I let a call centre agent assume that I am heterosexual.