Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Call(ing) Centers

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GY, QA, AHT, SME, TL, SLA's....If you read this and not wonder if I'm from outer space talking gibberish then no guessing that you're in the call center industry.

When I landed the job in 2003, the industry was well past its initial stage in the Philippines and have already gained considerable popularity with the largely unemployed and yet skilled populace. Having heard from a friend about this nice job with an even nicer pay and benefits, I decided to try my luck. At that time, I've been without a job for several months already following my resignation from a government agency where I was a casual employee for almost two years with no hope of either a raise in pay or even a regularization. So, when I was immediately hired in one of the most established call centers in the country, offered a salary tripled what I've been receiving from my previous job, regularized after six months, and got all the employment benefits (health, insurance and paid time off) and perks (namely, credit card and loans approval) that went with it, that I could have just kicked myself for not going at it sooner.

For me, it was a dream job that not even the odd working hours can negate. And, I don't believe that I'm entirely alone in my view either. The call center industry came at a time when graduates have become disillusioned with the current employment, or rather, unemployment trend. Millions of graduates turn out every year, each one highly educated and skilled only to become part of the unemployed sector due to lack of available jobs. Many have turned to nursing and caregiving with hopes of going to a foreign land where they can earn more and live better at the high cost of sacrificing family and relationships.

With the advent of call centers, Filipinos who have the basic requirements of good English communication skills, internet knowledge and typing skills are hired by the thousands. No discrimination in regard to age, sex, nor religion. At times, even those who have not finished their college degrees are hired provided they have the above-mentioned qualifications.

There's no wondering why majority of the working populace are now in call centers. Aside from the great demand and high salary, there are lots of opportunities for career growth and advancement in such a fast-growing industry.

Sore throat from talking too much, aching hands and fingers from typing, going a bit deaf from listening to customer's concerns, and tired, red eyes (visine, please) from staring at the computer all through my shift, are more than made up for by my belief in this job. Excuse me from being dramatic, but I believe it has literally saved a lot of Filipinos from taking on punishing, low-paying, and sometimes, degrading jobs. The pressure to go outside of the Philippines to try greener pastures are relieved somewhat.

So, when those in your neighborhood wonder why you go to work at night all dressed up, come home in the early morning, be absent from home even holidays and sundays and you tell them you work in a call center and they turn and give you an understanding nod, saying: Oh, you're a telephone operator. How nice.

Well, it's better to just nod and smile, right?

1 comment:

goldi said...

okay to liz ah... ;)

lagay ka tag-board para yung mga tamad mag-type ng comment (kailangan mo pa kasing mag-log-in eh, pano kung ala kang blogger account, diba?) makapag-lagay kahit short coment lang, diba? gusto mo, bigay mo na lng sa kin login & password ng blog mo saka yung design na gusto mo, tapos ako na gagawa ;)