It’s been eight months since I’ve worked in a cubicle. I left my old call center job last August and I haven’t looked back since. I can’t say that I particularly miss having bathroom breaks monitored by my boss, or the fact that every keystroke on my computer had to be approved by my six supervisors. I don’t particularly miss my bosses, and I don’t miss 99% of my co-workers (Adam being about the sole exception).
Seriously, what the hell was that job all about?
Every day, I was forced to wear my headset like it was the mark of some shiftless, lazy beast. I was unmercifully compelled to have laborous conversations with anxious Filipino nursing candidates from Gardena, impatient Indian Cisco employees in San Jose, and chain-smoking women in the deep south who insisted against all reason that their email address had a “www.” in it. It was a veritable rainbow coalition of frustration and dispair.
At this job, training meetings would stretch on hours beyond their necessary limits. The trainers would drone on, reading aloud from a packet of information that we all were highly capable of reading silently on our own, utterly oblivious to the fact our eyes had rolled back into our skulls and we were to the point of trying to swallow our own tongues and welcome death.
At one point, somebody in some department decided that it should be the call center’s job to try to sell other products to our clients, in addition to meeting the needs that they called for. Having worked in sales before, and having found it distasteful, I suggested that this was not a part of our job description, and that some of us had originally wanted to work for this company precisely because we weren’t reduced to forcing unnecessary upgrades upon our customers. I was told that I had a bad attitude and wasn’t a team player. I proceded to sulk and mutter under my breath for the next several weeks, taking longer bathroom breaks than I was allotted, just to spite them.
Now, instead of being treated like a fifth grader, I am a teacher myself. Having learned from my former supervisors, I do my best to pander to and crush the spirits of all those in my classroom. I do this through my old company’s time-honored methods of arbitrary punishments, passive-aggressive comments, and liberal distributions of shame and humiliation.
At long last, the circle is now complete.