Monday, 25 March 2013

Oh dear. Bad day at work?

Understatement of the year for me right now. Oh yeah, update, I got a job, of sorts, it's unpaid and classified as an internship. Figured I needed to do something with my time...

"So get on with it then, what's the problem?". Ah yes, sorry, it's in an establishment that calls itself PR and works like a call centre. For those who have had the pleasure of such an environment, need I say more?

First off, for the sake of my 'professional credibility' (god knows if I actually have one), this post is not about the job, the company, or a complaint on the system. I hugely appreciate any opportunity I am given (no one else was going to hire me!) and there is, beyond any doubt, a great amount of positives that are to be said for my situation, some will be clarified here so read on. It is, however, an honest recount of my experiences, from my perspective, aimed at an intended audience of sympathy rather than accountability.
So if you've worked in one, you know what I mean, if not, chances are you've had one of us call you and you know how you've acted down the phone. Come on, don't deny it, to be honest we've all done it. Cold calling is NOT appreciated. And every so often, it's not tolerated, at all. And those poor bastards on the other end have no choice but to be your punch bag. Hell, some genuinely are too persistent and don't get the 'no' you're telling them, but that just makes them even poorer bastards.

Ending my first week of work on an odd positive note, I thought it wasn't so bad, I can deal. Then whack! One heck of a bloody Monday. Started off by being told I don't "communicate myself effectively" to ending with "you lot are just hounding us, I mean, Jesus Christ!" The latter leaving me too paralysed to make any further calls, troubling, when the whole job consists of call making and there's still an hour to go. What makes it harder is that they are completely right. Part of what we are told to do is constant follow-ups until a clarified decision from the person, one way or another, is achieved. Being a classic Brit, this isn't considered polite and is therefore very uncomfortable when I know I'm doing it. Also, no, I'm not a great communicator. I can be, but it falters, along with my confidence. I also have a very slight lisp, so that's great.

A jobs a job though, what do you expect? The good outweighs the bad in terms of the qualifications I can say I'm gaining. Despite the knock backs, I'm possibly growing in confidence, I'm being shoved unceremoniously through the educational door of elocution and diction, and learning to speak to many different sorts of people. I reckon these skills are needed in any sort of job or situation in life, no matter how much you try to avoid public speaking at school.

But there is one thing I can say is a big consideration to something like this, and one that I think is justified, if a little selfish. You should only really tolerate a job that is suited to your personality and the way you work. I'm a part time artist type - believe it or not, and this is the one rule artists tend to abide by. We all have our unique styles and our unique way of working. People buy our work and appreciate us specifically because of these traits. The same goes for your day to day job. If you can hack that sort of environment, and revel in the successes you gain from it, then it suits you.

I've never been very 'corporate', and I have the self esteem of a pebble, so any hit I take throws me into a black hole of despair for a good few hours before I can see the light and feel that things aren't that bad really. I know, I'm pathetic. Long story short, I really don't think I would be too good at sticking with this for the long run, and I do say this with trepidation, because I always try hard to learn quickly and deliver well, what ever the job. The logic is to work to your specific skill set. Be an artist. Do something you know you're good at, and enjoy, don't submit to doing something because, technically, you just can.

It all depends of perspective I suppose. What do you reckon? Am I just acting spoilt? Please tell me, if you can, how you take the situation of a call centre, and turn it into something you can work on and improve at?


Camille Sita said...

Abs, I've said it before and I'll say it again - get the hell out of there. Sorry, but it sounds absolutely horrific. Yes, I did work in a call centre for one day when I was a lot younger and never went back because it was so vile. My advice and what I'm 100% sure I'd do if I was you - leave now with your head held high. Maybe you are gaining some 'communication' experience from it, but in all honesty that's not something hard to gain in a better, rewarding internship. Hope this doesn't sound too harsh, but they sound like assholes who are wasting your time.

Camille Sita said...

p.s. it makes me angry that you feel like you have to stay. I know the state of the economy is rubbish and finding work is hard...but what about all those other, better internships you found? It sounds more like that place is zapping your confidence than teaching you any professional skills. GET OUT OF THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

aboids said...

Thanks for caring and sharing luv :-) But don't worry, I have plans (as mentioned ;-) )