When life gives you lemons, make apple juice and watch as they wonder how the hell you did it.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

More Than Just Your Average Center

An Experiential Report

            Being part of the Call Center Industry is absolutely quaint for me. Though it is generally accepted that someone who hailed from a Communications course would definitely be accepted as a call center agent, I was still half-hearted when my name was finally called for an interview.
            Cold and comfortable. If there were applicable words to describe what a call center is, these words would be it. The cold breeze was adding up to the fright I was then feeling apparently while I was queued up for the interview. What more freezing field my seat – the place, had become when my name was called.
            I am not new to the call center industry for my friends usually talk about it. From different Aux Numbers to the Hard Phones; expensive headsets to some irate customers, name those things, I have heard them from my friends and perhaps this one of the reasons why I was attracted and beguiled to apply at one. I had some conversations with my pals and they have described a call center as a different place where it either resets your body clock or destroys your social life. Also, this place gives you an avenue to progress your communication and social skills. For whatever those things are worth, I could not have cared less. Though financially fulfilling, being a call center agent, to summarize things all up, is a major endeavor select few have conquered.
            Basically, almost all of my friends have been a part of a call center – or in its mundane factor, have been working even before Internship 2 started. They had stuffs bought by their sole hard work and I thought it would be cool if I would be able to do such things. Their pay was not below 20,000. I honestly believed that was a thousand times above being modest and a thousand times below being frugal. I have got to experience this type of job, I reckoned.
            What gave things away for me to try this endeavor was when Internship 2 was opened up to us. From Internship 1 which was a mandatory Print Media Associations, I was endorsed at Summit Media, which, I really think, had been a wonderful experience. I have had the blast of my life serving at the biggest publisher in the Philippines – not to mention their variety of local and international magazines. Blessing was my opportunity to proofread all the major magazines from August – November 2012. I can say that I can see a future in this field, considering that I took up Journalism to begin with. But to end by, I also come to that realization that passion would not be sustainable.
            That mini heart attack that one feels when they get over-excited? I felt that when our professor told us that we can venture into the concrete jungle called real life. Professor Cherry C. Pebre gave us this wonderful opportunity to craft our own destiny and tomorrow. She gave us freewill and liberty because she did not give us any constraints in choosing any field of profession we would want to go in to and become an intern. She introduced to us the inculcation of the Allied Media.
            Professor Pebre led us to a better understanding of what is the sole purpose of being an intern – and that is to be accepted in a company because of one’s invaluable service and impeccable understanding of the company’s existence. This alone made me love Internship 2. This alone gave me newer perspectives in life as a graduating student. So I have decided to pursue an internship with TeleTech Holdings, Inc.
            The moment I shook hands with my interviewer, I knew at that moment, I was accepted. And by far, it had been one of the most defining moments of my life. Working, or as I liked to coin it, performing for TeleTech was a blast.
            The training days were as cool as the production days. I was endorsed to a dayshift account – which I think pretty much destroyed what I originally signed up for. The training started a week after I was hired. That was 17th of December. I was extremely very afraid but judging from my experiences with computers and my ability to distinguish and troubleshoot connections to the Internet and telephone cables, I am pretty sure that I can do well. And what I reckoned was true. I was endorsed to Telstra BigPond – ADSL Technical Support Level 1. In comparison, Telstra is like the PLDT – MyDSL of Australia. Telstra is a telecommunications company located at Victoria, Australia and is the biggest tycoon in Australia owning as much as 85% of all the cable lines in Australia.
            The training was divided into two parts : Cultural Immersion and Product Training. Since this is not an international account, Cultural immersion is an important part because Australia is known as a British Colony so technically, their accents, culture and people are far different from that of other leading countries such as the United States of America. The Product Training is all about the work nature itself – which is trying to identify the problems that our loyal customers might be experiencing.
            Not to be boastful but in both classes, I was ranked number one out of 20 agents. Considering that I am a newbie, and almost half of my teammates have had call center experience, I was even elected to be a Team Leader trainee for a week and my team trusted me as much as I trusted them. The feedback they gave made me realize that I have been an exemplary leader and it made me cry knowing that they still wanted me to be their team leader. I have never met such an awesome group and I could not have asked for anything more.
            This team leader thingy made me earn a spot at the ranking of all TeleTech employees around the globe. The ranking is showed in over the intranet site of TeleTech and to my surprise, out of the 1,000 senior associates of the account Telstra BigPond, I ranked 414th. This is a first because usually, new-hires do not even go at the rank of 500th. It brings me extreme joy to know that a neophyte like me can be able to reach greater heights with the help of the people around me.
            I learned more than enough during my stay at TeleTech Holdings, Inc. It taught me the true value of camaraderie both in and out of the working field. It taught me the value of character and competence. It made me realize that money matters but not to the extent that one should let it govern your life. Being a call center agent for quite some time made me realize the values of how important things in life are; how important time is and how such a shame should be given to those who carelessly waste it; and that life, no matter how hard it is, becomes easy with the proper mindset.

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