Getting Hired: Survey Call Center

So you know, I worked at the call center of a company that conducted market research surveys over the phone. This was the kind of job that is very easy to get, but very hard to keep due to having to convince angry suspicious people that they should do a market research survey. I was about middling competent at the job, and didn’t seem to have as much of a stress problem with being screamed at over the phone as I did being screamed at in person.

This is the basic method by which hiring occurred at the Call Center:

1.Show up on the appointed day.

2.Fill out application.

3.Do a voice test thing.

4.Attend training classes.

5.Job get!

Filling out the application was easy, though I was deeply nervous about the entire thing. I discovered that someone I had been using as a reference had neglected to tell me what her real last name was. (I knew her mostly over instant messaging and a group we were both in, and her user handle looked like a real name rather than an alias.)  Especiallythe part where I had work and the time I was supposed to call to do the voice test thing was during work hours. I ended up doing the voice test in the mall on a pay phone during my lunch break.

I finished out the week at my work, and then quit. (Or the reverse, I don’t remember.)

Training was pretty stressful. At any point in time during the process you could be told that “I’m sorry, I don’t think you’re a good fit for this,” and then you wouldbe gone. For some people it was pretty clear that they couldn’t handle the training from the beginning; one lady became extremely upset at the idea of working on a computer to do surveys. (Apparently, she thought that the surveys would be conducted with paper and pencil instead of typed into the computer.)She left after about thirty minutes or so, even though the directions for using the computer were pretty simple.

I almost got canned midway through the training because sometimes, I have moments where I get extremely confused and anything someone says sounds like “wah, wah,wah.” After some training were taken into a room with a lot of phones to do some practice calls. I do not recall exactly what I did that was stupid, but itwas bad enough that I got taken aside. Somehow, I managed to communicate that I’d had a panicky moment and that I could do better, if given the chance. For whatever reason, the supervisor chose to believe me and I was able to continue with the practice calls. The rest of the night was mostly problem free, and I got the job.

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Filed under phone center blues, the past, work stories

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