My prejudice against call centres

The day started as usual, with morning alarm trying its best to wake me up, and my mind drifting off to the dream world at the slightest excuse. Eventually alarm always wins and I almost always manage to get the bus in the nick of time. Today was no different.

So I reached my desk, checked my mails.. Nothing for me, nothing since I left last night. Good! So the day started with no outstanding tasks, which means all my work today is gonna be ad-hoc and small.. I like it.

So all of a sudden I get a call from Rams, Shrinivas’s GF. “Now this is a pleasant surprise!”, I thought to myself.


“Hi, are you busy?”, she asked.

“Not really!” ‘

“Acha listen, I wanted to ask something on Call centre”

“What about it?”, I asked out of curiosity.

“Can you transfer a call from one call centre to other, even though the other was not contracted to original company on whose behalf the first call centre picked up?”

Before I continue, I should tell u, She is a lawyer..

“I’m not sure on that, I don’t know much about call centre rules….”, I tried to logically derive, but I didn’t want to give any opinion for something like this, which I have no clue on, that too to a lawyer.. 🙂

I mumbled something, but I have no clue…

” I really don’t know anything about call centre rules.. “, I don’t.

“No, I thought somebody who works there might know that”, she said.

WTF? I work in an IT company, as a software engineer, not some call centre agent.

“What?!?!?”, I was shocked, pissed that inspite of knowing what she does, she doesn’t even have the slightest clue on what I do…. What’s worse, to be called as a call centre agent.

“Hello, I dont work in a call centre! What gave u the idea that I’am? I into software development!!”, I retaliated, quite pissed.

“Ok, I gotta hang up now”, she said, irritated. I was even more pissed off, she calls me call centre agent, and now she pretends as though its my fault.

“Ok”, I said ang hung up.


Then I started thinking, why would she think that, And why did I get pissed off?

The fact of the matter is, I don’t like the fact that India is the call centre of the world. Most of the call centre work involves working around script, and some presentation skills… I know the work is extremely demanding (I have had a couple of my friends working in call centre for making a few extra bucks when we were still in college). But for some reason, the call centres are the exact reason why people abroad thinks we are idiots (we are not!, most of us anyway, definitely not my friends who worked in a call centre). Yes I have a prejudice against call centres, I don’t claim I’m right, but I sure as hell don’t want to be called as “call centre agent”. It is an insult to whatever coding I have learnt in the last 15 years or so (Yes, I’m a code monkey :-(|)  ), Whatever training I got here in the organization I’m working in.

When I cooled off, I realized that since CC’s come under IT & BPO, she wouldn’t know the difference anyway. So I called her up, explained the whole thing, including my prejudice and clarified. I think she got the difference. I was hurt by the fact that people don’t know the difference.

Though I don’t like call centres,I have utmost respect for the Call Centre guys, One peek into their life reveals how difficult is their life. I have had friends who worked in Call Centres.


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