Oct 26, 2012

Call Centre Rant

I'm unemployed right now, so many of my nights are spent applying online, because no one really wants resumes on paper anymore. Anyways I just want to rant a little. You can totally skip this. I don't expect anyone to really read this. I'm just in a mood to type and type!
Most of my work experience is in call centres (hey they're always looking for people); inbound (my favourite), outbound, cold calls (the worst), warm calls, surveys, etc. But I've never had to sell anything, and I've never done commission based work. I've always been paid hourly, and that's how I like it. I'm not totally against selling stuff to people over the phone, but I just feel bad about it. I'm not the kind of person to push people into buying something, in my eyes whenever they say they don't need something, I'm like, yeah you don't... I just always feel so bad. You lie, you scam people, sell them things they don't need. I just don't feel good about it or myself. In my eyes it's not a dream job, and usually when you're selling things, they want/need you to hit a quota a day, and if you don't after a few weeks they usually fire you. I'm more into the kind of call centres where I'm helping people. You know, they call in with a problem and I help.
Anyways, I've been applying to call centres like crazy. A lot of them are way too far away. Anything that takes over an hour, hour and a half to travel, I can't do it. It's too much time and money. I wasn't getting enough calls/emails back for interviews so I got over my hate for sales and just started applying to call centres that focus on selling over the phone. I need a job.
 This one got back to me right away. I was excited, they weren't super far. I went for my first interview, they talked about what they did. I wasn't too excited about it, but I liked the energy of the company and everyone seemed so nice.
Some weird things happened during my one on one interview. They asked me how I felt about talking to people, face to face about their products. I said I'd never done it before (I was a phone person) but I'd be willing to try it. Then I asked if they did a lot of events, if it was phone calls with a mix of conventions/events? My interviewer replied, that they use a lot of different ways to get their products out to the people. At the time I was happy with this answer. But now that I think about this, that wasn't an answer to my question. Sneaky, I should have read between the lines! Another good example was when one guy asked the interviewer if they did quotas, and they replied that they've never seen anyone get lower than 'insert number here'. Not a real answer! This is how they treat people applying for a job, I don't wanna know how they talk to the customers.
I got invited back for a second interview, always a good sign and I was happy. They told me the second interview would be getting to know the 'team' and your team leader. It would be a day of shadowing. They told me to wear casual clothing and to bring a lunch or money for food. Usually you don't shadow someone until you're in training, so I saw it as a good sign. They wanted me to come back from 8am (which means I got up at 6am) till 7:30pm (which means I got home at a little after 9pm) A full day. A full day! They asked me to come the next day, which means I had to cancel on two interviews. Mistake! I regret this so so sooo much.
I show up early for my second day of interviewing/shadowing. A few others show up, we spend 4 straight hours reviewing what the company is selling, then did a test on what we've learned. We went over some papers we need to review and sign for the company. We get to the last page were our trainer/interviewer tells us about being comfortable at work. (usually at this point I expect a dress code) Instead they start talking about taking breaks, drinking enough water, when it's cold out to wear warm clothing, etc. I got a little confused.
Then out of no where, a guy comes in (the boss man!) and tells us that he has our team leads waiting for us behind him.They're all guys wearing jackets and holding clip boards and lots of papers... 
They're door to door sales people! I'm was so upset. I didn't apply for this! They tricked me! They never said it was door to door, they never mentioned it! I would have never applied to it if they had just said what it was! And now that I think of it, they never mentioned phones either. They just kept talking about good attitude etc. Then I found out that this job is purely commission based. No!! I try to be nice, I ask questions, my team lead doesn't really answer most of them, tells me he'd tell me when/if I get fully hired. (So helpful!) So for about 7 - 8 hours I got to walk around door to door with this guy. I got to watch people get upset with him, aruge with him, start closing door in his face, laugh at him, get a sale then last minute cancel it. etc. But yes he did make sales. We were out door to door until way after dark. I was cold, I wasn't dressed properly to be outside for that long, because surprise, no one told me I'd be outside all damn day! I woud have worn different shoes, and brought more snacks. I had the worst time ever. And at one point I had to use the washroom, surprise we're in the streets, there are no washrooms to use. I had to ask this really dirty walk in clinic if I could use their washroom and his reply was; 'Um, who are you people?' The washroom was so sketchy. Picture ball of toilet paper where the handle should be and no real lock.
And the team lead crap, everyone (around 10 people or less) get dropped off by the company cars to their locations. They drop you off for about 8 hours and then come get you. You're alone all day on the streets! I was told if your phone dies while you're out and you're not exactly where they dropped you off at, then they expect you to find your own way home.
Oh and let me explain the picture above. This is what I was doing while the guy was working, I just kept looking around distracted by everything. The trees looked pretty. I'd look at peoples halloween decorations. I'd watch people walking their dogs and miss Cap. I was just so bored and tired. The guy I was with barely talked to me, he was always speed walking. I thought a lot about what I really wanna be doing. I wanted to go home and paint. I wanted to be working on animation for an awesome studio. I just wanted to do something I enjoyed.
Okay that's enough. I'm just upset. Upset they weren't upfront about what kind of job this was. I'm mad that I wasted my time and money for basically a day and a half for this! Just so mad. I hate being lied to, especially by a company. But I hope this was the worst.
Things are looking up a little, I've got another interview next week, it's animation related, so I'm excited but super nervous. 
I feel a bit better now.


  1. that is horrible. i can't even imagine. my brother in law was selling cable door to door at the beginning of this year, and it was super shady too. they would up the quota but hire more people and give them your territory so you had no way of making it. and then they fired almost everyone.

    1. That is so lame! I think that is what a lot of companies do is hire so many people, tell them it's easy money (cause they told me that too) and watch a few weeks later you're barely making any sales cause you've sold to everyone... then what? There are only so many houses!
      Hope your brother in law found something better.

  2. that is absolutely horrible and sneaky! did you tell them you felt misled? i am up to *here* with jumping through hoops for employers who are looking to hire and then either don't give you a straight answer, or ignore you completely. i'm so sick of applying online for countless jobs too and hearing nothing back. i feel you! good luck on your next interview :)

  3. That sucks, I've had a couple experiences like that. Toronto is terrible for it. Be careful when responding to online job postings. If they say it's entry-level marketing, or that you make 6-800 per week (usually the amount given), just don't bother because you'll find yourself in the same kind of place.

    1. I usually am careful! Those sneaky call centres!

  4. Urgh, this sounds horrendous, Thomas had a few near misses with things like this, he went to one interview and whilst he was there one of them said - this isn't the job you're looking for, you'll be so bored, so he just left. Its shocking how they can get away with misleading people like that. I'm sure something will come your way though.

    1. I should have left, after the first day!


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