As someone who has worked in several call centers, over several years, I have noticed long lasting side effects no one ever speaks of. Let me start off by saying, that I currently work for a great company. That being said, you will notice changes in your behaviors due to the type of work you do. See if you agree?
Empathy for everything and everyone. This will happen over time, you won’t even realize you’re doing it. You will be so conditioned to apologizing for everything, that you will do this with friends and family alike. You sure won’t mean it when you show concern, but your brain is now conditioned to start every sentence with: “I understand your concern.”
The Inability To Speak On The Phone After Finishing Your Shift. What this means is, don’t call me on the phone ever. I will text or email, but the thought of bringing a phone up to my ear is just too painful. If you do happen to reach me by phone, know that I will control the call and have you off the phone in three hundred and forty seconds flat.
Weight Gain. You will be tethered to a five foot phone line eight hours a day. You will be sitting with no means of walking around. You will bring snacks to your desk from the vending machine and proceed to snack all day long. Your co-workers will enable you, by bringing in food and homemade cakes.
Nausea. Now this may be true for other large offices that many people work at, but I have noticed this specific to call centers. Don’t bring in any food that requires refrigeration. Opening the shared refrigerator at work can cause extreme nausea. There is a whole ecosystem of old rotting food that can be smelled as soon as the door is opened.
High Blood Pressure. You will speak to at least one customer a day, that will having you re-think your career decision and overall kindness in the world. They will curse you, yell and scream. You on the other hand will remain calm as you are trained. Inside your blood will be boiling and there’s a good likelihood you will hang up the phone and throw something. You may even find yourself in the bathroom in tears.
Paranoia. All calls are recorded and monitored for quality assurance purposes. Need I say more?
Panic Attacks. This will happen when you finally receive an offline position such as, floor support, training or in my case quality assurance. There will be that moment when the phone lines are blowing up and some manager comes up to you and says: “need you back on the phones.” This is the point where you would rather stab yourself in the eye, then take a phone call. Panic will set in and you may even have to go home sick.