Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Call Center Life

Business Process Outsourcing or BPO is one of the most lucrative industries in the country. The   Philippine's economy went up because of such as well as everyone’s self-esteem. It gave a huge amount of hope to newly-graduates and gave  them a taste of financial freedom. There was a time that the only job opening that people knew of is a call center job. BPO jobs are still very much in demand and remain a pleasant choice for most people. Truthfully, a call center agent’s salary is much higher than any rank and file employee of other companies.

In my past blog posts, I have discussed a little trivia on how Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Mar Roxas played a huge part in establishing the BPO industry in the country. I have recently interviewed a few full-fledged Call Center Agents and asked them interesting information about their work.

"Whoever said that a Call Center's life is easy-peasy may not understand what it is all about. I want to debunk that misconception that the call center life is a no-brainer," says  *Tina Andrada.  "Most people may not have any idea how hard it is to pass all the tests and interviews before being able to work for a BPO company. It's not entirely blissful. It's not a walk in the park but worth every step of the way." 

According to Tina, to be accepted in a BPO company, one must surpass the initial interview, series of exams (listening, multi-tasking, written and oral assessments) and final interview (could also be a panel interview with  your future Operations Manager or Team Leader) and those are certainly not for the faint at heart! The process are indeed tedious and are totally nerve-wracking. If you fail in one of those three stages that means adieu and better luck next time! Once you got pass them, you're bound to undergo a series of trainings such as: 1) Culture 2) Product Training and (3) Nesting.  

The call center is a pit stop for most of those who walk though its doors. Many start with the intention to leave eventually, waiting for their visas or taking up law on the side. It even welcomes those undergrads who hadn't tuck up a degree yet but would like to try the corporate world right away for some reason. And there are some who stay, like *Rey who recognized the opportunity and was dedicatedly climbing the ladder. 

"I told myself, ‘I’m depressed. I wasn’t good enough for my professor. I didn’t graduate again, yet again," shares *Joseph. With a few back subjects and units pending, no degree to pursue his architecture dreams and desperate to feel like he was up to something-anything- Joseph decided to apply at a BPO company in Eastwood City. At an entry level applicant with no previous experience. Joseph received a salary of P21,000-net, with the opportunity to qualify for monthly bonuses of up to P10,000.  

I figured, at least through the BPO industry, I'm given the chance to help my family earn a living while I'm still saving up to pursue my studies," adds Joseph. 

Tina, a nurse turned call center agent says amen to that. "I used to be an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in Dubai, it's really hard to be away from your family, especially since when I left, it was the time that my husband Mark and I were starting to build a family of our own. I had just given birth to my eldest Luisa. I really thank Sec. Mar. Roxas for helping to establish the BPO industry in the Philippines. If it hadn't been for him, I wouldn't have this chance to work while being able to care for my family without necessarily leaving the country." 

“I love being an agent. Every day is an adventure. And it humbled me because I got to see call center employees as people who, just like everyone else, had jobs. And their job is a job. It pays the rent. It puts food on the table. It brings your children to school. And I really worked hard ahTrabaho talaga. If you did well, you were rewarded, just like any other job," shares Rey.

In a nutshell, being a call center agent is a fulfilling job. It's not a matter of having  “walang choice” with the number of available work or job vacancies as some people believed to be.  Some people slave away at their jobs despite the long hours and the low salaries. They stay knowing what will be written on their paychecks at the end of the month, while their friends start to buy cars, condominiums, and insurance. In the same way, call center people know their cards. While the reputation for their industry has more or less normalized, they know that every now and then they might still hear condescending comments (whether in real life or in soap operas). And they choose to play however they choose to play. Different people have different priorities, and it is only by illusion that one is more important than the other.

We have people like Sec. Mar Roxas to thank for with the number of job vacancies and the huge leap in terms of progress for the BPO industry which ultimately is such a significant boost for the economy.

For more uodates and info on BPO and LP's Mar Roxas as he bids for the country's top political position, please follow Bayang Matuwid on their social media accounts: 

Bayang Matuwid’s site:
Twitter: @BayangMatuwid
IG: @BayangMatuwid

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