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Old January 12th, 2009, 10:15 PM
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Schwinn Schwinn is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Georgina
Posts: 2,258
I worked in a call centre for 3 years (the period in my life I affectionately refer to as purgatory). One of my colleagues used to work for Bell, and they were in fact in Canada. However, Bell was like the centre I worked in...more than 75% of my colleagues were east Indian. Not sure why that was, it just was. I remember one client calling in and going on a racist tirade, yelling at me that he had just spoke to someone in India and I was lying. The person who he just spoke to (I pulled up the call history) actually sat behind me. I'd of let it go, but the racist comments were grating on my nerves. Finally, I leaned back to the associate behind me, making sure the client heard me.
"Hey, Abdil...are we in Toronto, or India?"
"Uh...I believe we are in Toronto."
"Sir, I just spoke with Abdil, and he assures me that we are, in fact, in Toronto".

Personally, I could care less where the centre is I'm calling, I'm more concerned about the service I'm getting. And having worked in a call centre, I tend to be both more forgiving AND harder on them. The most successful people in call centres are usually those who play the game...whatever it take to make the client think they're doing something, yet getting off the phone ASAP so they have "good stats". If I think I've got one of those ones, I'm usually pretty tough, and I ALWAYS make sure I get a name (one of the reasons they tend to say whatever is because they have 500+ telephone associates, and the chances of getting the same one twice are next to nil). But if I get one who seems to care, I tend to be a little more patient. And having seen it from the inside, you get more who tend to care less about the client and more about the stats. Turn over is huge.

I do remember one conversation I had with someone in management saying I could care less the colour of the guy on the phone, or where they're from, but for gosh sakes, make sure I can understand them! Of course, in Canada, you can't not hire someone for fear of being accused of being racist. I suggested that should do the interviews by phone. If you can't understand them, you don't hire them. That being said, one of the most entertaining calls I listed to was my east Indian friend with the super-thick accent talking to someone from the deep south, back woods Louisiana. "I beg your pardon sir?" "Say wha' nao?" I think I was the only person who knew what the other was saying...
Hagar:"What kind of dog is that?"
Man with dog:"He's a nice dog!"
Hagar:"You know, at the end of the day, that's always the best kind."
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