“Kahit nga high school graduate pwede mag apply dun di ba? Nag aral ka ng apat na taon tapos sasayangin mo lang ginastos mo para magka degree sa pagsagot sagot ng telepono buong araw. Nakaupo lang, paulit-ulit lang yung sinasabi at maniningil ng credit card. Walang growth dun!”
-sabi ng isang kaibigan matapos malamang sa BPO ako nagtatrabaho.
Aaminin ko, akala ko noon ay madali lang din ang trabaho ng isang agent. Yung tipong nakaupo ka lang at sumasagot ng tawag habang nakasuot ng hoodie at umiinom ng kape mula sa tumbler. Yung tipong, basta magaling ka mag english, okay na.
Pero nagkanda leche leche ang pananaw ko noong makapasok na ko. Bakit? Ito ang ilan sa dahilan:
1. Thought organization and delivery -Bukod sa kailangang magaling ka mag english ay kailangan ding may laman ang sasabihin mo. Di pwedeng puro ‘ahuh, yes, okay’ ka lang dahil dapat maintindihan ng customer mo ang lahat ng sasabihin mo. Dagdag mo pa yung opening ang closing spiel, emphatic statements, at power words. Susko!
2. Navigation- sa dami ng tools na kailangang gamitin, para kang naglalaro ng counter strike dahil kailangang mabilis ang daliri mo para makapag navigate ng ayos. Mga 3 window ang dapat an bukas. Bawat isang window, madaming pasikot sikot. Daig mo pa dagang pinag eekspirementuhan ng scientist kapag di mo alam kung anong pipindutin mo.
3. Multi-tasking- Ito na yung pinaka matindi. Kailangan mong kausapin ng mahinahon yung customer kahit nagmumura na; mag navigate ng system at hanapin ang solusyon kung bakit walang signal ang cellphone niya; at maggawa ng notes, i-view ang account niya at i-verify kung siya nga ba kausap mo. Phew.
Kailangan din ng utak sa trabaho na to. Wag niyong isipin na porket nasa call center ay paupo-upo na lang at malaki ang sweldo. Mahirap din mag isip at makipag usap sa mga taong di mo naman nakikita lalo na’t may language barrier. Ay nako. Bago niyo sabihing puchu puchu lang to, kayo muna mag handle ng calls. Bet?
Kaya sa mga call girl at call boy, pagbutihin niyo ang trabaho. Hanga na ko sa bilis ng utak at daliri niyo. Pati na din sa tibay ng loob as panahong may tumatawag na irate customers.
That’s what I heard from someone I know upon finding out that one of our closest friend who took up nursing, is working as a call center agent. Our friend who is supposed to be taking care of patients in a hospital, is now spending at least 8 hours a day in front of a computer while responding to the customer’s queries. Working as a call center representative is very far from his chosen career.
Few days from now, I will also be working in that centralized office to take calls and give some information that a customer needs. Many people are telling me that I shouldn’t be working as an agent because of my degree. I should be working as a writer for a magazine or as an employee in GMA or ABS-CBN and not just waste the four years I spent in college to be a call center representative.
You might be curious why I applied for this job despite the degree that I earned. Honestly, working in a BPO was not really on my list. What I wanted to do was to follow my mentor’s advice to pursue a career as a writer for a magazine or film. To see my work in the next issue of a Summit Media publication or be invited to a launching of a movie that I wrote is how I see myself even when I was still a college freshman. But due to certain circumstances, I decided to somehow set aside my dream and sacrifice my happiness.
Unlike some of my classmates who were able to rest and enjoy their vacation, I already applied to several companies a week after my graduation. Wearing my best corporate attire and clutching a folder that contains my resume and other documents in hand, I would travel to Makati all the way from Cavite just to attend every exam and interview I was called to. Sometimes, there would be a confirmation for another interview but most of the time, there is none. Sometimes, I cannot help but think that I am not capable for my dream job or my skills is not enough for my chosen field.
I would always ask for 300 pesos from my dad to cover transportation and food expenses. Because of this, even the budget for the family’s meals gets sacrificed. My dad could not even avail a shirt that he wants or buy a new pair of shoes for himself. It breaks my heart everytime I ask money from my dad and only a hundred pesos would be left in his wallet.
So I decided to set aside my dream for a while in order to help my family. My dream of becoming a writer can wait, but seeing my dad being too occupied with how we can pay all the bills and expenses that we have is something that I cannot take. I might be working for my dream job and be able to use my degree but how about my family? They might be suffering financially while I am living my dream. It will not be fair and that would be too selfish on my part. I am willing to sacrifice my own happiness for my family, and give back to all the sacrifices that they did for me just to make me happy.
I don’t care about people’s comments about my degree being put to waste or how having a job that requires you to answer calls while sitting in the office all day (or sometimes night) will not bring success and growth to me as an individual. I will prove to everyone that being an agent will take me to places and make me successful someday. To everyone who thinks that being a call center agent is a mediocre job, well, just give me enough time and I’ll prove you wrong.
Sometimes you have to swallow your pride and think of what or who matters most. In my case, it’s my family. Seeing them happy and free from any worry is what would make me happy.