Life at Call Centre!!


Trrrrrng..Trrrrnnnngg…Seeing my panic face Subhadra said “ Relax!! Its your alarm”.. I was at sea… “ Its your alarm”… She repeated “Oh!! Yeah… Thanks… I know..” I started blabbering to make her believe that im in my senses and grabbed my hand phone to turn off the alarm… She was sitting beside me on her bed gently dressing her hair..… I looked at her face… Pleasant… Proud.. She was thinking about something… She had an innocent face.. she turned to me and said.. “ Hey … I thought you are working today?? “ My phone started ringing again… I smiled and said “Call from the cab driver…Im working ”… She smiled back warmly…

Those were my early days in Bangalore…The city, office, people, language ,food, everything was new to me…

“ Oh my God… Its 10 past 10”…. I threw my comforter and jumped out of the bed… “ what time is your cab?” Subhadra asked anxiously…. “Cab will be here in 15 mins”I grinned sheepishly and dashed to the bathroom…

Found a pair clothes for that night and made myself comfortable in the new jean I had bought the day before… I slipped my hands into the pockets and glided onto the lounge chair…

Four of us are sharing that room..And all the three were software engineers except for me who is a hardware technical support associate.. Two of them were fast asleep.. Subhadra was busy reading something… I interrupted “ Fridays doesn’t make any difference to me..”She smirked and went back to her world of books…She is a book worm.. I looked at her bright face,expecting she would say something.She was completely entangled with the book…
I peered through the door to the road to see if my cab was coming… No signs of it yet…
“Did you have dinner???” Some one asked me … The voice was familiar… yeah.. I know it is none other than Jasna.. my sweet friend.. I could make out her motherly concern..I turned back to see her standing near the door with her hands resting on her waist.. She was short..She was wearing a white pants and a yellow kurta.. I was afraid to answer the question cos I was well aware that she would yell at me if I say No..
I swirled around the chair to reach my bag when I heard the cab honking just outside the room..I gave her a warm hug and said “ I ll have at office…Bye… Goodnight…” I waved at her ..” Bye..” She replied heedlessly.. “ I swear… ill have at office” I said to see her smiling face… She beamed at me..
I shut the door behind me and found my way to the cab..” Hello Madam” the cab driver welcomed me with a warm smile..” “Hello” I smiled back…
Its new year Eve…The night is freezing cold..The city is still awake and decorated with coloured lights… I can see youth gang hanging around, shouting and making all kinds of funny noises..Couples are having a romantic ride..Pubs n discos are illuminated and crowded.. Everyone is looking forward to welcome new year with lot of excitement… But here I am .. Cabbed to the office… to fiddle away the entire eve of new year,working…I felt it disappointing..Last year was far more happening… Had dinner with family and friends, followed by a singing competition… We stopped singing and ran to the balcony when the fire works started at 12MN.. We jumped and shouted and danced all around the house…

“Madam, office has come” Cab driver interrupted my thoughts… “yeah… Thanks” I said and got down from the cab carefully.. Tea cups and some disposable plates were lying all around.. They are small enough to hold 2 samosas..The whole place is a mess.. “Same place again.Even after repeatedly telling the cab driver not to stop near the garbage, he still does the same….” I muttered and suppressed my fiery temper.. “sweety…..”.. I heard someone calling. I turned back … To my surprise it was none other than my CEC [Customer Experience Coach]…Everyone calls him Pola .. “Lets have a cup of tea and start our shift.. what say?” he said knowing my answer would be OK..” OK” I said without hesitation. I followed him to the small tea shop near the gate… Gate is a bit far from the entrance… From there I could see the entrance and the letter E which is slightly slanting… that’s the way they write DELL.
“We shouldn’t be working today” I said with a dull voice.. “Why” Pola asked as if nothing is happening all around…” C’mon man!! Its new year eve” I said ferociously…: “So what??”He said. I was perplexed to see his numbness… how can he be so insensitive?? “Nothing ..” I expressed my dissatisfaction..
He took out the cigar pack and lighted a smoke … I could see calmness on his face. He took a drag and blew out .Tiny rings of smoke appeared like garlands made of fog.. I watched the ring as it disappeared to the dark sky above.. I took a deep breath .. My heart felt lighter now.. I sipped my tea. The warm drink slightly conquered my torpor…
Cabs moved in and out of the parking lot and lethargic folks got out of it…They are getting prepared for the graveyard shifts.
It is freezing cold outside. I took out the shawl from my bag and wrapped myself. Girls normally don’t wear jacks. They have lot to show off in their outfit and the sweaters or jackets would be a hindrance for those flaunts.. Seeing my pale face Pola offered me his jacket. I refused to take it. “Take it.. or you will die of cold” He said. It was a black fleecy jacket with a cap..My hand froze when I tried to reach the jacket..I grabbed the jacket as I pulled my hand back and slipped into the jacket. It was warm inside.I started shivering when the cold breeze kissed my face. “ Lets go..” Pola said..He quickly took few drags to finish the cigar and crashed the butt with his foot..My tea was cold by then.. I quickly gulped it and threw the cup.. One more cup added to that dirty place..
We flitted towards the office entance..The entrance is well lit “.Its new year.. At least they got to decorate the office.” I said as I passed the reception. Two ladies were inhumanely sitting there.. One lady at least knew how to smile. The other one doesn’t even carry a trace of smile on their face…”Bitch she is…” I said.. “Who?” Pola turned back to see the lady.. “The one sitting on the left” I supplied.. “Oh that one… Ok..”He paused for a second and continued… “All females are the same.” “Why?? Am I like her too? Am I not courteous??” I pounced on him.. He realized that the statement was out of place. “NO.. I dint mean that” he blabbered… “Then??” The argument was still raging.. I looked upon him as my enemy. I hate when someone says ALL FEMALES ARE THE SAME. Even we can say ALL MEN ARE THE SAME…
“Why do u want to spoil this new year eve? Can we just have peace and happiness around us today?” he pleaded.. “It is my mistake. I’m sorry and there is no one like you in this world” he said and banged my head with his bag.. “Ouch..” I said with a smirk…
Our bay was still sleeping.. Darkness prevailed except for the trace of light creeping from the subsequent bay. The bay was spooky. The corner cubicle is always comfortable. Nobody will peep on to the chat windows nor will they hang around…We moved inside to occupy our seats…”Cya..”Pola said… “okies..” I said and went inside..
Sooner the bay started getting occupied.. Our team had a strength of 12 members.. Slowly one by one glided into their seats…
Its 11.20 pm.. Time for the team meeting which happens everyday 10mins prior to the shift. “Guys, lets get to the conference room” I stood up and announced.. I could see the unwillingness on every face. They just wanted to stick on to their cozy corners…Hums and sighs were heard aloud.. Nobody bothered to respond.. I was the only girl in the batch, the other being a pregnant lady who got a change in her shift as per request… There was no sign of the guys making a move. I took my writing pad and a pen as if to jot down something in the meeting. I am the only one who carries it. I felt like a school going girl with a book and pen and who is very punctual for the class..
I opened the door to enter the conference hall. The hall was in a mess with the chairs strewn everywhere.” Who screwed up this place…” I murmured.. There were two rows of chair and it was placed in such a way that everyone can see one another. Manager occupies the centre of the room in front of the whiteboard. I found a cozy corner for myself ..Sooner the crowd joined .
Our manager was a cool guy named Ashok. But at times he is capable of screwing your happiness. But I never had a problem with him unlike others. But I easily get pissed off with his annoying talks…
Ashok and Pola came in five minutes later. The room was filled with arguments and criticisms as they entered. Everyone is disappointed with todays work. Nobody is willing to work on a new year eve.. “c’mon guys. Its not a market…” Ashok said. “ I know everybody is infuraited with todays work. But we don’t have an option other than to grin and bear it” Ashok said diplomatically. My face went all doom and gloom again. Pola had a pleasant and cheerful face. I wondered how he could carry it always..
“I don’t have anything much to brief today. So lets get back to calls what say guys???” Ashok said . He took out his specs , wiped it and placed it back… He has a very small nose. I wondered how it is holding the glasses. He was still awaiting for a response from us. Silence was broken by Surya’s voice. “Damn it!! Lets get back guys..” He rushed towards the door and Ashok stopped him. “ Hold on.. I have an announcement.Dell Canada Segment is shutting down tonight and all of us are going for new year celebration at cafeteria.” “What???” I jumped with excitement.. “Yes guys, we are not woking today” Pola repeated Ashok’s words. “First we have the fireworks just outside Dell campus and then we all gather up at 4th level in the cafeteria. And if you guys are interested we can go out to the 24 hrs café coffee day outside our office.” Everyone was so excited to hear this news. “We all came to attend boring calls on the new year’s eve and it is a great surprise to know that we are not working today. On top of that we have fireworks outside and dinner at cafeteria. That is just wonderful!!” I exclaimed.
11. 45pm. We made it to the entrance of the office where everyone was gathered and was getting ready for the fireworks. Each team was given a kit of crackers and sparklers. We bagged them and found a place for our team. All of us divided the crackers and sparklers.. Being a girl I was given more of sparklers than crackers…
11.59pm.. the countdown started and we were all excited to celebrate and welcome the new year together.Yes.. its new year here… “HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL” We heard an announcement … everyone hugged and wished each other… Here is the time for fireworks… A spectacular and dazzling display of fireworks followed.. It projected various coloured lights and smoke in the sky… Noises of amusement were heard all over.. Firecrackers roared .. and finally there was calmness all over again.. Ground was filled with multi coloured papers. We couldn’t see each other’s face due to the smoke filled air except when the fireworks sparked..Small pieces of paper floated in the air.. Smoke gradually subsided and the air became clear once again. We headed to cafeteria.. A hearty meal was waiting for us there… “ anybody wants a drink?” I said. Everyone nodded… I headed to barrista.. “ one mango smoothie please” I said. “ please make it fast” I added. The guy smiled at me and quickly passed me an extremely luscious smoothie. I met some other friends of mine who are not in my team anymore…We cracked lots of joke and finished our dinner..
“So how?? Wanna go for a drive guys??” Ashok asked. “yes” we all said in chorus.. he arranged for a cab and made sure that one more girl accompanied us , else I would be left out…Navneetha.. She was in our team before. A very witty female.. but the management put her on PIP [Performance Improvement Plan] and she is no more in our team..
This is an amazing trip I am going to have in my life…In the middle of the nite around 1 or 2Am , A ride to my favourite coffee shop , with my friends around.. I was so excited. The shop was empty because it was early in the morning .. We joined 3 tables and sat together..As usual Navneetha started with her jokes and we all burst out laughing… The coffe day guy came near us to take the order“ One tropical iceberg pleeeese….” I said with a warm smile..
Where would all this happen if not in a call centre??? Rather BPO…

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One thought on “Life at Call Centre!!

  1. It reminded me the book “one night @call center” by Chetan Bhagat. It is always good to cherish the good old time n such blog posts will make sure that u preserve such moments forever.

    The post was so long that I had to read it in two sessions. I wonder to myself that how come people are able to write so much that I can’t read in one go.

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