I have quit my job. No, not the main job, of course, but my other side-job. The main job just got so demanding and tiring that the other just had to go. My tutorial jobs had to take a backseat as I ease into my main job and adjust accordingly. I knew from the start that my main job would take a toll on, well, almost everything. It is very challenging, very time-bound and enslaving, but yes, I love it. So to speak, to the rest of the outside world, we are call center agents, yes, or so to be very specific, contact center agents, but to my mind; we are not just that, we are problem solvers – bankers, in fact. Someone people would call to discuss their APR’s with, people who would clarify their concerns regarding their credit card options, someone who will save them from embarrassment when their cards are being denied in a merchant’s store, someone who would explain the fraud alerts on their accounts, someone they’d inform about their upcoming trips to the lovely islands of the Bahamas, and well, someone who would listen to their stories why their checks were returned, or why they made late payments, and hopefully, waive their fees for them.
Yes, and we are the people whom they could discuss their financial conspiracy theories with, how the government sucks and how the financial situation could be improved, how upset they were with the banks move to increase their percentage rates, and how their husband or wives just got a whim to go to Nevada, rack up purchases causing their credit card to go over the credit limit and or how they’d either be happy, sad, relieved or simply numbed by the idea of ordering new cards with their new names after the final court order of their divorces get finalized. We are the people who listen to their mom’s hospitalizations and their daughters sneaking the car out for a spin, or how evil Starbucks is, enticing them with daily purchases of a grande double shot cream held caramel macchiato. We listen and say, I apologize for the inconvenience, not a problem, let me see what I can do for you. We inform them of how their requests for a reduction of their APR’s or an increase in their credit lines are denied as of the moment, due to the reason that they have high balances, low payments, or problematic credit performance within and without the bank, which, translation, is because they’re racking up too much debt without paying them off. In no circumstance, no matter how shabbily we are treated or how verbally we are abused, could we talk back and say, ‘look sir, I am not the one who made that purchase in a non-secure porn site causing security issues to your account,’ nor can we say ‘look lady, I know you are upset about you credit standing and your high APRs but please, do not shoot the messenger, calling me stupid, and raise hell about your residual fiancé charges as if there is nothing more important in the world like global warming, illiteracy, food shortage and financial meltdowns. Oh, did you just authorize this $200 charge for a Persian rug from Turks ‘R Us and Beyond? Because even if they are located in the East Coast, they do have a foreign currency conversion code and that is where your Foreign Currency Adjustment Charge came from. Do not ask me why they do that, but I am telling you, they do. Call them and shoot them if you must, not me. Oh and while you are at it, do please shoot yourself in the process for being a nincompoop.’ No we are not allowed to do that.
We are not even allowed to say anything but ‘I apologize sir, but I can assure you that I am as qualified and equally trained to take care of your concern’ to people who think they should be speaking with an american representative, not someone from India, or where the hell is Philippines and feel we are ‘stealing’ american jobs. And when they say ‘Fuck you, you stupid fucking idiot’ we can only say ‘Sir I apologize that you are upset, please keep this conversation within the bounds of business courtesy or I would be forced to disconnect your call.’ When they say ‘You have to takeoff this late fee I have never paid late, this is the first time because my mom was hospitalized last week and I will close this account and sue the bank if you won’t’, we could not say ‘You liar, I can see here you have been late the past four months and you reported your mom died two months ago,’ but rather say, ‘I apologize for the inconvenience this might be causing you. Ma’am, let me take a look in your account and see what I can do for you.’
Well, yes, there are things in this job, but then again, really, I LOVE MY JOB. So, end of conversation. So I had to quit my side job. It’s not really about the schedule or putting out longer hours. I love teaching and I love children, ergo, I loved that job. My concern was basic. I was not paid in time, and had to grovel for my pay, in effect, making me spend more than what I was actually earning there, and there were management problems in the company that got in the way of my being an effective tutor. The Labor Code considers a job as a property right. You own your job, and therefore, could not be unjustly stripped of it without legal cause and due process Wages and salaries, by the way, are basic proprietary rights of a worker. It is as close as it goes as a human right in the labor set up. Therefore, wages delayed are wages denied, just like justice. So there, I quit. Meanwhile, it’s the ‘Welcome to customer service, my name is Luis, I’d be very happy to assist you’ all the way for me. Until some side jobs worth calling property rights for me comes up, for that matter. Any offers?