Why I hate BPO work
By: Nolan Pinto
It's monotonous and distances you from all your friends,warns Nolan Pinto
Thursday, October 22 was exactly three months since I stepped into the field of journalism. You may wonder what's so great about this but take it from a person, who earlier worked in the BPO sector, this is freedom; freedom of giving vent to your thoughts and freedom of expressing your opinion.
RARE SMILE: It's long and difficult hours at BPOs
PIC FOR REPRESENTATION ONLY
Working in a BPO is no easy task. It takes a lot of guts and acumen to survive in there and grow. Life was very different when I worked in an MNC BPO for eight months. I felt as if there was nothing much to look forward to everyday. Life was such a drag and work became monotonous, with absolutely no excitement of any kind. So, the next logical question would be, why do people then join this sector? Simple, when jobs are not available for all and underemployment is on the rise, this is the only option. All one needs is a normal degree with sufficient command of the English language.
I worked for an inbound call center dealing with motor insurance. A call center, that's a piece of cake, is what comes to peoples mind immediately. I thought so too before I joined. The first two weeks were spent on our language proficiency. This period was called pre process training. Here, we were taught to neutralize our regional accents and pronounce words just like the English natives would do. Some found this fun while many struggled to get through these sessions.
The next one and a half month was spent on Process training. It was a grueling time learning the intricacies of a foreign motor insurance company and the methods of selling them. Right from the basics of insurance, we were slowly taken to the real in-depth matters. During this session, we were also taught how to talk to customers and sell the product. This is clearly an art most of us had to master along the way. Again over here, some mastered it quickly while others took loads of time to do so.
Finally after almost two months of training, we hit the floor. The floor means our workplace, which was number six in this huge skyscraper. Imagine, taking a call for the first time and that too doing business with a non-Indian. Surprisingly, all went well. As time passed by, we did have our share of troubles but our seniors in the profession were more than willing to help us out. One important point to note was that our seniors were always willing to help no matter how much we beginners disturbed them.
In those eight months of work, I never felt human while eating. We always felt like robots told when to eat and when to go on a break and so on. My working hours were for ten hours broken into nine hours of work with one hour of break. The breaks were absolutely non humane to the core. Two slots of 15 minutes and one 30-minute dinner break. Other than that, we had to talk the whole of nine hours. This is unduly inhumane for the folks still working out there.
The work timings were another burden. When people were awake, we slept. When people slept, we were awake. I knew many who complained of a lack of social life. They could not meet friends because this process had no fixed holidays. It could be a Friday and Monday for one week or a Tuesday and Saturday the next.
Nothing was certain anymore. So, our work sometimes would begin at 1.30 and end at 11.30 or begin at 2.30 and end at 12.30 and so on, the last shift being 3.30. To make matters worse, the client being British, our timings changed every time the weather changed there.
Fun don't you think? No way dude, it certainly was not.