Sex, Drugs and Customer Service

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March 23, 2006

Before turning to writing porn reviews full-time, I worked in several call centers subcontracted to some major American companies. Lately, call centers have gotten a bad rep, especially now that more of them are overseas. I'll refrain from writing a long exposé but let's just say customer service doesn't just suck for the people calling.

In my early call center career, I was told by various superiors about how India was going to revolutionize the call center business. As the average employee was paid only $2.50 US per day but that to them was the equivalent of a doctor's or lawyer's salary.

Meanwhile, my domestic call centers scraped the bottom of the barrel with each set of newly hired trainees. The pay sucked and the burnout rate was high. The places I worked were hot beds of alcoholics, recreational drug use and promiscuity. The urge to self-medicate is high when you can't do more than placate customers as you become frustrated by your own lack of resources and training. India I was always told would attract a better class of employees.

However, according to the Washington Times (03/19/06), surveyed employees of Indian call centers admit to a multitude of sins in an otherwise conservative society. One in four admits to having casual sex while one in five admits to having affairs with colleagues.

Shankar Rao, deputy commissioner of the New Delhi Police, suggested that call centers needed to offer professional counseling to keep employees from addiction to drugs or sex and that no one should work more than three nights a week. "The companies should insist on certain standards," Rao said. "I want to make sure these call centers do not become dens of evil."

I say good luck with that Rao. I've been there, done that. As long as you meet or exceed your call per day quota and your average call time is under 5 minutes, no one cares if you're taking crystal-meth to do it.

Posted by Will Peters at March 23, 2006 4:44 AM

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