Saturday, 8 September 2012

BPO: Bada Pakau Office!

Harleen Kaur, the BPO executive, get a “shrink”

lecture – and, guess whaaaat ??????


Santa ji is a happy man these days. He can’t believe somebody is actually willing to pay money to his daughter for doing something that she only earned scolding till now for – talk endlessly on the phone. Yes yes…!! Santa ji’s daughter got a BPO or a “call center” job recently. Even though I suspect he does not have a clue about how call centers work, he can’t stop telling people that she’s so busy that international clients don’t let her get “off the hook”.
Whatever the excitement, it did not seem to last long and Santa ji looked visibly stressed when I passed him by the other day.

So, I met up with Harleen and man, did she look tired. “what struck you”, I asked, adding that I expected her to transfer overnight into the “COOL BPO – TYPES WITH FIRANGI ACCENT”.

“Arrey baba, don’t ask. I love the job and all, you know. But the timings are so weird. They have changed my shift thrice by now, swapping between day and night timings. I think my body has got so confused that it has stopped responding”, she sighed. Looking into her sleep deprived eyes, I instantly knew what she meant.

So often does one see these friends, sleepy like hell in the backseat of their Qualis and Gypsies in the wee hours of the morning – and just not communicating with each other. It’s not rocket science to understand that they are paying a heavy price – that of their physical health and calmness, for that hip lifestyle and cool salary that the BPO job brings, I know one can’t dispute the importance of call centers as a sought after workplace and can’t wish away the unavoidable timings.

So, here is my peacefulness mantra for all my call center friends like Harleen Kaur.

I know you all would counter that by saying that will all the fun things in the cool corporate environment BPO’s offer, you already have access to fun things – a pool table, a gymnasium, a grrreeat cafĂ©. But, there’s a difference in having access and actually using them to unwind.
Moreover, infrastructure can hardly make up for the stress caused by lack of human communication. Be sociable in whatever time you get – make a rule to crack a joke with colleagues after every 4 calls you take, spend weekends in family outings (basically let them know you exist and are not just a noise they hear when you sneak in at 3am), work out (and not just feel happy that your office has a well-equipped gym), listen to soothing music, go out – break the monotony, travel (like two of my dear friends, married for 4 years and dating since a decade – Aarti and Gaurav – you are an amazing couple <3 )  and most importantly learn to talk while on your way back from office. You are anyway going to hit the sack as soon as you reach home, why lose the precious little chance of interaction you get.

Harleen went “humming” after I shared my pearls of wisdom. (Well, ok, let’s call it a lecture). And Santa Ji is a happy man once again!!

PS: I tell everyone that I am very lucky to have

a “day job thing”. 

But after watching movies and chatting on text

messages, I look as tired as Harleen does after

the night shift. And Harleen gets to sleep during 

the day. WHAT LUCK !!