And though I had slain a thousand foes less one,
The thousandth knife found my liver;
The thousandth enemy said to me,
'Now you shall die,
Now none shall know.'
And the fool, looking down, believed this,
Not seeing, above his shoulders, the naked stars,
Each one remembering.
--John M. Ford, The Final Reflection

The Asylum Director

My photo
"The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn't require any." - Russel Baker

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Mini-post Plus Mini-Rant

I think I’ve finally figured out why I feel more attached to my Ambergris workmates rather than my ePLDT workmates despite my having enjoyed the work at the latter call center more.

The training.

Allow me to explain my theory. I spent just a month worth of training in ePLDT before they threw us from the frying pan and into the fire, whereas Ambergris trained us for almost 2 months before we went live full-time. What does that matter, you might ask? Well, it matters because that time spent training is also time spent bonding. The thing is, call center training periods are also the best times for you to bond with one another, form friendships and connect with your future co-owrkers. So, with that in mind, it is natural for me to have bonded more with my Ambergris fellows than ePLDT. I simply had more time away from the floor to get to know them and warm up to them.

You see, the work environment in a call center doesn’t really lend itself too well to building relationships past the training period. Essentially, you have to have some sort of relationship, some sort of bond with them before you even make it to the production floor. The fact is, it is very hard to develop closeness when you’re taking in calls near constantly, the (idiots) callers are in your face and you know you can’t take it out on them, so sometimes, you inadvertently vent it out on your fellow agents. It doesn’t happen but when it does, it has impact. Since your work primarily involves your voice and talking, you rarely have any time to talk to anyone but the customers since they might not have a call but you do or the other way around. It is very rare indeed for 2 agents to have no call for enough time to be able to have anything but an idle, pointless conversation and even then, you tend to talk about work. Now, it is possible for you to talk to one another before or after shift. If you go with ‘before shift’ then you have the problem of not all of you being there and once most or all of you are there, there isn’t that much time left. If ‘after shift’ you or others may not be feeling so good or feel rather burned out by the work and would rather go home and sleep than bond. This is something that doesn’t seem to have ever been noticed by anyone else, or maybe my experience with the industry hasn’t been enough.

And now to abruptly shift topics…

I play video games to get my head out of reality, to take my mind off things even for just a little while. You see, with a life like mine, you don’t have much of a choice. You need to get away from things or you’ll end up insane and you’ll do whatever it takes, be it daydreaming, gaming or reading books. I play and I write because they’re really the only relaxation my mind has left. Music doesn’t do much and the kind of music I listen to isn’t the kind of music you should be listening to at home. They help me relax, help me think, help me create. And most importantly, while playing them I have fun. A lot of people I know don’t get that. They don’t understand that these pseudo-interactive story books are my way of venting out any potentially misplaced anger or sadistic tendencies. If I snap and become angry, that’s likely because I haven’t stomped a mudhole in a game’s boss and walked it dry. I’d be a very, very angry person without them, especially my RPGs. I actually prefer Japanese-style RPGs but I like the more D&D-ish RPGs as well, as shown by my preference in games.

Speaking of preferences, I think I’ll note down my current ten favorite books after the Rant. It’ll help me remind myself that I need to read some more.

Nah.

With those aside, on to this entry’s Rant. I don’t recall what number it is anymore, so I won’t bother putting a number to it.

I have also just come to thinking about something strange about my mother. To be specific, she is always, always on my case whenever I’m looking for a job. She says I’m not trying hard enough. She says I’m not even bothering to look. She says I really should have just stayed with whatever company I was last employed with even though one of the main reasons I left was because she prompted me to leave in the first place. Yet, whenever I do find one, she always, always not-so-subtly hints that she wants me to quit because she always finds something to complain about. For the most part, she finds just one detail about it she doesn’t like and ignores all the good points about it or the possibility that I actually like the job. She complains about the location, the hours, the pay and even if just one little, tiny detail of it she finds to be undesirable, she’ll bite my head off. Sometimes I think she does it because she considers it fun or something. Or she just likes the idea of tormenting me when I’m unemployed. I can’t force myself to believe this is for my best interest because she sure as Hell doesn’t act that way. She finds a way to demean whatever job I have, she complains all the time when I’m employed, berates me when I’m not and generally just gets on my case and on my nerves.

She also happens to pay more attention to the money I make than to the job. That is quite understandable since, in this country, money isn’t just the oil that keeps the machine running. Money is the machine. However, it does disturb me that she cares more about the money than I do. That, plus the fact that she’s put most of what I’ve earned into a bank account that I cannot touch under any circumstances aside from her death, worries me. I think…no, I'm sure she’s spending my money. I don’t mind that. Like any good son, I know I owe it to her but she could at least admit to it. I mean, I know the money I earn but don’t get to touch is going to her wasted shoes, bags, clothes, jewelry and whatnot, but she could at least admit she’s doing it.

Beyond that, she’s asking me to be too many things, to fulfill too many roles. She wants me to work. That’s fine with me. Reasonable. She also wants me to help around the house at the same time. Still within reason. I can do that. She also wants me to do my younger brother’s research and assignments for him. Correct me if I’m wrong but shouldn’t he be doing that himself? She expects me to know everything. What am I? The Philosopher’s Stone? No, I’m not. She wants me to look stuff up for her when she needs it. Why can’t she do it herself? She wants me to show some backbone. How can I do that when she herself cuts me down whenever I do? She wants me to stop being so disrespectful of her. The Hell did that come from? I’ve been nothing but a quiet, often-obedient slave to her for most of my life. She’s the tyrant in my life and she knows it! She says that I should take to her about my problems more. I can’t because she doesn’t listen, doesn’t care and she’ll just find some way to use it to berate me anyway. She wants me to go out more. When I do, she constantly calls and asks when I’m coming home just half an hour after I left the house! If she even lets me leave at all! She wants me to take charge of my life. How can I when she insists on forcing her opinion down my throat for every decision I make?

I’m god-damned tired of it but I don’t have a choice but to deal with it. Not that I haven’t thought of ways to get out of it, mind you. To be honest, [this part of the rant has been edited out].

So what do I do, given my options? Suck it up. I’ll snap eventually and when I do, she’ll regret everything.

1 comment:

Jam Mayer (CallCenterScript) said...

Hi VIIIofSwords! Ahhh, training in a call center environment is very nurturing and yes, indeed, I've seen so many batches having difficulty in transitioning to their teams once they've graduated. This is even more difficult when you join an account that has over 150 or 300 agents. You will get lost in the crowd. But, being close to your team mates will help to make a smoother and "closer" transition. Good luck!