Off Center
Very few people in our industry dreamt early on in life about being a call center professional. If you happen to know somebody who did, be careful – he or she is probably dangerous. (Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer both reportedly fantasized about customer care as kids.) If you yourself had dreams of a call center career when you were younger, then I was just kidding about the whole "dangerous" thing. Otherwise, I wasn’t.

Just because you didn’t plan on becoming a call center professional doesn’t mean that you haven’t landed in an exciting and rewarding field. With customer service being the big differentiator among competing brands these days, call centers are hot. You’ve probably even been invited to sit at the cool kids’ table in the company cafeteria, or at least you no longer have your lunch money stolen by some bully from Marketing.

Even still, many call center managers and supervisors – because of their random arrival in this crazy profession – continually struggle with existential career issues, constantly asking themselves such questions as,  “Do I belong here?” and “Is it too late to become a fireman?”

It’s ok to question whether or not you are a real call center professional. To help you find out, look for the following symptoms… I mean signs:

10 Signs You’re a Real Call Center Professional

1) You’ve legally changed your name to an acronym.

2) At the end of a date, you ask the person to complete a satisfaction survey.

3) You don’t giggle when you hear the term “shrinkage”.

4) If ever homeless, you’d create a sign that reads: “Will forecast call volume for food.”

5) You think an engagement party is a gathering to raise employee morale.

6) The fitness instructor at your gym told you to do 10 "reps", and you argued that that would be highly unprofessional.

7) You have a tattoo of A.K. Erlang… right next to your tattoo of Alexander Graham Bell.

8) You can’t telecommute because you’d miss the smell of headsets.

9) When friends ask about your social life, you tell them your call center now interacts with customers via Twitter.

10) You get all these jokes.

2/24/2011 09:59:48 pm

Nice post- unfortunately I identify with too many of these. I would add the following for your consideration;
- You speak in TLA's (Three Letter Acronyms),
- You recalculate your 'honey do' list into FTE's and ask who you swap with
-After an argument with your significant other you actually worry about what it will do to your FCR,
- You try to explain queuing theory to a ticket agent at the airport
-You know in a deep and meaningful way thet "your call is not that important to them"


2/24/2011 10:03:06 pm

Great article Greg from a CC pro who actually does have an acronym for a first name. Has Michael Pace contacted you about speaking at the neck forum in June? If not I will get on him like a cheap suit!

2/24/2011 10:11:05 pm


What you write about is so true. Most people, employees as well as managers, "stumble" in a contact center career. It is not something that is planned, which makes it more fun.


2/24/2011 10:12:07 pm

Colin, your condition may be worse than I had originally suspected... welcome to the club!

(Great additions, by the way -- thanks!)


2/24/2011 10:17:25 pm

Thanks JR -- for the kind words and the constant keynote plug.

Haven't heard from Mike yet, but then again I've had a restraining order against him since we partied down on Bourbon St. at a conference in New Orleans last summer.

2/24/2011 10:21:02 pm

Yes, Line, right you are! The challenge and the "crazy" is why most contact center professionals keep showing up for work each day. Chaos can be captivating.

Thanks for you comment!



6/23/2014 06:28:50 pm

For the past 5 straight years i've been working in a call center, financially yes it brings me new stuff, I can support my childs schooling, put food on the plate, planning to get a new car, those things pushes me to work hard, but the more I keep the job the faster i loose myself to my family, friends and to myself. Its yor call, everybody has it's own FCR but at the end of the day, can you give a GOOD CSAT to yourself, if you're starting to loose everything outside our own BPO.

9/5/2015 03:59:24 am

Nice post,Greg. I’d like to take these 10 points as a checklist of what we must enhance as a call center professional. Following are some more points:
• Create a powerful planning process that will enhance quality and productivity
• Reduce call center costs and enhance your bottom line
• Forecast the workload and make plans that address the issues of clients and representatives
• Meet service levels consistently and measurable
• Improve execution by picking the right measurements and objectives
• Manage a wide range of access channels, including social media


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