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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Call Center's trauma


The trend of call center in our society is spreading its tentacles like highly contagious germs;especially in the hub of Pakistan which is ''KARACHI''.The meaning of call center to a lay man would be:''a place where C.S.Rs(Customer.Service.Representatives) or Sales Executives(S.E) through telecommunication medium dial a belligerent country and engage in selling products''.This is known as 'Telemarketing'.When a foreign firm(not necessarily a multinational) aims to quadruple their profits by keeping its average cost of production as low as possible,it would not prefer making heavy expenditure on advertising and the establishment of a telemarketing department or company in their homeland requires paying higher wages to the domestic workers;and in the end it would leave the firm with fewer profits.

Mostly such firms have based their headquarters in United.States,Canada and Unite Kingdom where the state has established the system of minimum wage rate for their workers.These firms invests their capital in developing countries,such as,Pakistan,India and Bangladesh.It's a piece of cake for these firms to exploit the workers of developing nation, as agents(a term widely used in Call Centers to describe a Sales Executive) charge far lesser than the foreign labours.As in these countries there is mass unemployment and cheap labour supply,businesses are not very much under the thumb of the government.

When the teenagers are over with their board examinations(pivotal examinations) or their O and A levels,boredom prevails their life thus they start searching the newspapers for internships and apprenticeships,haplessly their eyes catches the attention of a fascinating advertisement headed with ''JOBS AVAILABLE IN A CALL CENTER'' and further it's mentioned''R.S 10,000 MONTHLY SALARY''.A teenager already has an itch for money and advertisement becomes a fat in the fire for him/her.The renowned and well-reputed companies never mention their salary package along with their vacancy's advertisement.

Through word-of-mouth publicity teenagers gather their cronies and try to apply for that job.The call center carries out their activities at the evening and at night,and parents usually only allow their children to work in the evening but the telephone pick-ratio is low because the time scheduling in the dialed location is different from Pakistan's time -scheduling;Pakistan follows Greenwich.Mean.Time(G.M.T),when there is evening in Pakistan there is morning in the U.S.A and there is afternoon in U.K,so the majority of the prospects are in the rush hour(going at their work place) thus, for juvenile C.S.Rs to achieve their job targets become a herculean task.On the average an agent dials 150-200 calls per day but still it seems conter-productive,because the output is not up to the mark.

The supervisor or the floor manager arrives to motivate the agents,supervisor informs them about the fruitful output they could have if they opt for night shift;it's like pouring oil on troubled waters.Agents envisage that supervisors are their job's comforter,so they wheedle their parents to allow them to pursue night shift in the call center and parents come under duress.Working in unsociable hours disrupt person's routine life.The boys/girls can not fraternize because after returning to their dwelling;what they can do is sleep,sleep and sleep.

And finally when one's ship comes home(agents start earning money) then it affects their studies,as they still have to continue it an nobody after earning wishes to study diligently or many even put a brake over their student life.Who wishes to compromise then?

A research was carried out in Canada in which it was found out that per day a Canadian receive 15 to 20 telemarketing calls.This irritates them to an extent of torture that they sometimes even abuse the telemarketers,plummeting the prestige of the C.S.Rs.

By working in a call center the students may wreak havoc over their life,because their top most priority is the 'studies' which can give them a hand in future,nobody would even care about telemarketing experience in their retrospective,it is just a short cut to or most probably a short-term way to earn money.

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