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Any Work Is Better Than No Work--Not Always

If you are unemployed currently or have been unemployed, you no doubt have heard or even said to
yourself that "any work is better than no work." In other words--at least your working and paying some of the bills.  I have worked in all kinds of jobs throughout the years that were mentally and physically demanding.  However, not all jobs are equal in the toll they take on you.   In the past, there was one such job for me.  I would never want to do it again--call center work!  Call center work may be defined for our purposes as working in a center (or large room) that makes continuous calls through an automatic dialer to new or existing customers regarding an existing product or service.  Here are some of the pitfalls I found in call center work...
  • You may find yourself working in a room of 50-60 people all talking at the same time to their customers.  The room can get very noisy with the inability to hear your customer. At times, your customer may not be able to hear you.
  • Calls are put through to you by a random dialer of which you have no control over. You barely get a breather between calls.  As soon as you are disconnected from your customer, a fresh call comes through your earpiece immediately.  Little or no time to mentally prepare for the next call.
  • You are expected to talk for eight hours, less your breaks and lunch.  Very little downtime is allowed away from the phones.  After two hours or less of straight talking you may begin to lose your voice.
  • Since the job requires sitting most of the hours you are there, you get very little physical exercise.  Also, we won't talk about the eyestrain you also get from constantly looking at the computer screen.
  • The dialing system used may repetitively call the customer at work or at home. Many customers do not like being called at work and may get irate; or do not like getting called so frequently.  Consequently, many times you will be the brunt of their frustration. Not fun...
  • Depending on the company, many companies have a pay rate based on a tier system.  Low sales, despite your best efforts, will not mean much in your paycheck.
  • Most call centers have intense monitoring by supervisors that critique the quality of your calls.
    New employees may already be nervous, this only adds to their nervousness. 
  • A call center can be sales-driven or customer-service-driven.  Make sure your personality is a good fit for the particular center.  A wrong fit can be as disastrous as a heavy-duty construction worker wearing white dress gloves to do a his job.  It just doesn't work.
I listed a few reasons why call center work is so difficult and for some people will go against their grain. Of course, different strokes for different folks would mean there are some people that actually enjoy call center work.  That's great for them.  In my estimation though it is just a tough job. 

So what should you do if you find yourself in such a job?  Move on.  It is always best to have another job though before quitting your present one. The conclusion is to remember not all work is equal.  Find out as much about the job before you take it.  Know your physical and mental likes and dislikes as well as your limits.  Yes, you just might want to pass this job up.

What is your "nightmare" job?  Most people have worked one some time in their career.  I would love to hear from you on this.  Feel free to reply.


  1. Nice post, I could really relate to this. Some work is just not worth it. I understand that we need to pay bills but it is causing your physical, mental and emotional health to deteriorate I don't think it is worth it. I am just so glad to be out of it. I'm blessed to be able to be a part of an online company that is suited for unemployed individuals. If anyone wants to find out what I am talking about this is it. http://www.empowernetwork.com/almostasecret.php?id=bry4323 Happy searching!!!

  2. Hi, thank you so much for sharing your call center experience. I was working at the call center for a large health insurance company, from January to April of this year. It was a temp job through an agency. I was let go on April 15. I was discouraged that they let me go, but at the same time I was rather relieved, because I really was not enjoying the job. It was really stressful and confusing, having to deal with irate callers and health insurance issues. And I felt like my "numbers" were more important than the actual quality of how I took care of the customers, so that did not make me feel good about myself, nor did it make me feel like my job was very secure there. Anyway, I've been unemployed for 3 weeks now, but the good news is I"m receiving unemployment benefits, and I'm enjoying the freedom that comes with being able to explore all kinds of new opportunities. Once again, thank you for this blog and God Bless you!

  3. The situation might not thesame to my own experience but it still has equal concept. Yes, your right by your testimonial that it is really hard to work on something that will not work out especially when you do not love what you are doing. I was force to take a degree in college where I do not like or interested in taking it. Three years after taking up the degree i decided to shift because it really is a waste of time knowing in the future i might end up in regrets. Nice testimony.

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  6. Great post - it's true that not all work is necessarily moving you 'forward'. I think this especially true in call center scenario you presented in your article. Even if you could pick/get a full-time position at this company would you really want it? While it would be some money and more lines for the resume, if it makes a person miserable it's probably just not worth it.