Professionalism

Well I watched ‘The Call Centre’. It’s repeated tonight if anyone missed it. I have to say that I was rather surprised at a few things that were said on the show.

The manager likes to keep everyone happy. This is really good thing and he is absolutely right – if you are happy in your job, you work better. He likes people to sing. He also said that he had fired two people for not singing.

We have people who like to sing at our call centre. Some of them will burst forth into song at the drop of a hat. You often hear people singing pop songs, party songs, xmas songs, and there’s usually a chorus of ‘happy birthday’ somewhere in the call centre. However, if the managers tried to fire someone for not singing, the legal fall out for the company would be pretty bad. Let’s see…stress, humiliation, embarassment, discrimination… Need I continue?

The TV show had a scene in a training room where the trainees were informed not to yawn as it was rude. One woman yawned – the manager threw something at her. Legal implications…stress, humiliation, assault…

During the opening credits there was a scene showing two women looking through a window watching a guy dropping his trousers…sexual harrassment…

Another scene saw a young woman employee vommitting on the paving outside the office, and trying to wash it away with hot water…health and safety…

In fact the whole program gave the indication of a total lack of professionalism. I know this was the first episode of the series but it will give call centres a bad name.

I think it’s pretty realistic to assume that a lot of things in the program were written into the script, but this will just excerbate the disdain that some of the public already have for call centres.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, we have a lot of fun and games at work, but it’s always professional. But then the majority of people at our work place have letters after their name, or have gone through some form of further education. There are also a lot of mature people, and I don’t just mean in age, but people who have families, or know what they want from life. There are very few school leavers. The very young are normally people who are paying their way through university, and are aiming for something in life.

The company also does criminal checks on all prospective employees, and regular credit checks on existing employees. This is done because we are dealing with payments, and because it is professional to do so.

I will continue to watch ‘The Call Centre’. It will be interesting to see what other legalities crop up. And also what the critics are saying about it.

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