Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Work at a Call Centre...

From the time I was about Eighteen years old until I was Forty, most my working life was taking the call.

I started out early in an answering service in Toronto. Back then we used the old cord boards. I didn't enjoy it very much at all and thankfully, after a month or so, was transferred upstairs where my job entailed taking the calls and paging them out; as well as monitoring alarms (fire, burglar, etc.).

I worked with a fun, wonderful group of women and even though we were all cooped up together in a room smaller than my living room; I can honestly say we had a good time. I still have fond memories of those days.

Over the years, my office skills increased and I often held the position of receptionist/switchboard operator. I learned to work a variety of switchboards and in the end was also programming them.

Fast forward to the present. I have two very talented sons who both work in a Call Centre. They take calls to give tech support to people who are having difficulties with their computers. I know it often takes a lot of patience to do what they do, not to mention constantly having to upgrade their knowledge each time there's a product upgrade.

Imagine...trying to give tech support to someone who barely knows how to operate a computer. I know how much patience is required to carry that out.

My older son is bilingual; he speaks French as well as English. My younger son is a musician. He's taught himself the drums, guitar and banjo; though he still has the common sense to realize you can always learn from others.

The reality is that Call Centres are probably the biggest employers in our city, if you add them up together. The people who work in these Call Centres are a variety of all ages & talents.

I always give credit to the people who occupy these positions as I know from personal experience, that they are mostly underpaid and treated with little respect. Overall, they're labeled as robots who can't do anything more than answer the phone. And it's not only the higher ups who treat them this way but often the general public. Often it's the very people they are trying to assist when they take that call.

Both my sons have made some good friendships at their place of employment. One of these friends is Gordon Phillips; another musician. Gord is not only a talented musician and writer but he also saw talent in my younger son, Andrew.

Gord wrote a song though we like to refer to it as an anthem. He approached both Drew and Barry about it and we all loved it. Drew was to sing the main vocals, as well as playing the drums. Barry's job was in what he does best. He did the recording.

As the project was in the beginning stages, Gord had a surgery date approaching. He was suffering some nerve damage and my husband, Barry literally had to duct tape the pick onto Gords fingers. But he played the bass and his talent flowed.

Gord also gave Drew a lot of coaching to bring out the best in his vocals. Drew did the main vocals, while Gord did the back up.

They brought in two people for the guitar. Adam McGlynn also works at the same Call Centre as Drew and Gord. He came in a few times to add some guitar to the song. He was great and more than happy to do his part.

Now like most creative people, Gord was very particular on how this song should sound and he wanted more in the kind of add to Adam's tracks.

And so Kyle Mason was brought in to add those extra tracks. Kyle is the only person who participated in this project who does not, nor has he experience working in a Call the best of my knowledge. But his tracks were incredible and I could certainly understand why Gord wanted him.

Then it was all left to my husband Barry to do his magic.

The project is finished. And, it's catching on to Call Centre people all over. How could it not?

Let me introduce to you the Call Centre Anthem:

I'm sure you'll love it as much as I do. And if you take that call ... or if you ever have...This song is for you!!