November, 2015 archive
Some of the most lucrative jobs available in both cities and small towns for young people in India at present are available are at call centres, yet there is relatively little information available for people in conventional professions, except the occassional news of the murder of a call centre employee after returning from work. The book ” Call centre An inside story by Vikrant Shukla ” gives a glimpse of the life of an entry level call center employee.
The main protagonist Shiv has got a law degree in Kanpur,and is working as an assistant to a senior advocate Balram Rastogi. He soon realizes that he will not make any money soon, and it is difficult to become a successful lawyer if a person does not have any relative already working as a lawyer. So he decides to look for other options to make a reasonable amount of money and his brother who is working in Pune suggested that he try working in a call center.
So along with his middle class mother, Shiv makes a trip to Pune to try his luck at the call centers. He initially goes for walk in interviews which are advertised in Ascent section of times of india, and so when referred to by a neighbour, yet he has no luck because of his voice which has a strong MTI or mother tongue influence. So he is forced to go for professional training at a consultancy firm named Crossway which has a 15 day course in which the students are taught how to neutralize their indian accent and are coached specifically for a call center position.
At crossway he is fortunate that the coach abbas provides comprehensive training so that he is accepted at a call center named Corporate Clients which deals with american clients like Circular wireless. His colleagues who he is also friendly with include Alex, Sumit and Tanya. After working at the call center for some time, Sumit and Tanya take a loan from IEIE bank to purchase a new car. Some time later Tanya takes leave of 10 days to go to Nagpur for a medical emergency in her family, only to disappear and is never traced despite the best effort of sumit, her boyfriend.
Later at a blood donation camp, the company finds that sumit who was dating tanya was HIV positive. After sumit recovers from the shock, sumit resigns and decides to relocate to goa, without repaying the loan he had taken from IEIE bank.The good natured Keralite Alex who had stood guarantor for sumit and tanya is forced to repay the loan they had taken, with emis from his salary, though tanya alone had possession with the car. They later find out that tanya had duped them, her landlord in Pune knew her as Shivani.
Alex who was also studying for his MBA finds a better job after completing his MBA, However shiv finds that prospects are limited outside the call center industry , continues, and is promoted to the designation of team leader after some time. Though the salary is attractive the prospects at the call center remain limited and the lifestyle which forced people to work at night, can take a toll on the persons health. An interesting and honest glimpse into the life of a person working in a call centre, the qualification, training required and lifestyle.
Call centre An inside story
by Vikrant Shukla
Publisher Mehta Publishing house
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