Irrational Fears

What Scares You?

I Am a supervisor in a call center

Written By: Amanda Luciano

I am a supervisor in a call center. A job I never thought I would have.

When you are applying for your first retail job to get some experience on your resume you never dream of ending up in a call center. Does anyone ever really dream about day jobs though?

I wanted to be a musician, an artist, an anything other than the robot I have become. Too mentally exhausted from the amount of my soul I sacrifice in that 8-10 hour shift. I hate it but it's what I have experience in and it pays the bills.

If you have worked in a call center before, you feel my pain. You have to let assholes yell at you for something that isn't your fault all day just to make it to that one person that's actually grateful for your help.

As a supervisor I thought it would be different, better even. I was off of the phones and helping a team of my own, this was better. That was until I met my operations manager.

She was a miserable British woman, single mother and bitter as all hell. She made a point of telling everyone that as well. Lucky for me, I am good at my job, so for the most part she didn't have much to say to me.

She did love to weigh in on my personal life though, dating another supervisor in the center had proven to be difficult. Mainly because we were required to make a statement to HR. We were one of three couples that actually did this as we were supposed to but we thought our honesty would pay off.

My manager liked to make comments on how large of a mistake he was and that this would destroy my career. Whenever bad things happened in my life, the kind you have to take work off for, she would sarcastically say "At least you have someone to go home to."

She was the epitome of misery. Resting bitch face was coined for this woman. She never looked happy and she only ever made jokes to insult someone.

Imagine my surprise when I absent mindedly walked into her office and started talking about one of my agents only to find her in tears. I was taken aback, I hadn't imagined she could cry, she was always so mean. The impenetrable kind, the kind that gets layered on thick for years and years. The kind you assume is tied to tragedy because it's so solid.

"Are you alright?" I approached her slowly.

What happened next was terrifying.

She hugged me.

I awkwardly wrapped an arm around her and tried to pat her soothingly but it was very rigid. I imagine much like any affection she has ever had. We stood in an awkward embrace for what felt like an eternity. When she had stopped sobbing, she closed her office door and asked me to sit down.

Hesitantly I obliged. I wasn't sure which would be worse, the hug or listening to her explain her hysterics. She went on to tell me that it was a man. This frigid bitch was a mess over a man, I guess it can happen to us all.

She went on to tell me of their love affair and how they had never been able to meet very consistently, he was in a sketchy line of work. The majority of their conversations were via text message but whenever something was important or he wanted to make a statement she would find hand written notes.

This morning when she had come in to work she had found one on her desk. She handed it to me then. I looked down at the small folded piece of card stock. In perfect penmanship it read "I cannot see you again, do not try to find me. This is your only warning."

I knew it had not been for me but I still felt a little sting in my chest, this was harsh.

She continued on to tell me more about how there had always been the excitement of him having this mysterious side and that she had always been okay with it because of her workload and her son. I offered her the best consoling I could manage. This woman had been horrible to me but I was hard pressed to leave her in a hysterical mess at the hands of a bad break up.

I could tell it wasn't doing much but for the first time I felt she had a human side. She smiled through her tears and thanked me. I offered her another hug and left her alone to collect herself. I didn't see her the rest of the day. I assumed she took a personal day and spent the rest of my day in shock.

I still couldn't believe what had happened between us that morning after every rotten thing she had said and done there was a real person in there. If I had known that this was all it took to get her to show some mercy I might have killed her boyfriend sooner. I had waited until she left last night to leave the note, she couldn't even tell the difference.

I guess work might not be so bad anymore.

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