That describes Darcy Allen, a 27-year-old from the suburbs of Chicago. After graduating from college with a degree in computer graphics, she was unable to find a job. In the past several years, she has worked at three different call centers, and said some of them have been worse than others.
Her first such job was at a large insurance company's emergency call center, Allen says. There, she says the number of phone calls per shift was overwhelming. Disgruntled customers were bounced around to different departments, and company taskmasters made sure all the calls were answered and the employees stayed focused, she says. Employees were not allowed more than two 15-minute breaks per day.
Allen says that while it was stressful, much of it had to do with the type of company it was — she was regularly speaking to people dealing with emergencies. She says that's why she didn't stay there long.
“Yes, a call center does get stressful…but it’s the same as clothing manufacturing,” Allen says. “Some are good, and some are literally sweatshops. You have to find a good company where employees are treated with respect and have good opportunities.”
Allen says she was recently promoted off of the phone lines at a software company, and now works directly helping customers set up their software.
“I’m really loving the new job they gave me,” Allen said. She added that call centers like her current employer are “a good way to get a foot in the door, a good place to grow, find what you excel at, and then they can move you on from there.”