So, by now you all know I work part-time for CollectivelyBeautiful.com, and part- to full-time at a call center in the Old Port of Montreal. Now, I’m going to devote some time to give you a glimpse into my experiences at my first (and probably/hopefully last) call center job – trust me, it’s not what you’d expect.
Firstly, the call center is mostly inbound call for infomercials. We accept order calls for everything from health supplements, to exercise equipment, to small household appliances, to hair removal products and even bras. Yes – you heard that right, bras. You can only imagine the types of calls I’d hear in the course of a day just purely based on the sheer variety of products people are calling about. Yet, surprisingly, it’s this last item that gives me the most trauma of all.
The problem with these bras is that the commercials show women traipsing around in pants and bras, all of whom, except one, are young, busty, and beautiful. The real problem is that it’s not just women are watching these commercials, men are, too. And only a fraction of them are watching to order bras for their wives, mothers, or daughters. I’m just going to call it like I see it and say that these men are perverts. They’re the same perverts who keep lingerie flyers in their bathrooms and who grab women’s butt’s on the subway. The worst part is, they’re not only watching these commercials in the privacy of their own homes – they’re calling in to hear a woman’s voice.
In my opinion, it’s all fine and good if you’re whacking off to magazines and I know nothing about it, but when you involve me in your activity, it becomes a major problem. And that’s exactly what happens, sometimes repeatedly by the same person. Whatever possesses these men to call a bra order line to get their kicks is beyond me – there are 1-900 numbers for that – but to call a bra order line, where you might end up speaking to a girl as young as 16? That disgusts me.
Think I’m joking? There’s one pervert who calls more often that the rest – at least every weekend, maybe more. I’ll call him Perv 1. He really gets off on trying to get you to say the word panties, and I’m guessing he prefers the color black. Here’s how it goes.
Me: “Thank you for calling, my name is Allison. What size bras can I get you today?”
Perv 1: “Yeah, 34C… I was wondering, do you have the panties?”
Me: “No, sir. We don’t. And just letting you know this call is being monitored for quality assurance purposes. So you’re just getting the one set of bras?”
Perv 1: “Oh, you don’t have the panties? I really wanted the panties? Do they come in black?”
Me: “No, sir. We don’t have those. The bras will come in black, white and beige. May I have your credit card number now, please? We accept Visa and MasterCard.”
Perv 1: “Can’t you give me the panties?”
Me: “No, sir. They’re not available.”
Perv: “Oh, but I really wanted the panties. Don’t you have black panties?”
Me: “No, sir – and if you’re not going to give me your credit card number I’m going to have to disconnect the call.”
Around this point is usually when I begin to hear him begin vigorously panting and I disconnect the call. Now, this particular pervert has enough smarts to block his number from appearing when he calls; other perverts aren’t so clever. For those who have the stupidity to call in with visible phone numbers and sexually harass women who are just trying to make an honest buck, I have a few select words, and they are: “Sir, I have your telephone number recorded. What you’re doing constitutes harassment and I’ll be reporting this activity to the police.”
This usually results in them hanging up immediately, yet they’re still stupid enough to call back repeatedly, and often they get patched back through to my line. After I answer the second or third time they at least have the smarts to hang up before I begin threatening them with criminal action. At this point, I notify my supervisor and have their phone number blocked from calling our agents. This makes me feel like some sort of small-scale, feminist superhero. Protecting the innocent female call center employees, one pervert at a time.
Now, I have two things to say about these situations: 1) I don’t get paid enough for this sh*t, and 2) these are deeply, deeply troubled men who are a product of a deeply, deeply trouble society. But, that's just my opinion.