I had finished my board exams and was free from studies for a while. That is when one of my friends declared that she was joining a Call Center and asked me if I would be interested. A package of 15k! Wow!! Back in those days, it was good money. While I was convincing myself to nod yes to the opportunity zillions of thoughts of what all I could do with those 15k clouded my mind; shopping, saving, independence, living on my terms, so on and so forth. So, I subjected my friend to the queries I had regarding the work. She said we have to answer calls and that we get training. However, the night shifts were a significant drawback and knew my dad would never give in. But to my surprise he did. I had trouble sleeping that night as I couldn’t contain the excitement of seeing myself as a sophisticated earner but knowing that I have to stay sleepless for the coming nights, I slept. It was the first day of work, and like school days, mom and dad came till the cab that had come to pick me. I sat inside the car quickly, and as it started to join the race on the roads, my folks faded from my vision.
My friend couldn’t join me due to a fractured ankle, so it was all me. I said to myself this is it! Prove yourself brave, and I stepped into that office. I had never been in an office except the one in school. The simple room on the second floor of an office complex welcomed me; there were no computers but only landline phone in the cubicles across the room. I was given a few instructions like we need to take calls and talk to the customer without revealing any information regarding the company or about myself. I was looking forward to the training part to begin and then the phone rang, the lady said, “there you go“, and that is when I realised that the brief conversation we had was my so-called “training“.
I picked up the receiver, and there was a male voice on the other side saying ‘hello‘ I said “hello and how can I help you?” trying to sound professional. The response shook me off my toe, ” I need a friend… I am so lonely“. There was a complete moment of silence, and each cell of my body was shouting at me that there was something wrong, there was something definitely wrong!! To my utter shock and disbelief, I looked around and noticed that the so-called in charge had her eyes on me. After taking a deep breath to calm my nerves, I said: “well I couldn’t help you with that you seem to have dialled a wrong number“. The receiver sensed from my trembling voice that I was new here. He said, “You seem to be at the wrong place and that you should never come back, this is a friendship call line, please do a reference check of any job you join next” I couldn’t swallow my saliva, and I hung up. I had to pass the night somehow; I just kept the receiver stuck to my ear pretending that I was still on the call. As soon as sun-rays hit the earth, I ran out of that place! without giving it a second look and swore that I would never come back!! I reached home safely but didn’t share the experience with my parents. That night I again had trouble sleeping, but only this time the reason for my sleeplessness was different!!