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  1. I am approaching my three-year mark as a call center agent. It was culture shock when I first hit the floor. Just knowing I worked in a call center was depressing and I told myself it would only be for a while. Surely I would get promoted. Well, I did get promoted to leadership within my first year. I lasted six months in that role before going back to the phones where I could have a little peace. I'd rather be yelled at by faceless customers than people who are supposed to be my mentors. I've been back on the phones for a year and while most days are OK, because I constantly fight depression I often have to use every bit of energy I have just to keep my butt in the seat taking calls. There is little energy left to make sales. On other days, the time flies by as I talk with reasonable customers and keep my mind off of things I cannot control like changing metrics, the reality that I could lose my merit raise I earned for doing well in 2013 if I don't pass a certification test a level above my current position. A new cap on earnings means some of my colleagues' pay could be cut nearly in half. For me, it's only 54 cents an hour I stand to lose. It's more than the money. It's not nice to give a raise and then take it back for not being qualified for the next level promotion. The pressure is exhausting. If I can just focus on one call at a time and not think about it, things are OK. Then there is this depressing lead who constantly sends group messages like "keep pushing" no matter how much money one has sold for the company that day. It's a bit like having a task master give you lashes throughout the day. Yes, there are "way to go" and "boom!" and other positive messages given for each sale. But in between, being constantly pushed as if the lead is wearing spurs and I am some wild horse out there in need of being broken can be quite demoralizing. When I felt like there was opportunity for advancement I felt a bit better about it being "only for a while." I've been shot down so many times for jobs I am more than qualified for within the corporate side of the business that it feels as though it might be less stressful to just accept what I have, be grateful for the benefits and keep my head low. In the meantime, I have decided to put my professional writing skills back to work in my free time. I am writing a novel about call center life. That's how I found this forum. I was searching for "call center depression." This thread looks really old, so I doubt any of you who have already posted will see this. Perhaps that is a good sign. Did you all get better? Did getting a career outside of call centers help? Or are you still there, still struggling along?
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