Dear BPO/Call Center/KPO employees,
Even as we work in different sectors like BPO, BPS, Call Center, Medical Coding, e-Publishing, we all face similar issues. But many people consider us also as software employees. Only we know how pressurized we are in such jobs which hardly pays to meet all our monthly needs.
Most of us work in in-secure situation where there is even no guarantee for the monthly salary. Unlike those who get placements in college campus interview, we are forced to choose this job due to financial situation of the family having exhausted in searching for jobs based on our degrees.
Most of the companies recruit freshmen and put them into training for three months with no pay. Even if they pay, that hardly meet our food expenses.
In Call Centre jobs, we are divided based on our English fluency and accent for domestic and international Call Centre jobs. The only difference between these two is that employees working in domestic Call Centre are shouted at (have to bear customer’s frustration) in regional language and employees in international Call Centre are shouted at in English. Employers use us only as scape goat in front of customers to hide their in-capabilities.
Be it domestic or international Call Centre, the Corporate’s profit making mindset/steps always end up with difficulties and inconveniences to the customers. And they use us to tackle and face the angry, disappointed customers and force us to make up for the situation in the name of marketing strategies/tricks. The pressure to take ownership/responsibilities for management’s mistakes by design creates a lot of mental pressure, stress to the employees and inefficiency in the system.
Only those working in such an environment can understand it. On top of this, management constantly pushes us to finish the call quickly and move on to the next call. Since the company’s billing is based on number of calls attended, calls are supposed to be finished or redirected quickly. But the affected customers get irritated even more and shout at us badly. How much ever the customers shout, we have to be calm and composed as if nothing has happened. In case of female employees, the customers pick on them even more aggressively.
Sufferings of BPO employees are no less than Call Centre employees. Most of our day is spent sitting in front of computers. We are kept typing on it and we literally become part of computer. How much ever we work and how much ever time we spend in office, management is not satisfiled. They keep insisting on better quality, less errors and more stringent timeline by running after us (micromanage) as if we are race horses.
In many of the BPO companies, starting salary is just 4000 rupees. Even if we work efficiently for years, we cannot earn more than 30000 rupees. And that too salary is not credited on the first day of month; salary day keeps changing as per employer’s convenience. If an employees takes off on, Saturday and Sunday are also counted as leave days and salary is cut for the same.
Though we work hard with dedication and for very less salary in unethical, harsh work environment, there is no assurance of job security. Employer can throw us out of the job anytime. When we change company, there is no guarantee that we will get atleast the same salary. Management is well versed in making us believe that we are incapable and put us into depression and mental trauma in the name of PIP. The fear of PIP and job insecurity make us spend our office days in anxiety.
On top of this, a new monster has arrived in the industry, namely automation. Even as we think that automation is far away in our industry, it has already become a game changer and companies started implementing automation to reduce employment and increase profits. Henceforth, we will have to compete for fewer and fewer jobs and get displaced by computers. But the reality is, the corporate profit thirst thrown us out like used paper cups and replace our jobs with a machine.
Do you think that we can escape from this? Aren’t we entitled to have a secure job? Can’t we earn enough money to support a family in the city? Can’t we put an end to PIP designed to humiliate and frustrate employees? Don’t we have rights and benefits available under labour laws?
As isolated individuals, we can only complain to ourselves and everything goes against our long term plans. But if we join together as a union, things start changing. International working class movements have a long history of fighting against unlawful and unfair attitude of employers.
Join hands with hundreds of IT employees and let your voice be heard!
Join NDLF IT Employees Wing. Let us bring democracy into our work life.