I began working in the call centre industry 3.5 years ago. I was just starting my second year at McMaster University and I desperately needed a part-time job. A friend recommended me to AnswerPlus in Hamilton. Three nerve-wracking interviews later, here I am.

I had never worked in a call centre but I had friends who did and from the tales they told I was ready to quit before I even began. Luckily, the friend who recommended AnswerPlus reminded me that a) rent was due and b) it was their name on the line, so I was going!


Lesson One: Your co-workers will quickly become your second family

Nobody will understand your work pains like another customer service receptionist. Funny faces to hold music, understanding smiles and I love you.

This is one of my favourite photos. You can't fake closeness like this.
This is one of my favourite photos. You can’t fake closeness like this.

I promise if you give to your work family, you will receive the support you need to work in this industry. Nothing makes you feel better then having a difficult caller on the line and looking up to see a sympathetic smile and a note that reads

Lesson Two: Empathy is more important then patience

It goes without saying, if you want to work in this industry you have to take everything with a grain of salt. People are going to vent their frustrations on you.

However, I have seen time and time again virtual receptionists actively listening to a caller as they scream then turn around and say

By the end of the call the customer is apologizing and the receptionist is smiling. It was worth it, they have solved a problem and they have transformed a snarling lion back into the loving house cat they really are.

And they will preform their magic tomorrow, because thats just the person they are.

Lesson Three: You will stay longer then you intended

But when the day comes and you do make a change, know that your work family is still going to be there supporting you. They will cry when you leave and wish you all the luck in the world. And yes, you are going to cry too.

Lesson Four: It may not be physical but it is exhausting all the same.

Guaranteed someone will always ask. Why are you so tired? You sat at your desk talking on the phone all day.

Working in a call center requires mental and emotional resources. At the end of the day you can find your patience a bit thinner and you may make a few

So when you leave for the day take a moment and decompress. Have a cup of tea or if it

My Final Lesson

If someone had told me when I began that I would be at AnswerPlus after graduation I would never have believed them. However, as I reflect on the years which have sped by and ask myself why I