I really want out from this dirty business that I’m in. Today I experience my first rude customer. I’ve had sarcastic, angry and irate customers but I’ve never encountered one who will let out a string of curses over the phone. I’ve had customers with issues worse than his and their cases were exceedingly more frustrating than his yet never did I hear them utter a single curse and if they happen to do so, they apologize for it and make it clear that it wasn’t meant for me. Yet this guy, he refused to answer my questions and appeared to be knowledgeable about everything when he clearly isn’t. Then again this post is not a rant about him and what he did. This post is about how sick and tired I am of the industry I am in not only because of the boredom it forces me to live in, as I’ve pointed out in previous posts, but also because of the utter disregard for basic worker’s rights the industry has for the bulk of its constituents.
The Inquirer September 13 editorial has created such a stir in me, a fire that although is not yet rapidly spreading is slowly brewing. GMA kept bragging that her administration has provided thousands of jobs to newly graduates and other jobless Filipinos. She brags that though there is a recession, the BPO industry keeps on booming and Filipinos can look ahead to having paid jobs. Never mind the quality of the jobs she created, never mind the damage it is doing to our culture and our society – so long as she can say she did something. It is indeed true that because of the BPO industry a lot of jobs and opportunities have been created for those brave and strong enough to enter it’s perilous walls and manage to actually survive it. I do not contest that. I have seen how it benefits and continue to benefit a lot of people. It is a job after all. Better than the current alternative for most people – unemployment.
Yet what I hate is the fact that in this industry, its employees gets exploited all too easily. Companies take advantage of the situation that an agent cannot simply resign otherwise they face unemployment. They take advantage of the fact that people badly need their jobs to somehow survive. They cut out on basic services and rights; give unequal rights and treatments and unsanitary and unsafe working conditions. I don’t know about other companies and I am not about to bad mouth my own company but in the 7 months that I’ve been here, I’ve seen more injustices than I can count. And I’ve heard disgruntled remarks that remains as such – never forwarded as valid complaints because no resolutions are ever made.
And with how GMA seems to be encouraging this unfair treatment given her exlusion of the BPO industry from the Sept 13 and 21 holidays thus removing the priviledge of the workers to receive additional pay for those days, it will come as no surprise that companies will further exploit their agents. Afterall, a friend told me that agents are merely commodities, not assets to the company. How I wish companies would realize that their employees are the foundation of their beloved companies – the blood and sweat that continues to keep it alive on a daily basis. Without their “beloved” employees whose rights and welfare they should constantly be on the lookout for, nothing will eventually come out of their companies even with the multitude of investors they can get.