The ramblings of a self-proclaimed call center veteran - on surviving the Philippine Call Center industry.

Monday, November 21, 2011

TIPS ON - HOW TO TRAVEL SAFELY


For the exact news article please see this link: 

It personally hurts me to see fellow agents become victims due to our careers.  I do sincerely hope that people who harm others die horrible deaths.

I myself had been a victim once.  I was on my way to work at 3am in the morning when three men rode the jeepney I was riding and mugged everyone.  This happened near Araneta Ave, cor Quezon Avenue, and I lost my money and cell phone that day.

After that I have been more vigilant and I came up with some effective tips that will hopefully give you insight on avoiding evil people.

1)  WATCH WHAT YOU WEAR

Do not be stupid!  You are travelling at night and you flaunt the latest and most expensive fashion accessories?  You walk dark streets and you wear tight and skimpy outfits?  Show more common sense when you are travelling.  You never know what perverts may roam the streets, so do not help them single you out.

Kung kaya mong mag-papanget at magmukhang walang pera - gawin mo.  Sa opisina ka nalang mag ayos.  Wag magsuklay bago umalis ng bahay.

2)  LEARN TO BE AWARE OF PEOPLE

When you have the graveyard shift you should practice "kapraningan".  Be overly cautious of everyone on the street and note every passenger who rides the bus/FX/jeepney with you.  Evil people give off an evil aura, so IF you see someone and your instinct dictates something is wrong then act on it.  Either get down that vehicle or run away.  It's ok to look stupid as long as you are safe.

Buti nang praning kesa mapahamak

3)  TRY NOT TO TALK TO STRANGERS

Call it rude, but during nights, it is better to ignore people.  I have heard a story from a colleague who was just asked for the time, and he ended up getting mugged.  It's better to walk fast and not mind people in the streets, even those asking for help.  If people really needed help (asking directions, or time etc.) they would be in well-lighted areas since they are practicing caution themselves.

4)  FIND SAFE AREAS

Try to ride near the bus drivers and avoid sitting on the edge of the bus where no one sits.  Stick to the crowds as much as you can.  Try to find well lighted areas or security guards when you are waiting for jeepneys.  If you need to text or call, wait till you are in a safe place.

5)  BE WARY OF PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

It is true that big name taxi corporations impose stricter policies before they hire cab drivers.  So during nights, try to find branded taxis.  Always note the plate numbers and text your friends.  Look at the taxi driver first to see if the danger instinct kicks in.  

Before you ride jeepneys, screen the people riding it first.  If you do not feel comfortable riding, then do not.  

6)  DO NOT BRING EXPENSIVE STUFF

Only idiots bring expensive stuff when they commute at night.  Buy a cheaper cellphone that you can use when travelling.

7)  PRAY BEFORE YOU TRAVEL


Any other tips you can share?








Monday, November 14, 2011

TIPS ON – GETTING ALONG WITH CO-WORKERS


Most call center agents resign simply because they cannot get along with their office mates...

1) Try not to be a loner

I personally have nothing against loners, but the call center is a pretty social place.  You need social skills to survive this type of industry.  You need to ask co-workers help at one point or the other.  You need to use your communication skills to talk to your customers.  And you need to reach out to your team leaders.

You do not have to mingle with everyone, but at least mingle with people who matter.  It will be very hard to be singled out as the office snob.

You raise survival chances if at least you communicate with others.  If you really are a hard core loner, consider a career as a librarian.


Wag mag pa-mysterious type effect...papansin kalalabasan mo...  

2)  Have boundaries

Now lets talk about the 'super extroverts'.

They are friends with everyone, even the janitors, the cafeteria vendors, taxi drivers and the guards.

There’s nothing wrong with being friendly, but just have boundaries.  Make sure that you do not broadcast your private personal life.  Keep the details of how your mother has issues, or how your loved one takes you for granted, or how you have three nipples.  There's such a thing such as "giving too much information" -- so learn to limit details or it may be used against you.

Also, try not to show people how popular you are by bragging that you have friends everywhere on the floor.  You will just come off as annoying.  Office life is not a popularity contest, you are there to work.  

3) Do not be an asshole

Some agents were just meant to be run over by a speeding vehicle. 

These agents feel bad when someone gets promoted, are rude to everyone, and they make friends for profit.  These agents suck-up to the bosses and are quick to badmouth other agents.  They are jealous, conniving and lives up to the “talangka mentality”.  After some time, when the upper management sees their bad attitudes, they get fired.  

So make you sure that you have a nice attitude.  Try your best to be kind and fair to everyone.  Have a daily mantra or think of Bro or Santino.  Being nice in the office will make you more liked, and will make your call center life less stressful 

4)  Try not to be weird

In your personal environment you have family and friends who will love you for who you are.  In the office, people will judge you based on how you act.  Try to practice proper and normal behavior and always keep your actions in check.  Try to fight those eccentric urges or you will be tagged as the office weirdo.  Do not be the cool “rebel” who does whatever he wants (anu ka, teenager?). 

Also, try not to look visually normal.  At the end of the day, this is the Philippines -- people will always talk about how you have a rainbow colored beard, or you how you never wear deodorant. 

5)  Act your age

There are young and old alike in the call center.  There is nothing more annoying that being 40 and acting as a teenager, or being 20 and you talk as if you are ancient.  Just try to be natural and act your age. 

Refrain from using the “age card” where you expect to have special favors because you are old, or you are still young and this is your first job -- on the floor, everyone’s equal.

6)  Do not be the office Borrower / PG

There are agents notorious for borrowing money – they get talked about and are generally avoided.  It's ok to borrow for emergencies.  But do not make a habit out of it.  

Also, do not be the office PG (patay gutom).  Try to be someone who can sometimes say “no” to free food.

Habitual borrowers and Patay gutom's easily lose respect in people's eyes.              

And I quote – “pare-parehas kayo sumesweldo, wag mang-lamang ng kapwa.”

7) Be professional

The office is not your playground nor your fashion show.  You do not go there to make friends or be popular.  It’s not an outlet to let out your personal problems and frustrations.  You work to make money…PERIOD!

Make sure you practice professionalism at all times, and your call center lives will be a breeze!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

TIPS ON - EARNING EXTRA INCOME



Call centers are unlike other jobs where you have to be mindful of work even after office hours – so use this to your advantage. Rather than spend all of your afterhours partying/drinking/sleeping, why not do something that will give you extra cash? Sure it may require effort, but making money will always require effort.

1) Believe you can make extra money if you want to

I have read Rich Dad Poor Dad, Go Negosyo, and other financial books and blogs out there.  Usually, they have one main idea -- and it is to BELIEVE that you can make extra money if you really wanted to. Learn to see opportunities, rather than loopholes. If you believe it, then you will have the will to make it happen.

2) Educate yourself

Read books on money, wealth, how to handle finances and how to improve your lifestyle. Understand the meaning of assets and liabilities. Remember that what you respect, you will attract -- so if you learn to respect and understand money, you will find ways to attract money.

Here are some easy to understand blogs on improving your mindset when it comes to money. I am not affiliated with these blogs, but I am an avid reader.

Frugal Pinoy – (Practical and Simple)
http://www.frugalpinoy.com/

Pinoy Money Tips – (All about savings)
http://pinoymoneytips.com/

Get Rich Slowly – (Not a Pinoy Blog but I learned a lot)
http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/

Ready to be Rich – (A personal favorite)
http://fitzvillafuerte.com/

Pinoy Business.com
http://pinoy-business.com/

3) Try direct selling or putting up a small business


Ever heard of Boardwalk, Avon or Autoload? There are many direct selling organizations that you can apply for.  Selling may require effort, but as I said, getting extra cash will always require effort. Why not get a catalog and sell some items to your office mates? Have them pay by installment or when payday comes.

Another good idea is to have rakets -- sell packed lunches or desserts to your officemates.  Build a small carinderia at home or set-up a sari-sari store.

These are some good blogs for business ideas:

Pinoy Raket
http://pinoyraket.blogspot.com/

Pinoy Business Ideas
http://www.pinoybisnes.com/

VERY IMPORTANT! – NEVER INVEST IN SOMETHING THAT WILL COST MORE THAN P1,000! Beginners should start small and learn the ropes first. Do not go for pyramiding, or a business where you have to pay and you get no physical goods in return! Also remember the golden rule of small businesses – “If it’s too good to be true…then it probably isn’t TRUE!

Direct selling links:
Boardwalk
Avon Philippines
Dakki

4) Start an Online Store


I started selling on Ebay since 2007. Online selling is not only easy but it’s fun as well. Of course you usually need a computer as well as an internet connection for this, but I have observed call center agents usually have internet access.  Find things to sell online, may it be books, toys, or old clothes.

What I personally do is I ask everyone I know if they want to sell old cellphones or electronic items. I then take pictures of the items and sell them on Ebay with interest.  One time I made 20k on profit, so this really works!

See this link for free online stores in the Philippines:
http://designpinoy.com/web/top-10-free-online-buying-and-selling-sites-in-the-philippines/
Thank you Design Pinoy!

5) Stop being lazy


Get off your sorry ass and stop buying those Lotto tickets! You gain wealth little by little, through hardwork, getting financially educated and by saving. Lazy people are poor and will always be poor – and that is a fact.

Any other Money making tips you can suggest?


For tips on Saving Money, please see this post: TIPS ON SAVING MONEY