Customer Service Jobs Suck: The Burnt Out CSR

Customer service sucks. It is often considered a job with the highest turnover and can be stressful and daunting for all but the most extroverted of people. Burnout is common, especially for an introverted person who does not enjoy interacting with other people. Today’s interview is with a burnt out customer service representative who just needed an outlet to vent.

DL:  Thanks for taking the time to interview with me.  So how is your day going so far?

CSR:  Hi Daclaud, I’m doing Grrrr rate! (even though I really feel like sh*t today, I can’t tell you that because I have to be happy and smile all the time!)  But in any case, I’m having a rather normal day today!  A normal day almost always includes interacting with people who I’d rather kick in the eye! Those are lyrics to a Smith’s song by the way… did I tell you I love The Smiths!

By the way Daclaud, (and I have to use your name a second time even though I really don’t care who you are, because it’s considered customer service etiquette), I hope you’re doing well today (I rarely ask people “how” they are doing anymore and just hope for the best, because the last thing I want to hear is someone telling me how bad their day is).

DL:  Well… I’m actually doing pretty “well” today.  I mean, hell, I have a chance to interview a burnt out CSR from a call center who happens to be an introvert.  But inquiring minds “really” want to know… so do you actually like your job?

CSR:  To be honest, no…  I mean how would you feel if you were an introvert and forced to talk to people all day?   Do you enjoy putting up with whining, complaining and bitching?  Being an introvert makes talking to people difficult as it is, but to have to put up with crap, after day, after day drives me crazy and I often hear their harsh voices in my head even when I’m off work.

better-than-being-unemployed

Above: I guess being forced to talk to customers is better than being unemployed… or being in prison…

DL:  If you hate your job so much, then why don’t you just quit?

CSR:  Unfortunately, it’s the only way I can survive and make a living.   I have a college degree (a bachelor of science) but I can’t find a job in my field even after hundreds of applications and interviews.  It’s maddening you know?  I don’t think I could ever enjoy being a customer service bitch, but it’s one of the “only” jobs that companies are hiring for nowadays (sadly this is very true) and I guess it pays the bills (just barely).

DL:  Okay, so we all know that you hate your job, but what’s the “best” part of your job?

CSR:  That’s easy! Interacting with my awesome co-workers!  They are (for the most part) all pretty cool people.  There’s always someone who shares the same hobbies as you do, which is extra cool.  Most of them also dream about leaving the call center environment for a job that involves less talking, but we all do what we do because we need to survive, so we do the job.

DL:  If you had a choice, where would you like to be in life?

CSR:  If I had a choice, I would love to be a millionaire… no preferably a billionaire, but who doesn’t right?  Heck I’d even settle for a hundred thousand dollar a year job, just so I can be that pompous asshole on the other end of the phone bitching about his “poor service” (as if it was really that bad to begin with).  But I’m not talented enough to be a millionaire, much less a billionaire, so therefore, society believes I deserve my crummy job.

I mean seriously, wish every day, that I could be just like some of the arrogant a$$holes that I have to deal with, but I don’t make enough money to take on that role, so I don’t have a choice but to take it in the a$$ while they enjoy their lives.  I can’t understand the feeling of entitlement, because I can’t afford the luxury they can afford.

But I digress, I don’t even need to be a millionaire.  All I REALLY ask for is a job that can make me some decent money without having to talk to customers.  Is that really too much to ask?  I mean seriously, THIS song:

DL:  Why do you think you’re not there yet?

CSR:  I have no idea.  I think that it’s mainly the competition.  I mean no matter how good you are, there is always some a$$hole who is more likable than you out there and guess what?  That a$$hole is going to get picked for the job.  Not having enough existing work experience also makes it hard, and the work experience you do have is not what they are looking for in a candidate.

It’s a like paradox for me.  Maybe I’m just too much of an introvert and not amazing enough.  I don’t know…  Maybe I’m just a no talent hack? I often feel like I’m a waste of life and should just die because I’m apparently so “good” at my dead end job.

DL:  Dude… you’re turning “Emo” on me now…

CSR:  Sorry Daclaud…  I get overly emotional when I think about my future… or rather lack of future being the customer’s b*tch.  I mean, I know everyone who works at any type of job is a b*tch to someone, but I’m not just my boss’s b*tch, I’m the b*tch to countless customers.  It feels like I’m gang raped every day by customers.  Okay… that was a rather piss poor and inappropriate analogy, but it’s really how I feel about any type of customer service job.  I’ll try not to let it happen again.  I’ll put on a (fake) smile for you okay?

DL: You don’t have to do that…  So, do you think you’ll ever get the job you want?

CSR:  I still believe I can, but faith in yourself can only go so far when there really doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.  I mean I’ve paid my dues, I’ve done every entry level job you can think of, I have a college degree in my appropriate field, but things just keep getting darker and darker and darker and darker…  Yes I’m being melodramic, but no, I’ve never given up on the dream… but really, after hundreds of interviews (and even thousands of applications) later, I find myself just wanting to take a cyanide pill knowing that customer service is the future.

CSR: Sometimes I’m envious of all the people who have just said “f*ck it” and ended it all, but I still keep going, hoping that one day I’ll reach a mid level (college level) career (hopefully before I’m 40).  If I’m still stuck in Customer service after that point, then you might as well shoot me.  This song:

DL:  Why do you hate customer service so much?

CSR:  I can’t stand people… complaining.  I just don’t have the personality and self control to deal with people’s problems.  I mean, it’s maddening to listen to the same complaints over and over and over again.  It’s tedious. You can’t learn anything relevant to your degree… to life; you’re just some douche bag’s punching bag, and you mentally get beat the f*ck down each time they complain to you.

customer service jobs suck

CSR: Sure, not all customers are bad people; in fact, most are very pleasant and tolerable, but it’s just the few bat sh*t crazy and unreasonable douche bags who get to me.  They have a twisted sense of self entitlement and it’s the kind of entitlement obviously no business owner wants to deal with, which is why expendable people like us are hired.  We are there to apologize for sh*t we didn’t even do and to give customers what they believe they are entitled to.  It sucks.

Whoever said “the customer is always right”, clearly did not think about the consequences of how these douche bags can twist everything around in their favor.  Even though it’s not my business, the “me, me, me, life is all about me” mentality sickens me.  Once again, they are not all like that, but the ones who are stick with you for life.

DL:  You clearly don’t like people don’t you?

CSR:  Believe me, I wish I didn’t have to have so much hatred for humanity in my heart.  I actually used to like most people but that was before they all became (problematic) customers.  There is an ongoing joke that most mass shooters have probably worked in customer service before they went on their rampage.  My definition of the word “customer” has changed to “needy douche bag” because of this job. Customer service is psychologically damaging and this profession has the highest suicide rating.  For all the “happy people” who disagree, I envy you all, because you obviously have a better job that I do, whether you started in customer service or not is irrelevant, because you’re out of it and I’m not.

Urban Dictionary defines Customer as:

customer definition Urban dictionary

DL:  Do you think your job defines who you are a person?  Has it affected your personal life?

CSR: Unfortunately yes.  In spite of what they say, your job really does define you.  As a male, if you are not in a cool or prestigious profession, then you are considered un-dateable by most women.  Sure, you friends may still accept you as a cool person, but not that yuppie chick who is a graphic designer, accountant, lawyer, or marketing executive.  To these women, you’re just a loser who can’t get a “real” job.

stuck up yuppie chick

Above:  I’m a Social Media manager at an ad agency. I’m currently doing a project for Shinra Inc. Excuse me, but what do you do again?

Related: Interview with Rufus Shinra

CSR: At some point in your life (when you hit your 30’s) you end up dating the single moms of the world who messed up their lives by getting pregnant after having unprotected sex with a douche bag they met at a party.  She tried to work things out with the douche bag, but they broke up after 6 months leaving her with the baby and him ditching out on child support by working at Burger King part time and she’s working as a waitress in a cocktail bar.

white trash single mom

Above: Unfortunately the single moms who would settle for me are not even this hot…

Now she’s looking for some rich guy to take care of her so she can live the party life style again, but instead she’s dating me, because all the rich dudes with the cool jobs don’t want anything to do with her.

Seriously, even other CSRs do not want to date me….  I can’t even find a date on OKCupid, so I have to go to Nolongerlonely to find a date, but even the girls on there won’t date me…

nolongerlonely dating for mental ill

DL:  Do you think you deserve to make more money?

CSR:   Well, I would “like” to make more money (I mean who doesn’t?).  Do I think I deserve it?  I suppose that’s a matter of opinion.  Just like an enlisted soldier in the military, the pay sucks.  As a front line soldier you are pretty much worthless and you are pretty much expected to die before the higher ranking officers. Officers certainly get paid more, but unfortunately, when you’re at the bottom of the barrel, you just have to suffer.

Death Korps of Krieg

Above:  Thank you for your service, son!  Here’s a cookie! 

CSR: The CEO is obviously the general and managers the other officers.  As an enlisted man, you will never be able to earn the salary of an officer even though you do all the fighting.  As a customer service rep, you take the brunt of the customer attacks, but there’s really no mobility either, and you eventually get capped out in your pay rate, so it sucks because like a soldier, you are expendable.  If you get fired, you will be replaced by a thousand more qualified workers.

In a sense you are stuck where you are until you either get out of customer service or you become a supervisor, but customer service is a field that is extremely difficult to get out of, because being a customer service representative looks terrible on your resume, so no one will take you seriously enough to give you an interview even though you have the right degree and skills.

But to answer your question, yes, I deserve to make more money.  I went through hell to get my college degree and I end up with a job that doesn’t require one?  I’m sure every millennial in my position feels the same way!

DL:  Any final words before we conclude this interview?

CSR:  The lyrics of this song (by The Smiths) will sum up my thoughts after this interview:

Daclaud Lee

Daclaud Lee is a blogger, writer and webmaster for Random Interviews.