Miss Aida
"Hi, my name's Aida and I'm calling from a demographics research company." Smiling. Cheerful but professional.

"You've got a very nice voice, Aida."

That flusters me. "Uh... Thanks. I guess." Breathe in. Compose myself. "Anyway, I'm just conducting a short survey for research. Would you be able to answer some questions for me?"

"Sure, as long as you answer some of mine."

That throws me off once again. I've lost all professionalism. Then I decide it can't be that bad. "Um.. Sure. I guess." More hesitant this time round, and I think he hears it in my voice.

"I've got some real good ones to ask you, Aida." His voice takes on a more suggestive tone.

"On second thoughts sir, maybe I've called the wrong number. Have a nice day."

.................

Talk about freaking out on the job. I've only been working at the call centre for a couple of shifts, but already I've run into some really strange individuals. It's not the best of jobs. It's repetitive, there's a lot of emotions involved, but it's relatively easy work and there's barely any skill involved. It's easy money, although I get taxed a ridiculous amount, just for being an international student, but then again, it's just a temporary job.

My other favourite lines include "No, I can't really answer your questions because I'm going to bed. Do you want to come back to bed with me?" and the one that takes the cake was the one guy who said, "Survey? I'm too cool for this!"


You get all sorts on the phone. There are the really rude ones that just hang up. Sometimes they seem to forget that there is a real life person on the other end of the line, with feelings and thoughts and who get cut by the sheer rudeness of the other person. A 'no thank you, not interested' would suffice. I know sometimes I take things a lot more personally than I should, but there's such a thing called courtesy.

On the other hand, there are the really nice people who are willing to talk, the people who take time out of their busy day to complete a short one minute survey and are nice about it to boot. Sometimes you can tell a lot about people over the phone. I find that nurses are always the nicest people to talk to; despite the long hours they probably put in at the hospital, they're always polite, they always make time to answer the few questions I have to ask, and they're always nice.

The irony. Me, with my paranoia about talking to strangers on the phone, getting a job which requires me to call up hundreds and thousands of strangers and talking to them. Fate works in funny ways.
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