Is the ‘double pay’ worth the risk of getting infected?
A call center agent’s job is never easy. Not only do they work long hours when everyone else is asleep, they also get to deal with irate customers, which can be incredibly stressful and depressing at times. In addition to that, agents are expected to make customers feel like someone is listening and understanding their problem, which goes a long way in developing strong brand loyalty. However, the job is usually ‘good pay’ and many companies do not require college graduantes, attracting many Filipinos who are fluent in English and good with customer care.
But with the Coronavirus taking the world by storm, many from the working class are thrown into a dilemma. Should they continue going to work despite no transportation available? Would they still go to work despite the risk of getting infected as they travel from their homes to their work areas? Some would continue to work, especially when bills continue to come in despite the pandemic. However, there are people who would take their health first, and choose to abide by the government’s calls of just staying at home for a while.
And with more people and customers staying at home during quarantine, call centers are now needed more than ever. Companies need people to answer calls from customers in need of assistance–and without these agents–companies will crumble to the ground. To avoid exposing themselves from the disease outside whenever they travel from home to work, call center agents are now sleeping at work just to make money for themselves and their families. Though the companies provide them with makeshift beds, many netizens are concerned that these people are risking their lives by sleeping alongside other workers. This defeats the purpose of ‘social distancing’ and netizens believe that the companies are being too reckless with their employees.
Still, many agents continue to work despite their work environment. “Health and safety risk pa rin po to hindi po issue yung tulugan o kung uratex yung foam wag po masyado magpaka-alipin, isang carrier lang dyan cross contamination na agad yan,” the Facebook post author wrote. ‘Ano gagawin mo? Papasalamat ka na may higaan ka habang nahahawaan ka ng virus?”
On the other hand, some companies provide their employees with hotel accomodations during this trying time.