Call Center Soap Opera


    A new bestseller in India, One Night at the Call Centre, which exposes life inside call centers, has flown off the shelves there, according to this article in The Age. In its first month, it sold 100,000 copies and a Bollywood film is now in the works.

    As the article explains, the book is a fictional account of one night at a call center “handling customer queries for a US-based computer and appliances company.”

    Among the antics:

    Shyam Mehra, “Sam,” puts the phone on mute and gives a “mouthful of invectives” when a customer “starts ranting abuse down the phone.”

    Elsewhere, an instructor “preparing trainees for the job scribbles a golden rule on the blackboard for handling difficult customers: 10:35.

    “‘Remember, a 35-year-old American’s brain and IQ is the same as a 10-year-old Indian’s brain … Americans are dumb, just accept it. I don’t want anyone losing their cool during the calls…’ the instructor tells a class.”

    Foreign rights for the book are out to bid right now. I’m guessing this one will be a bestseller here in the US too.