Introvert in a Call Center

As you may or may not know, an introvert, dear readers, is a person who spends energy engaging in social interactions.  The opposite, an extrovert, gains energy from social interactions.  Now, that’s not to say introverts don’t enjoy being social.  It’s just that introverts need a little time to ourselves after being social.

You might have guessed that I am an introvert.  I know, I know, how could I possibly be an introvert?  I seem so outgoing and friendly, right?!  Well, I am, so there.  I’m an introvert and I work at a call center taking inbound calls.  My job is for me to be social 100% of the time.  I have to talk to people 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.  For me, this takes a tremendous amount of energy.

Before I even got on the phones I was getting antsy for time alone by lunch.  There were 15 of us crammed into a small training room.  There is no escaping people here at work.  Even if my phone calls are only about 5 -10 minutes long in terms of time spent speaking to the customer (as opposed to placing them on hold and asking one of the team leads “What the hell am I supposed to do?!?”), it’s too much social interaction for me.

And I feel bad because by the time I get home, I’ve got right around zero tolerance for being social and of course my parents want to know how my day went and the like.  Because they’re my parents and I love them (and they usually have dinner ready by the time I get home), I want to know how their days have gone, too.  I’m able to call upon a small reserve of energy to chat for a little while.  But then I need need NEED time by myself or I feel like I’m going to snap and start murdering people.  Or at least calling them some very nasty names.

As of right now, I feel like I don’t get enough time to myself.  I go to bed earlier and earlier and that doesn’t really refill my energy level in terms of being social.  I just need some time to myself to cuddle with my kittens, work on a project, or just zone out in front of the TV for a while.  And going to bed at 8:30 when I get home around 6 doesn’t really make for a lot of ‘me’ time.

So my challenge is to find a work/life balance.  I’ve never had to do that before.  Every other job I’ve had before this was while I was also in school, where I could way more easily fit time to myself into my schedule.  I need to work on finding that sweet spot between getting paid and being happy and relaxed.  I’m hoping the change to my regular schedule in a couple of weeks will help with that, since I won’t have to get up so early and I can have mornings to myself.  Until then, I’ll just have to try to maybe stay up a little later to recharge my social batteries.


12 thoughts on “Introvert in a Call Center

    1. I realize that you posted this almost a year ago, but please tell me you got out! I am introvert who has mostly worked customer service jobs…I am currently in a call centre and I am desperate…DESPERATE to get out and avoid any job that demand what little socializing energy I have. Not to mention the pay is awful and I feel mistreated. Any suggestions on what type of job us introverts can get into that doesn’t involve sucking the energy out of our souls?

      1. I found a job with an insurance company where I’m mainly imputing rate data. Sometimes I have to deal with the underwriters, but I don’t mind because I can listen to music while I work. I also do better when speaking with someone face-to-face rather than over the phone. I would suggest looking for any kind of data entry job. Failing that, I would recommend researching types of entry level jobs that don’t require being on the phone 24/7. Take a leap in applying for something you don’t think you qualify for! I have no previous insurance work history, my degrees are in Japanese and music production, but they really liked me in the interview. Keep an open mind and you’ll make it!

  1. I know exactly how you feel!!! I’m an intovert and very quiet and I work in a call center. It’ so stressful. Many times I eat alone in my car at lunch just to try to recharge and I hate talking on the phone when I’m not at work. I’ve been looking for a new job for months now. I try to focus on the positive but it’s a must that I find something new soon. Good luck!

  2. It sounds like I wrote this myself! I need to find a happy middle…because right now, I have only just begun answering some easy calls, and I am already socially exhausted. I need me time with my cats and myself. -_- Have you ever found a solution for recharging?

  3. I just got a job in a call centre and my training starts tomorrow! I’m honestly nervous because I’ve never been the completely confident and amazing communicator type! So I know I’m naturally going to struggle with this, especially because it’s an outbound sales job! But I’m going to work hard as it’s also commision, money’s my motvator!

  4. Thanks for this. I thought i was the only “weird” i just have 2 weeks in a call center but I’m done. Is a nightmare. 😦 i was thinking that i was a coward but is definitively something for me 😦 I feel like a looser.

      1. Sarah, I know what you mean. The thought of a data entry job appeals to me too, but you could also look into administrative type roles that deal with mainly paper work. For instance, in an insurance company. I’m currently doing this and I can’t believe how much easier having to work is without having to “put on” that customer friendly social face daily.

  5. Thank you very much for sharing. I ran into your blog because I needed to feel that I was not alone. Its really just too bad that call centers favor extroverts over introverts. And don’t get me started on talking about team building activities and company parties. These companies can’t seem to understand that we don’t roll that way.

    This job has really made me angry at the world; even suicidal and require more “alone time” than usual. Sometimes when I want to be a douche at team mates who force me into their drunken parties I tell them, “I’m an artist, your activities are a waste of my time.”

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