We seldom kept the door of our three-seater cabin open. But today, we needed to because one of us had an upset stomach, and the lack of ventilation didn’t help either. The music which was melodious to our ears a while back now just seemed unnecessary noise, thanks to the added voices of the employees working on the flexi-desks. We just switched it off, which now meant I could hear the conversations taking place around.
The flexi-desks were occupied by many employees of our clients who were BPOs, which meant too many calls and conversations took place all day. It was absolutely chaotic, the voices were like bees swarming around me. There were some perks of working in a co-working space for the co-working space, I could choose to sit wherever we wanted, though we sat in the cabin on most days due to obvious reasons. Among this incoherent muddled mess of conversation, I could hear a heavily British accented voice of a female.
“Hi, I’m Jessica calling. I’d previously called you up on Tuesday and we were supposed to meet on Saturday. I tried calling you all through Friday but you never picked up. You had me worried.”
I was perplexed. What kind of product or services she was selling? She was speaking as though she was speaking to a friend than a prospective client.
“Oh so you were on a vacation with your children and grandchildren, where did you guys go?”
“Oh, I’ve heard it’s a beautiful place. Did you enjoy?”
“Did you enjoy?” she asked again this time in louder tones.
“Oh yes, I’ve heard it’s very cold out there. Did you experience any pain this time?”
“Oh is it? I’m sorry to hear that. Have you been taking your medicines regularly?”
“Which is your favorite chocolate?”
“Oh wow! That’s my favorite chocolate too. My darling, if you promise me that you’ll take your medicines regularly I will send those chocolates to your address. We have introduced a new product.”
“Yes, yes I assure you it is very effective. Our accounts department will call you in 2 hours and you can make the payment to them.”
“No sweetheart, we do not store your credit card details, which is why you will have to go through the entire process again.”
“I hope you have a wonderful day. Take care!”
I stood up and went to the cafeteria to fill my bottle. When I came back she was busy with another caller this time.
“Hello, this is Jessica speaking. How are you doing today? “
“And how is your health?”
“Oh, that’s terrible to happen to you, my love. How are you coping with it?”
I could barely contain my snigger. Heck, I wouldn’t even ever speak to my boyfriend like that.
“We have the right medicines for you, I can vouch for them myself. I had been experiencing joint pain after a few of my adventure trips, but now the pain is gone.”
“No sir, it is effective for all age-groups. I’ve been sending this to my mother too. If I may ask, how young are you?”
Ah! Euphemism at its best, I thought to myself.
“Oh is it. You don’t sound so old at all.”
As interesting I found these conversations, I had to focus on my work and finish it as early as possible. I wasn’t too fond of staying till late to complete it. I plugged in my earphones and continued to work.
While I was packing my bags to leave for home, I could hear the same woman this time singing a lullaby on call. The look of astonishment was of course, visible to my senior.
“Err.. why is she singing on call?” I asked him.
“That’s the culture out there.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t get you? Whom does she work for, and where does she call?”
“Those are our new clients. I don’t recollect the name, but they basically sell tablets for joint pain and arthritis patients. Their client base is in UK. They usually call up older people there.”
“She even uses words like “love” or “sweetheart”, isn’t it inappropriate?”
“The older generation there usually lives by its own. And if their spouse isn’t around anymore, they live all alone. If somebody sings to them or talks to them about their personal lives, they like it. For these employees, at the end of the day, it’s just about selling the product and they’ve targeted their weakest link.”
This made sense. I faintly recollect having read somewhere that there was an old woman living abroad who visited the supermarket every day, and just bought an item or two, some of which she did not even need; just to have conversations with strangers or the staff members. My grandparents and I always had this conflict, joint family v/s nuclear family. And now, perhaps they would have been happy to see me finally warming up to the idea of a joint family.