a “zero-hours” contract… for thousands and thousands of hours

Jack Staunton writes on his work in a call centre compiling government market research surveys

When drunk we feel a strange kind of tiredness. Not the exhaustion of physical exertion nor the sleepiness which dusks in the late evening, but rather a cloying, dulling hibernation of the mind. This same sensation is brought about by endless hours of repetitive workplace routine.

No-one has ever sincerely smiled this much while wearing a headset

I have worked well over a thousand days at the call centre. I have read through still more thousands of surveys. The call centre does not test us physically or mentally yet it is a massive drain of human energy and vitality.

The idea is to collate telephone surveys for various government departments. We ask businesses how much training they do, if they need more government support, what they think the answer to the recession is. Every survey is unique yet they are all the same: half-arsed and self-contradictory fragments of ideas, answering what they think they are meant to say to a bunch of questions which tell them what they are meant to say. Continue reading “a “zero-hours” contract… for thousands and thousands of hours”