How is your Thursday morning starting off? Check out Saysha’s. Written by Amy Matysio, Arlen Konopaki and Jeff Beesley, Featuring Robert Benz and Derek Baynham with music by Rah Rah– it’s Episode 4. Tune in to inSAYSHAble right NOW!
HIRED, FIRED and IN LOVE. Saysha gets a temp job at an animal poison control call centre. More interested in chatting on the phone to customers than doing her job – she is fired before lunch by Mr.Gross Boss. On her way out she meets Jack, the charming regional manager. Sparks fly!
I remember working at a call center for Nissan Canada back in the day (The things we do to have our days free to audition). Let me tell you, I was surrounded by the most amazing characters. My job as a “customer service employee” entailed: Calling clients to remind them of their monthly tune up, Make appointments for their monthly tune up, Deal with angry customers over why their monthly tune up didn’t work (Believe me this was a test of patience), Be courteous and kind (Maybe I shouldn’t have said to a client “DO NOT raise your voice at me sir” or reassure a wife that I was “JUST calling from Nissan Canada” convincing her with my tone that I am not your husband’s mistress). If I didn’t stick to the robotic script I was warned I would be removed. Not just removed from my chair. Removed from the building. Of course, in my charming ways I continued to improvise the script to sound more personal and endearing. I couldn’t take anyone seriously around me but I had to keep in mind that this job was someone else’s career and for me it was a means of money and quite frankly a wealth of character work. My friend and I, *Christine got separated for laughing too much (Sorry for having a good time at my customer service job). We would crack up when our eyes would meet and snicker at anything we found funny. And of course we just made everything a funny party. *Jason, my manager would float in from his break eating nothing but hamburgers for dinner. The only vegetable I saw him eat was the diced pickle and even then I have my doubts at that even being a vegetable. Although it’s green. He was probably 45 but looked 60. His yellow teeth glistened, and I thought to myself , “I betcha I could use his teeth as a flashlight”. My flamboyant boss, *Glen would float around in his tight pants and wife beater prancing around the room giving orders like he knew what he was talking about. You know those people who are in superior positions that reiterate who they are because of a lack of self confidence? I think I had met him. When you know that he was probably the cousin of an uncle whose rich father needed to give his son a job. Blah Blah Blah. Or, his College Degree in Sociology granted him this amazing job as manager in the customer service department. Escalating a problem with a customer meant writing the complaint in the big binder and putting it on the shelf. It goes no where people! Or he just wanted his weekends free. Any three will do. You get my drift. Cause when I caught him sitting behind closed doors with the head honcho, *Bertha eating chips and probably planning the weekend’s festivities on a roof top patio I knew I was in excellent hands and he was definitely someone I’d consider a role model. Night after night I would call a customer, put on an accent, hang up in mid sentence from laughing and then call back apologizing for the disconnection. I’d stare at the obese woman across from me guzzling a super sized EVERYTHING, notice the guy next to me probably texting his mother, the girl on the other side of the room wearing sunglasses while catching a cat nap and I’d wonder to myself in a loud inside voice, “WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING HERE?” Only to realize the benefit of this job was having my days free, getting a pay cheque, and I’ll say it again character work. I always take something away as an actor, it’s what makes it more interesting. Needless to say one night I felt a tap on my shoulder and *Glen with his freshly sprayed tan and wife beater says to me, (and it went something like this).
Glen: Pack your stuff please.
Glen: You didn’t stick to the script.
Me: Uh, Yeah I did.
Glen: No. You didn’t. I was standing right around the corner.
Me: Then you probably didn’t hear me from over there…(beat) (stare down) (roll of the eyes) You know what?! Whatever..You want me to sound like a robot? Then hire one. Cause I ain’t one. This is useless. And I am outta here!!!!!!! Oh, and you might want to change your tank top and leather pants cause no one is taking you seriously right now.
As all eyes were on me, my voice was echoing throughout the call centre. This was my moment of victory. My moment to shine . My time to speak out on behalf of my associates who just sat there wide-eyed in their cushioned seats and oversized sweaters admiring this firecracker of a weirdo who was sticking up for her beliefs, speaking her mind, “respecting” her superior or just acting completely inapropriate (but at least I got it off of my chest, not many people do) And yes, hell sure…I was back to eating samples at Whole Foods, racking up my debt, continuing to wait tables, cater, do promo work, buy clothes I couldn’t afford and then return them, sell shoes at 9 West. (Most of my jobs lasted me about 2 weeks for obvious reasons). But guess what? I set an example that day. I raised the bar for others who were afraid to speak their mind. As I left the call centre, throwing my swipe card on the desk, unplugging the phone when no one was looking and banging on the key board one last time. I walked proudly out the door. No matter what joe job I’ve had to work I always take something away from it. Cause that’s who I am and who I will always be. A character.
* All names have been changed for the privacy of those working or not working at Nissan Canada. I’m sure they don’t read this blog or eat ample amounts of pickles anymore. But you never know. I’m a professional. CS xx