General Question

chelle21689's avatar

Why do call center jobs get 2 breaks and a lunch break?

Asked by chelle21689 (5194 points ) September 19th, 2013

I just took on a call center job a few weeks ago and we get two 20 minute paid breaks and a 30 minute unpaid punch break if we work 8 hours. Why do we get a lot of breaks? I’m not complaining, I’m actually happy about that.

Anyways, just an update. I took the job to give it a chance. I can sit there for an hour doing nothing being bored doing nothing waiting for a phone call, if I get a phone call I usually transfer it to a different department like I’m supposed to. I’m kind of grateful because then it’s not some rude person I’m dealing with yelling at me. Most things are blocked off the internet so I do nothing.

It also sucks because we have to score a certain percentage on our calls and I get docked for so many points for little things. I can easily get fired.

I can’t say “yeah” which slips a lot, I have to say “yes”, I can’t introduce my first name…I have to say first and last which I’m kinda uncomfortable with, I have to say “I’m so sorry you have car damage” and “I’m so very happy to help you” which if I miss I don’t pass the call monitor scoring so I sometimes forget… I also get docked for not “active” listening if they repeat themselves more than twice which sometimes can be their fault because of a bad connection, muffled/grumbly voices, and talking very very fast.

Very very tedious job. Easy to get into and easy to get fired. I’m still searching for a new job but it doesn’t look too good out there. Searching for internships too.

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11 Answers

Judi's avatar

I know that in California it’s the law. They probably don’t want to get sued. (Although I think the two paid breaks are only legally 15 minuets.)

jca's avatar

You get breaks because when employees get a little break and refresh their energy, it makes them more productive.

I believe the Federal law is one fifteen minute break per four hours of work. Therefore, if you work eight hours, if you get one hour lunch then you don’t get any other breaks, because you are working 3½ hours on each end. However, they don’t want you slogging through your work day so they’re giving you two more breaks, which is good and typical.

gambitking's avatar

I for one really try to avoid punch breaks and just eat lunch instead (hehe, sorry had to do it).

Anywho, if you’re in the U.S. (and sometimes depending on the state you’re in), you have those breaks likely because of labor regulations, also mandated through corporate policy. Also, bad things happen when employers don’t give workers breaks so its good practice. Consider it a perk in any case.

chelle21689's avatar

Are other jobs like that too where they get two breaks or just the call center?

I wanna quit badly lol

Sunny2's avatar

Follow the rules. You’ll want a good recommendation when you leave. Any job has its requirements and you’re learning that this particular job is not for you, but do it to the best of your ability. It matters.

jca's avatar

@chelle21689: Most jobs will give you some kind of a break in the morning and a break in the afternoon, in addition to lunch, assuming you’re working a full 8 hour day.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

I have worked at many call center jobs and they all follow those guidelines with the breaks. Don’t question it. Just enjoy it. You’ll need those breaks. Trust me. You think being on your feet at a job all day is hard work? It’s even harder sitting at a desk, staring at a computer screen all day. It’s mentally exhausting. Your eyes will be burning, your vision might start to be blurred. Depending on your age you might start to get a stiff back and a sore bum too.

As far as those regulations, they’re also normal in a call center environment. The required script you listed is fairly lax compared to some I have had in my past. It seems overwhelming at first but you’ll start to know the wording like the back of your hand. The call scripts seem excessive but they truly are a necessary evil. My last job required that we not place a customer on hold for longer than 2 minutes and we couldn’t allow dead air (silence) on the line for more than 20 seconds. I thought they were silly rules. But then one day, I had to make a call to my cable company and I realized how important both of those rules were and I thought every company should use the same rules. I was on hold for over 15 minutes while the cable company “researched an issue”. And when the rep was actually on the line with me, there was so many silent pauses that I had to keep asking if anyone was there. There are reasons companies choose the rules they enforce. Unless you find it completely unethical, don’t question it. Just trust that there’s a reason for everything.

Cupcake's avatar

It is because you are tethered to your phone and not able to go to the bathroom or eat a bite of food whenever you want/need.

chelle21689's avatar

Yeah I do feel like a slave to the phone! I’m ready to quit but not just yet…still waiting for a better opportunity. If I don’t get fired yet for little verbage of “yeah” and introducing just my name.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

This can be a stressful kind of jobs. In addition to some excellent points already offered above, the breaks help you manage stress and to decompress between work periods.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

The paid breaks, and the lunch breaks are some of those “little things” that were won by the labor movement when they were organizing such things as assembly lines, construction sites and heavy manufacturing in the US and other countries. Although Federal labor laws do not require these breaks, the law does regulate these breaks for employers who choose to provide them. the US Department of Labor Website summarizes it like this:

Federal law does not require lunch or coffee breaks. However, when employers do offer short breaks (usually lasting about 5 to 20 minutes), federal law considers the breaks as compensable work hours…

Many states have laws requiring paid breaks of this type if the employee is working at least four hours, and an unpaid lunch break of at least 30 minutes if the employee works at least six hours.

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