Whether I have been asked this, or just seen it play out hundreds of times over the years, I thought it was time to answer the question of “How do you keep from going stir-crazy when working in a call center?”
Episode 59 – Transcript
Hello and welcome to episode 59 of the sales experience podcast. My name is Jason Cutter.
So glad that you’re here whenever you’re listening to this. It’s today is 4th of July and hopefully have big fun plans, for lighting, fireworks, watching, fireworks, barbecue friends, family, whatever today might look like for you.
You know, it’s funny, when I think about 4th of July, my memories as a kid growing up in California in the drought era that was happening at that time, there was no real fireworks. Maybe some ground flowers, those little snakes you light on fire in the little black like turd comes out and kind of curls around.
That was the most exciting fireworks we had as a kid. That was all that they would allow. Anything else might cause a fire or fly on a roof and you know, there’s people doing illegal fireworks, but it wasn’t a big deal.
Sometimes we’d go to another town and do some fireworks, but still nothing very exciting. Then I remember as an adult moving to the Seattle area and living up there, obviously no drought and a plethora of Indian reservations all around the Seattle area where you could buy pretty much anything and everything you wanted.
So, it was funny because with my inner child that wanted to blow some stuff up that didn’t have that as, as my own childhood, plus the budget of being an adult, just remember going nuts with family and friends, buying tons of fireworks and literally lighting them off for hours such that after three or four hours of lighting fireworks, you have the mortars that explode in the air, like the professional ones to stuff on the ground.
So, just remember getting actually tired of lighting stuff on fire and blowing up fireworks and doing that.
But just so fun and it’s just interesting how, you know, did that later on in life and appreciate it. But whatever your plans are today, hopefully you have a good time. Whenever you listen to this. I appreciate you doing it. And focusing on the sales stuff.
Maybe you have the rest of the week off. Maybe you’re going to catch up on this end of the time. But for today I want to answer a question that I see a lot, and again, this is a question where I’ve been asked this.
It’s also observations, things that I’ve seen. And the question is, is how do you keep from going stir crazy when working in a call centre like in a cubicle at a desk? And this is one of the biggest challenges, right? Sometimes people are good at sitting and just being in the office environment, in a desk environment, in a cube, others just can’t handle it.
I mean, I think one of the first things, and I learned this a long, long time ago, is this ultimately like a lot of these answers go back to self-awareness. You’ve got to really understand yourself well. I’ve seen a lot of people who don’t have the personality for sitting in an office, sitting at a desk, being kind of in one location.
They end up in an office job and it’s literally like terrible for them. It’s literally, I wouldn’t say a personal hell, but sometimes I’ve seen some people where it’s on that extreme where it is a personal health for them. They dread going into the office. Once they’re there, they can’t sit in one place. They like to walk around. They constantly want to be talking to other people.
They’re constantly taking breaks, you know, they’re never at their desk and so you want to take an assessment and really understand if an office job, a desk job, a cube job is really the thing for you.
Maybe you need to be out and about. There’s some people who realize this and they like sales, so they get into let’s say car sales or they work in a furniture store or something where walking around being active, interacting with people is more in line with what they want.
I’ve also seen people who, they go into those things like they think, okay, I’m going to go sell cars, and it turns out they really rather be at a desk. They’d really like, they like interacting with people, but they don’t want to be walking around. They don’t like that pressure.
They don’t like that face to face. And so really the first step for this is understanding who you are, what you like, what you don’t like, where you’re comfortable. Some people, again, you get in the zone, you could sit at a desk looking at some computer monitors sitting in a cube for hours and hours and hours and you’re totally okay with it.
I see some people they get on the phone and they’re totally fine just being on calls for hours, whatever that might be. Like what fits your personality. Some people need a view, like they have to look outside and then that kind of satisfies them. Other people, like they don’t care about the view, that’s not why they’re there.
So you really want to understand who you are, what you like and what you don’t like. If you find it a constant struggle to be in one place or to focus on your phone calls and not be talking to everyone around you, or having to take constant breaks or wandering up and down the, you know, the cubicle rows, then you know, make sure you’re in the right place where you should be. Now, with that being said, now you want it to be fun. You want to have a good time.
So sometimes you know, you’re working on calls or in between calls. You’re chatting with your neighbours and their desks. You know, when it comes to this, depending on what you’re selling and what that sales cycle, the timeline of the phone calls, the break schedule, just do your best to take a break. You know, when it’s time to take a break, get up, leave the area, go outside, and go on a walk if possible.
You know, just separate yourself from the environment you’re in and take a physical and mental break from it that will help reset. Make sure you eat something, go sit somewhere else, focus on something else completely different. And then get back to it when you’re in it. So, when you take a lunch, like a lot of people eat lunch at their desk, which if that works for you, that’s fine.
But otherwise just go and totally separate, recharge and then come back. The other thing is for going stir crazy and, and just being constantly distracted goes back to what I call a talked about a couple episodes. Go and I’ve mentioned many times in this show is having a reason why you’re there. What I’ve noticed is that people who are stir crazy, who are constantly talking to other co-workers, constantly distracted.
They’re not tuned into why they’re there. They’re not there for a specific reason or their why isn’t big enough. Their goal isn’t big enough or they’re not winning in that goal. When people are winning, when people are tied into a goal and that’s what’s driving them to make more phone calls, take more phone calls, close more deals, do more demos, you know, whatever that might be, then they’re more focused. Yes, there’s side talk.
You want to talk with your friends, but you’re there to be there. You’re there to work. You know why you want to be there and why it’s important for you to be successful. So if you’re also going stir crazy, keep in mind that might be an indication that you don’t have a big enough goal. You don’t have a bigger, big enough reason for why you’re there and what’s driving you. And so you just want to do that.
Not saying it’s wrong, not saying, oh well you’re a bad person. You need to quit because you’re, you know you’re distracted because you don’t have a goal. No. The thing is to step back, see what your goals are. Why are you there? Set a big goal. Have something that drives you, something that pushes you through. Like I said the other day is you know, being focused, being positive and why you’re there.
That will lead itself to you being happy and content in the seats, in your desk, doing what you do best because then you’re there for a bigger reason than just to have a job. If you have a job and you’re just watching the clock and you’re just punching the clock in order to make that base pay and you’re in a sales environment, then you’re going to go nuts.
You’re going to constantly be looking for other distractions and things to do. And so if that’s you on the outside, it looks like you’re just kind of distracted on the inside. It’s an indication of something else. So hopefully that helps. Want to do a nice short episode, 4th of July.
If you’re listening to it today, go enjoy the fireworks. If you listened to it afterwards, hopefully everyone, and, made it through. Okay. Had Fun, no serious injuries, anything like that. It was all safe and sane, as I say, in the California with the fireworks. And, hopefully you have a good day, good rest of the week, whatever you’re doing for sales.
Always remember that everything in life is sales and people remember the experience you gave them.