Call center agents vow to boycott GMA’s ‘Borrowed Wife’
MANILA, Philippines—It’s the call center agents, not the callers and customers, who are irate this time.
Indignant call center agents vowed to boycott the newest GMA television series, “The Borrowed Wife,” starring Pauleen Luna and Camille Prats, after the lead actors spewed “insulting remarks” against call center agents and the business process outsourcing industry.
In the pilot episode of the “teleserye” (television series), the stars exchanged lines, saying “Hindi ako nag-aaral para sumagot lang ng telepono! (I did not go to school just to answer phone calls!)” and “pang walang pinag-aralan lang ‘yan (that job’s only for uneducated people).”
The January 20 segment of “The Borrowed Wife” drew the ire of concerned BPO employees, prompting them to express their “indignation towards the producers and writers” of the show published in the entertainment blog Fashion Pulis.
A certain JM Cruz, a call center agent and creator of a local call center podcast, spoke on behalf of his fellow agents and wrote:
“We strongly condemn this kind of mockery. The nerve of these supposed writers to discriminate against an industry they know nothing about!”
“The gall to belittle an industry with billions in revenues making it one of the chief economic drivers of this country. An industry that employs hundreds of thousands of hardworking people who pay billions in taxes to the government. What about them? How much do they know? How much research have they done to make such sweeping, degrading statements?”
Cruz said they tried reaching the production team behind “The Borrowed Wife” through its newly-created Facebook and Twitter accounts but they have yet to hear a word from them.
“We will not take these things sitting down, we will pursue this unless mistakes are rectified. This is the height of irresponsibility, the height of insensitivity and unprofessionalism on the part of GMA network and its producers,” he added.
Apart from Cruz, employees from the same field expressed as well their sentiments against the teleserye compiled by Bandera.
Khawen dela Peña said: “Never underestimate someone else’s job especially if you don’t have any idea how hard that job is being done. When you say call center, do not think that it’s all about ‘just’ taking in calls. I think if the writers will work the same job as ours, they’ll understand.”
Another agent Anna Katrina Sebetero Fernandez lamented their woes as call center employees.
“Hinahaluan namin yan ng tender-loving care. ‘Yung kahit hindi mo sila nakikita at nasa ibang panig man sila ng mundo dapat mo silang pakisamahan dahil customer mo sila (We talk to our customers with tender loving care. You do not see the people you talk to, who are of different nationalities, but you have to get along with them),” she said.
“Subukan mong mag-apply sa BPO. Try mo i-meet ang mga target. Try mo kainin at lunukin lahat ng mura ng galit na customer (Try applying in a BPO. Try meeting the targets. Try absorbing the rage and curses of customers).”
“At hindi kami mga bobo sa BPO. Ayusin niyo ang pagre-research tungkol sa amin. Hindi niyo alam ang kalakaran ng industriya na ito (We, in BPOs, are not stupid people. Do your research well. You don’t know our industry),” she added.
“The Borrowed Wife” also stars Rafael Rosell and TJ Trinidad. The story revolves around partners facing marriage issues and committing infidelity.
The BPO industry is seen to provide 124,000 new full-time jobs in 2014.
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