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IVR Feature Articles

August 18, 2008

New Novel Explores the Human Side of the Call Center

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Of all the exploits that we discuss surrounding the call center industry, we often tend to forget that those that make the industry work are the people and agents behind the scenes.

They are more than just numbers on a scorecard, they are actually breathing, feeling human beings and the adventures of one such individual are now available for your reading pleasure.

4465 PReSS, an independent publisher of fiction and non-fiction book titles, has announced the release of “HANDLE TiME.”
The book is considered to be a hearty and extraordinary novel depicting a significant slice of contemporary, American experience, publishers say.

Written by Lincoln Park, “HANDLE TiME” is a fictional tale of corporate protocols, consumer perceptions and cubicled personnel. It is set in Banfield, Missouri, a fictitious municipality in the heart of the Ozarks, the center of the American Midwest.

The book is being positioned as a printed testament to the people that handle call center calls every day. Those individuals who provide troubleshooting tips, sales slogans, prepaid phone minutes, driving directions and bank balances to consumers everyday. The book asks: Have you ever wondered where they go once you hang up the phone?

The story surrounds Chase Maybruck, a single, apartment dweller, whose brief career as a call center employee is terminated when a rapacious manager causes her to experience a full-blown panic attack.

This publication comes almost one year after the release of the Indian novel, “ONE NIGHT @ THE CALL CENTER,” by Chetan Bhagat. This book was quickly dismissed by some as offering poor storybook composition and offering several negative references to American call center employees and customers.

Despite criticism, the Indian book went on to become a number one bestseller in India. In its first month after release, it sold more than 100,000 copies there.

“I hope readers in America flock to ‘HANDLE TiME,’ in the same way that Indian readers flocked to ‘ONE NIGHT @ THE CALL CENTER,’ ” said Lincoln Park, the author. “HANDLE TiME provides a literary identity and voice to all the overworked, underpaid and unrecognized superstars who report to call centers in America, each and every day.”

HANDLE TiME sets out to satisfy the curiosity of the consumer who really does wonder what the call center agent does in his or her off hours. Taking a look inside offers the consumer a journey beyond the phone tree and IVR and into the human side of this industry.
Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users. Today’s featured white paper is The Compelling ROI Benefits of Contact Center Quality and Performance Management Technologies, brought to you by Voice Print International (News - Alert).

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.

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