FEMA Call Center Tension

Customer service centers are sort of an obsession for The Consumerist. When executing effectively, they can make a bad consumer experience go away in the fellest of swoops. When they are staffed by underpaid, overworked employees who can barely muster a smile in their voice, let alone any actual competence, they make a bad experience go Category 5.

So think how miserable it must be to work at a call center swamped for weeks with callers who have had more than just a bad retail experience, but have instead had bad life experiences. That’s been the daily joy of thousands of workers at the FEMA call centers, still working around the clock to field calls from those whose homes were destroyed by this season’s hurricanes.

Paton said particularly dramatic calls during the storms have prompted outbursts of emotion on the floor, with callers “screaming and my folks screaming, and everybody’s crying.”

Even worse? Because of the long, hard hours, FEMA has been hiring temps to staff the lines. Talk about earning that $8 an hour.

Emotional work takes its toll at FEMA call center [CNN]