Working in a call center can be the pits. You are basically a paid actor, chained to a desk in a cubicle for eight hours a day. Callers will have no compunctions against screaming at you for an hour, using filthy, degrading language, or threatening your life. It can increase your blood pressure and make you gain weight. But, everyone needs income. I did it for almost nine years in four different call centers. In a previous article, I discussed some coping techniques. Here are some games you can play in a call center to de-stress and keep focused.
Play catch. Most call centers hand out stress balls frequently. Most also have large floors full of low-walled cubicles. Playing catch can be fun entertainment between calls or during one of those ‘marathon screamer’ calls. You can also use beach balls or balloons. You can introduce scoring or see how many times the ball can be passed from one end of the floor to another. Be creative.
Charades while on the phone is a ball. Try to act out what the client is calling about to other team members participating. Guesses can be written on white boards or scraps of paper. This is especially hilarious when one gets a long, complicated story on the phone with strange elements leading up to the predicament being discussed. Simply standing up and putting your finger on your nose will engage participants after a few rounds!
‘Big Liar’ is another good game. Using sheets of paper or instant messenger, make three statements about calls received that day. Two of them must be true and one is a lie. Circulate the list for everyone playing to record their guesses at to which one is the lie. Then reveal the lie. Those who guessed correctly can then circulate their own three statements. Big Liar can get very big quite quickly with all of the statements being passed. You can use a point system for small prizes or play simply for amusement.
Call center bingo is another huge favorite. Make up a checkerboard and fill them in. Copy and distribute to those playing. Squares could include curse words used by client, client compliments, bizarre or mundane scenarios encountered, or, if working for a national company, states and locations work as well. Those getting a bingo could earn a small prize or simply bragging rights. On bad days, do a cover-all full of expletives. Don’t be afraid to do a soundless victory dance for your buddies’ amusement!
As with all things at work, don’t get caught breaking the rules by playing games. You may have to be covert. It’s not worth losing your income to amuse yourself. However, most call centers will overlook a certain amount of innocent tomfoolery, so have fun with it and play some call center games!