The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Customer Service Jobs

Why you should work at one anyway

Nancy Parish


Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

I started my professional career as a customer service representative. We were called patient referral agents, but make no mistake, it was an entry-level customer service position for someone like me who had a health background.

I answered questions about laser surgery, supplying scripted answers to the caller’s questions about laser surgery. We’d get the occasional nutjob who asked more personal questions about body parts. Let your imagination fill in the rest.

I moved on to other positions in customer service after that first job. I answered questions about writing, books, makeup, records management, and cell phones. I even had a rather unfortunate stint collecting student loans on my way to becoming a supervisor and then a manager.

I also worked as a fraud claims representative. Nothing like getting yelled at during the Christmas season because the algorithm mistakingly thought the large television someone bought to surprise their family was fraud.

You get the point. I have experience in this field.

The Customer service department, no matter what it’s called, is a company’s first opportunity to address its customer’s needs. You anger your customers; you will not be in business very long.

It is an important part of any company. Yet, when it comes to things like compensation, vacation time, and benefits, they get the short end of the stick.

Customer service is also one of the hardest jobs you’ll ever have.

People are unpredictable and at times, unreasonable. Whenever you deal with the public, you don’t know what you’ll get. The company culture can be difficult as well. There are some things you should consider before you accept a customer service position.

Since customer service is often an entry-level position, companies keep a tight reign on the employees in this department. Your performance is often measured by a series of statistics measuring call handling, efficiency, etc.

Customer Service is a numbers game. The call center lives and dies by the number and volume of calls it handles in…



Nancy Parish

Writer, Amateur Cat Herder. Previously, Contributing Editor for CWIM. My ebook Life with Scout: The Blind Kitty Chronicles avail.