Anybody ever work an incall service?

A local vocational counselor has given me a lead for a psychic hotline job; I’d be working at home, with a new phone line installed, giving callers “readings,” after a fashion, from a deck of tarot cards. Whether this is advisable work I won’t go into now; I’d just like to know if any of the Teeming Millions have worked at any kind of incall service, at home or in an office, and:

  1. How they’ve liked the work.
  2. Whether it is self-employment or work for regular wages–for income tax return purposes.
  3. Whether doing such work has any effect–good or bad–on them in general, including relations with their family or broadening one’s work expertise, for example.

I have worked in an incall call center for 1 1/2 years. (it is called “inbound” call center) for a wireless PDA. I have found that for the money it is a VERY easy job. There is no physical labor. The calls are directed through a computer. If you are a people person it is easy.

it is not self employment though. They will give you a paycheck even if you get commissions so you don’t have to account for your own tax.

I have found this to be a very flexible and comfortable job. I love 1 mile away from my building and my husband works in the same building.

I am leaving this job soon though because of lack of advancement. I loved the job, hated the managers. I’m not going to another call center with Sprint.

I hope this is OK with your husband. :slight_smile: :smiley:

yeah yeah, I know, my typing sucks!
Hey while you are around… can read my tarot cards?

I would personally have a problem working a psychic hot line, because, much as we want to joke about them–there are real people making these calls, often with real problems, and are really expecting good advice. I’d have a real problem talking to someone who is telling me that their mother just had a heart attack, and wondering whether or not she’s going to recover. . .

I worked at Verizon as a directory assistance operator for a month and I hated it! Being the newbie in a closed shop meant that I ended up working nights (including the wonderful 8 PM - 4:30 AM shift Friday and Saturday night) and saying “Good evening…what city and listing” 700 times a day wasn’t exactly edifying either.

I don’t think I could work for a psychic hotline unless the kids were starving to death and it was the only way I could put food on the table. Even then, it would torment me. I have a little something called “personal integrity”.

I can’t imagine you’d seriously consider such a thing, either, dougie.

I’ll tell you what, Holly. I live in Los Angeles County in Southern California and even won a decision–handed down by a Social Security Administrative Law Judge and based partly on sworn testimony from a local vocational expert–that said I was psychiatrically disabled from substantial gainful employment. The decision was mailed to me on December 29, 1976.
More recently, a vocational counselor with the South Bay Project with Industry gave me the referral to this hotline service. I had worked last year as a census enumerator and a data-entry operator for TBN (a religious TV station), but neither job was full-time.
If you are able to give me a solid referral–assuming, of course, I apprise you properly of my personal situation, experience, background, and references (and I have some excellent references) I would be only too happy to abandon the idea of hiring on for a psychic hotline. But don’t advise me if all you intend to do is tell me what I can’t or shouldn’t do rather than what I can. In other words, Holly, I would prefer constructive criticism. :slight_smile:

I work for a Verizon call center (not the same one that drove RugbyMan out of his mind- I’m in the Advanced Data Group), and I find it to be fairly easy work for the money. I am not under the same kind of pressure that RugbyMan was; I take calls from the LAN & WAN techs of major business customers who and they understand that there is s certain amount of queue time they’ll have to endure before I finally get around to taking their call, should I ever do so. And if I decide not to take the call, there are 12 or 16 other techs on the floor who can. Almost no pressure.

But I don’t have people calling directly to my personal number, which is what sounds like will be happening to you. I can imagine that might be a little more nerve racking if here isn’t another person for the call to roll over to if you were temporarily unable to answer the phone.

If you are in a call center working as part of a team, it can be nice, as long as there aren’t stringent metrics guiding your every action.

I was referred to this through the California State Department of Rehabilitation. The PWI counselor, working out of the Rehab office, said I would get a separate line installed in my home specifically for this service.
The only problem is my mother (age 71) who would have to give a final OK for a line to be installed.
I would only be paid for the time I actually work, and the line would be closed (for me, anyway) if I had to leave the phone to use the bathroom, or answer the door, or any other immediate reason. When I was working the TBN telethons this was no problem for me.

Stringent metrics was an understatement ;). Being a public utility, we were regulated by the Public Utility Comissions of various states and we had mandated answer times that we HAD to meet or else the company would face some rather hefty fines in that state. As the Erie call center covered a good portion of the Midwest as well as the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, we basically had to reach the lowest common denominator (the PUC of Pennsylvania set our answer time at 12 seconds…I believe it was 6 in Texas). In addition, their tracking of us was rather intensive. They knew the second that we went online, our average call times, number of calls while logged on, how much time we had the Make Busy (the button to cut off calls to the workstation) on…it was rather a pressure filled job. It went either exceptionally fast (one right after the other) or else mind-numbingly slow at night (and most of those calls would be from drunken morons who I could barely make out)

Ohh…the goals were 26.4 seconds per call (if you’ve called Directory Assistance, either the listing goes right through or else it cannot be found…and if it can’t be found, people are surely not pleased to say the least!) and less than 3% make busy time…rather not much fun!