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The job can be attractive to young adults in need of a decent wage with no experience, but job insecurity and poor work environments can lead to stress, anxiety and depression.
“We probably lost half [our call centres] in the past five or six years in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia,” says David Campbell, a Moncton-based economic development consultant.
“But the small ones that have started in the region have closed down because of their inability to find workers who can work in that type of environment.” Like many young people with only a high school diploma, working at a call centre was Devine’s best option.
“They didn’t really care what happened to you,” says Devine.
The mother of two worked for the now-closed Atelka call centre in Saint John, NB for five months before she quit.
It took almost a year before she was able to find another call centre placement.
“I had such bad experiences I had virtually nothing to put on a resume that wouldn’t look bad on me,” she says.
“You have these people on hold for more than that time and you get bitched at for not having the right hold times.” The impact call centres have on a young person’s mental health isn’t always something they consider when in search for a quick paycheck.