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Call Center

My first job was a telephone order service representative at a catalog order company. (The new Taco Bell in town would not hire me, but this company did.) I started the job right before my senior year of high school and continued working there until I started college. I even went back to the same company to work in the data entry department during the summer before my senior year of college. People ordered all kinds of household items and gadgets, personal items and organization aids, games and clothing. Part of our job was to also try to "up-sell" some items too. We did not get a commission on selling these items, but our name went into a weekly competition with the other order center reps. There would be a short bulletin about who made the most "up-sells" (i.e. "Mary G. sold 25 Miracle Mops last week"), and who had the best accuracy scores (we all should shoot for 100% accuracy, but most fall short). Yes, sometimes, even I was in the top 5 of those things.

"Telephone Order Center. This is Michaelene. This call may be monitored or recorded for quality purposes. How may I help you?" (the spiel was something like that)

It was not my favorite job, but it was my first. After I got used to taking phone calls (I was so stressed my first several days of work, learning how to do the job) and my accuracy was consistent, the supervisors allowed me to do other jobs around the office. I was part of the weekend crew, so we were usually the only department working in a place that employed about 1,000 people. I was even allowed to train new employees! I worked for minimum wage, received minuscule raises (my first raise was 11 cents more an hour), and worked in a modest building. What I really enjoyed was working with most of my fellow employees in the "fish bowl". We had several jokes between us, I worked with several friends from my own high school (most of us were in the same French class, actually), and the conversations could become lively when no one was calling us.

I researched the company on the internet to see if they were still in business. They are, and I believe they have finally allowed the order center reps to use computers. [Sadly, employees are still complaining about the same things as the rest of us did 25 years ago.] I can reflect, now, on how working there has helped me become who I am today.

Working for the LORD is never going to be over. It is not a competition to see how many people I have helped bring to Christ, but it is part of my job to tell others about what He has done in my life and what He has done for all of us. If people "buy" what I am saying, then they are going to repent of their sins and confess that they are in need of the Savior. My children see me everyday, and they are watching. I am constantly training them how to love others, starting with each other. Because they have been with me nearly 24 hours a day for several months, they get to serve the church and the community alongside me just about everyday. My husband and I talk about God, about the Bible, ask our kids what they have learned or what questions they have about faith. We want them to know that God is real, Jesus Christ died for their sins, and that we are supposed to love God, love one another, and love everyone else as much as we love ourselves.

New opportunities of loving others will never cease. Neither is talking about God. Part of my job is to do the expected daily/weekly duties of the office. But, I also get to help out people who call or visit and are in need of food or help with utilities. I often can meet that need by getting them food from the church food pantry and making a few phone calls to the various community help centers. I also hope I am helping them by listening to their stories, treating them with respect, and praying with/for them. Food can fill their bellies for a while, but Jesus Christ is the Bread of Life. Not everyone I get to help is a believer, most of them never come to a worship service or Bible study here, but I hope that they know that what I did to help them is because of what Christ did for me.

Jesus has a direct line. You can call on Him at any time, not just during business hours. He has many helpers working for Him, and they all know that He loves them. He cares about your needs, and is not trying to sell you anything.

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

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