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1

Introduction

0
terms
4
notes

Woodcock, J. (2016). Introduction. In Woodcock, J. Working the Phones: Control and Resistance in Call Centers. Pluto Press, pp. 1-33

5

[...] Belfort explains to workers before a shift:

So you listen to me and you listen well. Are you behind on your credit card bills? Good, pick up the phone and start dialling! Is your landlord ready to evict you? Good! Pick up the phone and start dialling! Does your girlfriend think you’re a fucking worthless loser? Good! Pick up the phone and start dialling! I want you to deal with your problems by becoming rich!

This highlights the individualist subjectivity of sales, the responsibility of the worker to close the sale, and in doing so get rich and solve their own problems.

from wolf of wall street.

—p.5 by Jamie Woodcock 5 years, 2 months ago

[...] Belfort explains to workers before a shift:

So you listen to me and you listen well. Are you behind on your credit card bills? Good, pick up the phone and start dialling! Is your landlord ready to evict you? Good! Pick up the phone and start dialling! Does your girlfriend think you’re a fucking worthless loser? Good! Pick up the phone and start dialling! I want you to deal with your problems by becoming rich!

This highlights the individualist subjectivity of sales, the responsibility of the worker to close the sale, and in doing so get rich and solve their own problems.

from wolf of wall street.

—p.5 by Jamie Woodcock 5 years, 2 months ago
17

In sales call centres, particularly those engaged in cold calling, it is relatively easy to calculate the performance of each worker. The computer-enabled telephone system can log each sale and note how long is taken between calls. The extraction of surplus value in the labour process is far more straightforward than in the other types of call centre. This is significant as the worker in cold-calling sales faces sharper pressures and is susceptible to the more aggressive forms of surveillance and control. [...]

on tech as a way of fairly accurately assessing ROI for workers

—p.17 by Jamie Woodcock 5 years, 2 months ago

In sales call centres, particularly those engaged in cold calling, it is relatively easy to calculate the performance of each worker. The computer-enabled telephone system can log each sale and note how long is taken between calls. The extraction of surplus value in the labour process is far more straightforward than in the other types of call centre. This is significant as the worker in cold-calling sales faces sharper pressures and is susceptible to the more aggressive forms of surveillance and control. [...]

on tech as a way of fairly accurately assessing ROI for workers

—p.17 by Jamie Woodcock 5 years, 2 months ago
30

[...] As Marx argues in Capital, the ‘worker emerges from the process of pro­duc­tion look­ing dif­fer­ent from when he entered it’. Starting as a seller of their own labour power, the workers come to the conclusion that they ‘have to put their head together . . . as a class’ so ‘they can be pre­vented from sell­ing them­selves and their fam­i­lies into slav­ery and death by vol­un­tary con­tract with cap­i­tal’. For Tronti this is ‘a political leap’, and ‘it is the leap that the pas­sage through pro­duc­tion pro­vokes in what we can call the com­po­si­tion of the work­ing class or even the com­po­si­tion of the class of work­ers’.

—p.30 by Jamie Woodcock 5 years, 2 months ago

[...] As Marx argues in Capital, the ‘worker emerges from the process of pro­duc­tion look­ing dif­fer­ent from when he entered it’. Starting as a seller of their own labour power, the workers come to the conclusion that they ‘have to put their head together . . . as a class’ so ‘they can be pre­vented from sell­ing them­selves and their fam­i­lies into slav­ery and death by vol­un­tary con­tract with cap­i­tal’. For Tronti this is ‘a political leap’, and ‘it is the leap that the pas­sage through pro­duc­tion pro­vokes in what we can call the com­po­si­tion of the work­ing class or even the com­po­si­tion of the class of work­ers’.

—p.30 by Jamie Woodcock 5 years, 2 months ago
32

[...] Call centres have become emblematic of the shift towards a post-industrial service economy and the growth of a neoliberal orthodoxy with widespread programmes of ‘deregulation, privatization, and withdrawal of the state from many areas of social provision’. This transformation of work has not been accompanied by a new wave of worker self-organisation or the development of successful trade union initiatives. It is in this economic environment – and one that is very favourable to capital – that call centres have flourished. However, on the other hand, the rise of call centres also represents the desperation of capital. This relentless drive to sell is a reflection of the struggle for companies to remain profitable, which often involves shifting the burden of selling onto workers who rely on commission.

reminiscent of other gig economy-like forms of work

—p.32 by Jamie Woodcock 5 years, 2 months ago

[...] Call centres have become emblematic of the shift towards a post-industrial service economy and the growth of a neoliberal orthodoxy with widespread programmes of ‘deregulation, privatization, and withdrawal of the state from many areas of social provision’. This transformation of work has not been accompanied by a new wave of worker self-organisation or the development of successful trade union initiatives. It is in this economic environment – and one that is very favourable to capital – that call centres have flourished. However, on the other hand, the rise of call centres also represents the desperation of capital. This relentless drive to sell is a reflection of the struggle for companies to remain profitable, which often involves shifting the burden of selling onto workers who rely on commission.

reminiscent of other gig economy-like forms of work

—p.32 by Jamie Woodcock 5 years, 2 months ago