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RHUer Needs Advice About Accepting Call Center Gig

A5Hello RHU, it's The Worst, and I need some advice!

As I mentioned before, I'm moving across the country for graduate school. As it turns out, the home office for my current call center gig is an hour from campus, and they've offered me a part time job two days a week. My question is, should I take it?

Let me lay you out a few pros and cons before you cast your vote.

- It's money coming in, and let's be honest - Ramen noodles and mac n' cheese are cheap, but they ain't free.
- I already know how to do everything.
- It would be easier to find a job closer to campus while already employed.

- It's an hour away. I have a car and I already have a 35 minute commute, but that's an hour each way that I am doing nothing productive (studying, working, writing... maybe I could eat on the road?)
- The people in the home office are GIANT douchebags for whom I have zero respect.
- They have a habit of firing people and then lying about the reason (most common reason - "we eliminated their position" and then hiring someone for that position a week later) and it would look better if I just quit now then ended up getting fired later.

So that's it RHU, and now I need your help! What should I do? Any and all input will be greatly appreciated!

--<3 The Worst



You want to be a grad student and drive an hour each way? No, don't take it. You're going to be a grad student, you don't have that kind of time (not to mention the gas expense would gouge the paycheck).
The other reasons are just sprinkles on the big NO sunday.


Calculate your fuel costs and compare it to your net pay. I bet you'll be making very little money when it comes down to it. Throw in the type of work environment it is and there's nothing about the move that sounds like it will be worth it.

As a grad student, you should look into tutoring jobs on your campus with something like the Athletics Department. You pretty well set your own schedule and it will be more conveniently located.


Okay, judging by your comments I'm assuming you aren't in a graduate program that provides a living stipend? (Most PhD programs in STEM fields do)
If I'm wrong and your program does provide a stipend, check all policies first. Many don't allow you to hold a second job.

An hour long commute to anything in graduate school sounds very unpleasant. You'll be very busy with classes and work for your program, so adding an hour long commute plus outside work to that? It's not something I'd want to do.

Does your school use TAs? Even graduate students who aren't in programs that provide a stipend, often earn money that way. Plus, it'll be much better work experience if you plan to make academia your career than a call center.


Two hours of driving for a part-time job, during school, to work for people you don't respect... it just doesn't seem worth it to me. I wouldn't slap that hand away just yet, but it would be a very VERY last option.

Queer Geek

Have your tried online for part time work locally in your in area? I know the job market sucks right now but it's better trying to get a job you can stomach then spending for gas and stress for a job that you hate.

Bored at the Bookstore

How much is gas per gallon where you'll be? Stock up on ramen and mac&cheese until you can find something that isn't going to cost you a fortune in gas. Just think, with what you save NOT driving two hours round trip, you can add some cut-up hot dogs to the mac&cheese once in a while.

NC Tony

Those last two cons outweigh the pros. Especially that last one. It sounds like you'd get settled in and then they'd "eliminate your position" and you'd be royally screwed.


It does sound as though the cons outweigh the pros. I see why you might be tempted to take the job anyway, esp. if your programme does not offer a living stipend and there are no other part-time jobs available near your grad school. However, if you run the risk of getting fired anyway by those douchetents, it might not be worth it at all. I'd say try for a stipend, keep looking around for a different part-time job in the neighbourhood, and most of all: lots of good luck at grad school!


Personally, I wouldn't take it. Gas is going to be inching up soon with the holidays coming up (4th of July, assuming you live in the US) and gas tends to go up more in the summer anyways.

And like you said, those two hours could be used for something else, like studying or whatever. Plus...what if you get stuck in traffic? Could be even longer than 2 hours...

Plus, it sounds like it would be a stressful work situation - wondering if you are going to be 'let go' or if someone is going to do something nasty. And do you really need that on top of you studying stress (unless studying and homework doesn't stress you out, it surely does to me however.)


No - with how much experience with the phones that you have, you should look for an on-campus job for the school. If you can, enlist a teacher to help you out. Either way - Good Luck and Good Job!!

The Worst

The program I'm in offers a stipend to some people, but not to me. I was mostly considering sticking with this job (a call center for an online school, so not totally unrelated) because I happen to be in an area with quite a few colleges around, and any tutoring jobs or on-campus jobs are VERY competitive according to my grad student mentor person I'm assigned to (a fourth year, I think). I am in the US, so gas prices suck and will only suck harder. Thanks for the guidance, everyone!


If you do decide to take the job, one productive use of your time would be listening to recorded books. Maybe they are related to your field. If your books are digital, you can get your eReader to read them to you.


I am a grad student who works 30 minutes away. It's tough when you work 20+ hours a week and try to keep up with 15+ school hour classes. I would probably not try to have a job, but it is related to my studies (pharmacy). Maybe you could look for a similar job more close by.

Oh, some classes are recorded and the lectures are put on iTunes, or you could record them yourself. You could listen to lectures while you're driving. Best of luck and congrats on your schooling!


I was going to suggest the same thing as FMAON06 - podcasts and/or a recording of you reading out your notes from class to listen to.

I have no real suggestions about what to do about the job though! Sorry!


Well, no offense, but your mentor sounds like a real Debbie Downer.
It's a college campus! There's always jobs for student workers and lots of turn over. Even if you don't get one as a TA or tutor, there's the library, athletic center, campus eateries and coffee shops, residence halls if you don't mind spending lots of time around dumbass undergraduates, not to mention professors in many different fields who intermittently hire people to help with their research doing any number of jobs from data entry to lab work to specimen collecting to organizing records, even call center work.

I know moving to a new place is a pain, so you might take this job as a stop gap but I'd advise you to start applying for jobs on or near campus immediately.

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