Confessions of a Call Center Gal: a novel

Rated 4.55/5 based on 21 reviews
Bridget Jone's Diary meets The Office. A humorous look at what happens on the other side of the phone line, and a glimpse into a world we all experience but seldom bother to understand once we hang up the phone.

***DISCLAIMER: If you find politically incorrect shows like The Office, South Park and Chelsea Lately detestable, childish and offensive, then this book is probably NOT for you. More

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About Lisa Lim

Lisa Lim is author of chick lit novel Confessions of a Call Center Gal. She holds a journalism degree from the UW-Madison and is a former Copy Editor at Desktop Journal and Technical Writer for a software company. She is also an ex-call center gal.

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Please note that I said "dream" cast. Meaning, this will probably never ever happen. But one can only dream. ***If you watch it, make sure your speakers are turned on.

Reviews

Review by: Margaret (Literary Chanteuse) on Nov. 27, 2011 :
If you've ever worked in customer service you will particularly find this funny. A great chick lit book that has some good characters. A enjoyable read!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Cristina Gutierrez on Sep. 27, 2011 :
I loved this book. If you ever wondered how people can work in a call center or what really happens in a call center, this book is a must read. It is not for the faint of heart, or those that worry if they are being politically correct. This book is a hilarious, snarky, full of fun read. It even has a romance in it. Be prepared it may offend you, it make make you laugh like a lunatic and it just may change your perception of call center employees. I highly recommend this book.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Tanya Contois on Sep. 22, 2011 :
There were plenty of moments in Confessions of a Call Center Gal that had me laughing out loud. I fell in love with each of the characters right away and couldn't get enough of the sarcastic and witty remarks. The chemistry between Maddy and Mika was perfect and I was hoping things would end the way they did - My favorite part of the book was the story Mika told Maddy about the old Ukrainian wife.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Stephanie Overton on Sep. 12, 2011 :
When I was asked if I would be interested in reading this book, I was given fair warning. The humor could be hard to swallow at times, and there were a few not so friendly words used. So, what do I say . . Right up my alley! Sure.

I had absolutely no clue at what I was REALLY getting myself into, and half way through it . . I was struck with the feeling of, how do I write a review for this book?!?!

So, I'm going to give you five reasons you should read this book.

#1. "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"
"Well sir, if you did not have sexual intercourse with your wife and she's pregnant, did she have an extramarital affair or is just the Virgin Mary?"

#2. Learn to Speak Chinese in 5 minutes
1. That's not right - Sum Ting Wong
2. Are you harboring a fugitive? - Hu Yu Hai Ding
(There is a LONG list of these)

#3. "Maddy, I think you should hold off on the Fat Bastard. I just heard you talking to the toilet."

#4. "I wouldn't mind getting implants if they'd actually look natural. Heck, I don't want to end up looking like I've got David and Goliath for chesticles."

#5. "And new flash! You're no Kim Kardashian. If I were you, I'd cover up that sorry excuse for an ass. Now you take these tater tots and stuff 'em up your nonexistent, cellulite, ricotta cheese behind!"

So, there you have it. 5 AWESOME reasons to pick up this book and give it a go. Be warned, those are only 5 of the reasons I pulled from the MANY I had marked. This is a laugh out loud read, that will have people giving you strange looks if you read it in public. (Trust me, I know!)

Oh, somehow . . someway . . in all this funny, there is a little romance! Who cold ask for anything more.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: кєяo T on Sep. 12, 2011 :
I have never read a chick lit novel before, thanks to the author for inviting me to the genre. This book will make you recall your own first job experience. I liked the story and the characters. Madison (Maddy), the lead character, and her crazy BFF Karsynn (Kars) have no luck finding a job and end up at the Lightning Speed Call Center. Mika is a handsome guy from Belgium, who resembles Zac Efron in looks. Another character that needs a mention is Truong, a Vietnamese, and a Perez Hilton of the workplace.

I liked the way the author led the story and kept me engrossed in the book. Madison's colleagues are from different cultural backgrounds which makes the story even more fun to read. We get a peek into Maddy’s professional and personal life. Dealing with crazy callers, hating their supervisor and coping with some mean colleagues, that's what makes up Maddy's professional life. However, there was a very little part about her personal life. Her mother doesn't approve of her job at the call center but she doesn't seem to care much about her.

I received an e-copy of the book from the author, Lisa Lim, for an honest review. I strongly recommend it to people who read chick lit and those who want a light-hearted read.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Kim Deister on Sep. 01, 2011 :
Confessions of a Call Center Gal is the debut novel of author Lisa Lim, and it is a fantastic start to what I hope is a long line of books. I loved just about everything about this book! I was hooked from the very beginning and just couldn't put it down. The book is a wonderful mix of humor and even some sadness and bittersweet moments. Maddy and her best friend Karsynn are fresh out of college and neither girl can find a job. Sick of living off of her mother and completely bored, Maddy decides to visit Kars in Idaho, and that visit becomes a permanent move when the girls get jobs as customer service reps in a call center.

There were times when I was just laughing out loud at some of the phone calls Maddy recieves in the call center. I frequently went back and reread them just to giggle some more. There were others that were sweet and cute, even some that were heartachingly sad. Much of the book centers around the call center itself, and the people Maddy meets there, but there is plenty to the story outside of it as well. Maddy's crush on Mika, a co-worker, was fun to read about, although there were times that I just wanted to scream at them to get to it and get together! But the inevitable bad timing and misunderstandings just added to the anticipation of the story. There was a subplot with Kars that injected a bit of seriousness and no small amount of sadness into the story, and my heart wanted to break for her.

The characters in this book were wonderful and easily believable. Definately in the light-spirited tone of the book, near the end of the book there was a memo sent out in the call center that had character names that had me laughing hysterically. All of the characters were great, although I think Truong and Hilary were among my favorites of the supporting cast. I had a perfect mental image of Hilary that stayed trhoughout the book, and Truong had me laughing out loud!

This is a fabulously fun read that I highly recommend! The characters are great and the call center stories will give you an entirely different point of view. A really fun book!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: wistfulskimmie on Aug. 29, 2011 :
I loved this. Hysterically funny, laugh out loud funny even. I could not put it down. It was also spot on in it's depiction of life in a call centre. Noone likes doing the job but someone has to right?

I loved the characters. Some of the names were amazing. The author has a keen eye for satire! I also like the backdrop of the 'will they, won't they' relationship of Mika and Maddy. it was there quietly simmering in the background with all the hilarity going on in the forefront.

I hope the author writes more as I thoroughly anjoyed this and I am sorry it has come to an end!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Literary Marie on Aug. 18, 2011 :
Like so many fresh college graduates, Madison Lee is ready to apply her skills at a job. Unfortunately, she doesn't have luck finding a job right away due to the economy. She visits Pocatello, Idaho and accepts a job position at a call center. It is better than unemployment, right?

I've never worked in a call center before, though I used to work in retail and customer service. I've got stories for days. But the stories told by the main character were unbelievably funny and unique. The outrageous calls received at the Lightning Speed call center were hilarious. Maddy's life outside of the call center is just as entertaining. I felt like a call center gal sitting in the next cubicle over. Think Chelsea Handler plus argyle sweater wearing Chuy plus the politically incorrect show The Office plus chick lit. Are you already laughing?

Confessions of a Call Center Gal is Lisa Lim's debut novel. I'm already looking forward to her next release. If you like funny chick lit, ever worked in a call center or customer service, or just want to be entertained by reading about a chick's job, then this is a good choice. Order the eBook now for just $2.99 by clicking the link below or the picture above. Be sure to check out the accompanying blog too: http://confessionsofacallcentergal.blogspot.com Enjoy and get ready for LOL moments.

Literary Marie of Precision Reviews
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Paul Foxton on July 31, 2011 :
This book is a fantastic look at life in a call centre from the perspective of singleton, Maddy Lee. The book is full of funny moments - especially some of the calls Maddy gets through on the phone.
If you have ever worked in a call centre or love a good chick-lit novel then it comes highly recommended.
A great read which I really enjoyed.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: GeekyGirlReview on July 25, 2011 :
I was hooked from the very beginning and couldn't put it down. This book is super funny and very believable and I really loved the main characters . I thought the romance was lacking a bit but it was good anyways.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Kristin Durham on July 16, 2011 :
A hilarious comedy with some snark and punk. I fell in love with our maine character Maddison from the very beginning and just couldn't wait to find out where she was headed. Her fun adventure included curious characters, a prime location - the dreadful floor of a customer service call center and witty banter. I flipped right through the pages wanting to know what kind of caller would be on the line next or what insane corporate mandate would come down the pipeline.

I have some quasi call center experience from a previous job and boy was it fun, the characters that I spoke with on the phone. Just ask my cubie mate Maria, man we had some doosies! But I digress. I laughed completely out loud at some of the calls she took both from how crazy people can be to the reality that there are people out there who makes these kinds of calls every day. I gained some perspective on how far being nice on the phone can get you somewhere with a customer service agent.

Lim's characters were both funny and heartwarming. It was such fun to get to know each character and I loved how true and geniune they each were down to their bones. I think I have one of each in my life! I think she correctly described the people that we can all interact with on the job whether we want to or not!

Although I didn't read this at the beach, I think this would be a perfect addition to the beach bag this summer - a cute and light read that will keep you laughing throughout. I may have been reminded a little of Jennifer Lancaster's spunky humor, but I will never compare one author truly to another!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Michelle Bell on July 14, 2011 :
"How on earth did I wind up stuck here in Pocatello, Idaho?!?"

With that opening line I was hooked on Lisa Lim's debut novel. As a former resident of Idaho and a former call center employee, I knew from the synopsis that this book was going to appeal to me. I'm happy to say it did not disappoint. The lead character, Maddy, was completely likable and easy to relate to with what she was going through, both in her personal life and her professional life. The full cast of supporting characters are interesting and help bring the book together. It is definitely a fun read and I can't recommend it enough to anyone that has worked in a call center.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: tlassy on July 07, 2011 : (no rating)
Confessions of a Call Center Gal by Lisa Lim
An eye-opening account of what really goes on beyond your phone and mouthful of complaints and sometimes verbal abuse? You bet.
So Maddy, a media studies collage graduate, winds up working in a call center in Pocatello, Idaho
(read: back of beyond) thanks to a less than favourable economic climate. Here, she’s introduced the gruesome, the bad and the ugly of call centre servitude – ghastly, sales-pushing management and the others (jury is still out on whether the customers are more evil than management, whether they are just victims of circumstances or an unfortunate combination of both). Her characters were quite likeable; Maddy could have very well been a friend even though I’m willing to go into a duel to the death with her to keep her from Zac Efron – he and I are practically married!
I enjoyed how Lisa was able to put humour into what sounds like a really odious situation to land in. I don’t promise that I will always to hold back my irritation to deserving sales reps but I find myself wondering about every customer service rep I talk to. Perhaps one of these days I’ll ask one of them their life story; could be fun. And there’s nothing like a bit of romance of tickle that girly bone in every chick-lit reader. I would have liked to see a bit more Mika, but I guess I’m greedy like that :).
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jessica on June 29, 2011 :
Wow. I loved every single freaking thing about this book! I could relate to Maddy like she was an older me, someone who loves Zac Efron (because trust me, I LOVE Zac Efron) and a night in watching reality tv. And Bridget Jones being one of my favorite movies, I fell in love with Maddy's Bridget-esque personality, never being able to get things to go exactly her way. There were parts where I would find myself laughing out loud and other times cheering Maddy on in her trials as a call center gal. This book is full of hilarious moments in the everyday life at a call center. The workers at the call center are all crazy and lovable in their own way, from a hunky Belgian to a Vietnamese gay best friend. What I also loved was how nothing ended up happening perfectly. Maddy goes through trials and things take time to happen, just like real life. I just wanted to keep on reading every second so that I could figure out who would call in next to Maddy. I got this book for review from the author as an ebook, but after reading it I know I'm going to buy the hard copy so I can escape into Maddy's hilariously sweet world whenever I want to. Confessions of a Call Center Gal is the perfect chit-lit to curl up in bed with.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Anna F on June 24, 2011 :
I have to say I absolutely adored this book - despite putting in crazy hours in work just recently, juggling guests, kids end of school events and trying to fit far too much into a far too short day, I found myself reaching for my Kindle, and this book, even when I could barely keep my eyes open!

The beauty of Amazon and the Kindle, is a chance to read books from authors that may otherwise remain hidden! In this case, this author deserves to have her name out there so this and future publications do not get overlooked!

I loved this book because it was real and relatable! So many traditional chick lit books tend to go off on a tangent to a life many of us will never have - Bond Street and Fifth Avenue are not a regular part of my routine. However, leaving college with a degree in one hand and hopes of that dream job only to find yourself with an hourly job that is not exactly creative or appealing but pays the bills -well that is something I can certainly relate to! Like both the author and Maddy, the title character - I decided on a degree in Journalism. Now my path turned out a little differently when those plans turned into a social science degree but my first job was in a hospital not the glamourous office and fancy paycheck that I had dreamed of!

In this book, Maddy, fed up with one rejection letter after another (and many of us have been there when we first come out of College) takes a job in a call center. The job is well presented with the stresses and general unpleasantness of the callers; and also services as a little FYI that we have all been on those calls and might want to take a quick breather and respect the person on the other end of the line! (The last chapter takes a slightly different and may I say excellent turn for a few pages when it leaves the humor alone and talks about the folks from all walks of life , all education levels, all career levels who did not plan to but ended up in a call center as a means to pay the bills - food for thought)

The books follows her work days, the friendships she has and those she develops, the anticipation of the 'will they, won't they' potential relationship with co-worker Mika which certainly kept me reading! I like the fact that things do not wrap up too early! It was just so well written, it felt like a peak into a normal life, not some glitzy creation designed purely for the pages of a book! There was a good deal of humor injected and I found myself laughing out load several times - the Christmas recap when the calls and alcohol were not the best mix was so funny!!

I loved being able to relate to that first job out of college - it is sometimes not what you want to do - I worked long hours in a hospital - but it is a job that teaches you more than you will ever know and those friendships developed there are ones you will never forget! And this book captured that so perfectly!!

Lisa, please hurry up and write a new book! I loved this and cannot wait to see what you come up with next! Now it makes those Shopaholic books seem , well, so fake (and those were my faves until this came along)
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Blooey Bookmarked on June 24, 2011 :
Madison "Maddy" Lee is fresh out of college, eager to carve out her name in journalism. After sending out her resume to every newspaper within a thousand mile radius and getting zero results, she takes on her best friend Karsynn's standing invite to the tumbleweed town of Pocatello, Idaho.
When Karsynn's mom tells the girls her company had job openings for customer services reps, both girls jump at the opportunity of a steady income. They agonize over their interviews, land the jobs, drag themselves through the six-week training, join the ranks of Lightning Speed Communications, and enter the crazy, colorful world of call centers.
To be honest, I had my apprehensions. The story is candidly told from Maddy's point of view, and Maddy and Karsynn were a bit too loud and excitable for my taste, especially when they were conversing with each other.
Reading on, I was relieved to find that the shrillness tones down after the first few chapters, and that enough flattering descriptions of Mika are given so the image of a Belgian hunk eventually materializes.
While I think the general storyline could have been tighter, I really enjoyed the dynamics of the friendships in this book. Maddy and Karsynn band together with their fellow bottom-rung customer service reps, the cute but clueless Ingeborg and the fabulously gay Truong Nguyen (hands down my favorite character!), and they keep each other sane (with office gossip, fried rice, sushi rolls, fruity popsicles, and the occasional bootleg liquor) amidst the "escalations" (aka irate callers) and the pervs, the Feminazi team lead, the holiday work, and average handle times. Maddy also strikes up a friendship with Mika, whom she is tutoring in English as he is working on his college thesis, and things move along (slowly but) steadily in that department.
The gang has a lot of great moments together, including Maddy and Karynn's big fight (and reconciliation of course), a very sloshed Christmas (that was one of the most hilarious episodes in the book, ever!), Truong's catfight with the snooty fake-tanned Tatiana, and my favorite: Valentine's Day, when Maddy gets a heart shaped cinnamon roll from Mika (Easter egg: Maddy refers to it as her Denny and George scarf moment, an expression only a true Shopaholic fan will recognize). There are so many memorable episodes in this novel -- if this book was adapted to film, I think it would translate very well on the screen.
What I appreciated most in this book, however, is the insight into the world of call centers. I have never worked at a call center (although I used to illustrate a weekly newspaper column anonymously written by a disgrunted call center rep), and it was interesting to find out what happens on the other end of the phone line. I think this is where the novel succeeds: in putting a face to the disembodied voice of a customer service rep.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: C. Williams on June 12, 2011 :
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book - and that surprised me a little bit. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did, because, well, a book about a call center gal? It just didn't appeal to me. I bought it because of all the great reviews, and I am so very glad I did. The characters were amazing - well done and realistic. The romance was sweet. The calls were interesting and entertaining. The setting was completely different from anything else I've read. And it was FUNNY; chock full of bons mots.

I really did laugh out loud many times reading this book. My husband finally quit asking me what was so funny. I may laugh silently fairly often, but this had me laughing so hard I had to put the book down and wait to recover.

I was sorry to see this book end, and hoped there would be other books by this author. I was disappointed that there are not, YET. I look forward to reading more by Lisa Lim!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Cheryl Koch on June 11, 2011 :
Maddy decides to come visit her friend Karsynn in Pocatello, Idaho for a mini vacation. Since, she has nothing better to do, as she is unemployed. Just her lot, she and Kar end up getting jobs as Customer Service Representatives for Lightning Speed Communications. Maddy and Kar had to go through about six weeks of training. Before you knew it, they were ready to take phone calls. It was not long before Maddy started rethinking if the money was worth the headaches…the cussing callers, the constant need to want to stick her head in an oven, etc. The only bright spot was Mika. He was Maddy’s co-worker. Maddy had a crush on him.

My favorite moments were when Maddy was talking to customers and her diary entries. I could totally relate. I was a call center rep for five years. The irate callers, the urges to give up and wanting to throw your head into an oven, the required verification process that just seemed to make the caller that more upset and finally the “Not Ready Button”. If you remembered nothing else from training as a call center rep, you did remember this button and where it was located. The “Not Ready Button” says it all. If you were not ready to take another phone call just yet, you hit this button and it was your life line. You could take a moment to catch your breath before the next demanding caller. While, I did appreciate the author sharing the behind the look of what a call center rep’s day is like; on the other hand at times I felt that there was too much explanation. Also, I did not feel like the rest of the story line involving Maddy and Mika as strong as it could have been. They were suppose to have chemistry but it was like it was one sided with Maddy wanting more. Mika and Maddy did not hook up until about the last half of the book. Overall, if you are looking for some laughs than you should check out Confessions of a Call Center Gal.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Sibel Hodge on June 11, 2011 :
Destined to life in a dreary call centre, Maddy and her best friend try to make the most of it. When Maddy falls for the sexy Mika, fate and timing seems to keep them apart. Will Maddy get her man while dealing with crazy callers and supervisors from hell?

This is sassy, fun, quirky chicklit, and guaranteed to make you laugh-out-loud . Fans of Sophie Kinsella and Marian Keyes will love it. Lisa Lim has made me want to work in a call centre!

Fabulicious with a capital F!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Jamie Kline on June 03, 2011 :
As soon as I read the synopsis I knew this was going to be a humorous, light-hearted read. It did not disappoint! We first meet Madison, Maddy for short, who is unemployed and looking for a job with her best friend Karsynn. They both get jobs working for a call center and that's where the hilarity ensues! They soon realize that the call center is like a war zone, full angry customers squawking in their ears and nazi bosses looming over their shoulders. The one bright spot of the workday is Mika, a guy who's not only nice but nice to look at; Maddy is instantly drawn to him. Will she be able to snag her man or will she be doomed to admire him from afar...and will she ever escape that darned call center?

I absolutely adored the characters in this book. You can easily envision being friends with each and every one of them. Especially Maddy, she's like your witty, sarcastic, sometimes foul mouthed best friend. Karsynn's personality is a bit extreme and she makes some not good life choices on a pretty regular basis, but you can't help but love her; her and Maddy complement each other nicely, it's obvious that they've been friends for a long time. Then of course there's sexy Mika - who doesn't wish they had a sensitive, funny, smart guy with a great personality in their office? The supporting character I loved the most was Truong, a flamboyant Vietnamese man with an often-times dirty sense of humor. Many of his witty remarks made me laugh, along with his inability to pronounce the letter "r".

My favorite parts of this book by far were the calls that Maddy would take while at her job. Some customers are irate, some are clueless, and some are just downright creepy! Most of them had me laughing out loud. Two in particular are "Poida" and "Mr. Spelling Bee". You'll just have to read the book to find out what was so funny; I'm pretty sure I'm going to name my next pet "Poida" though.

The little love story beneath it all between Mika and Maddy starts out slowly and I feel like that made it more believable. They really get to know each other and become good friends; I just couldn't wait for them to finally become a couple, they were so cute together!

This was such a fast, fun read; I thoroughly enjoyed it. Lisa Lim did an excellent job of painting a vivid picture of life at a call center and kept the story interesting and hilarious throughout. And at only $2.99 it's a steal! Make sure you check this little gem out, I promise you won't be disappointed!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Brenda Rupp on May 27, 2011 :
Author Lisa Lim has hit it out of the park with a slice of life novel of the entertaining and some times oh so relatable life working in a service related job. Madison Lee, Maddy has problems finding work and finally finds a place where she and her friend can go and get training in working for Lightning Speed in the call center to assist customers with problems with their Internet. They soon find at the end of their training for the position that they must not only assist the clients, they must also try to sell products to every single person they speak too! Not quite what they had planned, selling other services to those calling in, irate already because their computers aren't working the way they feel they should. Some times helping customers that don't even know what a "desktop" is. I've found so many places in her book where I could absolutely relate with the problems Maddy runs into with the customers, her co-workers, and her immediate supervisor. Maddy also falls for a co-worker, something she thought she would never do, and I wondered through the entire book whether the gorgeous Mika was going to return her secret feelings.
The book certainly had it's humour and I laughed out loud at some of it, and kept telling myself, just a few more pages, and I'll go and .....it's easy to get caught up in this very believable story.
In the end I found out what I suspected was true, the author did work for years in a service center and was writing from her heart the story's she could see happening not only in front of her but in her head. Thanks Lisa!
Here is the description of the book I found on Amazon that would probably come from the back of the book:

Madison Lee is a fresh college grad, ready to take on the world of print media. But she has zero luck landing a job. Unemployment is at ten percent and on the rise. Desperate and left with no other options, she accepts a position as a service rep at a call center in Pocatello, Idaho. At the Lightning Speed call centtrer in Spudsville, Maddy plunges into the wild and dysfunctional world of customer service where Sales is prided over Service and an eight hour shift is equivalent to eight hours of callers bashing her over the phone. Oh sure, the calls are bad. But Maddy manages to find humor on the phone and off the phone. And with all the salacious drama behind the calls, there is never a dull moment at the Lightning Speed call center.
Lately . . . Maddy has been pining for her smolderingly gorgeous co-worker Mika Harket. Now things are heating up on the phone--and elsewhere. Don't hang up on this novel. Working at a call center has never been this garish . . . or this delightful
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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