Just who ARE these people you call every day -- who give you troubleshooting tips, sales slogans, prepaid phonetime, directory assistance, driving directions and bank balances?
Have you ever wondered where THEY go once you hang up the phone?
In her third novel, HANDLE TiME, cult writer, LiNCOLN PARK brings you a saucy and searing story of an Americancall center. Take a guided tour, if you dare,through this weird, wild world of worker-bees; which exists in twisted parallel to your own.
Excerpt “It took a long time for people to realize that the most terrible place one can be banished for all time is not the hell of mythology – the hell Orpheus descended to in order to find his loved Eurydice – nor the hell of the Hebrews or of the Old Testament, nor the hell of Christianity, but the hell of humanity, the hell made by humans for other humans.” -- Jacinto Lageira
Call centers are hell.
Working in one for DELSTAR bank almost killed me, literally. The last thing I remember is how embarrassed I felt while they were hauling my ass out on a gurney to a waiting ambulance. Never mind that I could hardly breathe and my heart was racing like a NASCAR dragster; people were looking at me… ruining their daily adherence just to stare at me! I believe a few of them were probably jealous of me because I was leaving the building and they had to get back on the phones...
At the hospital, the morphine they gave me was not helping. The muscle under my left breast was swept up in a waltz of spasms and my mother was blowing up my cellphone every five minutes. The gummy glue, from the stick-on electrodes they'd plastered me with in the ambulance earlier, was decimating my décolletage with glops of drying, chafing goo.
Who knew that answering one more call, from one more insatiable, discourteous, yapaholic customer would land me squat on a stretcher and in the Emergency Room – just in freaking time for a lukewarm, lime-jello lunch? Trust me – there was no fresh beef to be had, that afternoon; for I was wounded cattle. I had been corralled in the barn of a bank's regional call center; and I'd spent the past nine months of my life chewing on the cud of a living wage and grazing on the grass of shift-diffed pastures. At the end, I'd reduced my stock of personal pride and professional integrity to a stewed, unsavory, morphine-laced mutton – rolling the dough of my ass and the blood in my arteries into a confluence of coagulated fatty -- flavored with the remaining teaspoon of my self-esteem and the pungent spice of my jaded spirit.
You know -- not to get off the subject of my E.R. visit – but I know something that you probably don't:
I know why the caged bird drinks.
It's because he once flew (before his caged captivity) onto a sill, and peered through a random, plate-glass window at a DELSTAR bank call center.
If you’d like to read more, you can download the ebook edition, or purchase the print paperback of HANDLE TiME by LiNCOLN PARK at major online and offline booksellers! We would also LOVE to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org)
HANDLE TiME by LiNCOLN PARK
REVIEW from ANTHONY BRICE, host of the SIX DEGREES show on BLOG TALK RADIO
HANDLE TiME is a perfect reference for anyone who dares to dream. LiNCOLN PARK's ability to take the life experience of the call center and translate it into metaphorical imagery is incredible and profound -- almost like classic literature!
Anyone who wants to go into a call center needs to read this book FIRST. Period. It will provide them with a road map for success.
REVIEW from LULU BOOK REVIEWS
Posted on July 25, 2008 by Shannon Yarbrough; LULU BOOK REVIEWS (http://lulubookreviews.wordpress.com)
Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, and Lilly Tomlin have nothing on Lincoln Park. Her book, Handle Time, is 9 to 5 on crack rock! We all remember that type writer banging, coffee slinging, boss fondled, witty trio from the 80s movie which became a salute to the working woman!
Well, not much has changed these days in the way of office gossip despite the fact that we have to press one for English and spend more time on hold just trying to speak to an actual person. Lincoln Park’s witty book drips with the over-the-top office drama, I’m sure a ton of us middle class Americans can relate to, like decaf from the lunchroom percolator.
Are you trapped in a cubicle all day tied to a phone taking calls from bitchy customers? Do you work Monday through Friday listening to wining dead beats about their overdrawn bank balances? Are order entry and filing on your list of resume attributes? If you are sick of the water cooler humor and need someone outside of work who you can relate to, then buy this book!
We’ve all seen those humorous Youtube videos displaying dramatic office humor where employees snap and toss their computer monitors across the room, but those vids probably aren’t far from the truth. Meet Chase, Lincoln’s central character whose had enough! We barely get to know the poor girl as a character before she’s hauled out of the office on a stretcher.
But strap yourself in, because this roller coaster ride of a read is about to take you into the world of corner offices and cubicles which you probably didn’t know existed, and definitely don’t want to. Flash back to Chase and her friends landing top positions at Delstar Bank call center. Destined to beat standard middle class living outside of their bi-weekly paychecks, these trainees end up with more than they bargained for on their climb up the corporate ladder.
Like many of us, we kiss ass in interviews and wear a nice suit, only to become shackled to a desk with carpel tunnel and a telephone that won’t stop ringing. It’s the gossip and office drama away from our desk that helps beat the monotony of the day, but is that worth the bad wages we make and the abuse we put up with from customers? It’s enough to drive anyone postal, and this author’s in-your-face attitude will have you questioning, “is this worth 8 hours of my time each day?”
Dead beat coworkers with poor work ethics, pouty pregnant women whose men left them, computer geeks who know too much, fat chicks with low self-esteem… this book is chock full of colorful characters from cold CEOs to office supply stealing freaks. On one page, your heart is full of sympathy and you are rooting for the underdog, on the next page you find i>you are the underdog.
At 196 pages, Ms. Park’s book makes the sitcom, The Office, look like a cake walk. If you’ve ever hung up the phone for holding too long or cussed at the illiterate in India and demanded they get an American on the phone, or if you’ve ever been that employee on the other end of the line, then this book is for you! Taking office humor to a whole new level, I commend Lincoln Park on her tongue in cheek farce about the cubicle culture most of us wake up to everyday.
Hey you! Put down those post-its and stop sniffing your whiteout. And read this book!
REViEW from MIDWEST BOOK REVIEWS
Amazon Rating: 5 Stars *****
While some people would say talking on a phone all day would be their dream job, they don't imagine the reality of it. "Handle Time" is a novel delving into the weird world of call centers. Told in a unique manner designed for nonstop humor and to keep readers reading in a fast paced tale of the everyday grind, Park brings another tale into the genre she calls 'office-lit'. "Handle Time" is a humorous exploration of the people Americans grow to hate but still exist.