I work in a call center. I usually like to draw my callers, but today I decided to draw myself. Here’s me, today, when a caller asked if they were finally taking to a real person and not “some robot” and sent me into an existential crisis.

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  1. You should’ve responded with an Alexa lilt. You might also call them Dave and tell them you’re worried you won’t be able to do it.

  2. One time, I was going through a call tree and ended up on the other end of the line with the person who had registered all of the options. It took me a second to realize it wasn’t just another prompt, but a real human. It was a little embarrassing, but we both laughed when I explained why it took me a minute to react to her.

  3. Working the phones is an exhilarating experience. You get a wide range of wackos, weirdos, fun people, serious people, and more, and the sheer amount of work you have to do each day on your shift is extremely stressful. I respect you for what you do.

  4. People thought my phone voice was too “nice” to be a real person when I first started working in customer service, so I had to change it. Several people have even hung up on me because they don’t believe I’m genuine.

  5. When I worked in a call center, I used to reply, “Would you care if I was a good enough robot that you couldn’t tell?”

    Which would take the conversation off track and give me a few minutes in this bitch’s cubicle to answer about my handle time.

  6. I’m glad I’m not the only oddball who attracts customers. My sketches, on the other hand, are more cartoon faces with exaggerated features.
    More of your sketches will be fantastic!

  7. Hello there, This is your HR colleagues’ assessment of you. Please choose the fire hydrant picture. Failure to pass this test can result in disciplinary action, including the termination of your contract.

  8. I’ve spent my entire adult life working in call centers. When people asked if they were speaking with a real person, I would always respond, “No, but this is as close as you’re going to get.”

  9. You make fun of AI, but it is improving. Empathic to a greater extent. In ten years, call centers will no longer employ real people to answer the phones.

  10. As a former call center employee, I can attest that this is exactly how I felt while consumers were overjoyed at the prospect of speaking with someone who cared less than the automated machine. Though good si, fantastic work

  11. If anyone asked me, I’d tell them they’re speaking with a real person. Then, at random intervals, insert phrases like “CALIBRATING,” “ERROR,” and “PLEASE HOLD FOR PROCESSING.”

  12. Or is my consciousness just a delusion designed to make me believe I have a life beyond these walls so that I can better understand the customers I talk with and persuade myself that I haven’t become self-aware…

  13. It hits you right in the feels.

    If I’m distracted, I still answer the phone like I used to at work… even though I haven’t worked in a call center in over a decade.

  14. My employee ID is seven digits, my teller ID is four digits, my user ID is six digits, my extension is seven digits, and my direct line is ten digits. They’re all unique.

    They should all be burned into my exoskeleton now, I think.

  15. Antwon, thank you for your sketches! I’ve been following you for a few months and think you’re fantastic.

    I have a mini extendialist crisis if someone opens a call like that with me and respond with something like, “I don’t know, I feel like I’m a real person most of the time…” Depending about who you’re talking to, it’s either awkward or hilarious.

  16. I’m sorry, but this is me. We’re a desk with the same dilemma every day, and we’re never trying to solve problems, just patch them up. It gets rusty, and indeed, the responses are robotic.

  17. Years ago, I worked at McDicks’ drive-thru. Thousands of times, I said the same greeting. In several occasions, a customer on the other end of the headset inquired if I was a robot. My go-to retort to certain statements and inquiries? “Para Espaol, Marque numero dos,” I’d say in the same tone.

  18. It reminds me of a Spongebob line:

    “I’m just too young to perish! There are so many things in life that I haven’t had the opportunity to do.”

    “Please wait while I pass your call!”

  19. It makes me long for the days when I worked in a call center. I enjoyed the repetitive work because I have some memory issues and finding new stuff at work can be frustrating.

  20. My voice is almost identical to that of my company’s automated device. People have argued with me over whether or not I am a human.

    I’d be debating politics on Reddit if I had to listen to people try to persuade me that I’m not even human.

  21. After I gave my opening greeting at an inbound call center, a loud obnoxious Texan yelled through the phone, “DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?”

    “Every day of my life so far, sir,” I simply sighed.

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