In a room full of about 100 employees who are wearing headsets and fielding calls, the 2002 song “Hot in Herre” by rap singer Nelly is pumped into the room through speakers on the ceiling. A woman rises, does an assortment of dance moves you might see at your local nightclub, and gives an open-mouthed grin and an exaggerated wink to her audience. A number of her coworkers rise and join her in this pantomime, emphatically dancing to the music. The only sound they make is to continue on with their calls.
This is how Karin Elmer, an admitted music fanatic from Inverary, recalls her days when she used to work at a local call centre. “It could be hard work,” she recounts. “Maybe 60% of the calls were miserable, so you needed to do something to revive yourself so you could clean your mind for the next call. And this way we needed less of a break in-between.”