Jamie Woodcock

Dr Jamie Woodcock is a fellow at the LSE. He is the author of Working The Phones, a study of a call centre in the UK inspired by the workers' inquiry. His current research involves developing this method in co-research projects with Deliveroo drivers and other digital workers in the so-called gig economy. He is on the editorial board of Historical Materialism.

Smile Down the Phone: An Attempt at a Workers’ Inquiry in a Call Center

Smile Down the Phone: An Attempt at a Workers’ Inquiry in a Call Center

I chose the site for my work­ers’ inquiry the way most peo­ple find casu­al employ­ment: by respond­ing to a gener­ic inter­net adver­tise­ment. The advert for the job that I even­tu­al­ly got direct­ed appli­cants to ring a voice­mail num­ber that instruct­ed them to leave a mes­sage with their name, num­ber, and why they would be good at the job. I received a call the fol­low­ing day and was invit­ed to come in after the week­end for an inter­view.