One Night @ the Call Center

Author: Chetan Bhagat

Publisher: Ballantine

Release Date: May 2007

Blue Ribbon Rating: 2.5

Format: PRINT





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Life is looking decidedly bleak for Shyam.   Although he has the responsibility of supervision at his job at the Western Appliances Strategic Group (WASG), his inept boss is withholding the promotion Shyam has earned.    He has lost his longtime girlfriend, Priyanka, not to mention his self-confidence.   To make matters worse, it looks like the rumors of firings at WASG are true, and his department could be on the chopping block.

Shyam's fellow shift workers aren't faring much better.   Priyanka's mother lives for finding a suitable husband for her daughter, and feels she's finally succeeded (Shyam was never on momma's suitable list).   Esha pursues her dream of modeling, but has doubts about the way she's expected to "make it" in the fashion world.   Radhika has given up everything to devote herself to the impossible task of pleasing her mother-in-law.  Vroom's morals are compromised by working at the call center, but he wants the lifestyle the pay provides.   Military Uncle had lived with his son's family, until a falling out left him alienated from them.

 

It's Thanksgiving in America and the WASG employees, already tense and irritable, are expecting to be awash in calls from those who can't defrost a freezer or change a vacuum bag without technical support.   But a glitch in the system slows the calls and gives them the free time to find the truth about their boss and the company "rightsizing", as well as take a phone call that forces them to look at their lives and the changes they need to become who they want.

 

ONE NIGHT @ THE CALL CENTER reminded me of a "today" version of the movie THE BREAKFAST CLUB.   The setting and back story's are different, but the theme of five (six) people forced to spend eight hours together and having it change their lives resounds (the inept boss/principal, dashed romance, and adolescent hi-jinks add to the similarity).   The major difference lies in the books prologue and epilogue, which are far and away the best parts of the story.   The book was a dryly humorous quick read, suitably appealing to the high school or college age reader.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Leigh

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