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listen together to examples of the worker's performance and engage in critical
assessment).5 Call centres, then, are a good example of service work as language
work, and as such they are also a particularly rich source of insight into the
commodi®cation and regulation of language on the job.
I collected data relating to seven centres located in various parts of the U.K.
(central Scotland, the north of England and London). The service functions
performed in these centres were: providing directory assistance to telephone
subscribers, logging faults in telecommunications equipment, dealing with auto
insurance claims, processing personal banking transactions, authorizing credit
requests, booking rail tickets and handling enquiries for a utility (gas) company.
The data at my disposal take the form of notes on observations, tapes/transcripts
of interviews, and copies of written materials including employee manuals,
training packs, appraisal forms and lists of criteria for assessing performa...
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- Spring '08
- The Land