At VOIZ, we take pride in sharing the stories of our agents. Where they are from, where they used to be and where they are now. It adds value to their individuality and their personal and professional journeys. From our archives, we’re pulling together the story of Joe P. D’Souza who worked as a TTC aka a Traveling Ticket Conductor for twenty years till he had an entire career redo.
Joe currently works in the customer support project and he’s the star agent of the month but was he always so good with his customers? When we asked Joe this question, he simply said,
after years of checking tickets and IDs, you just automatically learn to understand people and their temperaments and learn to help them when and if an issue arises.
Okay coming back to the starting point of Joe’s story, Joe started his career as a ticket examiner just like his father at the Mumbai Railway Station close to fifteen years ago. This was around the time when Uber and Ola didn’t exist and people largely relied on trains to get from one place to another.
Joe’s mother was a music teacher while his father worked in the Indian Railways and growing up all Joe could remember was being around musical notes and singing! His father wasn’t around much because his job required him to be away from home most of the time. Back then his father seemed like an important man as he was needed at work every single day and he was exhausted by the time he got home. But his mother, on the other hand, always had time to do her own thing while also being available to teach whenever. The difference between both their jobs, he noted, was that music was his mother’s passion due to which it never wore out when she did it professionally. But his father didn’t love his job, he worked at a TC all his life because it paid the bills and because his father was in the Indian Railways too.
From when he was a child, he was also expected to join the Indian Railways like his father and his grandfather. Being the only child, he acquiesced and did exactly what was expected of him. At nineteen, he started working as a platform ticket examiner for four years before becoming a travelling ticket ‘examiner’; “just like his father”. All through, Joe didn’t have a say about his own future. He could sing, play five musical instruments but did not have the luxury of pursuing his talents and passions because he knew his father would dismiss them as youthful whims and fancies.
He continued working there for twenty years during which time he got married and had children of his own; determined to break the obligatory viscous career cycle. He found satisfaction in his routine by teaching his children his musical prowess and passing on everything that he knew about it. Joe tried to find joy in his mundane work routine and enjoyed meeting people and interacting with them. It wasn’t until the Pandemic that he realised that he had mentally retired from the profession a long long time ago.
After years of living life within the shaky motions and compartments of the train, he finally found peace in staying rooted at home for three months straight. As someone who always looked at the glass half full, he viewed the lockdown as a blessing that would go on to change the course of his career and therefore his life. His son’s teacher was working as a part-time agent at VOIZ which was how Joe got introduced to his future place of employment!
He quickly signed up and applied for customer support roles and got hired in a week. He now works eight hours six days a week and doesn’t take a single day off all the while enjoying what he does and doing what he loves which is speaking to people while also teaching music online to passionate kids or ‘passionate parents’ as he likes to call it. Recently, his son, Josh has also signed up for VOIZ and landed a project as a telesales agent while studying for his Masters. We asked Joe for his statement to which he said,
Like my dad, I did not force Joshie to join VOIZ. He just watched me enjoy my work and told me he wanted to sign up with VOIZ to enjoy staying employed while also having the freedom to prepare for his ‘fleeing the nest’ exams as I call it. VOIZ has transformed the way I look at work. I used to view work as something that needed to be done and only after could relaxation be found but with VOIZ I found that I can enjoy work and enjoy after it too. It’s like spending time in a candy store. VOIZ has made this experience so enriching and fulfilling for me and looks like it’s organically passing on to the next generation.