Thanks for the comment…
Londo: “Please hold while we transfer you to India…” is one of our running in-jokes around work.
I’m not certain I’m allowed to share certajn incriminating information
about AOL besides that they’re not the only client my company serves
that occasionally transfers folks overseas.
I thought about how cruel it is, the other day, however. Those
folks just had their coastline wrecked in the tsunami (I didn’t even
know that could happen in places besides the Pacific!) and when most of
the calls I know may be sent to India are placed, it’s gotta be
sometime between butt o’clock in the morning and the ass-crack of dawn.
There is NO chance that the Indian fellow making $2 an hour to stay up
all night and answer the phone gives the slightest grain-of-sand of a
damn about the American guy screaming about his credit card bill or his
Now, nothing against anyone’s ethnicity or chance at a living is
intended, but much of the point of the company I work for is that we
cost more than the Indian fellows because we intend to be worth the
Knowing that I have to send certain phone calls away knowing full well
the caller will end up overseas reminds me that I have to make sure
that the effort I put into my job must be worth the
every cent of the money I am paid.
A lot of the economic trouble the US is going through is a side effect
of the outsourcing phenomenon: An American call center operator
ought to make $6.50 to $7 an hour, and an Indian call center operator
ought to make $6.50 to $7 an hour. When this happens, the
outsourcing problem will go away.
As time passes and more business is done solely at a global level,
regionalization of language will fade, rendering this problem
moot. It is a process that will take many generations, however.
While there is a certain amount of deliberate detatchment that
companies (especially large ones) exercise from their customers in the
interest of business, it is important to stick up for yourself and stay
with companies that acknowledge your individuality and products that
are of proper quality and cost effectiveness.
You have Meijer’s, you don’t need Wal-Mart, and I’m certain that there
are alternatives to AOL, though I’m not sure the call center’s boss
would appreciate me telling you about them.
HERE’S A QUARTER
I’ve got my big follow up to the fellow that quit his department store
job to the endless playing of ‘Take This Job and Shove It.”
A caller didn’t have her credit card ready and was calling me from work, so she put me on hold.
I was treated to “Here’s a Quarter, Call Someone Who Cares.”
I don’t think she knew it was in the loop on the phone, because the
other time she clicked the hold button it was playing “Sweet Dreams…”
So the official way I’m not going to quit the call
center is by placing someone on hold, forcing them to hear “Here’s a
Quarter” in loop, taking off my headset and walking out.
Up to that, the reigning champion of abrupt exits from the call center
was a fellow that was disconnecting his callers the instant they
slightly raised a voice… oh, and putting someone on hold while
he clocked out for lunch…
Hope everybody’s hanging in there.
See you next time.