Calling For Computer Help? Your Call Will Be Completed In Another Time Zone
It is no secret that most of the help lines that you call for computer assistance originate from other lands. Most of the time that exotic far off place is the country of India. I bet you noticed the accent didnt' you? Why is that? You bet companies can save a fortune by hosting these call centers in emerging economies rather than paying a living wage to an American worker. What is the real story behind the call center? You might be tempted to be a little more patient after you get the rest of the story.
The first fact that stood out to me was just how little these people are getting paid. Would you be willing to stay on the phone a talk somebody through the installation of a new printer for $2.00 an hour? Believe it or not that less than American minimum wage position will put the average Indian citizen in the middle class.
Another fact that jumped out at me was how these call center employees are screened and trained. Sure they are technically trained but did you realize they are educated in American, Canadian or British culture? They are taught slang expressions and even pop culture references to help them bond with their client on the phone.
Oddly enough many of the call center workers impressions of people like you and I come from American movies and television. Can you imagine if we all REALLY acted like the cast of Jersey Shore or Two and Half Men? It is no wonder these telephone tekkies treat us as if we are in the third grade.
The truth is most of us are broken down into stereotypes. There is the eccentric; that would be your basic weirdo in American terms. The arrogant; the guy who act likes he knows how to solve the problem but really doesn't have a clue. The bumpkin;I guess that would be me, the clueless country boy whose aww shucks accent makes him sound dumber than he really is. There are also the quarrelsome, the prudent, the assertive and the sweet spoken. To the people in the call center in India, that is America. They think even less of Australians if that makes you feel any better.
The average call center worker will spend about 3 weeks learning about his or her clientele, during that time they will live a lifestyle that is slightly below an American prison and just above being homeless. Most of the call center workers that you and I will talk too are working in the middle of the night, after all when it is 5pm Thursday in Lafayette it's 3 in the morning Friday in Delhi.
I do hate the fact that American workers aren't really given a chance at these jobs offered by many large international corporations like Dell, IBM, Target and others. I also know these large corporations couldn't afford to pay an American wage and benefits required to keep quality people employed.
That is the catch, the fly in the ointment if you will. Would you be willing to pay a substantial service fee for tech support? Or pay a fee to find out the balance on your Target gift card? Most of us wouldn't even for the sake of keeping Americans employed.
Still I can't help but feel a bit sorry for the work force of these white collar sweatshops that are in business simply because you and I don't or won't read the darn manual. So the next time you have to call a tech service help line and you notice an accent that sounds like it might be coming from a few miles east of Breaux Bridge, be respectful and kind and just maybe we can change our stereotype one broken printer at a time. Oh yeah, I wouldn't be that #*$ American if I didn't poke a little fun at the whole process with this highly amusing video! Word of caution there is a bit of naughty language right at the end of the clip, nothing you wouldn't hear on Jersey Shore though.