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So many levels of irony. – Why outsourcing has to stop.

May 6th, 2008 by Michiel
OK, I’m out of work and on unemployment. I have been working on the phones in various customer service roles over the last several years. Being that I am unemployed, the state of Texas provides me with a Chase bank card, to pay me the unemployment insurance that is due to me.

So far so good.

Well I was online and had a question about the available balance. Since the Chase website does not show pending charges, I just wanted to confirm what was there, just to make sure I don’t spend more than I have, especially with rent coming up, so I call the bank to speak to someone.

I get a guy who is obviously not from the U.S., which does not mean he is not here in the U.S. But, since they are asking for name and Social Security numbers and account numbers, I thought I would ask where the guy was because I know a lot of fraud and identity theft occur outside of the U.S. Not that someone in the US can not use that same information for fraudulent purposes, I just feel better about it somehow.

So I ask him, “What country are you in?”

“For security purposes, I can not give out that information.”

… (blink) , “You can’t tell me what country you are in?”

“No, sir. For security reasons I can not give the location of this facility.”

“You’re in India, aren’t you?”

“For security purposes, I can not give out that information.”

“Let me talk to your supervisor.”

“I’ll get a supervisor on the line, please hold.”

So, at this point I am hoping to get someone in the U.S. or at least an Indian with a little more sense.

“Hello, my name is (insert generic American sounding name here, I think it was Brett or Brad or Trent or something), I am a supervisor here, how may I help you?”

“Well I had some questions about my account, but I do want to know what country I am calling first, and the previous agent would not tell me. So, first off, I want to know, what country are you in?”

“For security purposes, I can not give out that information.”

“Are you in the U.S.”

“For security purposes, I can not give out that information.”

“Are you in India?”

“For security purposes, I can not provide you with the location of our center.”

“OK, are you on the North American continent?”

“I can not give out that information.”

“What planet are you on?”

“I can not give out that information. Is there something else I can do to assist you?”

… (blink) … (blink) … (jaw very slowly descends to floor) It was somewhere around here that I gave up and told him that, if he can’t tell me what country or planet he is on, that he can not help me period. I ended the call.

I eventually called back and got a nice girl, here in the U.S. She was hoping that she would not get in trouble for providing that information, but she figured that confirming she was in the U.S. was generic enough of a location that she could respond to me.

I just find it ironic that I am having a hard time finding a job doing similar work to the kind of work these people do, thus I am collecting unemployment and having to call India, for support on my unemployment insurance account.

This is just another fine example of how American business practices, and your taxes are working hard to help your fellow Americans live the American Dream. Which reminds me, how much longer until I get my tax rebate check? I can really use that about now, I got some bills to catch up on.

(The system isn’t broken. Go back to sleep America. Everything is fine. There is nothing to see here.)




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31 Responses to “So many levels of irony. – Why outsourcing has to stop.”

  1. AzureLunatic Says:

    That’s unnerving. I work at a job at which I may not give out my facility’s location, but I am allowed to give out the major metropolitan area, which is the same as the company’s headquarters.


  2. paula Says:

    Too much out-sourcing, indeed; but look at it this way: SKIPPY is out-sourcing his blog TO YOU!


    Michiel reply on May 6th, 2008 11:36 am:

    No, he is expanding.


    the Jack reply on June 16th, 2008 8:01 pm:

    No, it is outsourcing to you. For are you not a SOURCE OUTside of the most powerful Skippy?


  3. global linkbuilder Says:

    Whew! This is the hilarious part of outsourcing. Sometimes, it only makes sense that perhaps the olden times are better. At least, when outsourcing was not a trend yet, clients know very well who they are dealing with…”For security purposes, I cannot provide you such information” – doesn’t it sound tricky?


  4. virtual asssistant Says:

    I thought, that’s very significant, that is why he never gave his location.
    Sometimes we don’t blame people, he just only secure his self, right?


    Michiel reply on May 6th, 2008 3:49 pm:


    Seriously though, did you outsource this comment?


  5. web support agent Says:

    Wew. sometimes you can get so much from what you bargain for.


    Michiel reply on May 7th, 2008 2:05 am:

    I totally agree, and like they say, the early bird is worth two in the bush.


  6. A B Says:

    L o friggin L.

    While I agree that outsourcing is crap, didja see the 30 days episode?


    Michiel reply on May 7th, 2008 2:20 am:

    No I did not. Sounds interesting. Care to fill me in on what happened?


    A B reply on May 7th, 2008 3:16 am:

    Well, they sent a dude who had lost his job over to India to live with a family who does telemarketing. He had to apply to get his job, go through language classes (in which he actually had to work on his “accent”) and then do his old job. In the end, he saw so much abject poverty that he said that they could keep the jobs. He went back home to his pregnant wife and daughter… still unemployed. It was kinda depressing. But definately, if you get the opportunity to rent the season, do it. Great shit.


  7. cdt Says:

    gotta love OPSEC….


  8. Graphic Designer Says:

    Yes i agree,. outsourcing is too much, i guess it really need to stop because alsoof the negative effects of outsourcing.


    Michiel reply on May 7th, 2008 2:13 am:

    One of the negative effects of outsourcing is not to be able to understand what person on the other end is try to saying, also they only havening a small knowledge of American English, and usually they can has terrible grammar.

    It is very much like talking to a LOL CATS.


    SKD reply on May 7th, 2008 3:52 am:

    In response to that statement I would like to say that I find that the average American today has a poor knowledge of the English language, American or proper, and an even shakier understanding of basic grammar.

    Again not directed at you or any specific person, just an observation.


  9. SKD Says:

    The funny thing is several companies have been shifting their call centers back to the US due to the problems with foreign outsourced personnel.


  10. Bill Says:

    Sorry to hear your unemployment woes. I used to work at a company that did a lot of call center work and they were also outsourcing due to costs etc., the usual excuses. I however, work in the software world and that area is in such tremendous demand that we bring in over 100,000 workers a year into the US to fill those jobs and those jobs can only go to those workers if there are now candidates that are already citizens. When I post job openings for s/w developers I rarely get local citizen candidates. I also sit on the advisory committee for the local community college and they offer a 2 year programmer course that will land you a job that pays between 40K and 60K / year here in Iowa. Those courses are not real deep and most generally computer literate people could complete them and get a job in the IT industry paying fairly decently and even with some of the outsourcing going on within IT there is still outrageous demand.


  11. Mc900FtJedi Says:

    For security purposes, I can not provide you with a reply.


  12. Analee Says:

    For security purposes, I cannot tell you how much or how loudly I LOL’d at the idea of them not being able to tell you what planet they were on.

    However, I can tell you that I did indeed LOL, and that I am doing so from planet Earth. Hope I don’t get in trouble!


  13. BlackVal Says:

    I used to work in a call center, quit a couple of months before it was shut down for, you guessed it, outsourcing! We were told not to tell people where we were located because of bomb threats, which we unfortunately did get. We all got pretty spooked when people would call in with those, some of them could be pretty nasty and quite graphic…


  14. Samus Says:

    Love the end comments especially. Channeling a bit of Bill Hicks are we, Skippy?

    BTW my nickname used to be Skippy too. Funny. Ha. Ha.


    Michiel reply on May 7th, 2008 5:57 am:

    I’m not Skippy, but yes, after I wrote it, I realized I had totally hacked a bit of Bill Hicks. But since it fit the situation, I kept it.


  15. Tegid Says:

    Whats worse is some of these companies are also outsourcing their accounting/processing stuff to India and having a terrible time getting anything correct back (for security purposes I can’t say which Huge companies)..


  16. Amused Says:

    For security purposes, I damn sure aint giving you my social security and account numbers.

    Here’s your sign.


  17. Outsource IT Provider Says:

    Gosh! This is the uproarious part of outsourcing. Occasionally, it only makes sense that perhaps the olden times are better. At least, when outsourcing was not a drift yet, clients know very well who they are dealing with.


  18. Rebecca Says:

    Hey, if you’re still looking for work, try arise.com!


  19. Snyarhedir Says:

    If someone says that for security purposes, they cannot tell you from what planet they speak with you, chances are that you are dealing with real aliens, intent on or in the process of invasion, or personell outsourced to another planet. Alert the National Guard, the military, the United Nations, the Department of Homeland Security and as many other organizations as practical. The source of the call should probably be bombarded out of existence.


  20. Snyarhedir Says:

    Forget personel outsourcing and India; we need to get all our manufacturing out of China! (Otherwise, Japan should disenfranchise the Nintendo, Sony, Sega, et al companies of America until we do.)


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  22. Jonathan Ginsburg Says:

    So, they cannot confirm that they are on this planet… So are they illegal aliens? (Bad joke I know.)


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