Om Malik on the Dark Side of Outsourcing

om malikOm Malik, who has taken me to task in the past, is in Delhi and has a great blog post on outsourcing today:

One thing which i saw was how young many of the call center workers are. They come from small towns which dot the landscape outside Delhi. If they lived at home, there would be no hope of ever finding a job. So they come to New Delhi. They live four to a house, sometimes more, and are driven to their subruban call centers in Toyota SUVs and most of the time eat there. They make about $500 a month, a fortune in local currency if you are young. They have a cell phones, and their accents have been replaced by their adopted accents. They wear expensive clothes, though they are not stylish. The dark circles under their eyes gives them away.

Here I got to talk to many who answer my phone calls whenever I have a question about my Amex Bill. Amid their sometimes drunken but polite arguments, you hear the cry for help. The constant pressure of trying to be someone else, faking accents and trying to deal with the abusive behavior of their customers, you find many are crumbling. The late nights, cooped up in cool but antiseptic halls, the call center workers are turning to drink, drugs and sex to find some meaning to their lives.

Leave a Reply