It was a Thursday afternoon, or at least that is what I though in the dream. I was rowing my boat around San Francisco out of the bay and into the ocean. I rowed under the Golden Gate Bridge. There was a huge ship out there. It didn’t seem to be going anywhere. It just sat there — floating. What could it be? I rowed closer and closer. Remember that this is a dream, and I row fast in dreams. My boat glided at what must have been 40 miles per hour with very infrequent pulling on the oars. In about 20 seconds, I made it to the boat. It was in international waters. There was a dotted line in the ocean demarcating where the international lines were. In real life, it would have been a lot further away from land — thank god for dreams!
The boat had lots of people from India and the Philippines on it looking over the railing. They sent down ropes to hoist my boat up. Once I was on deck, I asked what they were doing in the boat. They said, “Oh, this is the Outsourcing Boat, we do outsourcing here. We couldn’t get our H1 to work in America, so we do all of our work in international waters here in this boat. Our clients can come visit us here if they want. They like the comfort of knowing where we are and who we are and meeting all of us.”
I said that it was good that people knew where they were, otherwise they might be thought of as a fly-by-night operation.
Sujata corrected me, “No, we are not a fly-by-night operation… we are a row-by-night operation.. this is the Outsourcing Boat, not the Outsourcing plane.” I said, “Wow, it is sort of like the Love Boat, except you do outsourcing!” Sujata once again corrected me and said, “Well, we love doing outsourcing!” Maybe it should be called the Love Outsourcing Boat or the S.S. H-1.
So, I was given a tour of the boat. The deck was for relaxing and eating, not to mention meeting with clients. I saw many bosses from American companies who were given a complimentary motorboat ride from the docks to meet project managers on the boat. They were enjoying this stylish way of getting their work done. I ordered a lemonade while on deck. Sujata instructed me to call the 800 number to get my lemonade. They didn’t have waiters on this boat, that job was outsourced to their call center downstairs.
Me: “Hi, I would like one lemonade”
Call Center: “No problem, one lemonade coming up”
Me: “Do you need to know what table I am at?”
Call Center: “No, my phone system shows that you are at table 41.”
Then, a guy with a gps-tracking device found my table and delivered my lemonade. Wow! They outsourced a waiter’s job!
Next, Sujata showed me what was going on below deck. We went into an elevator, and went down one floor. This was the IT floor. There were hundreds of smaller rooms filled with geeky looking people staring at computer screens. There were meeting rooms, server rooms, and even a few small kitchen rooms. After that, we went down another floor. That was the outsourced Accounting floor. There were chartered accountants from India specializing in U.S. taxation, payroll, and other bookkeeping tasks. The next floor down was getting closer to the boiler room (no pun intended). This was the call center floor. I met Anna. She was from a small island in the Philippines where they eat rice, fish and coconuts all day long. She wanted a more interesting life, so now she lives on a huge boat. Anna was the one who took my order for a lemonade. The next floor down was the actual boiler room.
Sujata said that every day she looked at the land and wondered what it would be like to step onto land in America. I told here that America is huge and there are so many vastly different places, each one of them very unique. Then I was driving through the desert in New Mexico. This is what happens when you dream — there is no logical connection between different parts of the dream.
When I woke up, I went to my dream journal and documented my whole adventure. I thought that maybe in real life someone should invent something like an Outsourcing Boat. It is a great way to get around the red tape of visa restrictions. Think of how much stronger the American economy could be if anyone could come and work here with no conditions! No more waiting forever for the plumber to come! The next day, I actually needed a plumber — I called the 800 number and the voice who received me said, “Hello, thank you for calling A1 Plumbing, this is Sujata, may I help you?”
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