Diwalli reverse outsourcing
Here is my comic idea for an outsourcing swap between America and India.
America normally outsources its work to India. But, as India grows more wealthy, and since they take many days off for Diwalli yearly, it might be practical if America relieves them for a week or two during their festivities and take over their work.
A call center in India leaves their work to an American call center. But, the customers who call in are accustomed to calling India and talking to people with fake American names and thick Indian accents. This substitute call center in Memphis is going to have to learn how to sound like the original.
Manager: Okay Ema-Sue, we need you to be “Sujata” and talk exactly like her, using exactly the same diction.
Emma-Sue: All-right, I guess I could try, but it sure won’t come naturally to me, y’know, being born and bred in the South.
Manager: Its okay, because Sujata is also born and bred in the South… of India that is.
Emma-Sue: Just tell me what you need me to say.
Manager: Okay… Sujata’s work name is Mary Smith. But you have to say it like she would. Here is a tape recording of how Sujata says it..
Emma-Sue: Okay, I think I have got it. Hello, this is Mary Smith, may I help you?
Manager: Hmm.. This is not working. You don’t sound like her. What can we do? I have an idea.. We’ll have you watch Indian movies in English for the entire weekend, and then you can wear a sari with a bindi, and have a Ganesh next to you.
Emma-Sue: A what?
Manager: The Ganesh is a god that looks like an elephant. People worship him by chanting.
Emma-Sue: Oh, I love elephants, and chanting sounds fun!!!
————— Emma-Sue spends the weekend watching Indian movies and returns on Monday—–
Emma-Sue: I have been watching Bollywood and practicing my Sujata accent all weekend. I bought this Maharastrian sari that is five meters long, and I now am the proud owner of a Ganesh. Lets try this again. Tell me how I’m doing. Hello, this is Mary Smith, may I help you?
Manager: This is much better, but you are still not capturing Sujata’s essense. Hmm. How can I solve this problem Let me think about it.
Emma-Sue: Maybe you should meditate, they do that a lot in India.
Manager: Now you are talking. Although I don’t think that call center employees meditate, I think its the Yogis, but thats immaterial.
—————— After an hour of silent meditation ————————————————————–
Manager: I have the answer. We’re going to learn tonality. Just make your voice go up and down like this. He-llo, my name is Ma-ry Smith
Emma-Sue: Okay…. Hello, my name is Mary Smith.
Manager: It is still getting better, but thats not it. I’m really stumped.
Emma-Sue: Please don’t give up on me… You know I love my job.
Manager: Okay… I’ll meditate for another hour and ask the gods what to do.
Emma-Sue: Now you are talking. Just make sure you ask the right gods, there are so many of them!
————— Another hour of silent meditation —————————————————-
Manager: A particular god came to me in meditation. I’m not sure who he was. He didn’t announce himself or anything. He just appeared to me and he kept bobbing his head back and forth like they do in India.
Emma-Sue: Maybe thats the answer. Maybe thats it. Thats it….Thats it.
Manager: Whats it?
Emma-Sue: If I bob my head back and forth like they do, I’ll be able to talk like Sujata talks?
Emma-Sue: Yeah…. thats it… let me try.
Emma-Sue: —–bobbing her head back and forth…. Hello, this is Mary Smith, may I help you?
Manager: Wow…. that was perfect!!!! How did you do that? If I were talking to you over the phone, I would think you were the real Sujata!!! Amazing. I’ll have to call corporate and tell them the news! Lets hear you on a real call!
Caller: Hello, I’m having a problem with my phone. I don’t hear a lot of static. Am I calling America? I though our call center was in India.
Emma-Sue: Hello, this is Mary Smith, and … I will be your technical support representitive today. How are you doing?
Caller: I”m doin’ just fine! Where am I calling?
Emma-Sue: Oh, I am most terribly sorry, I am not at liberty to disclose that ma’am.
Caller: Oh… with that diction I must be callin’ India. These phone connections are getting so clear, I would swear that you were right here in Memphis several blocks from our local rib shack.
Emma-Sue: Oh no, I am so sorry to here that you live next to a shanty town, I’m sure your luck will improve.
Caller: Shanty town? What?
Emma-Sue: It is so sad that you live nearby all of those shacks, the poverty, it is soooo depressing, really.
Caller: Oh no, its not a shanty town, its a place where you get baby back pork ribs. Its a delicacy round here.
Emma-Sue: Pork? Oh my god, I would never…… oh… that is against,, oh never mind. In any case, I am happy to inform you that the problem with your phone was basically discovered by a technition in New– Ark and it is basically scheduled to be fixed on Tuesday morning. The problem is not within the lineage in your residence, but in the outside line. Please kindly just wait until tomorrow and simply let our technition fix the issue.
Caller: That was easy, y’all found the problem before I even knew about it. But, New… Ark? What is that?
Emma-Sue: Yes, yes, it was initally discovered in its initial stage initially in … New…..Ark… I believe this is a very famous metropolitan area within the province of New Jer—sey, so kindly just wait until tomorrow.
Caller: Oh…. Newark.. I didn’t understand you. I thought you were talking about an ark that was new! Ha haa… wait until I tell Jethro, that’ll just tickly his fancy hearin’ about that. ha ha!!!
Emma-Sue: Yes, I am very pleased that I had the opportunity to tickle your fancy. Our fancy would also be mutually tickled if you would like to participate in our customer satisfaction survey. It will only take a minute. Or as you say in America. I will take one New York minute.
Caller: Sure… I’ll do it.
Survey Clerk: Hello Mrs Anderson, we just wanted to ask you about your customer satisfaction.
Caller: Well at first, the line was so clear, I thought I was calling America… and that bothered me because I have been used to getting customer service from India for the last twenty years and would feel alienated if I had it any other way. The lady I spoke to was really nice. Its just that I have to remember not to use the wrong vocabulary with certain folks. Words like, “Beef” and “Pork” just rub people the wrong. way…Boy, I’m getting hungry.
Survey Clerk: Oh, I’m MOST terribly sorry that we brought up beef and pork. I assure you that it will never happen again, and I will take this matter up with management immediately. Thank you so much and have an excellent remainder of your day.