Thursday, October 18, 2007


While trying to place a call today to the Sales Audit section of my company's Finance Department, I came to a very frustrating and disgusting realization: my company's Finance Department has been completely outsourced to some place in India. The person that answered my call could barely understand what I was trying to ask her. I had to repeat my location number for her several times before she finally caught what I was saying. She then directed me to call an extension that doesn't even exist to receive the assistance I was seeking.

This was shocking, first of all, because just over a week ago I received an email from my Sales Audit representative asking for information about a deposit. I haven't even had time to research and respond to her request. So I attempted to send her an email asking her for a little help with my issue, and received a failure notice that her email address was invalid.

She -- along with several others -- is apparently gone. No announcement. No notice given that this department was being outsourced. But there was apparently plenty of notice given to those to whom we have outsourced, because supervisors were flown in from India to our corporate headquarters to be trained on how to train their people to perform the tasks we ask them to perform.

I'm here to tell you, the training didn't do the trick. Not only could this individual that answered my call barely speak or understand English, she had no idea how to deal with the issue I had, then directed me to a non-existent extension (there was one digit too many in the extension number) to get assistance. Whomever trained her, if anyone, seems to need a little re-training, as well.

But wait, it doesn't end there. Moments later, while I still sat there trying to figure out how to resolve the issue at hand, my office phone rang (which is a rare occurrence). It was a representative from Sales Audit calling. A new representative from the newly outsourced Sales Audit section, that is. He spoke slightly better English than the first representative had, and he was calling to check on a deposit discrepancy that had been reported by the bank. I think. See, he didn't really get to the point before saying, "Hello?" and then cutting me off. He apparently wasn't even trained on how to properly operate the telephone system.

He tried to call back, I believe, but I couldn't swear to it, because I didn't answer the phone. I was on the phone trying to find someone in the Sales Audit section who still knows how to do his/her job. I just let the other line ring in the background until the caller gave up and hung up the phone.

As I said, this not only frustrates, but also disgusts me immensely! I'm a businessman, and I understand the benefits of outsourcing certain functions. Call centers are all too frequently outsourced to far away lands where underpaid employees can perform menial tasks for a much lower cost than their American-born counterparts can do. But these are jobs. These are American jobs. These are fellow Americans with whom I have worked for several years who are no longer employed because someone who sits high in his corporate office somewhere has decided that they were no longer key people in the organization. These are people who in the past have been very helpful in assisting myself and my contemporaries when issues arise that are beyond our scope of the business. They were the experts.

Now, in their place, we have individuals who speak very broken English who have never had to deal with the unusual situations that made their predecessors such experts at what they did. Individuals who now have a support job in this company because someone else has been put on the unemployment line.

Frustrated? Yes! Disgusted? Even more so! I can't begin to tell you how much the current wave of outsourcing American jobs to foreign countries ticks me off! But then, if you've been here before, that is certainly no surprise to you.

By the way, I still haven't resolved the issue I had. And I still haven't heard back from the guy checking on the deposit discrepancy. And I can't call him back to check on the issue, because none of the old Sales Audit extensions go anywhere anymore. You better believe I'm disgusted!


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