Saturday, October 29, 2005

Esquire on outsourcing...

I used to love reading the Esquire. It fell somewhere in the penumbral region between Playboy and Time. I still love reading it, if I can get hold of a copy, that is. But this terse article by one of Esquire’s pontificating editors methinks is too tongue-in-cheek and critical of the work I do as an outsourcing papi-pet-ka-sawal-walla in a BPO unit. So go here and read what A. J. Jacobs has to say about the growing Indian outsourcing boom.


“The next day I email Brickwork, one of the companies Friedman mentions in his book. Brickwork — based in Bangalore, India — offers "remote executive assistants," mostly to financial firms and health-care companies that want data processed. I explain that I'd like to hire someone to help with Esquire-related tasks — doing research, formatting memos, like that. The company's CEO, Vivek Kulkarni, responds: "It would be a great pleasure to be talking to a person of your stature." Already I'm liking this. I've never had stature before. In America, I barely command respect from a Bennigan's maître d', so it's nice to know that in India I have stature.
“A couple of days later, I get an email from my new "remote executive assistant."
“Dear Jacobs, My name is Honey K. Balani. I would be assisting you in your editorial and personal job. . . . I would try to adapt myself as per your requirements that would lead to desired satisfaction.
“Desired satisfaction. This is great. Back when I worked at an office, I had assistants, but there was never any talk of desired satisfaction. In fact, if anyone ever used the phrase "desired satisfaction," we'd all end up in a solemn meeting with HR. And I won't even comment on the name Honey except to say that, real or not, it sure carries Anaïs Nin undertones.”


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