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You Outsourced Me Too!

Updated on May 2, 2011

I do not like usually like to weigh in about my strong feelings on keeping jobs and employment local - that is, regional companies who employ local people who then turn around and support the retail in their neighborhoods. But I recently had a few things happen which gave me pause. I was listening to a regional radio station (the one around here that plays a mix and says some really strange things) and they were stopping for station identification. So I hear the call letters and the FM number on the dial and then they say, "We're going to route your call to a call-center in India - just for fun." Yes, it made me laugh. The next day I had to call my credit card company with a question. I was calling in the middle of the day and was somewhat busy, not really concentrating on the call. Then I heard, "Hello, this is Bob. How may I help you today?" Except that he had one of the thickest Indian accents I have ever heard. Plus, Bob ?! This is a traditional Indian name? You have to have a sense of humor. But I was reminded of the gravity of the situation when I spoke with someone later that day. I own a small marketing business and enjoy interacting with clients. One of my clients was telling me about his own experience with outsourcing. He said that his employer had recently brought in a large group of workers from India and he and his colleagues were asked to teach these people so that they could do the same thing in a new division in India.  Hindsight is 20/20, but he didn't see it coming at the time.  You can probably guess what happened next - he and his colleagues were training their replacements.  But these replacements were actually working in India and the whole American division was closed, layoffs or transfers were announced, and many hard-working Americans were now out of work, but their former employer was now spending less on its workforce, so it was happy.  There must be something that we, the people, can do to stop this hemorraging.  I sometimes wonder why, if so many people that I speak with feel the same way, there are those who just want to make more money for themselves and their companies and don't care about us, your average consumers and small business owners and workers and families.  Maybe together we can, simply by sheer numbers, force the companies to think about human beings and not just the "bottom line." 

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