Outsourcing Naming Conventions

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

Unlike some, I don’t particularly object to outsourcing. If Office Depot wants to hire Indians instead of Americans to answer their phones, that’s OK with me. Working in technology and science for the last twenty years or so, I’m pretty used to Indian accents, and don’t find them any harder to understand than a Texas accent (and considerably easier than a Scottish accent). I do object to bad service, but experience has taught me that an American isn’t any more likely to be able to tell me why they’ve missed two confirmed delivery dates than an Indian is.

However, I really, really hate being lied to. When I talk to someone on the phone, I want to know their name. I can recognize an Indian accent within a few syllables, and I know that Indian men are not customarily named “John Kelly”. Does Office Depot really think I’m that stupid? That just because someone introduces themselves as “Eugene” I’m not going to realize I’m talking to someone in India? The scam is so transparently obvious, it’s almost laughable.

Folks: stop insulting my intelligence. If the the person on the other end of the phone is named Bhaswan or Nirav or Amee, then tell me that. You’re not fooling anyone by insisting your employees use American names. All these little lies do is convince me I can’t trust you for the bigger things either.