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`Gosh, an Indian again!'

Ranjeetha Urs gives an insider's view of a call centre job



Ranjeetha: `Working in a call centre can be enlightening in its own way. ' — Photo: K. Gopinathan

CALL CENTRE jobs enables youngsters to make fast bucks too easily... Call centre workers fag, booze and party a lot... They are impulsive buyers and damn flirtatious... All and sundry with mere communicable English, devoid of aptitude and intelligence, make careers in call centres...

These are only some of the several images that are associated with the centres. While some of them may be true, many are exaggerated or simply imagined.

Image of India

Working in a call centre, in fact, can be enlightening in its own way. As you handle calls from Americans, you get an insight into the true American culture. An average American comes out as more lively and honest than we imagine. True, many of them still imagine India to be an exotic land of snake charmers, fortune tellers, beggars, extravagant palaces, and temples. But as you establish good rapport you sometimes tend to chat informally and know each others' cultures better.

However, not all calls and conversations are pleasant. You can also receive irate and abusive callers.

Sometimes the hatred that they exhibit in their tone on knowing that their call has been routed to India is very stressful. Americans tend to perceive every Indian as one who has denied them their rightful job. Indians are perceived as being solely responsible for the large-scale downsizing in the U.S.A., creating massive unemployment. India become the symbol of nation that sells cheap outsourcing. So, they vent their frustration on the Indian consultants.

One can receive a call, beginning on the lines of "I spoke to a South African a few minutes ago and now I'm speaking to an Indian!" or "Oh gosh, an Indian again! Connect me to an American please... " It's difficult to find the right response in situations of this kind.

Sound Off! is your space. Feel strongly about something bugging you? Then mail us at bangaloremetro@thehindu.co.in, and who knows, you might be featured in this column.

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