Some little time ago his Worshipful Honour our LordBeariOfBow looked down from on top of his horse High Dudgeon and bemoaned the existence of off-shore call centres. His story of woe was called It’s official. I’m a racist!
I agree with him in most things although there are one or two important differences between us. I agree that off-shore call centres are an anathema. This country has a problem with unemployment and it seems to be the height of selfishness to send hundreds of jobs overseas when the only reason is to benefit the bottom line for the shareholders. I am not a shareholder. So I don’t like the concept. We have built a society of ‘haves and have-nots’ and that horse has bolted, that door is shut and that ship has sailed.
But I have one story that I would like to tell about one encounter I had with an off-shore call centre.
I used to live about fifteen kms outside Ballarat. I had a problem with my internet connection and so I rang my provider. The lady who answered the phone had a foreign accent but she was polite and interested. She told me to hang up and she wanted to check the connection between the main computer and the line to Ballarat. She rang back in one minute and told me that was clear. She then wanted to check the connection between Ballarat and Burrumbeet. Burrumbeet is a locality rather than a village and the exchange was a small box about 2 metres by 4 metres. It was a box. No people were there. She rang back and said that was clear.
By this stage I was wondering where she was and I asked. She was in the Philippines. She couldn’t explain how she knew that I lived only one kilometre across the paddocks from the exchange. But she knew. She then told me to hang up again and she would check the line from the exchange to my house.
The line was clear. Therefore, she told me, the problem must be inside my house and she could not check that. However she would see if there was a technician available who would contact me with three days.
I hung up and thought that, in keeping with other experiences of technicians, the three days would blow out to a very long time.
A half an hour later a very Australian technician rang, told me he had finished work for the day, that he lived “a couple of minutes down the road” from me and could he drop in on his way home. Ten minutes later he arrived, checked my phone line inside the house, told me my modem was ‘cactus’ unplugged it, went outside and got a new one, plugged it in, said “ooroo” and went on his way.
I sent in a comment of appreciation and two days later Juanita rang me to thank me for my comment. We usually only get complaints she told me.