Offshoring is "Psychologically Disturbing"

This has come to an ugly head in recent years with the mass offshoring of U.S. call center jobs. These workers answer questions that American consumers have about their phone bills, computers, credit cards, insurance polices, etc. Curious about a long-distance charge on your phone bill? If you call your company's toll-free service number, you're likely to reach someone like Rahail Manzoor in India.


An Indian trade group says there are 350,000 people there working in such back-office service jobs for U.S. corporations, and the number is expected to grow by 40 percent this year alone. The corporations are tapping India's vast pool of workers who are English-speaking, tech-savvy... and cheap.


But these workers are also nervous wrecks, for they know that Americans are very angry about the offshoring of middle-class jobs--and American callers often take out their anger on them, using creative combinations of four-letter words. The Indian call centers try deception to deflect this anger. Rahail Manzoor, for example, is told to call himself "Jim" on the phone, and he has undergone lessons in how to speak "American." Some call centers have giant TV screens showing the current weather in U.S. cities, the latest sports scores, and such, so workers can make small talk and pretend to be in the U.S.

But many callers know better and berate the poor operators, who are under such stress that they suffer all sorts of debilitating illnesses. It's "psychologically disturbing," says Manzoor.

It's also psychologically disturbing for Americans to see our middle-class future exported, while CEOs calmly count the billions of dollars that they rake in by pitting us against the Indians. To help unite workers here and there, call the AFL-CIO's international department: 202-637-5050.


#story_page_ below_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.