Saturday, March 06, 2004

Beware of the New Telemarketer

I'm a capitalist, at heart. After all, my Associates Degree is in Economics. I believe in an open-market, supply and demand will balance out the new world economy being created through globalization. However, in the short-term, it is scary. Jobs in the United  States are being sent over seas. An article written by Mike Dolan of Reuters, "Flight of Office Jobs Intensifies Globalization," succinctly defines what is now occurring. "Over the past year, U.S and European firms have announced the relocation of tens of thousands of technology, backoffice, and call-center jobs to emerging hi-tech centers like Bangalore and Bombay in booming India."


First it was manufacturing, now service related jobs, which we thought were immune to the exodus, are being sent to places like India.  I try to look to the long-term benefits that this will afford the world as a whole. A line from the article, articulates what I try to feel about the matter, "One more job in  India does not mean one less job here. It means instead one less Indian family in poverty, one more customer for our goods. Not jobs lost, but opportunities found." As I try to embrace this short-term shifting in the world economy with excitement and hope that the United States will be fine, that we will find our niche in the new economy and continue to be the great nation that we always have been, a new more personal fear was uncovered the other night when I received a phone call.


The caller, with a thick Indian accent, said "Hello, Roberta K---" I am calling on behalf of Capital One." I thought oh no, hang up the phone, like you always do. Don't even bother. You hate telemarketers. You've become quite good at blocking their intrusive banter. But, I wavered in my convictionfor a second before saying. "I'm not interested." "But, thank you." Then I guiltily hung up the phone, pausing as I was about to place it on the base, concerned that they were still talking.


After hanging up the phone, I pondered what had weakened my resolve. How could I waiver in my conviction? Where was my toughness? I had to find it, or next time they might get me. I might actually buy into the $79 a year plan for the discount and four free tanks of gas, or say yes to the credit card with interest rates that are absurd beyond belief. What was it? When did I change?


That's when I realized it wasn't me. It was them. It was the new economy that had snared me. You see, I've known several Indians in my life. They are the most gracious and hospitable people I have ever met.  When someone is so kind and warm, it's hard to be rude and obnoxious, the very weapons that I use in my defense against telemarketers. Now, I'm left to wonder if I should change my opinions about globalization.  My pocketbook is defenseless against it as it stands now. I am once again feeling like I should embrace isolationism. Globalization really isn't all that good, now that it's hitting me so close to home.


lisbnjvi said...

This is a tough entry to really comment on as you will get people angry either way. You are one brave woman! I don't support companies sending their work out of this country, not one bit. As someone whose husband works for HASBRO/Milton Bradley that threat is over his head every single day that he goes into work. I believe that HASBRO will inevitably send their work overseas though because it's all about saving the "almighty dollar" in the end isn't it?! Did you read the statistic that companies who do this save 40-50% on salaries AND benefits?! It is actually sickening to me.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for bettering another country that is poverty stricken, but not with OUR jobs and OUR pay! Enough said, I am sure I already said to much. Very sensitive topic.
Hugs and love, Lisa

karensull12 said...

Do you have the option to sign up for the "no call" list that stops telemarketers from calling. I signed up for as soon as I could and those calls have completely stopped coming into my home. Before registering, I was getting approximately 5-10 calls per day, and I became an expert at saying, "thanks, but not thanks" and hanging up immediately.

babyshark28 said...

isolationism.....what does that mean... to be isolated???

anyway..I understand with the different dialog....
when I called aol to get my password taken care of, it was an east indian dialect. but, I didn't feel any sympathy because his english was so bad I couldn't hardly understand him. He began yelling when I kept saying "what?" I wanted to hang up on him....but, I didn't because I wanted my password. :P

deabvt said...

Karensull is right. The No Call list has stopped these harassing phone calls for me.Have you signed up yet? Good post!

lucylouladybug said...

I don't talk to them at all. Caller ID and answering machines, what an invention. But I used to listen and now, if I do get caught with one, and they ask for me, I tell them that "she doesn't live her anymore," and hang up. I despise them.

barebytes said...

I'm one of those that hang up....I think that telemarketing is an invasion of MY space. Hugs Lanny

itsjustusinnc said...

Honey, the No-Call list is a godsend! Both for ME AND the telemarketers who don't have to be subjected to my verbal abuse any more. LOL! Sign up for it! It works like a charm. I'll swear to it on a stack of Bibles! :-)


queenz43 said...

Robbie, I thought this entry most interesting. Showed a good reason to really accquiant ourselves with the whole Globalization issue. Thanks,

kingme2000 said...

As consummers we vote every time we shop as to how much of our income we are willing to use to support our neighbors, friends and family. First problem is finding things that are made here. Second problem is the percentage of our disposable income that is required to buy items made here. We would all have to get a raise to buy things made here, which makes the cost go up, which means another raise, cost increase, on and on.

kingme2000 said...

OR we live without all the material things we just have to have to exist. The real threat is if a foriegn power decides to influence our policies so we can get dog chew toys and VCRs for cheap. What if the Chinese decided to quit making shoes? The US would have a long way to go to replace the industrial base that has been lost and the cost of wages, training, buying equipment and building factories would dwarf in comparison to the cost driven by demand and shortage of supply.

ckays1967 said...

or there is always what we've done....cell phones and high speed cable for the computer. Now if I could eliminate junk e-mail and snail mail I'd be hassle free.

bridgetteleigh75 said...

My dad lost his job last year, after a 25+ year stent. The plant where he has worked since before I was born relocated to Germany. It hit him hard. It's difficult to re-think your life at 45 years of age. Luckily, the plant is paying for him to become college educated. He's looking into electronics.

There just aren't any jobs. This is the worst economy I've ever seen. And as for Indian accents...when I called AOL the other day about changing to BYOA...the lady I spoke to had a very thick Indian accent. And you're right...they are a gracious, warm people.

metski715 said...

How funny! I have a Capital One card and went through the whole sign up thing with a guy from India. My complaint is this, every other sentence I was like "Excuse me, what did you say?" A typical 2 minute conversation turned into a 15 minute one. And what made it even worse was that I took the call on my cell phone and really had a hard time hearing him in general.
I dont have a problem with them taking the calls, but it would make it a lot better if you knew what was being said half the time.

gingergirl05 said...

My mother has worked for a telemarketing company for 14 years. That job kept us alive, so I can't be one to hate the telemarketers. The company that she works for does fund raising for a number of causes, such as Consumer Reports and March of Dimes. Just recently the company was sold to an Indian man. It seems to be that they are taking over the industry, and moving it right on out of this country. We apparently are not going to regain the jobs that weasel their way across the boarders, which is why we need a president who is going to brainstorm some new ideas for this country's economy.

I do agree with what Chris said, I really can't understand half of the telemarketers that call here. It's really difficult to decipher their words. ~ Kate xo

mw15mw99 said...

I have mixed feelings on this. I was just so upset when my mom told me her latest telemarketer story. She is always kind to everyone, and realizes that they are people just trying to make a living. So she doesn't hang up on them, she just nicely tells them no thank you. BUT the last one that she told me about upset me. The person called & said that someone had paid for 3 satellite dishes and the installation and the first 3 months of service......they will be in the neighbor hood Tuesday and Wednesday...which is better for them to come install. they made is sound that all this was already approved and they were just scheduling an appointment.---- My mom new better...because none of her kids or friends would have done this without talking to her first. This was just another sales technique. I was so upset because sometimes elderly people get hit the hardest and on a fixed income....she can't afford the monthly payment after that...and then she is stuck with the hassle of getting it disconnected. OMG!!!! This telemarketer was just doing their job, and reading a really not aimed at that person...more the company.

krobbie67 said...

RC: I think we should all acquaint ourselves with the issues surrounding globalization. There’s a lot of good and bad involved in the topic. Through knowledge, hopefully, we can make the right decisions as a nation.

LANNY: I too think telemarketing is an invasion. If I want to buy something, I will go to you when I have the time. I don’t want you to come hunt me down, especially at inappropriate times like when I’m eating dinner.

PENNY: Believe it, or not, I don’t have Caller ID. I figure if I want to answer the phone I will and if someone doesn’t leave a message when I let the call go to my answering machine, I really don’t care who called.

BABYSHARK: Isolationism is an expansive term used predominantly in politically related issues. And, yes, it essentially means to isolate ourselves from involvement in world affairs. With trade related issues, it usually involves creating Tariffs that hinder exporting or importing to reflect our policies concerning those issues.

KAREN ~ VINCE ~ GREGG: I’m not sure if I have the option, or not. For some reason I am thinking that it was discontinued in California. I haven’t really explored that option though. I am slow to jump on the band-wagon for new things such as the “Do Not Call” List because I like to wait and see what the implications are.

LISA: This is definitely a sensitive topic but I’m all for exploring sensitive issues. I like to hear people’s opinions. I think it helps me to explore arguments that I might not otherwise. I appreciate you sharing your concerns with me. It is scary. My brother was laid off from Merck recently. My Uncle worked for RCA for years and then it was bought out by a foreign firm, eventually he was laid off too. I’ve been laid off twice in my life and it’s not an enjoyable experience.

krobbie67 said...

CHRISTINA: For me it’s junk mail via the snail mail route. If I could get rid of one item, it would be that. The amount of garbage it generates in my household for one week is astounding.

KINGME: Indeed it is difficult to find products made here, or not for that matter. Often times, items like cars which we could once easily identify as to where it was made is no longer all that easy. Many domestic cars are assembled here of parts manufactured abroad and the inverse also occurs. Not all things made here are more expensive though. Personally, I don’t consider VCRs and Dog Chew Toys as materials that we need to exist. Shoes, however, are another story. However, even the market for those has yet to be cornered by Chinese manufacturing. In addition, many of the items manufactured abroad are manufactured by domestic corporations. One of the good things, or in your assessment, bad things about globalization is the political aspect of it. A foreign country could attempt to influence our policies, just as we are currently attempting in places like Cuba. The last I heard the European Union was considering placing an embargo on the U.S., the specifics however escape me. The short-term affects of such things can be a hardship for us and that is why I used the word try quite a bit in my entry. Although I agree with the theoretical aspects of globalization it is still somewhat scary what the implications could mean in the short-term.

krobbie67 said...

KATE: I think it is hideous when companies use tactics such as that to make a sale. I have a friend who worked as a telemarketer and he clued me in on a lot of the slimy techniques that some companies use to make a sale. And, sad to say, some of these companies intentionally target senior citizens. Thank goodness your mom was smart enough to thwart this attempt to scam her.

GINGERGIRL: I admire your mom for being able to do what she does. Any kind of sales is a difficult field to be in. I personally try to get a telemarketer off the phone, if they reach me, as quickly as possible, more for their benefit than mine. I am not open to buying anything over the phone, as such I figure it is in their best interest to move on to someone who is open.

CHRIS: I sure hope they didn’t call you on your cell-phone. I believe soliciting via cell phones is illegal. I’ve been exposed to a lot of people with accents so I am lucky in that I typically can understand what people are saying. However, I noticed it does seem to be more difficult over the phone.

BRIDGETT: Lay-offs are the unfortunate consequence we are seeing as a result of jobs being relocated. Both my brother and uncle have been affected in recent years. It use to be just manufacturing jobs, but with back-office items being sent overseas there is even more who have to live in fear of losing their jobs. I saw a story not long ago where the state of New Jersey had outsourced some of its back-office operations to a company that eventually took its operations overseas. The taxpayers put up such a fight that the operations were finally brought back stateside.

musenla said...

Globalization is a reality that's started to hit us in the pocket. It will take a while before the trickle down effect of its benefits come back to us full circle in the form of more exports to those countries which will have more expendable income because of all the jobs they are now getting from overseas corporations.

I really don't have a problem with globalization, EXCEPT that those corporations are not practicing fair trade. They go overseas because they can hire unlimited manpower for practically nothing. It's akin to legalized slavery, and our government is looking the other way because it's in bed with special interests.

nikki247 said...

LOL -- I **CRINGE** to say this but I used to be a telemarketer for MBNA. I would call up people and try to sign people up for credit cards - I never felt it was a honest living so I ended up quitting - BUT - it was really good money for an 18 year old -- I have tried to be nice to telemarketers because, hey, I know how they feel - BUT sometimes, they just don't get it and play on my niceness - SO I am officially on the "DO NOT CALL" list :)

krobbie67 said...

NIKKI: I admire people who make a living through sales of any kind. It’s an ego deflating occupation. I try to be nice to telemarketers too. Some can be very obnoxious though and those that try to slam me down right piss me off!

MUSE: My hope is that globalization will bring everyone to a level playing field eventually. The downside of globalization right now is the unfair labor practices of many countries and the companies who go there to take advantage of these practices. We’ve discussed this aspect of it a lot in my various classes. The business aspect and ethical aspect of a company who compromises ethics in order to enhance the bottom line is a hot topic. As a consumer, I try to avoid companies that are taking advantage of such things. Sometimes, I feel frustrated though because it’s so hard to stay on top of it all.

wessolo said...

Isn't this a fascinating topic to debate? I have yet to form a firm stance either way, although I think I also tend to lean toward keeping jobs ashore, at least while we have such a shortage of employment as it is. There are arguments to be made that globalization is just the next step in a truly free enterprising economic system, and that our history is filled with examples of job outsourcing. It's unavoidable in laissez faire capitalism. I'm not so left wing bent that I can't see the logic in finding cheaper labor. So far it hasn't permanently destroyed our workforce's chance at jobs. However, the impetus is then on American corporations to sink these long-term profits into better paying jobs and increased development here at home, not into the pockets of greedy CEO's and shareholders. Hopefully America can be a leader in creating a truly free, global economy, all the while maintaining a commitment to protecting and promoting its own citizens. It's a tough balance.
- Solo

krobbie67 said...

SOLO: Indeed! Unfortunately, any cost cutting measure ultimately seems to make the "Fat Cats" fatter and the "Average Joe" poorer and harder worked. My primary concern with globalization is the amount of autonomy we will lose politically. Organizations such as WTO, WHO, IMF, and even the EU and UN are establishing policies by individuals who are appointed and not elected. As such, direct representation is slowly being eroded. Although, with an electorate college, another sour point for me, we don't exactly have direct representation either. Otherwise, the people's vote would have insured Bush's defeat in 2000. Thanks for commenting! I've never seen you around my digs. For awhile I thought maybe you thought I was Robbygoe. :-) ---Robbie