Last week, the internet went down in the office. Before I could begin to panic because I couldn't get my daily tour de France report as well as my horoscope, the highly efficient office manager was on the phone with the IT support guys, the DSL company, then back to the IT guys, then back to the DSL company.
Always the able wingman, I played Spider Solitaire (Christ, that's addictive) but was ready to jump into action should the need arise. I was like a snake---resting, resting, resting, then SMACK!
While calling the DSL company, the intrepid office manager (who I will call Om—like the yoga chant for the rest of this piece) spoke first to a recorded voice which had a semi-real ‘uhmmmm' when stalling for time. Then, she got on the phone with the customer service call center.
Have you ever been frustrated, then gotten more and more frustrated as the layers of bullshit piled onto what had started out as only slightly frustrating? I got to witness Om's rapid transformation from simmer to full-on boil as her voice got louder and louder and the phone got wedged tighter and tighter to her ear.
After she hung up and let out a frustration releasing AGHHHHH, she cursed globalization and outsourcing. She told me she had just gotten off the phone with Jeff. When she asked Jeff where in the world he was, he told her he was in ‘a globally located location'.
A globally located location. Okay. So Jeff is not on the moon then. Globally located location. I shouldn't be too hard on Jeff. After all, aren't we all in some globally located location somewhere?
I had to laugh. In my quiet office, I had stumbled upon something so completely absurd that it was actually quite brilliant. I couldn't make that shit up. I'm not that good.
Globally located location. Why couldn't Jeff's supervisor just let him tell the truth? After all, if you can help me solve my problem, I don't really care where you are.
Jeff could just say: ‘My name's Mahatma. I'm in India, but to make our conversation easier, you can just call me, Jeff.'
Om's frustration was also not helped by every piece of information being following by ‘are you getting me?' or ‘get it?' Obviously, the call center was taught some American slang. Unfortunately, this is slang that Americans don't use in a business environment, so what is supposed to be helpful and comforting sounded strange.
Ever the optimist, I think globally located call centers could work. I personally would like just a little bit more honesty in the whole proceedings. I wouldn't mind knowing what the weather's like in India or how someone is doing. I can even deal with the Queen's English. Just help me solve my pesky problem.
Om did manage to get the internet back up by doing something. After all that globe trekking, the answer was only a click away.