When you go to an auto shop, you outsource doing your own oil changes. When you get a salon, you are outsourcing a job you could do yourself. It’s the same when you hire gardeners to do your yard.

It’s funny how, two to three generations ago, such ideas were unheard of.

Our grandparents all did their own gardening and other chores so why aren’t we?  It’s simply because someone else can do it better than us and does it more cheaply than we ever could.

In other cases, we just don’t want to do it but acknowledge that certain tasks need to be taken care of. The only reason why we’ve never called it ‘outsourcing’ is because it’s simple, so common. We take it for granted. But the truth is, that’s what outsourcing really looks like when you shrink it down.

Hence, it’s really strange why it created so many stereotypes. Maybe it’s just normal. May be it’s human. After all, it’s not exactly easy assessing hundreds or even thousands of different kinds of differently cultured personality types without offending anybody. So let’s get down to it. Why are these stereotypes there? What is it about outsourcing the really just brings out the funny caricatures and the comedy routines?

Accent

People have different tastes and different reactions to music. How much more when hearing different accents? When we encounter people who speak one language but simply have this strong accent imprinted on it, it’s very unnerving.

And of course, it’s not professional. It’s not soothing to our ears. It’s why offshore call centers are always called on to improve their training programs.

Here’s a well-known fact about accents though: They’re acquired.

Here’s another one about the bias against them: It’s also acquired.

You grew up in one neighborhood. They grew up in another one. The difference is that people spoke differently. That’s it.

When you’re surrounded by people who speak the same way as you, you tend take the sounds for granted. That’s why hearing an accent on a phone is little bit disruptive to your usual routine. On the other hand, don’t be too hard on the other guy on the line. He’s probably thinking the same way about you. In most offshore countries, working in an outsourced position is relatively a new thing that drives their voice to get out of their neighborhood just for a decent income.

Salary

Speaking of which though, the fact that every country has different currency values never ceases to rock the outsourcing industry. Any leading country will have the highest rate for their own currency especially if their economy is always at the top.

But when an outsourced worker is looking for a job (and knows that their average pay is three time slower than their developed counterparts) there’s a misconception that they are really underqualified or have lower than average skills.

Clearly, the greater economic factors aren’t being ignored. So as far as this is concerned, stereotypes around correlation between quality and wages probably have the shakiest basis.

Job Availability

Each country’s specialty in their economic growth is different. Look what happened to the United States’ industrial economy, now hailed as a leading member for innovations in global technology.

Other leading countries have taken similar shifts in different industries as well. Still, developing nations have yet to match up to the likes of the G7. That’s why outsourcing has become their own economic specialty, providing the labor skills that developed nations have grown too advanced to prioritize. All of this, of course, with the hopes that their work can help their own economies advance beyond the labor.

The Controversy

More often than not, you’re seeing a greater connection between the issues of outsourcing and issues of racial discrimination. Chalk it up to the often misplaced notion that foreigners are stealing jobs from the homefront (misplaced the patriotism might be).

Regardless, don’t you think that such biases are insufficient grounds to dismiss outsourcing’s possible benefits? Shows like Outsourced and The Simpsons can highlight these issues for a laugh but at best, they only show factors beyond a vendors’ control or something they easily can (e.g. agent training). And seeing as how the world is shrinking in this internet age, you’d think cultural barriers like these would fall down on their own.

 

KSSF