Sunday, September 28, 2008

Alizée - À Contre-courant

Hope everyone is having a great weekend! Loving the fall weather sneaking in also!

Anyhow one of my favorites...

French singer Alizée in the music video for her seventh single, "À Contre-courant," from the album "Mes Courants Électriques."

Alizée - À Contre-courant

Enjoy! and have a great and safe weekend!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Outsourcing Rant

Now I won't claim to be any expert on the subject of outsourcing or economics but this is just my opinion from someone who has two points of view on an issue I perceive to be a growing problem here in America. Warning this post will be a little longer than my usual posts.

I had a recent run in with calling up the phone company and of course talking to someone that could barely understand english much less speak it. I know many people that have had this same experience. Now not only an aggravation when customers have to deal with barely english speaking people but the bigger problem is the millions of jobs that have been lost due to companies stabbing us in the back by outsourcing everything to countries like India where they do not have to provide anywhere near the pay or benefits that they would pay to an American employee. I can understand trying to save money, but when it comes to providing low quality service to customers then when does this become a liability for companies that do outsource to foreign countries all to try and save a dollar?

Yes I am a bit disgruntled from 2 points of view, one point of view I have is I lost two jobs due to my work being shutdown and outsourced to India and second point of view is from being in the position of a customer having to deal with this low level of service many times over the phone.

The sickest part is they use fake names to make themselves have "American" names and this is trained. And I've actually seen an India training tape for Convergence (where I worked a few years ago) where they are told they have to pick names such as John, Bob, Jane, etc to make them self have a more American feel and are given speech classes on American accents so they can try and attempt to speak our slang to sound more American. But the problem is it makes them sound even more stupid and makes it worse trying to understand them with such strong accents combined with attempted American "slang". For example here is a few video's about this practice, it's plain sickening and infuriating:

There are tons of examples of training videos and such on youtube you can search for more info.

4 minute video with Jason Alexander also putting outsourcing into perspective

The most annoying part is being told to contact customer service for a specific inquiry, I call and for almost 10 minutes I am repeatedly told "Sir reboot your pc and your modem" I on the other hand am asking to verify a charge for a recent upgrade to my service, the support guy calling himself "Johnny" but has the thickest Indian accent you ever heard is getting frustrated and repeating his "reboot your pc, and click the blue E!" Where I will admit I do lose my temper and tell the guy to transfer me to an American whereabouts he says no need to be racist, but I reply very upset that I am not being racist I am being patriotic, my service is America, the companies headquarters are in my same state, and either I will speak to an American or cancel my service and finally he complies.

Now there are many examples of the aggravations thousands if not millions of customers have to deal with day in and day out. But the problem is our economy here in America, as many know, is "going down the toilet" so to speak. From many different reports around the net and from various news sources that I've hunted the number of Americans that have lost jobs just to outsourcing to India is in the 2 million to 3 million figure. See this page for more facts about lost jobs, etc.

Now think about our economy hitting rock bottom, people losing their homes, unemployment, the poor, and the uninsured on the rise. I myself am uninsured and dealing with many health problems of my own that I can't get much help for due to no insurance. I'm not saying outsourcing is all to blame but it's a big part. The problem just goes all the way to the top so-called "patriotic" American corporations outsourcing overseas so they can pay slave wages to India and bypass certain taxes and above that the board of directors on these companies which are mainly heads of banks and lobbyists which keeps going up and up, and you notice there is no such thing as Democrat or Republican anymore only difference is in their names both are selling this country out and it is nothing but acts of treason.

Turning America slowly into a third world country, think about it, millions of lost jobs just to outsourcing, the dollar not worth anything, people losing homes, so we the people are out of money, yet they want to use our own tax money to bail out the bankers and brokers that ultimately trickle down to these companies that keep sending our jobs overseas. So how in the hell do they expect us taxpayers to bail out the very people that refuse to open up jobs here in America yet sell us out to other countries.

Yes this is a long post this time, and I'm a bit disgruntled and if you would like to know who the company in India that takes all our jobs then look no further than WiPro Technologies. Wipro is one company that takes calls for over 300 U.S. companies. For an excerpt from their Wikipedia entry:

[Wipro Technologies has over 300 customers across U.S., Europe and Japan including 50 of the Fortune 500 companies. Some of its customers are Nortel, Boeing, BP, Cisco, Ericsson, IBM, Microsoft, Prudential, Seagate, Sony, HP, Windriver, Airbus, Toshiba, Windstream Communications, Dun and Bradstreet and Wal-Mart]

As far as what can we do, there are few things like refuse doing business with companies that outsource, but that is darn near impossible nowadays as it's gotten too big and everyone is outsourced anyways. Another is to write the companies or email them and tell them your dissatisfaction with taking away jobs from the very country they claim to support, also spreading the word about the lies these companies spew, for example even a company with America in it's title America Online you would think that's a great American company? No, it's also outsourced to India. And if you watched the AE channel documentary John & Jane Toll-Free they are even starting to outsource drive through fast food restaurants to India which blows my mind.

Anyhow thanks for putting up with my long rant here, I wrote an email to a friend of mine and If you would like to read it and an excerpt of one of my phone calls you can click here for a laugh.

Also just to lighten the mood for a quick laugh or two. Lets enjoy Foamy the squirrel's take on this:

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Alanis Morissette - Underneath

Alanis Morissette - Flavors of Entanglement album art

Great song and video by the amazing Alanis Morissette.

Underneath by Alanis Morissette from her new album "Flavors Of Entanglement"


Monday, September 15, 2008

Well it's that time of year again... Happy Birthday to myself.

Yep good ol' September 15th, the day which will live in infamy... At least for this poor bastard. Hard to believe how fast time flies. Born in Atlanta, Georgia September 15, 1976...Mother always called me a bicentennial baby, but it seem just like yesterday I was climbing trees, scraping knees, begging for a pet dog, getting spanked for talking back. Then the years pass and then it's high school, marching band, cliques and niches... From my era it was the "headbangers, preppies, nerds, jocks" of course I always hung out with the preppies but made grades like the headbangers...(no offense to any real headbangers I use the term in jest of course).

Time flies once again and I'm married and learning the mistake of getting married too early and not having ones life in order and not prepared for what it had to offer due to choices made or not made, of course divorce follows years later and things once again change...

My clock spins again and now I find myself at 30 thinking all was well, when all the sudden I had a heart attack at midnight while sitting in front of my pc. What the hell I even say to myself, a 30 year old having a heart attack? That's just not right... but years of great health led one to believe all was well in the world and neglected yearly physicals and checkups so now I learned first hand why it's called the silent killer.

Now fast forward to now... 32 years on earth, and wonder how many more I got? Only time will tell. It's been a hell of a ride, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I think today I will break with my heart smart diet and have a nice juicy t-bone steak, a bake potato and a slice of texas toast. And I will raise my glass and toast myself for good health with a grin.

Some interesting events that happened on the date of my birth September 15, 1976:

From Here and Here

  • Valery F. Bykovsky and Vladimir Aksenov are launched on September 15 on the Soyuz 22 mission, during which they take Earth resource photographs. Where they spent 8 days in Earth's orbit.

From dMarie Timecapsule:
  • President at the time of my birthday: Gerald Ford
  • The average price of gas on my birthday: $0.60/gal
  • The national minimum wage was: $2.30/hr

And the good part, the #1 song on September 15, 1976...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Modern day Robin Hoods

Reuters logo

Interesting article coming from Reuters news service. "Robin Hoods" steal at the store, give to the poor?

Greek anarchists stormed a supermarket on Thursday and handed out food for free in the latest of a wave of raids provoked by soaring consumer prices.

About 20 unarmed people, mostly wearing black hoods, carried out the midday robbery in the northern city of Thesaaloniki, police said.

Local media have labeled the raiders "Robin Hoods" following previous raids.

They take only packets of pasta, rice and cartons of milk which they drop in the middle of the street for people to collect, a police official said.

"They have never stolen money or hurt anyone. They ask people to remain calm but use ambush tactics, jumping over cash desks," he said.

"When they attack without hoods, people are surprised to see that they are mostly women."

Read the full article Here.

A bit odd, I wonder do people think of them as good guys? or bad guys? would be an interesting poll to see how people thought.