Mmechanic sez, "Andrew Marantz wondered how BPOs [ed: Business Process Outsourcing, AKA call centers] train Indians who have never even known a Westerner to sound and act like one. Since the call centers wouldn't let a journalist in to their culture-training sessions, Marantz decided to become a trainee himself. The resulting article from Mother Jones magazine is alternatively funny, sad, and thought-provoking."
During our second day of culture training, Lekha dissected the Australian psyche. It took about 20 minutes.
My Summer at an Indian Call Center
"Just stating facts, guys," Lekha began, as we scribbled notes, "Australia is known as the dumbest continent. Literally, college was unknown there until recently. So speak slowly." Next to me, a young man in a turban wrote No college in his notebook.
"Technologically speaking, they're somewhat backward, as well. The average person's mobile would be no better than, say, a Nokia 3110 classic." This drew scoffs from around the room.
"Australians drink constantly," Lekha continued. "If you call on a Friday night, they'll be smashed--every time. Oh, and don't attempt to make small talk with them about their pets, okay? They can be quite touchy about animals."
"What kind of people are there in Australia?" a trainee asked. "What are their traits?"
"Well, for one thing," Lekha said, "let's admit: They are quite racist. They do not like Indians. Their preferred term for us is--please don't mind, ladies--'brown bastards.' So if you hear that kind of language, you can just hang up the call."
Colombia wants to produce Novartis’s leukemia drug imatinib under a compulsory license, something it is allowed to do under its trade agreement with the USA, to bring the price down from $15,161/year (double the annual average income) to prices like those charged in India ($803/year).
Sovereign immunity prevents one government from using its courts to attack another, but Chinese state-backed industries are taking it to new places, arguing that sovereign immunity means that the US courts have no jurisdiction over Chinese companies whose products are harmful or whose conduct is negligent — and US courts are buying that argument.
On Monday, Greenpeace leaked the highly confidential negotiating drafts of the TTIP, a top-secret, big-business-friendly trade agreement between the USA and the EU.
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