[saymaListserv] Fwd: A Lesson on Outsourcing

Janet Minshall jhminshall at comcast.net
Wed May 12 18:35:34 JEST 2004

Another timely message from  Friend Tom Coyner of 
Seoul Monthly Meeting in South Korea.  This one 
you might enjoy.  Janet Minshall

>X-Sender: aci_worldwide at mail.gabia.co.kr
>Date: Sun, 09 May 2004 09:41:10 +0900
>To: coyner at gol.com
>From: Tom Coyner <coyner at gol.com>
>Subject: A Lesson on Outsourcing
>A Lesson on Outsourcing
>Dave Barry
>Before we get to today's column, I have an important announcement regarding
>"Outsourcing" is a business expression that means, in layperson's terms,
>"sourcing out." It's a trend that started years ago in manufacturing, which
>is a business term that means "making things."
>You youngsters won't believe this, but there was a time when Americans
>actually made physical things called "products" right here in America.
>Workers would go to large grimy buildings called "factories" where they
>would take a raw material such as iron ore and perform industrial acts on
>it, such as "forging" and "smelting." By the end of the day, as you can
>imagine, they smelt terrible (rim shot), but they had turned the ore into
>something useful, such as a locomotive, or a toaster, or (this was not a big
>seller) a toaster-locomotive.
>Today, of course, we don't make anything. If you give iron ore to modern
>American workers, it will get into their Starbucks mocha latte, and they
>will sue you, and they will win. The making of things was outsourced decades
>ago to foreign nations such as Asia. Today, we Americans are dimly aware
>that our TVs, computers, cell phones, underwear, dentures, cartoons, etc.,
>must come from SOMEWHERE but we have no real clue who is making them, or
>how. We have enough trouble figuring out how to remove the packaging. After
>we stopped making things, America became a "service economy," which is a
>business term meaning "an economy where it is virtually impossible to get
>service." But now even our service industries are being outsourced. Take,
>for example, "Technical Support," which is the department you call when you
>are having a technical problem and need to be placed on hold. Today, when
>you finally get through to a human, he or she is often in a different
>country. This is good news and bad news:
>THE GOOD NEWS IS: The foreign Tech Support people are smart, educated, and
>eager to help, and they speak fluent English.
>THE BAD NEWS IS: They speak it in such a way that you understand only about
>every fifth word.
>I recently had a problem with a computer, so I called Technical Support,
>which in the case of this company is located, I believe, on Mars, and
>although the person on the other end sincerely tried to help, the only word
>I consistently understood him saying was "David." I felt like the dog in the
>Far Side cartoon who's getting a stern lecture from his master, but the only
>thing the dog understands is his own name:
>TECH SUPPORT GUY: David, wokm todelc strsprot, David. Cnygv meth serilnbr?
>ME: The serial number? You want the serial Number?
>TECH SUPPORT GUY: Thtsrdy ndimsng, David. Logndr tit, David?
>ME: What?
>TECH SUPPORT GUY: Sit, David! Lie down!
>But we might as well accept it: Outsourcing is here to stay. And it's
>happening EVERYWHERE, including industries that would surprise you:
> When you order a hamburger at a McDonald's drive-thru, the person who's
>taking your order is actually located in the Philippines. Your hamburger is
>physically cooked by workers in China, then transmitted almost
>instantaneously to the US via a high-speed Digitized Beef Patty Line (DBPL).
>All of this happens in less time than takes you to pick your nose. (And soon
>even THAT will be outsourced.)
> When you take a commercial airline flight, the plane is actually being
>controlled from India by a 10-year-old girl holding a remote-control
>joystick in one hand and a lollipop in the other. The "pilot" in the front
>of your plane is a retired security guard whose sole responsibility is to
>notice when the plane starts shaking, and make an announcement that you are
>experiencing turbulence.
> When you go to the hospital for surgery, after the anesthesiologist puts
>you out, your body is ... OK, you don't want to know.
>The point is that EVERYTHING is being outsourced. In a few years, the only
>industry left in the United States will be "reality" television. A lot of
>people think this is bad. Congress recently tried to pass a law against
>outsourcing, only to discover that all federal legislation since 1997 has
>actually been produced in Taiwan.
>So outsourcing is here to stay. Which leads me to my announcement: Starting
>today, I will no longer personally write my column. It will be produced by
>foreign humor workers, who, rest assured, are highly trained. You will
>notice no dropoff in quality as you continue to enjoy the wacky hmogrins of
>fblsevry lftht hvfrsmnyrs aqdrfltns abtfbls not making this up rltngn
>alrtrds a good name for a rock band.
>                 KOREA ECONOMIC READER
>         A free subscription service by Tom Coyner            
>                   Email: coyner at gol.com
>          Home Tel: 82-2-764-8387; Fax: 82-2-747-7653
>      Work Tel: 82-2-2198-2230  Mobile: 82-11-9099-6195
>     Home Web: http://www2.gol.com/users/coynerhm
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