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Jerry, Outsourcing and Sweet Indian Girls

I had been up and working on my computer a couple of hours on Saturday, when suddenly I had no internet connection. I knew what to do. Around 3 years ago, we bought our first desktop computer, and for many months we had nearly continual grief. The company, Dell, was gracious, and at first we communicated only by phone and through the computer–at least when the computer was well enough to be involved in its own healing.

The first thing any technician would tell us was: Turn off the computer, unplug and replug everything. Finally, though, after repeated failure of the computer, and since we had bought insurance that guaranteed on-site technicians, the company sent men to our house. More than once they came–installing new mother boards, new hard drives, new memory…new this and new that. Said sick and disabled computer would work awhile, then we would get the feared signs: the dreaded blue boxes, and “this page can’t be displayed. ”

There was talk of replacing the computer. I heard mutters of, “It must be Verizon,” and we were sent there, they walked us through their little pinging tests, and said, “No, it is the computer.”

I was ready to anoint with oil and lay hands on this computer!

At last, a year and a half ago, the repair was performed that has given us seamless service since then; a new power cord was installed.

But first, long before we had worked up to the power cord, we had analyzed, scrutinized, plugged, pinged, dinged and unplugged our way through the entire country of India. Support for our computer company and for our internet provider is outsourced to India, and well did we come to know that fascinating and mysterious land.

At first it was I who spent hours on the phone, then finally when I was so exasperated at plugging and unplugging cords, tapping keys, turning on, turning off, while at the same time trying to maintain a modicum of patience and good sense, as my ears and head struggled to understand the English that the sweet people from India spoke, Jerry took over. We had to love them–the Indians–for were they not our saviours, and they were polite, and repeatedly said, “Yes, Mrs. Buxton, Yes, Jerry, I will fix your problem today. Do not worry. I can help you. I will make you happy.”

Jerry spent uncountable hours–day and night–with his Indian girls, as I began to call them. He was so patient, sometimes sitting with the receiver to his ear for hours. He had direct numbers to call, and through the night as Jerry slept, “…we will be working on your little problem, Mr. Buxton.”

So Saturday, when my internet spot on this globe disappeared into some kind of black hole, I knew the first step. Turn off the computer. Unplug, then plug again everything. Check. I was crawling around on the floor, finding all the cords, pulling, pushing, then clicking the on switch again. Check. Nothing….except This page can’t be displayed. The server cannot be located. Try later. Check your firewall…. Check. Check. Plug, unplug, ignore the computer, turn my back on it, check, check, plug, unplug. Nothing. Nada.

I pulled on my geeky hat, and performed computer tricks. Defrag? “Doesn’t need it,” the little sign said.(I knew that had nothing to do with the internet, but what could it hurt?) Run AVG again. No viruses. Tried Windows little repair gadget, but it said it couldn’t finish. Something about the IP number and that my administrator should be notified. Well, that was no help, as either Jerry or I is the administrator—and what a sad state of affairs is that.

That was the extent of my technical expertise, and I just was not going to deal with India. I’m a pretty flexible person, will pitch in and help when it is needed, but technical stuff drives me batty in the first place, and when I can’t understand what someone is saying to me….well, I just wasn’t going to do it. We’ll call out a technician, I decided.

I had told Jerry about it as he left to go down to San Bernardino. When he returned around 6:00 in the evening, he inquired as to the state of the patient. “Sick, very sick,” I sadly reported.

So, then, it was Jerry’s turn to crawl around on the floor. He plugged, unplugged, fumed, Christian cussed, and muttered. Finally he picked up the phone, dialed Verizon…..and was wisked away to his girls in India.

1. “It is not a Verizon problem, Mr. Buxton,” she said. “We will connect you to your computer company.”

2. “It is not the computer, Mr. Buxton,” another Indian sweetie said to him. “You must call Verizon.” Gave him a case number…and wished him a good night.

3. Sunday morning Jerry called Patrick, our friend who is a computer guru…told him the scenario…and Patrick walked Jerry through the routine. “It’s not the computer. You need to call Verizon.”

4. “Good Day, how may we help you?” came the cheery, nearly undecipherable Verizon voice from India.

In an aside Jerry spoke to me. “She is the most difficult one to understand I have had.”

5. It was a long chunk of time as Jerry typedin commands, then relayed the responses to his technician. Finally, she said. “You need to unplug your router.”

Jerry was so frustrated by now, and the router cords were hard to get to that he asked her. “Do you have a direct number where I may call you back. This will take awhile.”

“I will wait.”

“Okay, if you don’t mind waiting”…and by now my patient (in this incident :)) husband was huffing and puffing and…but finally he had done the deed. “Okay,” he spoke to her. “The modem is unplugged.”

6. “Type in these commands.” Jerry clacked away and soon she had established a new internet connection. Suddenly, Jerry said, “Here’s Goggle. We’re on!”

Before Jerry returned from his trip to India, I observed a smiley face as he talked into the telephone and heard friendliness in his voice. He spoke to her of recommendations and, smart cookie that she was, soon had her supervisor on the line. I heard Jerry voicing compliments about her handling of the job.

The discussing of outsourcing will elicit various opinions–some quite positive and others of a negative tone. I’ve included a timely article for your consideration.

I certainly want to acknowledge that the reason telephone and computer companies outsource, and choose India (and others such as Pakistan) for much of their technical support is because those people are extremely intelligent. In addition, they are sweet and polite. Ask Jerry. He knows.

Pune, India, is coming to rival Bangalore as a foreign destination for U.S. technology companies, including several from Northern Virginia.

Pune, India, is coming to rival Bangalore as a foreign destination for U.S. technology companies, including several from Northern Virginia. (Andrea Bruce — The Washington Post)

India’s New Faces of Outsourcing

High-Level Technicians Lead a Transcontinental Shift in Business Culture

By S. Mitra Kalita

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 11, 2006; Page A01

PUNE, India — Before he supervised teams, wooed American clients over dinner or sat in a Northern Virginia boardroom alongside U.S. executives, Constancio Fernandes wrote computer code for a living.

That’s how it started in the late 1990s — American businesses ordered up software applications, and Indian programmers such as Fernandes dutifully delivered. But somewhere along the way, Fernandes became more confident and outspoken. He began questioning the Americans and suggesting cheaper, faster ways to run their businesses. They listened.

More of the Washington Post article here.

 

By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 81 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 64 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

16 replies on “Jerry, Outsourcing and Sweet Indian Girls”

From a forwarded e-mail –

I know I’ve spoken to this guy a few times when I’ve called…..

Mujibar was trying to get a job in India . The Personnel Manager said, “Mujibar, you have
passed all the tests, except one. Unless you pass
it you cannot qualify for this job. ”

Mujibar said, “I am ready.”

The manager said, “Make a sentence using the
words Yellow, Pink and Green.”

Mujibar thought for a few minutes and said,
“Mister manager, I am ready.”

The manager said, “Go ahead.”

Mujibar said, “The telephone goes green, green,
and I pink it up, and say, ‘Yellow, this is Mujibar.'”

Mujibar now works as a technician at a call
center for computer problems.

No doubt you have spoken to him.

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Yes, Jana, cheers for Patrick.

Patrick, keep that sign handy…and definitely visit Jana’s excellent blog.

Jana, wonder why your name is not linked. Maybe a problem here, I’m not sure.

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Let’s hear it for Patrick!!! YEAH!! Glad he was able to come up and fix things for you. I am sure he enjoyed the inside joke schicken! LOL BTW, PG, if you come back here and see this, come visit my blog! 🙂

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Thank you again for the kind words, the warm friendship and yummy dinner! And thank God for the schicken, with two legses, two thighs, two breathfes, and two Wiiiiings!!!! (inside joke). We love you much and for you I “Will work for food” anytime.

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Yep, Jana. Jerry has been one of the lucky ones, drawing mostly Indian sweeties, although I believe occasionally he has spoken with men.

Funny update: Last evening, Patrick came up to our place to check over the computer. Guess what! He had to call India! I roared. Seems the problem was not the router, but was caused by changes Verizon had made that caused our router and our modem to have the same address. The Verizon people at first were arguing with Patrick that it wasn’t their problem. “Yes, it is,” Patrick insisted…..and he was right….and everything is fine today….God is in the Heavens….the earth, moon, sun are still in orbit….and here we all are….in cyberspace.

Timely info for those who don’t know Patrick. He is a personal brilliant friend, who works in the computer industry. Does programming, troubleshooting–the works!

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Hello, Gene, and thanks for reading my blog and especially for commenting. I really like the interaction and considering other people’s views.

This outsourcing really is a problem, and you’ve hit on its core: Outsourcing should not be allowed in the service areas. I don’t really know if it is a problem with other countries being included in our production services: Does it take jobs away from our people? But, realistically we are becoming more and more a global society, although, there certainly are problems with ignoring borders, etc. Too big a subject to tackle right here, I’m sure.

But service being outsourced? This is just a mistake and causes tremendous frustration as you have so capably addressed.

Wish you well. Want to hear from you frequently. 🙂

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We too have encountered such techie help. However, Mark isn’t as patient as Bro. Buxton. He, too, has Christian cussed a couple of times in dealing with our computers and such. Perhaps it is because he keeps getting the men of India to help him instead of the sweeties??? LOL By the way, glad you are back!!! I was missing ya’!!

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I have had this same scenario, but with electric service! We built a new house and needed the temporary pole disconnected and the permanent service hooked to the house. Well, the TXU electric company customer service representative did not know what a temporary pole was! I asked them, “How can you be the electric company and not know what a temporary pole (that you hooked up) is?” Well, come to find out, this person was in Poland. They had no idea what I was talking about. There are no local numbers for TXU, so I found a TXU truck and talked to a real, live Texan! FINALLY, something was done about it. I cannot understand how these companies think this is “customer service.” Glad you got your problem resolved!

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Hi Jana.

Glad you understand the Christian cussin’ bit. Just has to be done sometime.

We have a broken pipe also, but it’s outside and there’s no damage. Sorry about your mom’s house. This weather is something else.

Larry, you must have good vibes going to have corrected your problem so easily. Keep writing.

Cheers!

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Omgosh! This is why I never call customer service to help me with my laptop. Too easy to turn into a frisbee. I had to call customer service today. My internet and phone was down we just reset everything and moved on and voila! Posting again!

Larry

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“He plugged, unplugged, fumed, Christian cussed, and muttered.” This line really cracked me up!!! Nothing can make me Christian cuss like idiots and technology. I’m sure this was extremely frustrating, but your recount of the event gave me a great laugh. This was a needed laugh. My mother’s house had a pipe freeze, then burst, and now the house has 3 inches of water in it. They have extracted over 60 gallons of water today and estimate there is more than that left. I reminded my mother that all things work together for our good. She needs new carpet anyway! 🙂

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