Thursday, November 27, 2008

Rain wreaks havoc!!!!!

Today morning when I saw the papers it read!!

Incessant rains throw Chennai out of gear - The Hindu Business Line

Rains lash Chennai for the third day - The Times of India

Rain cripples life in Chennai - The Hindu

Every paper seemed to carry the same message.

Who would have imagined that in a metro like ours things would have gotten out of control this quick. Submerged rail tracks, roads and the entire transportation system has been partly paralyzed. Why did it happen? A deep depression, in the Bay of Bengal, is believed to be the primary reason for these incessant rains . It has thrown life out of gear for most of the people. If this is the condition of the most developed city in this state, one could imagine what kind of a fate the rural population must be subjected to.

Why hasn't the government taken effective measures to combat this situation when its not something that was not expected. Don't you remember the rains of 2005 (Thanks to those rains, our 3rd semester exams were postponed). This picture was taken back then.

That's my college - Thangavelu Engineering College,Chennai.

Jokes apart!! This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed asap. The government which is supposed to be implementing the so called "disaster relief" plans is happier drafting out proposals to ask the central government for funds(god knows where these funds go)
I had to go to pay my phone bill, but with the terrible condition of the road decided to pay the fine than get into trouble even though the rains stopped for some time. Reason being the roads which have been submerged in water and the uneven pot holes which could result in an accident on a bright sunny day, leave alone a rainy day.

Just blaming the government will not do though, we need to take initiative!!! How, that's for you to decide.

Monday, November 24, 2008

HR - The sensation

For those who didn't recognize him. This is the man, Himesh Reshammiya. He has done it all(acting, singing, composing).Hailing from a musical family, he started his career composing background scores for TV serials. His Bollywood break was a movie called Bandhan. What followed that is a string of super hits. Today, he is one of top music directors in the Hindi film industry.

His music is associated with the youthful and trendsetting culture in India. In spite of his popularity, Himesh Reshammiya has been the target of continuous criticism. His nasal voice and several other aspects have been severely criticized. Box office reports have stated otherwise. He has had over 36 hits in a single year. Who can forget the burkha incident where he had to publicly apologize for hurting "religious sentiments".

After 2005, when he won his first film fare(the "Oscars" of India) , he has been constantly churning out hits. He has made tremendous progress in a very short time.He made his acting debut in 2007 with Aap Ka Suroor which enjoyed commercial success. Elton John,MJ,Rolling Stones and Himesh Reshammiya... Well, what's common amongst them?

It's the Wembley

He was the first Indian to perform live at the Wembley Stadium. HR is also actively involved in mentoring and judging a popular singing competition on Zee TV. Jai Mata Di Let's Rock.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Will the axe fall on the BPO Industry???

The newly elected president Barack Obama may have made his stand on outsourcing clear. Prior to the elections, he had gone on record to say that if he was elected as president of the USA he would minimize tax benefits to companies that indulge in outsourcing. This with a view of creating several jobs in America. This to me seemed more like an election gimmick.

Lets look at this problem from the grass root level. Why do companies in the US outsource their business to lesser developed nations like India. The primary reason is the cheaper manpower that these countries offer with better work quality. Not that this kind of talent is not available in the US, but it would simply cost a lot more. Now, if you had to bring these jobs back in the US, companies would have to spend more. A small tax increase would not hurt them as much.

With the current economic crisis in America, it is going to be really difficult to recruit such a workforce. Costs incurred in training is generally the highest and this would add to the already existing woes of companies as this newly recruited workforce would need to be trained. This entire idea about stopping outsourcing almost seems impossible. In my opinion, the BPO Industry is here to stay..

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Whats in the name?????

I had an unique opportunity of working in a renowned call center. I was very skeptical about the nature of the job prior to my joining this organization. But on joining I realized things were not as bad as I had imagined them to be. However, one of the things that irked me was the fuss people created over choosing a pseudonym, a fictitious name used when the person performs a particular social role(here this role was calling customers in America).We had to pick both a first and a last name. We had to choose 2-3 names each, something that we found easy to pronounce as we had to use it over and over again on call. A catch to this entire rechristening event was that we could not use the same first and last names of a celebrity, for instance Tom Cruise would not be accepted but mix and match was allowed Arnold Cruise was a valid pseudonym. What puzzled a few of us was why were we asked to pick a couple of names and not just one. One of my batch mates also had a really dumb doubt concerning how many of these names would we actively be using in a conversation with the customer.

We returned with a couple of names,the very next day. I had managed to come up with some decent names on my way to work. They were Louis Parker,John Lewis and Richard Quinn. One of the names was rejected because it was the pseudonym of one of the managers in the training department. The other was rejected because my trainer thought they were both first names. Finally, after some mixing and matching we came to a conclusion of calling me Louis Parker.

This was not the end. After some time our trainer came back and told us that a few of our names had been rejected. My name topped that list. I was told that the name I gave her coincided with some black entrepreneur. I asked her if Louis Wright was Okay. She googled it and told me that he was some doctor in the nineteenth century. But I managed to convince her that it was the name of a person who was already dead. I thought this was it. That very evening we had an informal meeting with one of the managers in the training department. She asked us to pronounce our American Names. When I pronounced my name correctly it sounded too french to her. She asked me to change it again. I had never been so frustrated in a long long time. However, our trainer managed to convince her manager that I'd keep the same name with a slight change in it. The first name I was given was to make the name more American.

I was finally rechristened Lewis Wright!!!!