Outsourced – The Show – But is it Real Life?


Besides denigrating the Indian Culture and the American Culture, this show might be too close to home for both cultures.


This week the business press will inevitably weigh in on the new Outsourced show at NBC (watch video clip at right).We initially thought “what a good idea,” until we saw it.

Analyst consensus: Outsourced, the show, plays on all the prejudices and stereotypes held about Indians, Americans and outsourcing.

But, underneath the shallow lines and personality portrayals are some truisms:

  1. Jobs are getting outsourced to India and China, and that will only increase.
  2. And within India and China there is kind of a ‘class system’ on the kinds of jobs and who fills them.
  3. The hostility of customers calling into the call centers is real. And though the companies who do the outsourcing are saving money, they are surely not improving their customer service, which is demonstrated in the show. Poor communication, lack of skills and knowledge replace the country-side worker (whether US, Ireland or France, there is no place like home!)

The timing of the launch of the show couldn’t be worse, since almost 10% of the work force is out of work in the US. Although big business is feeling slightly defensive, that has not kept them from continuing the outsourcing. With the Americans Want to Work Act in peril, it might be hard to get a warm feeling about this sitcom.

But is it funny?

Stereotyping has never prevented a hit show — as American Desi, The Name Sake, Slumdog Millionaire, or even the Andy Griffith Show or Wall Street, for that matter, have demonstrated. Outsourced just wasn’t funny!Taking a page from Dilbert or Saturday Night Live, Colbert in Congress and John Stuart marching on Washington, you can enlighten while you lighten!

And as Apple stock soared this week to all-time highs, we remember the value placed on the customer experience, and why they did not outsource their call center.

To view other articles from this issue of the brief, click here.

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