Prayer intentions
Please pray for the following people. And if you know someone who needs a prayer, by all means feel free to add as many names as you want.

April 19, 2007

Okay, now it's gone too far

We're all familiar with the NAFTA-inspired evil of jobs going overseas. The most recent and probably most familiar to the average American is the rerouted customer service call. You might have a problem with your cell phone bill, or maybe you haven't been able to access your Internet connection. Whatever the problem, you call an 800 number, and somewhere in a phone company cellar, lights flash and circuits click. Next thing you know, someone with a thick and distinctly foreign (usually Indian) accent answers. He tells you his name is Kevin. You don't really mention it, but you have serious doubts that this fellow's name is really Kevin, or that he's ever even met anyone named Kevin, but whatever.

Kevin tries to talk you through your rate plan or your network settings or whatever it is he thinks will solve your problem, but it is very difficult to understand him, and you can't get him to deviate from the script he's obviously reading from to answer your question or acknowledge that you've already tried everything he's describing. You know he's just doing his job, and call center work is tough to begin with, even without the language/culture barrier. But there is a palpable amount of communicative disconnect between you and "Kevin" no matter how hard he's trying, and it is frustrating.

What it boils down to is, many Americans, including myself, find overseas call centers unpleasant to deal with. On those occasions where we hear a distinctly American accent, we are relieved.

So what to make of this? According to, the big-time TV preachers are now utilizing overseas prayer lines. As if people who call prayer lines operated by TV preachers don't have enough personal and spiritual troubles, now their calls are being taken by Hindus in India who used to work for Microsoft and Sprint.

(Yes, I know it's a satire, but based on my own personal experiences, it would not surprise me to find out it was true.)