Hello, My Name Is…

Time Magazine June 18, 2006. Click to read the cover article

Don’t you hate calling tech support? No one likes it, but what I really hate is when you call for support, you reach someone with a distinct Indian accent, and then she tells you her name is Monica or Jane or Sally. Or maybe he tells you his name is Sam or Max or Peter. No, it isn’t! That’s not your name!  OK. It could be, but honestly, do you think we don’t know that we’ve been routed to India? We know all about the outsourcing of call centers to India. It’s not that we don’t care: Americans could use those jobs, too. However, we’re also not idiots. We all watch PBS (cough).

So, if you work at a call center in India, tell us your real name. How is it supposed to breed trust between the customer and the customer service representative when the first interaction we have is a lie? Just say, “Hello, my name is Madhavi,” or whatever your real name is. We won’t be scared. We know a lot of names from that region. We know Sanjay Gupta and Fareed Zakaria. We know that M. Night Shyamalan‘s first name is Manoj. We know Aziz Ansari and Ali Velshi, Jhumpa Lahiri and Deepak Chopra, Zubin Mehta and Ravi Shankar. We love you!  More than that, it is a matter of respect for someone to call you by your real name. You are up in the middle of the night answering our questions about phone service or broken computers. You deserve at least the respect of your given name. So give us a break–give yourself a break–and give us your real name. Wouldn’t you feel more comfortable? I know I would.

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