Sunday, September 2, 2012

I'm not me

According to a recent census, these are the most common male names in America: John Smith, James Johnson, Robert Williams and Michael Jones.

Why do I bring this up? Let me tell you a little story.

We recently were offered free telephone internet for a year from Time Warner. It something we could actually use, so we accepted it. Part of the install was to get a new modem. From the time we got it, our internet service has been spotty—at best. Webpages sometimes take forever to load—if they load at all. And it wasn’t only on one computer—we have several.

I finally got tired of it and decided to contact Time Warner tech support. They had the option of doing an online chat with a technician. After logging in, I got this message:

But, I was at home and was able to do other things while I waited. Finally, I get connected to a technician—his name? Shawn Brown.

I explain my problem, and he tells me to delete my “cookies and cache” from my computer. I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I know a little about computers. Yet, I imagine a lot of people in the USA wouldn’t know how to do that. So, I played dumb and asked him how to do that. He did an okay job explaining the process.

BUT, because the issue was happening to more than one computer, and the problems started happening when we got the new modem, I expressed my doubts at his solution.

What happened next? I took a screen grab of conversation. Please do not think ill of me when you read the following:

According to a recent census, these are the most common male names in India: Aditya Sharma, Raj Chatterjee, Rakesh Nayar and Dhruv Singh.

I don’t care if the rep is from India or America or the North Pole. If they are hired to do a job, and they can do it—great.

Here is what bothers me: Why give the rep an American sounding name? I think it could be one of the following reasons:

1. Time Warner wants us to have confidence in the tech helping us. By giving him a good old fashioned American name, they believe that we’ll be more likely to trust the rep than if he had an Indian name.

2. Time Warner doesn’t want its customers to realize that it has outsourced jobs to India. That would make them look bad.

My conversation with the rep also brings up another question. Why didn’t the rep just admit he was from India rather than try to guess which state wasn’t in the USA? I would have had a lot more confidence in him if he’d just come clean.

Lesson learned here? I guess it’s okay to lie about who you are in order to make other people feel better about you.

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