Monday, August 29, 2011

Millions of Americans left without Power

Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast over the weekend and has wrecked havoc on that part of the country. When there is a storm of this magnitude the first thing that happens is power outage and that is precisely what happened in the US. It is funny when I was in India every time it rained there would be power outage and the telephone lines would go dead, we would go into a frenzy calling the electricity board and complaining. Everything is privatized in America and most of these large corporations have their service desks in India, Philippines or other country to address their customer complaints. I wonder how effectively these service desk people will be able to support the customer at this time.

Except for TV and news reports and the internet the call center employees would not have any access to information about situation on the ground. The reassurances they would provide for the consumer would probably be shallow and not rooted in reality. Moreover news coverage of Irene is not so extensive in India as it would be elsewhere in the US. This is quite expected, because priorities of each nation varies. While the news is top headlines in every news channel here, it would be just another story in the international news in India.

I wonder how Americans so accustomed to extreme comfort of centralized air conditioned, lots of space, and nice furniture living now even as the storm passes. It will take a week or two for life to return to normalcy. And for some it will never return to normalcy because they have lost one or more of their family members.


Sujatha Sathya said...

its sad, the havoc caused by the storm.

n agree with the view u expressed regarding the call center staff responding to a situation like this. they cud play out rehearsed or scripted responses :(

d closer a tragedy is to where we are, the more deeply we feel its impact. n this applies to within a country situation also. if Latur earthquake had happened in my city, my response would be that of even greater grief. sad but true.

Sahasi said...

Yes Sujatha Sathya, it is a sad event. That is precisely why many Americans don't like outsourcing. First they lose jobs and second there is no personalized and knowledgeable service.