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  • #2274479

    Supporting our replacements?

    Locked

    by stress junkie ·

    I’ve read through a lot of technical questions on TR recently. Many appear to be posed by home users. The remainder appear to be posed by our compadres, fellow tech support people. The thing that bothers me is that many of the questions posed by fellow professionals show many signs of being posted by someone in India. Often the user name is the person’s real email address. Many are from Yahoo! email or Hotmail email services. Anyone can create such an account. VERY often these questions betray poor mastery of the English language. The very nature of these questons often appear to be tier 1 helpdesk or tier 2 questions. The posters usually appear to have little or no knowledge of basic troubleshooting or project implementation skills but are asking how to implement an enterprise project.

    I have begun to suspect that we in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Britain, we who are most likely to post answers to these questions, may be helping someone that has taken our job. Having been unemployed for over a year now due to lack of demand for tier 3 tech support in my geography I am wondering if I am training the people who are working as my overseas outsourced replacements. I am not at all happy about this possiblilty and I am planning to be less active posting answers to what I consider to be suspicious questions. I don’t like to think about taking this approach. My own career success has been greatly enhanced from other people helping me by sharing their technical skills. I have always done the same for others and I would like to continue to do so. But I resent the possibility of training people who have and will continue to take tech support jobs. If my theory is correct, and I’m not at all sure that it is, I would be supporting the outsourcing of techncal jobs to overseas, incompetent, replacements.

    Has anyone else thought about this? What do you think?

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    Replies
    • #2719555

      Reply To: Supporting our replacements?

      by dosmastr ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      i know for a fact that i schooled the last tech support person from Dell that i called….. its got an DDR400 dual channel capable mobo, so why can’t i get it to run DDR400 OR dual channel?

      “Dual channel mode?” (thats how it is listed in the bios) “I am sorry i am not familiar with that term, can you explain it to me?” http://www.tomshardware.com, http://www.anadtech.com http://www.hardocp.com take your pick, how about you guys figure it out yourselves…

      you may be correct, i may have been shooting myself in the foot as far as aquireing employment…. just by helping out other noobs who i had no idea were doing the job i want with less then half the skill that i have.

      • #2715659

        It’s all about the cost

        by ricardomenendez ·

        In reply to Reply To: Supporting our replacements?

        You two have to take into account that offshoring is mainly a cost effective strategy. It’s not focused at hiring less-prepared people. It’s about hiring lower-paid people to do the same job. I don’t know why everyone gets freaked out about it. It’s been happening for centuries. Here in Spain we’re starting to suffer the same offshoring effect because east Europe workers are cheaper than west Europe workers. Not only technology wise but industry wise as well.

        • #2715631

          Cost and quality

          by rloski ·

          In reply to It’s all about the cost

          It is about cost and quality. You could hire my 14 year old daughter for minimum wage to do the programming I do. But you would get no where close to the quality. The per hour cost would be lower. The total cost would be more.

          South Asian programmers/tech support is lower cost per hour. I am not sure of the quality differential. But I think that the original point is sound. By providing free help on news groups, you take the quality you provide (for four times the price normally) and give it to someone who may be paid less than you for free. This helps to reduce any difference in quality.

          Russ

        • #2715612

          Cost vs. Quality… Case Study

          by jwschull9 ·

          In reply to Cost and quality

          Here’s an example of the low cost => low quality…

          I recently purchased a HP computer. Loaded most of the Pre-SP2 drivers, but missed one. Had a restart problem. HP’s offshore tech support wanted me to re-image the machine and start all over with the apps I had installed. I told him NO WAY. I uninstalled SP2, loaded the missed driver, reinstalled SP2 and all is well. This is a classic case of the most expediant “scripted” approach VS. what is right for the customer!

          LOW COST == LOW QUALITY!

        • #2715518

          Not limited to offshore

          by networkplanner ·

          In reply to Cost vs. Quality… Case Study

          The kind of response you got isn’t limited to offshore. Unfortunately most call centers are directed to resolve the call in the fastest manner and not always the best manner.

          Unfortunate but true.

        • #2714845

          And most companies go with the Cheapest Quote

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Not limited to offshore

          Even though it isn’t what they need and quite often works out far more expensive to get working in the way that they need it to go.

          I’ve seen far too many cases where a company who doesn’t really understand IT just gets a quote form someone who thinks they know what is required sells the hardware and maybe even organize a person to come in and setup the network and then they find that they need a whole bunch of new hardware & software to get the system working. Recently I saw one company who had fallen into this trap by buying cheap rubbish computers and set them up on a peer to peer network all 15 workstations and without any server and XP Home installed 5 of the computers where locked out of the system at a time.

          But the so called profession who sold them the computers told them that it would work. I just love things like this as the sales person gets their commission and then walks away from the mess that they have created.

          Col

        • #2714977

          Cheaper products?

          by griffida ·

          In reply to Cost vs. Quality… Case Study

          About the only way to say NO to overseas outsourcing is to not buy products where that is their mode of operation.
          If we continue to support the companys bottom line, whats the motivation for them stop.

        • #2706570

          Buy American

          by levitaj ·

          In reply to Cheaper products?

          You are absolutely right. I’ve decided to buy American whenever I can. The problem is we may have waited too long. Even the US Army marches in Italian Boots. This when the New England shoe industry went out of business. We must keep jobs in the US. Free trade agreements make it easier to outsource jobs overseas. Buy American. New Banlance makes one line of shoes in the US. Mag Lite is made in the US. Any others?
          Jeff Levitan

        • #2706551

          A very good question

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Buy American

          While it sounds like a good idea to buy your countries products it is not always easy. You have to find a product that your country still makes as apposed to just selling an overseas import.

          I ran across a very good example of this last year when I bought a Bell Crash Helmet they are the only ones I ever wear as well as being considered as the INDUSTRY STANDARD and I was horrified when it arrived as I found a “Made in Italy” sticker on the inside. Now I’ve only been using Bel crash helmets for a little over 25 years now and that was the first one that I had ever seen that was not American Made.

          Col

        • #2706008

          Buy Competitive

          by frank-mw ·

          In reply to Buy American

          By buying American you will make American businesses less competitive because they do not have to compete with low cost countries.
          Knowledge is power. US companies that use low cost countries to compete will survive and keep higher paying jobs in the US instead of going to Europe or Japan.
          If you would just buy American, you are actually slowly killing US Businesses. You will be taking purchasing power out of your paycheck, prompting you to request a payraise, making US services and products more expensive=less competitive and your job will go overseas.
          Outsourcing has existed for decades and we are only doing better. Don’t worry and buy what you want to buy.

        • #3306536

          Just a bit of an add on to my other post on this issue

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Buy American

          Last week I had my local Snapon Dealer come around and supply a specialist tool. Now it has been a few years since I’ve actually been inside one of their trucks as I don’t tend to loose to many tools and being Snapon they just do not break or wear out. But occasionally I do need to by something new as new things come out with different screws and other things that are required to pull things apart.

          Well we all know that Snapon is a USA company which sells the tools that GOD prefers to use they are really that good.

          But to my horror when I walked into the van there where the usual assortment of Snapon tools there where also a very large number of the Blue Point range as well. These are the cheap knock offs that are sold by Snapon but while supposedly being good do not meet Snapon’s exacting standards. Now I do not know exactly where this brand is made but by the quality they sure as hell are not USA made but an ever increasing range is now being supplied by the Snapon agents.

          Col

        • #2715489

          keywords…

          by johnn ·

          In reply to It’s all about the cost

          “…to do the SAME JOB.”

          Hello…?

          The off-shore, tech support sweat-shop droids, who can’t speak the language of their “customers”, and who (by just about any measure) aren’t adequately skilled to do “the job”, are most definitely NOT doing “the same job”. As far as I can see, the arrogance and indifference of companies like Dell, and the “bend over and take it” attitude of the typical consumer is the ONLY reason this nonsense is allowed to continue.

        • #2708423

          Damage Control: Insist Congress Stop the FTAA

          by tech-trend ·

          In reply to keywords…

          As always, there are some great posts here and the discussion is lively. As some members have mentioned, it’s not our charitable willingness to help that is the problem. Rather, it’s our governments (both Reps and Dems) self-destructive habit of pushing these ill-conceived “Free trade” agreements.

          Whatever evil we blame on corporations, it must be understood that the regulations, taxes, off-shoring incentives and elimination of tariffs by our own government are what encourage and enable this trend.

          Excellent coverage of free trade and its sister subject of illegal immigration and how it impacts our jobs and economy is available in a current special issue of the New American (www.TheNewAmerican.com) magazine. Also, get up to speed on, and activate Congress to stand against these NAFTA expansions at: http://www.StopTheFTAA.org

          – Dave

        • #2708398

          Sure go ahead and try

          by go_browns_01 ·

          In reply to Damage Control: Insist Congress Stop the FTAA

          When the FTAA met in Nov, 2003, there were demonstrations and military-type tanks on the streets of Miami. No one cared.
          If no one cares about tanks on the streets of an American city they are a long way from caring if you lose your job.

        • #2708352

          Funnily enough

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Damage Control: Insist Congress Stop the FTAA

          There are those in other countries who feel exactly the same way.

          Currently a FTA has been reached between Australia and the USA and with some amendments that where forced through the Parliament from the Australian side regarding the costs of medications and the ability of corporations to copyright their products for longer periods of time preventing “Generic” products being made available at lower costs has ignited a lively debate among interested Australians who are of the opinion that the whole idea of the FTA was to cut out the existing Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme here in AU or at the very least increase the costs so much that it would no longer be a viable option.

          The interesting thing about this is that on every side the people involved where saying that this wasn’t the case but when the current opposition forced the amendments through our Prime Minister then started saying that the US Administration might not be happy with the amendments and could scrap the whole deal.

          What is interesting is that there are presently several American States considering introducing a similar scheme to the Australian PBS in their home States which would severely curtail the Pharmaceutical Companies profits and make the necessary drugs more affordable to their citizens.

          The Drug Companies of course see this as a counter productive step. Personally I’ll wait and see the outcome of this proposed agreement between the USA and Australia and if the FTA is eventually scrapped I guess we will all have an answer to exactly what was the original idea behind the FTA.

          Col

        • #2705950

          Reply To: Supporting our replacements?

          by the admiral ·

          In reply to Funnily enough

          If there is free trade between countries, then you try to send something there tariff free. Not going to happen.

        • #2708182

          The topic responses

          by abuymen ·

          In reply to Damage Control: Insist Congress Stop the FTAA

          Many of the responses to this article have more to do with racial prejudice than with technical excellence, quality or customer service.

        • #2714798

          It aint about cost, it’s the blind leading the blind

          by rb_snow ·

          In reply to It’s all about the cost

          Hello,
          While I was 1st level tech support for WIN9x, the majority of the people in my group could not troubleshoot problems. We spent the majority of the time asking mentors what to do. As I was proficient in troubleshooting, I was able to solve problems, but the time to complete diagnosis was more than allowed. I quit because many of my co-workers worked while under drugs. I did not trust the group for my life. This cost money that international companies are not willing to spend.

          When one company reported success in the wilderness, many followed.

      • #2715472

        What Choice

        by thunderdogar ·

        In reply to Reply To: Supporting our replacements?

        I understand what everyone is saying in reguards to this whole matter, as it is I work in a computer shop and from time to time have to contact Dell support to get a drive replaced and so on, and in most cases can not understand the peron on the other line, who is reading off his screen, telling me to do everything I have already done.

        But, the only way to avoid having forums to stop this, would be to go to pay-per-help forum boards, which I am sure would be a no-win choice.
        I use forums as a last resort, and they have saved mine and the other techs here several times.
        But, I do not see paying for one, even sites like Tech Republic who say they offer a lot if you sign up and pay 89.00 a yr, have very little in the way of extra help, mostly they just keep trying to sell you out data manuals or new manual that are of no help at all.

        So, what can be done to change it? I do not see an easy answer, but do understand the lost of support jobs.

      • #2715452

        school tech support

        by rloski ·

        In reply to Reply To: Supporting our replacements?

        I just hope that you didn’t pay to provide that instruction (even if through subscription).

        • #2715402

          Bits and Peices

          by aaron a baker ·

          In reply to school tech support

          I think we have to remember that “all we share here are bits and peices” of information. Although there is a lot of information being published on these pages, they are rarely the entire global perspective of any given problem. WE deal in specifics.Unless the novice has some expertise and or background,they have not got clue one, as to what we refer.I have found many answers to small puzzles and and have given tid- bits of advice that may or may not have been helpful. But I seriously doubt that anything we say and do here could land somebody a job solely based on what they learn from here. We have to be reasonable. Naturally there are the unworthy who will derive “some” benefit by our discussions but for the most part, the information passed on is usually at such a level that the noob has no idea where to start unless he/she has a whole lot of background to attach to the article at hand. I have found the information here mentally stimulating and have thoughroughly enjoyed sharing ideas and thoughts with people “Colleagues” who “ActuallY’ know what they are talking about. I would hate to see it wither away to nothing because of some remote possibilty that someone out there may be bettered by their visit here.After all, isn’t that why we are all here and keep coming back? To better ourselves through mutual help and sharing of ideas? Let the newbie beware, one day, you’ll get caught in your own trap. As for the rest of us, may we continue with our discussions and helping each other with these tips and tid-bits of information. I would hate to see this world wide brotherhood broken up. It’s up to us not to allow our paranoia to destroy us.
          Thank You for your attention.
          Aaron A Baker

      • #2715448

        BOYCOTT THE SELL OUTS!!

        by capabel ·

        In reply to Reply To: Supporting our replacements?

        Because major companies could care less about providing good service and only care about the bottom dollar the only thing we can do is stop buying there crap and support companies that are dedicated to the USA and not the bottom dollar!!
        So stop buy Dell, HP, IBM and once they realize that in the long run they will loose money maybe then will they stop passing us off overseas to a 2 cent tech that doesn’t have a @#%@%$ CLUE!

        • #2715440

          The goal of a business

          by cygnusx1z ·

          In reply to BOYCOTT THE SELL OUTS!!

          The “major companies” do care about good service insofar as it affects their bottom line. A business is not a charitable organization. Someone/some people put up their own money to start/run the business. The objective of a businesse(a business that will actually remain in business, anyway) IS to MAXIMIZE profits.
          A company is not supposed to be “dedicated to the USA” as you put it. Of course, you as a consumer have every right not to purchase any of these companies products. You have also have every right to encourage other people not to purchase their products but don’t get confused about what the purpose of a buiseness is. All together now:
          “To maximize profits.”

          Just my 2 cents worth.

        • #2715047

          shooting ourselves in the foot

          by cpzabalaga ·

          In reply to The goal of a business

          point taken. But I wanted to say something, and you will probably agree with me – when companies use techs out of this country, it directly and/or indirectly puts techs here out of work. then those techs dont have income to put back into the economic system (I am not an economist, but I think you know what I am trying to say). As a result, the economy and financial well-being of our country is affected in a bad way. It is easy to say that the goal of a business is to maximize profits; but when you put people here in the USA out of work, it hurts the country; and it will come back to haunt that company. Call it bad karma, if you want. There have got to be other ways for a company to maximize profits other than by tossing aside the techs right here in our own country. So I say that the companies, such as Dell and whoever, are shooting themselves in the foot. Individual upper management guys can get rich and walk away, but look what it does to our country.

        • #2715020

          don’t blame commerce, blame congress

          by steve v ·

          In reply to shooting ourselves in the foot

          I am reading a lot of compaints aimed at the way large technical corporations are to blame for the overseas outsources tech support, manufacturing and the like. It is not the corporations that are to blamed or held accountable. IT is our own wonderful George “go get em” Busg governement. And all his predecessors. They have allowed big business to do what is necessary to maximize their profits.
          Here is another way to look at this, if an American company has “maximized” their profits and have lees to spend on american employees. Where is all the money going. If you say they are opening up more manufacturing locations, where are those locations being implemented? Not in the states.

          to get back on the subject though; we are not aiding overseas support. thats my thought

        • #2714931

          We’re Screwed

          by 33prism33 ·

          In reply to shooting ourselves in the foot

          And the Feds don’t care. The result of so called “Free Trade” has meant a reduction in jobs and a lowering of the standard of living. It’s not entirely Dubyas fault, Clinton signed the agreements. The politicians promised prosperity for all with these trade agreements but all they meant the CEOs of companies that outsource and their new foreign workers would be the beneficaries. This hasn’t only affected the blue collar workers but the skilled white collar set also and this means not only IT but doctors, lawyers and other tech fields. The Government has responded we all must retrain for imaginary new high end/ high skill jobs that have failed to appear. The end result, a net loss of 1 million plus jobs in the USA during Dubya’s watch, millions thrown into poverty, a lowering of the standard of living and an increase in unemployment. The politicos tell us that this outsourcing/offshoring is good for us because these corporations are plowing money back into R&D and new jobe deveopment in the US.Bullshit, they’re even moving R&D overseas. You will pay for it as you will less likely to be able to find a job. Greenspan and other economists/soothsayers have already predicted that many of you will get the shit end of the stick and man, they’re sorry but then again they already have theirs. And for you folks who say go out and find a new field, WTF is there? Retrain at 46 for what? Go open a Quisnos or a kite store? Go strictly on contracting? Hey, only so many can go on to that till the sandwich artist field is full or the few contracting jobs are being bid down by too many entrants. Small retailer? Wal-Mart has killed that. So for me to give a dot head in Bangalore technical pointers on how to fix a crappy HP (Carly, ESAD,) I’d sooner give them the sweat off of my left testicle.

        • #2708484

          I like your

          by zlitocook ·

          In reply to We’re Screwed

          Reply and would like to say to the outsource companys. You will get what you pay for, you buy cheap you get cheap. You buy a Microsoft rippoff you get a lesser product with no support.

        • #2708479

          But

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to I like your

          Even M$ is outsourcing their development ISA is made in Israel and M$ boast about this at their Partner meetings as well as numerous other products that they develop. Buying Genuine M$ by no means means that you are buying US made or developed.

          Col

        • #2712622

          Re:

          by vltiii ·

          In reply to I like your

          Why do we assume that because something is outsourced that it is of lesser quality? Clearly that is not true, however, let’s assume for a moment that it is. In a supply and demand relationship, the demand or lack of controls that relationship. Consumers need to be smarter about where they take their business. If we as a consumer don’t like something, take our business somewhere else. The supplier will listen if they are affected where it counts…the bottom line.

        • #2712624

          Re:

          by vltiii ·

          In reply to We’re Screwed

          It seems to me that most of the post that I’ve read so far are based on a sense of entitlement. We are guaranteed the right to pursue happiness, but we’re not guaranteed that we will find it. Free trade for all intents is a wonderful thing. It’s only those that can’t figure out how to benefit from it that complain.

        • #2712536

          Re:

          by vltiii ·

          In reply to We’re Screwed

          Wow! It’s amazing the level of ignorance displayed in this post. Because you are personally effected the people in India are now dot heads, even though they have just as much right to work as you do. Based on your post, I would think that your situation is more due to you than anyone/anything else. Perhaps you should look inside yourself and figure out where you need to go. If you can’t come up with an answer then perhaps you deserve whatever comes your way. I have very little sympathy for someone who thinks the way that you do. Your sense of entitlement is your problem. You think because you are american you deserve more. Welcome to the real world.

        • #2714857

          Economics

          by cygnusx1z ·

          In reply to shooting ourselves in the foot

          I am not an economist either but I have tried to become more informed about economics so that I can understand when the politicians (republican or democrat) are trying to pull one over on me. I think that you may be right about techs here at home being put out of work. I don’t necessarily agree that the economy as a whole is adversely affected. Perhaps sections of the economy are, like the tech support portion we are discussing. I think that for the economy as a whole, how ever companies can lower their costs and thus produce their products more cheaply, that helps consumers and the economy as a whole. What would have happened if, as some have suggested, if the government had controled the ways that business could lower their cost? We would still be paying thousands of dollars for a PC. Now you can purchase a PC with more power than the computers used in the Lunar program for a few hundred dollars. When progress is made, unfortunately some people will be adversely affected while others will benefit. The question is, what is the best thing for the economy as a whole.

          A book that I highly recommend is Thomas Sowells’ “Basic Economics: The Citizens Guide to the Economy”. It explains the consequences, among other things, of laws and regulations that seemed good at first but that resulted in hurting the economy, and consumers, in the long run.

        • #2708464

          Who are the “Consumers?”

          by 33prism33 ·

          In reply to Economics

          Everyone talks as if this so called “Consumer” is some separate entity that has some bankroll from God. The “Consumer” benefits, the “Consumer” can buy products more cheaply. Let me tell you all, without a job, you ain’t a “Consumer” any longer. If anyone has read anything about the news, 1 million jobs have been lost and millions have been thrown into poverty. They are either supported by the government or are the “working poor.” In either case, they can no longer purchase anything except that cheap crap sold at Wal-Mart. This enriches Wal-Mart and encourages those assholes to buy even more cheap crap from China. Those cheap PCs aren’t even made over here anymore and with the help of the likes of Carly Fiorina, the tech support isn’t even here anymore, either. The world is *not* a stable place as evidenced by the fact we had 2 world wars in the 20th century and the current situation with the Mid East and terrorism. What is going to happen when the shit hits the fan finally and countries like China (who aren’t exactly are friends despite appearances) no longer sends us our cheap electronics and other goods? Hey, the “Consumers” demand that cheap stuff because we all have shit jobs and can’t afford anything else. This so called Globalization is going to bite us in the ass in the end and I hope we don’t end up on the slag heap of history when it happens.

        • #2708440

          Funnily enough

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Who are the “Consumers?”

          I’ve been saying exactly the same thing for a very long time now with almost no one even thinking “Could it Actually Happen!”

          But what no one is willing to accept is that we no longer produce enough of the goods that we need to even defend ourselves if hostilities where to break out on a larger front than they currently are.

          With the US President always using the word “God” in a lot of his statements it can be a very real possibility that the current conflict could escalate into a full blown war between the Christian and Islamic worlds. Now I realize that GWB statements are for domestic consumption but they are exactly what the radical Islamic factions want as what is quite rightly a “War on Terror” can very easily be turned into what is perceived as a “War on Islam.”

          Now if that was to occur most of the manufactured electronic components would no longer be available for the Western world to use in weapons to at the very least in that event occurring defend themselves let along go on an all out offensive.

          Col

        • #2708438

          Well of course we are all consumers

          by cygnusx1z ·

          In reply to Who are the “Consumers?”

          Of course we are all consumers. That was my point.

          I’ll take your “points” one at a time:

          “…1 million jobs have been lost and millions have been thrown into poverty”

          Just because you lose your job does not meen you are automatically thrown into “poverty”. According to the US Labor Department the US economy “lost” 7 Million + jobs in 4th qtr 2003 and “gained” 7 Million + jobs in the same qtr. The economy is a dynamic thing, it is not a “zero-sum” game.

          The unemployment rate is at 5.4 % as of the end of August. That is not bad when compared to other countries or when compared to other years in the US Economy. Again, according the US Labor Dept, from 1990 to 2003 the unemployed rate has fluctuated from a high in 1992 of 7.5% and a low of 4.0% in 2001, with an average in those years of 5.6%. By contrast countries like Canada (7.3%), Germany (8.0%), France (9.1%!), and Italy (9.3%!!), we are not doing badly.

          –Of course the world is not a “stable” place thats why the US has to remain strong militarily and economicaly, which it has under George Bush (although the “peace dividend” caused our military to shrink, but that is another subject and the tech boom crash affected the economy). One thing I’d like you remember is that the extremely low, by historical standards, unemployment rates of the 1990s where anomolies when compared to the unemployment rates of other years and periods.

          “What is going to happen when the **** hits the fan finally and countries like China (who aren’t exactly are friends despite appearances) no longer sends us our cheap electronics and other goods?” as you so eloquently put it.

          Well I’ll tell you. Their economy is going to implode. They need our “market” as much if not more than we need their products. We can always find other producers willing to make the products we need. China cannot find a more rich and more “consumer” (that word again) oriented society on the planet.

          I’m going to try to be gentle…
          You need to study some history and economics (I’ve mentioned some books you can start with in other post on this discussion) and then really think through what are the real FACTS and not rely solely on “gut” feelings and propaganda that you’ve heard.

        • #2708435

          While I won’t argue statistics with you

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Who are the “Consumers?”

          I think it was Samuel Clements who said there are “Lies, Bloody Lies and Statistics!”

          What you need to back up your figures with is exactly what the 7 Million + jobs that where created where. Did they pay as much? More? Less? where they Part Time? Casual?

          It’s all well and good saying that there where as many jobs created as those lost but there is a new class emerging which we call the “Working Poor” who work in a position that actually ends up costing them money to work as compared to sitting at home collecting Unemployment Benefits.

          Oh by the way China isn’t really a problem to us but the Islamic world is as they are not concerned by loss of their populations lives or economy only destroying what they consider as the “Infidel!” Unfortunately the Islamic world isn’t confined to the Middle East but to a lot of those countries who supply the cheap labor and lack of safety precautions that we demand in our countries.

          If you honestly believe for a single minute that these people are more concerned by their countries economy rather than destroying their perceived enemies I have several real estate investments that may interest you. The first is commonly called the “Golden Gate Bridge” then there is the “Sydney Harbor Bridge” and the longest unsupported bridge in the world for sale are you interested in any or all of these investments?

          Col

        • #2707925

          The REAL Problem

          by pmaher ·

          In reply to The goal of a business

          “To maximize profits.” kind of sums it up. There used to be a concept in this country to charge a fair market value for goods and services. However, in this day of corporate greed, that has changed to a whatever the market will bear mentality. But it’s still all about supply and demand. If corporate America can get away with it, they will. The options are simple, buy from companies whose policies you agree with and enact change via the political system.

          My 2 cents.

        • #2707857

          The WRONG problem

          by vanlandingham ·

          In reply to The REAL Problem

          It has always been to maximize profits. That is how the free market works. Has anyone ever asked for less than they or their product are worth.

          I agree with your thought about affecting the market by buying based on

        • #2721430

          The REAL WRONG problem

          by pmaher ·

          In reply to The WRONG problem

          Not true! Not too long ago things like value, integrity and honesty played a major role in the free market. The objective was not to maximize profits, but to make an honest profit and build the company from within. The saying that “our employees are our most valuable asset” was a reality and was backed up by good wages, fair treatment and horror of horrors, training!! Unfortunately, in this day of perverted capitalism, all that matters now is to get as much as you can, step on whomever you have to and the hell with everyone else (see Enron, Bush and Cheney, et al. for prime examples), which directly ties into the problem of outsourcing and free trade. Free trade, kind of an oxymoron like the moral majority, eh?

        • #2706656

          The Wrong Problem is Real?

          by jakeslouw ·

          In reply to The REAL WRONG problem

          Sorry, guys, but having recently left a large overseas telco, I’ll tell you where the problem lies: American corporate culture.
          Sorry about that, but our telco had a very mature attitude toward IT spend and service-delivery. Then our gov’t, under pressure from the IMF, sold company shares to SBC. SBC considered this an open door, and flooded our top management with a bunch of MBA wannabe’s that then turned the whole system on its head. The IT dept started spouting all the management double-speak that gets companies into crap:instead of focussing in the customer, we now focus on profits for the shareholder, reducing costs at the expense of excellence, and dumbing-down the worker so that management can rule unopposed. So now we buy hardware and software based on cost-out-the-box, and ignore long-term expenses, because that appears to be either a) the problem for next year’s budget b) the problem of the next management team when we dump our shares and move on……
          End of rant.

        • #2706556

          I can sympathize with your story

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to The REAL WRONG problem

          I to have seem many cases of accountants taking over good companies and ruining them in very short order but at the same time giving themselves large bonuses on top of their already over priced payments.

          They without a single exception never consider anything further down the track than the current years PROFITS! Even if they do stay on they then set about blaming the staff for failing to carry out their directives when the next years profits fail to meet expectations. But at the same time award themselves horrendous bonuses again.

          These people are good for about 2 years and after that they leave as they can see the writing on the wall and in most cases the company just falls into disrepair and eventually fails or if it is a necessary corporation ends up by being a drain on the Public Purse. Either way they trash what was a perfectly good company with a tremendous reputation with the public in general so the company is doomed after they get their grubby hands on the books.

          Col

        • #2705918

          Solve the problem, not just its symptom

          by suryava ·

          In reply to The goal of a business

          I do not see any point in fretting and fuming that “others” are doing your job. That way you are only hitting the symptom, while the actual reason you lost your job is because the companies whose products their customers purchased are the ones who decide who should support their customers. If you do not like the Customer service, call the company and tell them so. No point beating your chests over the Tech. Support people. You must remember, just like you, they have also been trained by the same company, to do the same job. How does it matter, who hosts their email addresses ? Whether yahoo or hotmail or any body else?

          You lost a job? Go find another one; or follow the jobs. Do you know how many people from “USA, Canada, Australia and Britain” are following their jobs? By scolding those who got your job, you are only wasting your time, because they are not going to give it back to you, because they did not take it from you; they took it from their employer. As long as you continue to do that, you are making yourselves the butt of their jokes. Would that help you in any way? Would that change things in any way?

          Be creative and help yourselves.

          God Bless the World!

        • #2708218

          You Frustrated Punks!

          by thunder_striker ·

          In reply to BOYCOTT THE SELL OUTS!!

          The reply to everyone of you is simple, you are being outmatched and overrun by your competitors and now you are really frustrated. The comments from you people reflect the agony and frustration that is with in you.

          But the answer to all this is simple. You all “out of work” techs have to live with this truth that you have been overtaken by the people who demand less fortune for the same skills that you people have got, perhaps better. And I dont see this process of outsourcing revercing because techs in south asia are learning and improving their skills in much faster pace than you people living in the so called first world countries, so the quality maybe not upto the mark now but it will be soon. Becuase what you people have achieved in 50 years, people in outsourced countries have achieved in 5. So buckle yourself up techies, rough ride ahead. And be ready for the competition.

        • #2708186

          Actually in my line of work

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to You Frustrated Punks!

          Outsourcing isn’t an issue. But I do have some problems with the M$ activation line when I ring up to activate a product after a reload as the accents are so thick that it is sometimes very hard to understand the person on the other end of the phone line.

          But I do have to disagree with what you’ve claimed that SE Asia has got in 5 years what the Western World took 50 years to develop after all it was that 50 years of development that the people in South East Asia are using now to develop their skills and without it they would not be in the running. It is another case of people being bought by Big Business who’s only concern is their bottom line and to hell with the people who produce their sales no matter if it be technical support or product example code writing or whatever else. The only constant here is the continued use and abuse of the people who are responsible for creating the product while those that sit on their bums doing very little get massive pay increases and benefits.

          This is something that Japan has learn that hard way about 10 years ago when they where producing a lot of manufactured product they eventually priced themselves out of the market and the manufacturing positions where moved offshore to countries where there where cheaper labor rates but even then the companies continued to increase their profits at the workers expense.

          It’s about time that you wake up to the fact that you’re being used and abused and the company who employees workers in SE Asia at the moment will be only too happy to move their current operations from those countries when something cheaper becomes available.

          Anyway the original poster was asking the question “Should We Support those who are Replacing Us” and by your response I get the impression that we should willingly support those workers in SE Asia with our expertise so they can improve their qualifications with out actually doing the required work. Maybe you think that this is OK but to me it smacks of cheating just like the exam or assignment questions that we regularly see posted here. Are you implying that we should willingly answer these questions? When we know full well that the person asking them is only after a quick fix and is not willing to perform the work required to do the job properly. Personally I really don’t give a dam who asks questions I’ll answer them if I can provided that I don’t get the impression that I’m being used. After all if our experience is what is really required shouldn’t we be getting compensation for our knowledge instead of making someone else look better than what they actually are?

          Col

        • #2708681

          I agree…and complain

          by is girl ·

          In reply to BOYCOTT THE SELL OUTS!!

          I complained to Dell about the level of service that I got when my call for support landed me in a call center in Bangladore.

          The indian gentleman that I spoke with was very polite and patient, but all he could do was read documentation to me. Since I pay an annual fee for this support, I felt cheated enough that I called my Dell sales rep to complain.

          Since then, Dell has dropped overseas support for servers on support contracts although the home and desktop support still goes to India.

          Complain and boycott — it helps !!

    • #2719553

      I have thought about WHO I am helping

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      But not in what country they are as it is entirely irrelevant to myself. When companies in Vancouver started outsourcing, I decided to do my own thing instead and became a contracted Network Admin. My job cannot be performed from anywhere but here, most redundant duties are perfromed from my kitchen, but I am needed quite often for site visits or a couple of days on site after performing major network changes just to help staff.

      I am more concerned about helping people with exam quastions though, many of these people enter the industry unskilled and only by scraping through tests and barely have a clue about networks, but can obtain an MCSE anyway.

      They then flood the market with VERY low priced support rates in a desperate attempt to find work. It makes it harder and harder for the GOOD techs to charge reasonable rates as the newwbies with no experience hit the market.

      Now, MCSE’s have no direct effect on MY line of networking (which is Novell based) but I do have friends that are MCSE’s that see this all the time.

      Usually the customer comes around in the long run, if it costs less but takes three time as long to resolve issues, the client will usually pay more for better/faster work.

      As for Where they are, I couldn’t care less. If someone asks a question that I think I can help with, I will always offer the reply, no matter who’s job they have competed for and won.

      The people doing the work aren’t the ight people for you to take out your frustrations on at all. They just like you are simply seeking employment. The company that outsourced your job to begin with would be a reason for unrest but you just have to move on and find something else to do. What’s to stop you changing careers entirely and looking for a whole new field of work? Why pigeonhole yourself to a single career and let yourself be caught in these issues.

      If my job went east, I would start fixing cars full time again, or go back into sales or sales management. Hell, when I was out of work one summer, I learned how to clean chimneys, bought some brushes and started knowcking doors until I paid the rent.

      Why must we spite those that fill a position, they didn’t create the job, they filled an opening.

      Do you really think that by not helping people that you wuill recreate your postition? Of course not. Therefore, find something else to do if you ae bitter at the IT world, it’s a new career choice not something we have done for 50 years, who cares if the bottom falls out.

      My father was a highly skilled tradesman with MANY trade certifications under his belt, I learned at an early age, do what you need to do, do what you want to do, but don’t do something because you can’t do anything else.

      • #2715658

        Reply To: Supporting our replacements?

        by ricardomenendez ·

        In reply to I have thought about WHO I am helping

        I couldn’t agree more. I see myself in your position in 5 to 10 years. Your approach is much more positive and the last statement should be a reminder to all of us.

        • #2715399

          Thank you very much

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Reply To: Supporting our replacements?

          For your kind sentiment. 🙂

        • #2715396

          You have the the right attitude!!!!!

          by philospher ·

          In reply to Reply To: Supporting our replacements?

          I agree with you!. It does matter with support. Experience and education go hand in hand. More IT people are needed, It’s time for IT professionals to accept that this is part of business. This problem is one of expectations. Here’s a three stage review of the problems. I have been on the front lines in tech support in the retail industry.

          First: There must be standards, MCSE,Novell CNE, or open source. There must be a standard of excellence to adhere to and a code of professional conduct that everybody must adhere to.
          Second : Customers this applies to you to. We professionals are just as human as you are . Just becasue we’re certified and experienced, doesn’t mean we can’t make mistakes. Also don’t expect us to remember you personally, do you know how many people we work with?

          Thirdly: Once again expectations of management at all levels; Respect is a two way street! don’t give us conflicting assignments and don’t set us up to fail. This means both salary and professional respect. This also means respecting our certifications and the time it takes to get them.

      • #2715624

        Wry grin here ….

        by badger47 ·

        In reply to I have thought about WHO I am helping

        Its always a long road without a turn.

        I do find it instructive to reflect on how all those skilled workers in factories and knowledge workers in offices felt about how we “IT Professionals” without a second thought displaced them either directly or by huge enhancements to productivity over the past 35 of my career.

        This is how it is. This is how it has always been. Its called the wealth of nations, the source of their competitive advantage.

        Sounds all good and wonderful when we are the agents of change but now its our turn so get real and get another job like all these other people have had to do.

        You might even like it.

        And if you have been a small no matter how small a part of bringing greater equality of opportunity to the world then why not continue sharing your knowledge and skills. That can feel good too.

        Life is perceptions and a curmudgeonly outlook affects you more than it does anyone else.

      • #2715597

        who to blame

        by cesarcomputers ·

        In reply to I have thought about WHO I am helping

        I agree with your posting a 100%.

        I will add that historically we try to put the blame on others missing the real issue.

        It won?t be long before we start to blame the minorities in the US for taking the low paying jobs now that there are so few jobs available.

        What we need to do is to work thru congress to eliminate incentive for companies to outsource and tax heavily those companies who want to continue this practice.

        We live in a Global Economy and outsourcing will probably get increase rather than decrease in the future.

        • #2715525

          “It won?t be long…”

          by your mom 2.0 ·

          In reply to who to blame

          “It won?t be long before we start to blame the minorities in the US for taking the low paying jobs now that there are so few jobs available.”

          Where have you been? That has been happening for quite some time already!

      • #2715594

        I agree with Oz

        by agmiller05 ·

        In reply to I have thought about WHO I am helping

        I agree whole heartedly; when you are a techsupport person you utilize all resources(including discussion groups) to provide the best support possible. Outsourcing is a business decision – it may not always be the best decision for the people impacted, but organizationally, at the time it made sense. Having been unemployed, I understand the poster’s frustration, but at some point, he would be better served if he channeled his energies differently.

        Regards,

      • #2715532

        Fear-Based Strategy

        by bucky kaufman (mcsd) ·

        In reply to I have thought about WHO I am helping

        There’s a lot of right-wingers in this country telling us we should cut ties with the outside world; that we should isolate ourselves economically to keep our jobs safe. That’s a very toxic attitude.

        If you’re resorting to political maneuvers and anti-social behaviour to keep your job and if doing a jood job is just not enough in your industry – you need to switch industries. Yours is about to collapse.

        Personally, if I hired a tech support guy who was afraid to give tech support because it would make him obsolete – I’d ditch him.

        • #2715520

          re: Fear-Based Strategy

          by luhmpei ·

          In reply to Fear-Based Strategy

          I agree with your point, but I’d hardly call it a “right-wing” approach… Right-wing, free-enterprise, market economy, Republican… whatever you call it – their focus has never been building walls.

          Now left-wing, we’re talking USSR, China, East Germany – they’re the ones that wanted to cut ties. They built the walls to “protect” their economies. Where did that get them??? China is now set to open their walls and look at what impact THAT’S going to have on the world.

          Going back to the previous post referencing the Wealth of Nations – Adam Smith-type approach to the global economy – fair enough – outsourcing is driving down the price for this trade – I agree – its time to innovate and move on – stop whining, start doing something about it. The world isn’t going to stop evolving cause you want higher wages than someone else.

          Same work, more pay… Hmmm – sounds fishy to me. This isn’t typically a union job, is it?

        • #2715454

          re: Fear-Based strategy

          by rloski ·

          In reply to re: Fear-Based Strategy

          I agree that this is not a right-wing or left-wing issue. I happen to be right-wing. George W. Bush definitely leans to the right (left of me on some things, right of me on others) and he speaks of off-shoring positively. John Kerry (a right-winger??? lol!) has made the issue of off-shoring a campaign issue: no tax credits to companies off-shoring. Bush is opposed to such measures.

          Personally, I think that off-shoring is good for me in the long run since I have begun to be established in IT. I believe that it is bad for America in the long run by eliminating entry level jobs that in the long run means that few technologists will be working in the USA in thirty years.

          Russ

        • #2720932

          Job-Loss Recovery

          by bucky kaufman (mcsd) ·

          In reply to re: Fear-Based strategy

          re:
          John Kerry (a right-winger??? lol!) has made the issue of off-shoring a campaign issue: no tax credits to companies off-shoring. Bush is opposed to such measures.
          —– —–

          That’s simply not true. Kerry didn’t make offshoring an issue – the fact that so many millions of jobs were sent overseas is what made it an issue.

          Furthermore, Bush has indeed been giving credits to companies that send their jobs overseas, and openly says that it’s a good thing.

          In fact, on the $86B that Kerry “flip-flopped” on, when he voted FOR the bill it was written one way – but when he voted AGAINST it, one reason was that the Bush Republicans attached riders that would have given ADDITIONAL tax breaks and credits to companies that send jobs overseas.

          Also, in passing the PATRIOT ACT, Bush Republicans did the same thing with regards to off-shoring. The draft that was passed around and reviewed was straight-forward. But when it passed, it included provisions for allowing companies that moved their operations overseas to avoid US taxes to continue to do business with the US government.

          You can argue all day and night if off-shoring is a good thing or not – but don’t think for a minute that Bush is “opposed to such measures”.

        • #2720936

          Right or Left – Isolation is Bad Bizness

          by bucky kaufman (mcsd) ·

          In reply to re: Fear-Based Strategy

          re:
          Now left-wing, we’re talking USSR, China, East Germany – they’re the ones that wanted to cut ties. They built the walls to “protect” their economies.
          —— —–

          At the risk of getting off topic, while those were indeed leftist nations – the policy of isolationism is, indeed, right-wing. But I agree with your point – isolationism is not a good way to grow a business.

      • #2715497

        MCSE

        by dburtuk ·

        In reply to I have thought about WHO I am helping

        I have worked in IT for over 10 years now, and do not have a MCSE, I dont want one either. I have no respect for the Qualification, over the last eight years I have seen nearly every test question put on the web under the guise of “transenders” hey man thats cheating…do your study, gain the experiance.

      • #2715478

        Non Responsive

        by paul.tiffany ·

        In reply to I have thought about WHO I am helping

        How open would you be to training your replacement, typically at less than half the pay and one tenth the competence?

      • #2715449

        Excellent Point!

        by techytype ·

        In reply to I have thought about WHO I am helping

        I am based in the Vancouver, BC, Canada region. In the past few years I have seen many unqualified individuals and companies moving into the service/support area as hardware has become increasingly less profitable.

        This is hurting me in the short term but ultimately people do learn where good value is. I will continue to help people by answering single issue questions. When I get calls that are obviously multiple issue or layered then they are told to get the neccesary technical material or pay for services. To answer would be doing a disservice to all.

        Tech forums work best for those seeking answers to specific questions. They are not a replacement for a solid base of experience and knowledge. “Newbies” have to start building their own foundation somewhere, forums are one such resource. We can help.

        Those people using the forums to cheat and give the appearance of skill will fail because they do not have the ability to put a specific answer in context with an understanding of interactions and consequences.

        My best source of new customers are those that have been hosed by incompetent people pretending to be technicians where their only interest is making money and not gaining reliable technical skills. This problem is exacerbated by the prevalent “I want it now and I want it cheap” attitude existing today.

        • #2714848

          I couldn’t agree more

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Excellent Point!

          Most of my newer customers have fallen victim to this type of assault. Over here we have hardware salesmen/women selling you exactly what they have in stock rather than what is required by a business. While this may prove usefully to their bottom line I’ve seen cases where there is no software at all other than Windows on a business computer and even then it’s mostly the “Home” version sold as a complete package.

          Unfortunately this is on the increase with sales people selling the goods and then getting the cheapest person around to pull some cable in a business. There was one really bad case recently where I was asked to install a CD reader in a machine and when I walked into the place I ended up with 4 weeks work fixing and supplying what wasn’t sold in the first place. But what made it even better was when I finished the guy who was supposed to pull the cable return {only 14 weeks after leaving and never calling to say when he would be back} to finish off his work by that time I’d fitted all the network points into wall plates where previously they had just been hanging out of the wall installed all required software and fitted everything that they had bought.

          Of course the person who was supposed to perform the work was a bit miffed particularly when he learnt that I had sold them software and his only comment was “I could have supplied that!” When I walked into the place they only had e-mail so if they needed to transfer a file between workstations they e-mailed it to the person who required the file. Now their ISP rented space on a US server so the e-mail went from one desk to their local server then to the US then back to the local ISP server then to the workstation 10 feet from the original sending point.

          Of course they where unaware that with a network they could just transfer files across their own cables without leaving the building or running up large ISP bills for all the downloaded stuff that they had previously been sending. But they did get a professional salesperson to sell them what they needed and supply a person to setup the network. When I run across things like this happening it only makes it harder for the honest IT people out there to work as when you have been ripped off by these shonky people they then think everyone’s out to take as much of their money as possible and not offer a service. Interestingly enough one of their complaints was that the spell checker wasn’t working on their new computers and all they had installed was XP nothing else. How anybody expected them to function was beyond me.

          Col

      • #2715423

        Excellent Point!

        by pmercer ·

        In reply to I have thought about WHO I am helping

        The person asking the question is just like us, looking for solutions to problems in order to do their job well. They just happen to be fortunately or unfortunately working for the most competitive bidder for the work.

        At some point each of us most likely has had to make a decision about whether we were in the right line of work, for whatever reason whether it is unavailability of positions, or other issues. It can be a tough thing to change directions, but sometimes it winds up being the best decision.

      • #2715044

        MCSE dudes

        by cpzabalaga ·

        In reply to I have thought about WHO I am helping

        as an aside to what you said, I have noticed something. I am in the Los Angeles area, and I do desktop support, if you want to call it that. What gets frustrating for me is that I see notices for jobs for a desktop support person, that has an MCSE, will be doing servers this and that, and whatever. Now why in the world does a desktop support tech have to have a MCSE for?? I thought that was for network admins primarily. Granted, it can be useful, but why make it freakin requirement?? If they want a network admin, they need to ask for one!! If he needs to do desktop support as well, fine. But making a MCSE a requirement for a desktop support tech is assinine, in my humble opinion. I am still looking for work, I dont have an MCSE, but 2 MCPs. It gets frustrating for me.

      • #2714898

        Global economy

        by drew.mcbee-tradesmeninternational ·

        In reply to I have thought about WHO I am helping

        I’m not going to go on for long about this, but it very easy to get angry about overseas people “taking” US jobs. HOWEVER – You would do the same thing they’re doing if you were in thier shoes – and it would be okay, because we’re “Muricans “!

        I think that our economy is becoming more and more Global. This problem is not exclusive to IT.

        The sooner we get used to that concept and the sooner we all learn how to react to it positively, the happier we’ll all be.

        I agree with Oz up there. I’ve done a lot of crappy jobs in my time to get the bills paid. I thank God every day that I have a decent job now – and I realize that I may not have it tomorrow.
        I feel the same way about “doing what you have to do” – in fact, I may just plagiarize that little blurb at the end – about not doing something because you can’t do something else – Hope ya don’t mind Oz.

        • #2714801

          Of course

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Global economy

          THey are just words in the English language.

          If anything, you are plagiarizing my dad, but I couldn’t care less about that. 🙂

      • #2714888

        Oz Media, you are a wise person

        by cmb from omaha ·

        In reply to I have thought about WHO I am helping

        I think you got to the root of the employment issue. We as individuals can’t control world, national, or regional trends that affect the employment picture. But by remaining proactive, creative, and positive, we’ll be a lot more able to handle these changes. (I’m not especially religious, but I do believe that when God closes a door, He opens a window.)

        If at all possible, it’s best to live “below” one’s means. You want to have some “go-to-hell” money in the bank, or at least not be up to your derriere in debt. This will make a huge difference in your stress level, should you become unemployed or underemployed.

        Good luck to all!

    • #2719551

      Interesting thought, but…

      by pr0x1 ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      You pose an interesting question and discussion to which I know I’m going to follow up on thanks to TechRepublic. I never thought to look at it from your perspective, but I know its possible.

      Like you said, we learn from others and our mistakes, however, I also know that offshore partners (term used loosely) usually don’t use sites like this. Unless they are Visa’d or HB’d, I’d think those offshoring non-native-english-speaking companies wouldn’t bother (too hard to translate? who knows). However, those HB’s and Visa’s within the US just may.

      I support any/all ONSHORE home grown american work. I even made another comment to this in “Whats new in IT” within the General Discussions. I quote:” keep our nations technology power here within the Nation. Pay a few extra beans for the quality, and keep America strong.”

      BTW – Dell is continuing to bring support back to the US. Good Luck man. Post the resume, send it my way.

      • #2715662

        oh i don’t know about that

        by dbremer ·

        In reply to Interesting thought, but…

        I’m quite happy answering questions on forums (seldom TechR – normally newsgroups).

        I don’t ever think about whether it is to someone that’s taking my work offshore – even if they are in the USA I will help them without worrying too much

        altho – I’ve got to admit it’s a little bit annoying reading comments where that lot moan about skills going to other countries. Isn’t that where the free market ideology comes from that’s been foisted unwanted on so many countries?

        The main problem I’ve ever had with non-NZ offshore calls is the accent. Indian’s typically know there stuff but are hard to understand, the calls directed to USA are surley and they seem surprised when I don’t appreciate the idiotic questions, the aussie support calls are pretty decent actually – on the whole I prefer them.

        Dave
        NZ

        • #2715626

          slightly off topic …

          by halinator9000 ·

          In reply to oh i don’t know about that

          but, about the support calls, it’s similar when i get calls from companies selling stuff (which i could rant on for a LONG time, so i won’t get started on it), recently i’ve been spending over twice the time on shutting these calls up, why? because i couldn’t understand what they were saying. now, don’t get me wrong, i agree that they are just people doing a job, but dammit, it’s still annoying when you have to ask them what they just said, and have them get very annoyed after the 4th time when i still can’t make out what they are saying 😐

        • #2715450

          Failure in customer service

          by rloski ·

          In reply to oh i don’t know about that

          I have gotten tired of poor customer service. Legit financial companies (CitiGroup) whose Indian surrogates pressure you for information (social security number, tax number, even bank accounts). Or one call to HP support where to get info about a product (tech support contract) I had to give exact details about my computer (which I didn’t have handy) to get a price quote, even though the price is the same for all HP laptops. Or Verizon superpages where it was such agony to get info about what they were selling that I finally took the service (without giving financial info) and cancelled, probably never to purchase that service when I might need it.

          It bothers me when they fail to serve their customers and even more fail to serve their potential customers. The former is bad business, the former is bad sales practice.

          Russ

      • #2714973

        offshoring non-native-english-speaking companies ????

        by vanlandingham ·

        In reply to Interesting thought, but…

        In case you didn’t know, not only do the Indians (dots not feathers) speak English as a native tongue (one of their 3 native tongues in most cases), they are more disciplined at learning and are going to kick our ass at software development if we don’t quit worrying about them and start getting disciplined ourselves. Hell, they probably post more to these boards than the average white person. We are probably learning from them.

    • #2719533

      All Part of the Globalization of IT

      by jimhm ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      Its all part of the Globalization of IT – The less technical work will go to the lowest cost areas. Then you get the Globalization development (3 time zone – developer in each zone – 24 hour development in 24 hours) …

      You aren’t going to stop it – the flood gates have been opened – and the Government can’t do anything (Kerrys plan yea that will work NOT) .. Corporations will do what is best for the corporation – you is But and get this – A HUMAN RESOURCE – Just like a Typewriter – or Laptop – Just a Resource… to be tossed or abused as they see fit…

      So get ready – it has only begun … first to India – then to some 3rd world country …

      And Smile when you train your replacements – otherwise the corporation will make sure you get no unemployement or severance pay..

      How do we say – BEEN THERE – TRAINED THEM – DONE THAT – GOT LAID OFF – OUTSOURCED – TRANSISSIONED – TERMINATED – Whatever you call it – Been there and done that …

      • #2715656

        Careful Jim

        by phineas ·

        In reply to All Part of the Globalization of IT

        Careful Jim, with words like these you’re going to get accused of….. ‘telling the truth’, and that just isn’t allowed any more.

        I reckon you’re lucky if you get treated as a ‘human resource’, i think most corporates see their employees as ‘consumables’ these days, just like the Post-it pads,styrofoam cups and toilet paper.

        keep on rockin’ in the free world

      • #2715647

        well.. not just jobs,

        by prasanna m mukundan ·

        In reply to All Part of the Globalization of IT

        You kno, even though the IT industry is substantially fed by the US economy, its changing, you are going to see a lot more of IT spending coming from the places where you see (some) jobs being offshored – India, China, Russia, Phil.
        I am from India. and if I need a tech support, I would rather prefer a bi/tri-lingual Indian like myself, rather than speak only in english. Its not something people from the west (n australian continent) can fulfil easily. A Chinese/filipino would similiarly like support in THEIR language. Unless you know those languages, you are not good enuf to be a tech support for those people, period. What good is your technical knowledge if you cant speak the lingo of the customer?
        You see what I am getting at?

        Not all support jobs created in here are for overseas customers. (eg, a telco started a soon to be 10000 seat call center, in one location to service its customers in that region)

        So you arent really training your replacements.

        Secondly, if you really think sharing knowledge with Indians will lead to loss of you job and it shouldnt be done, I would suggest, you stop using the numeral zero, which is an Indian gift to the world. 😉

        • #2715638

          Gimme a break…

          by gaijinit ·

          In reply to well.. not just jobs,

          The question posed is not denying support to people like yourself helping customers in their own countries, the problem is companies in the USA outsourcing their IT jobs to other countries just to save money – of course there are good customer support people in India just as there are in the USA, and just as many bad ones.
          But when I get someone on the line trying to help me and I can’t understand his ‘English’, it doesn’t help me at all.
          This forum is not meant for people to use to solve their technical problems (at least I don’t think so), there are plenty of resources for that kind of information, most of us like to think this forum is for us to help each other in problems with our careers, management, etc., not technical questions pertaining to our work.
          Youi mention the IT industry being fed by the US economy, does it seem fair to you that the people who developed almost all the software, standards and the infrastructure can’t get jobs in the USA just because the cost of living in other coutries is so low? If India, China, and the Philippines (and I have done consulting in all of these countries) would pay their workers a fair wage so they could support their families, the attractions of outsourcing would not be so great as it is now for USA companies who (politically incorrect statement or not), are basically paying for slave labor which American and European workers would not tolelrate. We have laws to protect workers. We don’t allow children to work 16 hour days in garment factories or dangerously polluted factories.
          Professional people in the Philipines (IT engineers with university degrees) get the equivalent of US$120 a month as a starting salary. They can not afford to do this kind of work unless they live in a company dormitory, work unbelievable amounts of overtime, etc.
          Of course when the other choice is not to work at all in countries where there is no social welfare to speak of, then of course people will accept any wage offered them, the alternative is to starve. But when workers in the so-called ‘3rd world countries’ start demanding a fair return for their talents and time spent getting educated, then the playing field will even out some.
          Until that happens, I will also not provide any support for technical questions in the Tech Repulic forum as long as talented IT professionals in the USA who have spent time learning their jobs are out of work.
          I remember a discussion posting from about 6 months ago on Tech Republic from a guy assigned to train 3 or 4 IT people from India, brought in through immigration loopholes as ‘essential’ talent, to do his job so they could replace him in 3 months since the 3 of them together would take less pay than the company paid him. His boss told him the real reason for training them, and his choices wer to either do it or to quit the job now.
          I don’t blame the workers, I blame the companies doing this to their own people, I know if you are offered a job and immigration, of course you will take it. But don’t expect me to help you take my place – you want it, earn it.
          I am not a redneck, and I have lived and worked in Asia for 20 years as an IT professional, so I am not just blowing off steam, I see it hapening in front of me all the time. And it is not right.
          The next wave? The Chinese – as soon as enough of them speak English, they will be doing to the Indians what the Indians are now doing to the Americans.
          Chinese universitites sell unauthorized translations of copyrighted books (no royalities paid) for less that $.10 each, subsidized by their government so the university engineering students can catch up and form the workers needed China needs for their own electronic companies – and they are catching up very fast.
          They buy equipment from other vendors, reverse engineer the hardware, and sell it at 40% the price – the originating company can’t meet those prices and goes out of business and the Chinese have enough profit to start paying attention to quality control, and voila’! A new industry base with lower costs at acceptable quality selling so cheap nobody can compete. And no original engineering effort made at all.

        • #2715613

          whoa.. long reply!

          by prasanna m mukundan ·

          In reply to Gimme a break…

          ok, you probably got me wrong there(and a few stats as well).
          I dont deny that people’s jobs are being replaced.
          I was emphasising that knowledge sharing isn’t bad. We wouldnt be where we are today, if there was no knowledge sharing. Anyway knowledge cannot be encapsulated n thrown into cold storage with restricted access.. i think the intel agencies can testify to that.
          What I was saying was,
          Not every Indian/Chinese/Filipino asking a techies question (I dunno about this forum, I hvnt really checked it out) it doesnt mean he/she is out to get your job!

          “But when I get someone on the line trying to help me and I can’t understand his ‘English’, it doesn’t help me at all.”
          well, what do I say.. I hv never quite got the american or the aussie accent either.. i can barely cope with it.

          Well, as I said before, I dont really know what this forum’s about, I only check in here if I find an interesting/controversial comment.

          Well, lets face it, life and economics arent fair.
          let me illustrate, do you think its fair that tropical countries(like India, all of Africa, etc.,) bear the brunt of Climate Changes induced by greenhouse emissions from the industrialised ones? (USA contributes 25%, europe 24% and japan 22%, of emissions worldwide)

          so lets not get into fair/unfair debate, or for that matter into geopolitics/history. its a no-win situation.

          Yes, the wages IT workers or ITES workers get are MORE than fair wages, and yes we can take care of our family on that(i just hope my employer doesnt read this!!).

          Would you rather work in a dingy polluted factory earning your square meals or would you rather die from hunger? (again..this discussion will lead to geopolitics and, I am afraid, if we go into that, I can very well prove that the victims are people of the “third” world.)

          end of the day, would you rather buy that sportscar whatever for 20K or for 10K..better still wouldnt you want it for 5K or lesser? so also with companies. and companies are BUILT on greed. so whatever gets them more money is great for them

          I can speak for myself, my starting salary was about 350$ a month. and if i hadnt been extravagant with that I would hv had atleast +ve net worth by now.:D
          it was among the middle rungs of the scale for a newbie.. lower rungs is around 210$

          Yes, social security is not great cos we cant afford it(you hv to have an economy much bigger than USA’s to fund it for 1.2 billion or so people), and World Bank/ IMF and other bodies advice is to reduce that too.

          I cant really comment on TechRepublic, anything specific that makes you want to say you wont answer questions in here?

          There’s been more outsourced to the Chinese than to India, even now. You have a hell lot more of $$ going to China via outsourcing than India.

          I cant speak for the chinese. But from whatever lil I hv seen of our Industry, I can tell you, that original engineering effort is made. and quite a bit of that effort can be called world class.

          btw, who exactly is a redneck?

        • #2715573

          Do I detect some anger here?

          by vtassone ·

          In reply to whoa.. long reply!

          Hey, The times are a changin. Garment manufacturing, Chemical manufacturing, and on, and on, ad nauseum. Gone Overseas. You can sit there and cry about it or get off your duff and compete. I have worked on three helpdesks and I can tell you that the accent arguement makes no sense. If you are from New York state and you get a customer from the deep south on the line you are in the same boat as talking to someone from India. All three of my helpdesk jobs went east. Am I angry about it? NO!!!!! They can have it. They were boring jobs. Stuck in some cube all day with a jerk boss complaining about metrics is not my idea of fun. Getting blistered for taking more than 8 minutes on a call and the company wants 12 minutes of info on each call, Well I think anybody that has had a helpdesk job knows what I’m talking about. Get a job that can’t be sent east or MAKE YOUR OWN. I did, and I’m not the britest bulb on the xmas tree. An Income and some self respect go a long way. S@#T or get off the pot.

          Vince

        • #2715481

          About “Redneck”

          by elder griffon ·

          In reply to whoa.. long reply!

          A “redneck” is an expression, mostly American I think, referring to a person who comes from a rural area and therefore tends to be uneducated, ignorant of the world, having strong opinions based on little correct information, suspicious of outsiders, boorish, having unrefined habits like drinking too much or owning a lot of firearms, and just generally lacking in good taste or upbringing. I don’t actually know why such a person is considered to have a “red neck”; it’s a very old expression of the contempt of urbanites for uneducated rural folk.

          There’s also a famous American comedian, Jeff Foxworthy, who gets a lot of his humor from his rural roots. His jokes often begin “You know that you’re a redneck if…”

          Let it not be said that on TechRepublic, we do not answer technical questions… 🙂

        • #2715470

          here’s some more info.

          by itgirli ·

          In reply to About “Redneck”

          Main Entry: red?neck
          Pronunciation: ‘red-“nek
          Function: noun
          1 sometimes disparaging : a white member of the Southern rural laboring class
          2 often disparaging : a person whose behavior and opinions are similar to those attributed to rednecks
          – redneck also red?necked /-“nekt/ adjective

          given the name from the effect that working everyday in the sun gives paler people. They get a “tan” line from their shirt so it looks as though only their neck is red. hence, red neck.
          ta-da!

        • #2715467

          GMTA!

          by rgtx ·

          In reply to here’s some more info.

          We must have posted at almost exactly the same time!

        • #2715468

          “Redneck”

          by rgtx ·

          In reply to About “Redneck”

          I think the term “redneck” came from the fact that a lot of these “uncivilized” people tended to be hard manual laborers–spending a lot of time outdoors doing the “dirty” work and getting lots of sun…and sunburns…therefore a red neck.

          It can be a derogatory statement, if used by a so-called educated, civilized person to describe a less educated, less refined individual. It can also be considered a term of honor, meaning that the person is a hard worker who does the best with the situation that he or she has been given.

          I’m from East Texas, and we have both kinds of rednecks here.

        • #2714965

          Meaning of ‘redneck’ (I think)

          by gaijinit ·

          In reply to whoa.. long reply!

          I assume you meant ‘what is a redneck’, not ‘who is a redneck’.

          I grew up on a farm until age 16, so I understand it a little, but never heard the termmuch, someone explained it to me as being derived from a farmer, who is out in the fields all day long, usually wearing a baseball cap to protect his head from the sun, and the only part of him that ever gets a suntan is the back of his neck, hence the term ‘redneck’.

          I don’t know how to verify this, but it makes sense. This leads to the common idea that most farmers and country ‘fishin’, huntin’, beer drinkin’ country boys (rednecks) usually don’t have a clue about global issues but that doesn’t stop them from sounding off with their opinion about any and all things. after all, they heard it on the television, so it MUST be true.

          A lot of Americans think they know a lot about the world even though they have never traveled more than 200 miles from their birthplace simply because they have seen everything via their satellite/cable equipped televisions.

          Like I said, I don’t know how to verify this, if someone out there can correct me or provide more info on this, feel free.

        • #2714893

          Never worry about something you can do nothing about

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Meaning of ‘redneck’ (I think)

          Boycotting won’t help you there’s no way you can enforce it. Even if in the unlikely event everbody in this group were to agree we are hardly the entire IT population. Looking at it from a job point of view, I’d be tempted to have a look at what questions are being asked, they tend to be fairly regular similar ones, so maybe there’s a hole in the market you could fill, support the supporters.

        • #2714928

          You’re so right

          by 33prism33 ·

          In reply to Gimme a break…

          The saddest part about this whole China thing is that they still are a Communist country, strictly regulated by the Communist Party, who isn’t one bit inclined to share political power. BTW, people, they still consider themselves our enemy, despite being given most favored nation status as a trading partner. Everyone seems to forget that they forced one of our Navy aircraft down on one of their islands when it was in international airspace and tore it apart looking for whatever top secret info they coul get their hands. Need I remind you, they also still have ICBMs pointed at our asses and if they invade Taiwan (as they have threatened to in the past) we are still obligated by treaty to defend the island. Damn, we’re stupid.

        • #2721158

          Do you know how much Indians in IT get paid?

          by onbliss ·

          In reply to Gimme a break…

          …I think it is obnoxiously filthy rich. Indians who work in IT are getting loaded so much with money that they do not know what to do with the money. They squander it away.
          In terms of dollars it might be low, but for the lifestyle and culture of India, Indians IT workers get paid remarkably well. You have to compare the money they make with the money non-IT Indian workers make. It is pathetic.

          The lifestyle of an Indian IT worker is far better than non-IT Indian worker.

        • #2721090

          Do you know how much Football players get paid?

          by vanlandingham ·

          In reply to Do you know how much Indians in IT get paid?

          Does your comment mean anything?

        • #2721055

          Actyualy as a segue we were talking about that last week

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Do you know how much Football players get paid?

          BC vs Edmonton, maybe okay not big dollar NFL but still CFL and professional level foortball.

          I earn more money per year than most players on Canada’s leading CFL team, averaging les than $75,000.00 per year, a few years back they only made $40,000.00! The BC lions ENTIRE team roster is capped around 2.5 Million, for the WHOLE team.

          Cheerleaders are volunteers, not paid employees (they do get a few kickbacks and passes but in general they are UBC or SFU students in dance and drama rograms).

          Not exactly the NFL by ANY means.

          The TOP player of the BC lions, a league leading quarterback was signed at $375,000/yr for three years given that he meets ALL season bonuses.

          In comparisson, judged on a real quick review, the top 25 NFL salaries in 2003 the season wet from 7.5 million to OVER 15 million! PER YEAR!!!

          Guess I know what motivates high school football players and why tickets are so expensive!

          Basically CFL is on of the only football league left that isn’t motivated or driven by money. PLayers play because they love the game and not for the salaries.

          The ticket prices are from $17 ! to just over $60 for 50 yard line seats.

          Nicely enough though, they are selling out stadiums again ad football has become a great Canadian sport again, mainly due to low ticket prices as a result of low salaries.

        • #2720610

          Yup it means something…please read on

          by onbliss ·

          In reply to Do you know how much Football players get paid?

          He said:
          ———–
          “If India, China, and the Philippines (and I have done consulting in all of these countries) would pay their workers a fair wage so they could support their families, the attractions of outsourcing would not be so great as it is now for USA companies who (politically incorrect statement or not), are basically paying for slave labor which American and European workers would not tolelrate.”
          ————–

          And I am saying Indian IT workers are not paid UNFAIRLY. And that those “slaves” have tonnes of money to take care of their family needs.

          Does this explanation satisfy you?

        • #2721027

          But India is a country of

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Do you know how much Indians in IT get paid?

          Massive differences there are the very rick, rick, middle class and then very poor.

          India’s technology is very advanced in almost everything possible from nuke to the humble PET scanners. It is an interesting country that really needs to spread the wealth around rather than concentrating it in a small part of the population.

          Col

        • #2720604

          True words…

          by onbliss ·

          In reply to But India is a country of

          I whole heartedly agree.

          But hoarding wealth (concentrating) is done by people through out the world for ages.

          When you used the word ‘spread’, are you advocating socialism? 🙂

        • #2723035

          Not really

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to True words…

          But when people have to sell their bones just to get some form of medical treatment I do get concerned. India like a lot of the countries in that area have some really advanced equipment and then a few miles away total hovels. I just think there should be a better way of dealing with the population that’s all.

          When my sister was at Uni she had to buy a Skeleton for her studies and it was cheaper to buy the real thing from India than a plastic one made locally. Now currently we have Australian Aboriginals trying to recover parts of their ancestors form various paces around the world and at the same time the medical suppliers are importing real skeletons into AU for medical students.

          I’ve worked in some of these places and what brought it home to me a long time ago was when I was approached to oversee a “Medical Cyclotron” he in AU that was being projected and when I went down to see the people responsible for this project I was told that this was the latest technology that would be “World Class” and lead the world in what we would be capable of doing. My response was that India already had 3 of these things and had had them for over 30 years so I couldn’t actually see how they where going to make AU into the leading country in that area. Granted we would have had a better technology only because it was newer but there where quite a few issues that where never overcome and the project at this stage has not been proceeded with but it was envisaged that we would be producing medical Isotopes for PET scanners. Currently we are still importing these from the USA and as such they have to have very long “Half Life’s” to be usable here {they must have a far longer shelf life as they need to remain usable during transport and storage} than what they would if they where produced locally. It is things like this that need addressing in India as they currently have a vast technology but very few of the people get any benefit from it.

          Col

        • #2722990

          Col..

          by onbliss ·

          In reply to True words…

          I was kinda pulling your leg with ‘socialism’ thingy. I don’t abhor it. I believe there is not any one ‘ism’ that can solve the world’s problems.

        • #2723198

          Onbliss don’t worry I was just on my soap box again

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to True words…

          My biggest pet hate is GOVERNMENT WASTE and I’ve seen quite a lot of it from my years dealing with them. Now I don’t do any government or medical work but I’m old enough and ugly enough not to want most of them allowing me near their places as I always cause havoc and throw the rules out the window and implement something better. You should have been at that meeting that I mentioned previously it was hilarious when I pointed out to them I could create a fission reaction without breaking one of their safety rules. Apparently the Bureaucrats had spent something like 5 years writing the safety manual and it took me less than 5 minutes to tear it apart. Luckily all the industry people knew me or I most likely would have been arrested as a terrorist by the way the bureaucrats thought about me.

          Col

        • #2715635

          Different point of view

          by unixdude ·

          In reply to well.. not just jobs,

          That is a good point of view… and a good one. The world of IT does not simply revolve around the USA alone.

        • #2715502

          It’s not all about the USA, but…

          by my2pennies ·

          In reply to Different point of view

          You are right. The world of IT does not simply revolve around the USA alone. I would bet on my next comment being interpreted as American “arrogance” rather than a statement of PRIDE that it truly is — but let’s not forget the IT opportunities for those in other parts of this world would not exist at the level it does today if not for the amount of time, energy, resources, sweat, creativity, drive, enthusiasm, sacrifice, innovation, risk, and dedication of the American IT industry. This is not to brag, or defend, but only to offer a point of view on why this is such a sensitive area. So let’s lay off the bashing of America. When it comes down to it, we all have our good and bad points, and are all, in a word, human.

          The fears for those who have chosen IT as their career, and who are now faced with losing the opportunities they’ve worked so hard for by those who are just now jumping on the bandwagon are natural, and would not be USA exclusive. It’s easy to get into the blame game, but we need solutions, not a reiteration of the problem while pointing fingers. We’re all trying to figure out where to go from here.

          Those who work in the IT industry have CHOSEN it for many reasons, and to simply be told that losing your position now is the way the world works so just find something else to do, is cause to be peeved to put it mildly. The American worker is not one to give up easily, and it adds insult to injury to have to train your replacement, especially during a time when the job market is so soft.

          A forced change is a forced change, and doesn’t come without resistance. However, as one door closes, another opens, so there will be many who will leave the industry and perhaps move into something better. Unfortunatley, these will be some of our most experienced and talented people who would benefit not only the U.S. worker, but ANY who would have the opportunity to learn from them.

          With that said, the reality facing us today is the industry is moving in a direction that the individual IT worker feels powerless to do anything about. Working for a global corporation who has just decided to outsource 90% of its IT functionality has brought these issues closer than ever, and we’ve already felt the pains of not having our own support team readily available.

          Turning our backs on IT workers from anywhere else than the U.S. is not the answer, nor is simply moving tech support overseas simply because it’s cheap, as Dell has discovered. Contrary to the stereotype, all Americans don’t worship the almighty buck. What drives us is pride and professionalism. It’s not about where you’re from or what language you speak (or don’t). We have high standards, as workers and consumers, and if those standards are not being met, we will voice it. Having to train the person you are calling for tech support, and be talked to as a child when you do, can feel insulting, especially when you’ve just been “displaced.”

          I don’t know what the answers are. Working together is about all I can recommend, but how is the question. Many in this forum have terrific suggestions, and maybe it all starts here with us.

        • #2715630

          Excellent Point!

          by nicknielsen ·

          In reply to well.. not just jobs,

          You are absolutely right about the language barrier. It doesn’t matter how much you know if you can’t be understood. As I understand it, this is one of the primary reasons Dell is bringing tech support jobs back to the USA.

          To be honest, I think that a lot of the complaining is simply because Americans are very arrogant people who think the world should revolve around them. They don’t understand why anybody (even the English!) would want to speak any language other than American and won’t believe you can’t understand them when they speak to you. They also become extremely upset when their myopic world-view is shown for the fantasy that it is.

          In fact, in 24 years of traveling around the world in the US Air Force, the only people I encountered who are more arrogant than Americans were the French!

        • #2715622

          Agreed, mostly.

          by cdaniel ·

          In reply to Excellent Point!

          Nick:
          I agree with your post, but have to add that from my experience, the Afrikaners and Argentines are (or were) more arrogant.
          This is no excuse for the arrogance of many Americans just an observation.

        • #2715611

          Reasonable expectation, in context

          by thatboy ·

          In reply to Excellent Point!

          “Americans … don’t understand why anybody would want to speak any language other than American and won’t believe you can’t understand them when they speak to you.”

          I go to buy something. I identify a product I like and find a company doing business in my country. All the sales and marketing literature promoting the product is prepared using the local language. The shipping documents accompanying the product are in my language, and in particular the bill or invoice is in my language. The company readily accepts the currency of my country.

          Why is it acceptable for the company to change the linguistic interface as soon as they have extracted my money?

          (Note: While this post is in English, the concept really applies to any life form in the universe and the respective local linguistic interface.)

      • #2715625

        I.T. May be forcing companies to outsource.

        by mich-a-billy ·

        In reply to All Part of the Globalization of IT

        In my experience with I.T., I have found that techs like to work with-in one or two niches in the department. None of the other techs here know the difference between asp, asp.net, php, perl, or any of the other programming applications.

        Also, almost everybody here only knows Micro$oft. They don’t want to take the time to learn Mac, Linux, or UNIX. They think it is a waste. Personally, I have took the time to learn other OS’s and how to program. I know about 6 programming languages, and 4 different OS’s. I find the people with the MSCE cert have problems looking for solutions outside the MS label.

        Companies look for a competitive edge against the competition, and sometimes MS solutions are too costly to give them that edge. Here is a point in case. Here at my company, we use Microsoft DNS servers with Active Directory. I have found that these servers lag with answering request. Sometimes up to 10 seconds, it averages out to about 2 seconds per query. We have around 400 employees. That averages a lost of about 20 minutes for the company each query. Over a day, that would be a lost of 2 hrs of total company productivity waiting on the DNS server to respond.

        As a member of the I.T. department, I cannot get them to look into a linux/unix solution using bind. Even though I have a Linux machine up and running as a DNS server, and can prove to them it works faster and better.

        What I am saying here is that I.T. personal can make and break a company, and you have to remember in most cases I.T. is overhead to a company. We need to work harder that any other department and prove that we can save the company money be evaluating all solutions and finding the best solutions with the best returns for the company, or we will be replaced/Outsourced with other people.

        • #2715620

          You posted your own answer

          by thatboy ·

          In reply to I.T. May be forcing companies to outsource.

          First you claim that the IT workers’ narrow focus is the problem:

          “In my experience with I.T., …techs like to work with-in one or two niches in the department … everybody here only knows Micro$oft …”

          And then, you point our the REAL problem:

          “…I cannot get them to look into a linux/unix solution …Even though I …can prove to them it works faster and better.”

          Ignorant management.

        • #2715583

          RE: You posted your own answer

          by mich-a-billy ·

          In reply to You posted your own answer

          I guess that I got off topic on what I was trying to say. I was trying to make the point that we as I.T. have to answers to the problems that face the company, find cheap and reliable solutions, and provide support for those solutions. Today, alot of I.T. people that I work have a hard time with simple troubleshooting, and rather send it to second level or third level support.

        • #2715447

          Skills…who? Skills…what?

          by data_monkey ·

          In reply to RE: You posted your own answer

          Don’t know if you are referring to local IT or off-shore but it’s better to escalate and have someone capable diagnose the problem and get it fixed than to just give up and reimage the harddrive.;)I understand that in some cases this is the right thing to do although, it seems to be the way “they” (off-shore OEM techs) fix a lot of issues because of lack of training or abilities.

          It would be interesting to find out what qualifications they have and training they are put through before they jump on the phones.
          …Anyone?

          Also, to get back to the original question, I have actually seen posts on other newsgroups where the techs stated that they worked for Dell and wanted help with certain issues.

          So, the answer is yes. If you are replying to them with answers to technical issues, you are helping them become a stronger player in the IT industry and you’re neighbor might be a fraction happier with the results the next time he/she calls because you helped the tech with that one issue. Just keep in mind that it obviously doesn’t matter how much knowledge you have or they have or anyone else has, the job goes to who can do it for the lowest cost.

          Good job Dell! Keep bringing our jobs back home!

        • #2715492

          M$ solutions….

          by luhmpei ·

          In reply to I.T. May be forcing companies to outsource.

          Ok – so instead of building this box (on the clock?) and dragging management in to watch your superiour Linux DNS solution, could you not have just spent $50 or $100 on more RAM and fixed the problem that way?

          I am the FIRST to admit that MS doesn’t offer the best solution for every circumstance – but the do offer A solution to almost every need. It may cost more, it may not be the fastest, best or definitely not the most secure, but the industry has adopted it in a widespread fashion.

          If we go back to what this post was initially about – Jobs – we have to “go where the money is” -when we all started, that money was in supporting MS software/networks. Linux may cost less, work faster and be more reliable, but until/unless upper management figures that out, they just go for the MS solution and implement it – then usually decide to hire tech support after the fact. That being the case, you can hardly blame the TR community for knowing mostly or in some cases ONLY Microsoft break-fix stuff…

          That’s where the market has taken the techs.

    • #2720327

      Tip of the support iceberg

      by mandrake64 ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      Answering these questions should not be seen as training for someone else. Look at the nature of the answers that are provided. If it is a simple yes/no or specifying a command to run to get someone out of trouble then we are probably not giving away to much.
      Training is much more than simply reading a book. True knowledge is based on real world experiences and that is something that the outlanders that might man those help desk centres are not going to get while sitting on the end of a phone.
      We have all benefitted at some time from being mentored or gained experience and skills in the right environment. Others deserve that opportunity too, but this requires face to face contact not as a voice on the end of the phone or even on the Net. If the committment is there, I say share what you have and we will all be better off.

    • #2720277

      I think… not really

      by jinn ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      I find it hard to believe that by anwsering questions here can train someone up. It can help the process, but nothing can substitute for real experience. The guys asking to do complex tasks with little or no experience, are doomed to fail anyway. Even if they have the slightest understanding of the anwser.

      The tech questions here have helped me out plenty times before, but I wouldn’t be working in IT if I had to rely on TR completely to solve my problems. In fact if you’re relying on TR to solve every problem you have then you’re going to be stuck as a tier 1 helldesk support monkey for the rest of your life.

    • #2715661

      Hey, blow your horn….would you?

      by agapito ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      The problem is really a matter of perspective. Stress Junkie actually perceives it as a problem in his local ‘geography’. What is missed here is the fact that his (and ours too) job was and is supported by the sum of all parts. Were it not for overseas sales of the technology that he claims as apparently his own, he probably would have lost his job much sooner. Beep beep.

    • #2715655

      Is that possible?

      by zbrkic9 ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      Your “overseas, incompetent” replacements may be of different (hair) color, sex, height and so on, but what makes them incompetent? Aren’t you just hating people who earn far less than you or what?

    • #2715653

      Have you read “Who Moved My Cheese?”

      by sue’s comment ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      I recommend this book to everyone! It will only take about 30 mins to read. It changes one’s outlook somewhat! ISBN 067104334X

      No one’s job is for life any more. Jobs are done by whoever is cheapest – whether “overseas” or “newly qualified”. No one can rest on their laurels. Computer moves forward so fast that having 5 years experience equates to 20 years experience. So why pay the high salaries for more experienced staff?

      If I get a foreign sounding telephone support service I change supplier or email them.

      • #2715646

        Yup that’s the one.

        by pbt ·

        In reply to Have you read “Who Moved My Cheese?”

        Business will bounce back and forth a little while they get the cost/quality balance sorted out but it will move.

        Excellent reference.

      • #2715628

        Good book Sue !!

        by answerman ·

        In reply to Have you read “Who Moved My Cheese?”

        There is another one called “The Goal” written by Eli Goldratt….. It is written in novel format, relating the trials and tribulations of attempting to get a factory / manufacturer more efficient…

        There is a part two called “The Race” written by the same fellow with some help from someone that ends up being more “workbookish” is setup.

        Probably ancient history now though.. what with 5 years experience telling companies that I have 20 years experience… I hadn’t realized that. But it makes perfect sense as to why they are not calling me…. they think I am 102 years old !!

      • #2712632

        Re:

        by vltiii ·

        In reply to Have you read “Who Moved My Cheese?”

        Just because the person on the other end of the phone has an accent doesn’t mean that they’re in a foreign country. Keep in mind that the U.S. is the land of the free and we accept people from most countries of the world.

    • #2715652

      What?

      by pbt ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      If this were any other industry would anyone in the forum break a sweat? We should shoot the FSF, Linux and GNU immediately if you’re that paranoid.

      The market moves for you and against you. You’re effectively begrudging another society the ability to aspire to all the qualities you hold dear and advocating dragging back your local economy to boot.

      You have skills and talent to sell. You need to market them so the added value of your locality is more apparent. Support lines are a case of this: it’s communication based and emotive and people are more comfortable with a local supplier – that has value. Think seriously about your career direction and how you can add more value where you are or continue to follow heart and realise the market has moved and is not as soft a place as it once was.

      Read economics, politics and history. Its all happened before and will all happen again.

      • #2715644

        Dear Stress Junkie, you are too stressed…

        by alex ·

        In reply to What?

        Dear Stress Junkie, you are too stressed!

        I am from one of the countries that you described as being “most likely to post answers” (I’m from Britain), and I have to admit that I was very depressed by your posting.

        The basic problem with your posting is that you are looking at the problem backwards. At the moment, you are trying to protect your job by holding other people back, rather than by boosting and promoting yourself.

        Let me clarify…

        If you applied your technique to highschools teachers would stop teaching their students, on the basis that one day some of the students would probably come back and replace them. The trick is to always keep improving yourself, and developing your skills set. Try to stay a step ahead by moving faster, not by slowing down the other people in the race.

        Also, remember that the more people there are in your industry, the more need there will be for people who can help those people (if you see what I mean). I would suggest that you use your experience to find a job TRAINING the next generation. Don’t try to stop them from ever being as good as you are now. You have skills that other people need – give them those skills, and be loved by them for doing it. Plus get paid at the same time!

        P.S. Just because people from India or the Philippines or Eastern Europe (or wherever) don’t speak English as their FIRST language doesn’t mean that they are incompetent. Imagine if you were working in the US, trying to earn more money by giving customer support to business people in Japan. If your Japanese wasn’t that good, would it mean that you are stupid? Of course not! You just come from somewhere else where the same things have different names. And if their IT skills aren’t that good yet, maybe it’s because they are young (just like you were once)… and at least they are trying to improve! That’s why they asked you a question in the first place.

        Stay calm, dear stress junkie, and focus on trying to become successful by HELPING other people, not by blocking their path.

        Best wishes, alex@cyber-dynamics.com

        • #2715549

          theirs gold in dem dar hills!!!

          by vtassone ·

          In reply to Dear Stress Junkie, you are too stressed…

          Great post alex@cyber-dynamics.com. You hit the nail on the head!! You have to look at the brite side to any situation. Example, If people are complaining about not being able to undersand the tech. at the other end of the line, why not put an ad in the paper to fix their PC for them. Many people would rather pay a few bucks than sit on the phone for 2 hours trying to understand a “forener” and do things they aren’t trained to do. Maybe next time they will buy a PC from you. I’m makeing a decent living catering to the home user. You have to find your niche.

          Vince

    • #2715650

      Look at Smaller Clients

      by grbrown ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      In Australia.
      I started my own business supporting companies in 0 to 20 user bracket. Lots of work for some one with broad range of competancies.
      I can pull down & rebuild the hardware on a PC to set up 20 user network. Carry a few network cards etc in the car boot after a while they will pay more $200 more for a PC from you than a Malaysian built Dell, simply because the decision makers like you, (and yeah you dont ask too many questions about the ‘foreign’ PC that is full of Virus damage cos the kids go on music sites)
      I have lots of customers not one, will work through the night onsite at times, charge what I want (but don’t screw them)
      There is work out there and once you set up their site for remote monitoring & support I don’t leave my Home office for days but still make money,
      Yes offshoring will work for huge companies, small like to have personal contact, thats where they come from too
      After a while waiting in a que and having some foreign worker who you have to explain things to 3 times cos they cannot understand English/Spanish/French/ grates to any one
      Greg

    • #2715649

      The good outweighs it.

      by vytautasb9 ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      I think the author in a way answered his own question “My own career success has been greatly enhanced from other people helping me by sharing their technical skills.”. I think this is the greater good and should be allowed to flourish. If someone takes selfish advantage of using the free help found in this forum that is just one of the downsides found with any good thing. One never knows how providing someone with help will come back to the giver someday with a dividend. At least the helper will benefit from keeping his skills sharp and perhaps some potential employer reading these discussions will take notice.

      • #2715642

        Iron sharpens iron.

        by alganon ·

        In reply to The good outweighs it.

        Steven Covey says that if we learn in order to teach then we commit to the material more effectively, and so he encourages those who take his 7 Habits course to teach the material to someone else within 48 hours of learning it. Teaching something actually drives that knowledge deeper within us, and this is true of IT. I still classify myself as a Linux newbie but I often help others out on discussion lists, and I find my skills are growing. I believe that we all grow from helping others, and the growth works out to ouer benefit. Not all of us are installing software everyday on different machines. Not all of us are solving network problems all day every day, not all of us are working in disaster recovery or virus eradication, but by dipping our toes into a discussion outside our immediate sphere of influence, we round ourselves out, we become more versatile, more valuable. There is little value in worrying about the other guy. The Good Book says “Give and it shall be given to you, good measure, pressed down, running over…”

        Choose the better way.

      • #2715637

        Right on stress junkie

        by answerman ·

        In reply to The good outweighs it.

        I too have thought many times how many people have actually caused, in some long drawn out chain of events, that you’d never be able to follow back to the source, karmically caused the fact that over 20 years in every facet of both large and small organizations, then a career shift to A+, N+, MCP, MOUSE, etc…. has left me without the mailbox “flooded” with responses when I apply for jobs.

        Globalization (as one respondee puts it).. HAS NOT WORKED for the middle class U.S. citizen. PERIOD !!

        NAFTA, outsourcing customer service, outsourcing helpdesk, trade agreements, importing and exporting balances, NOTHING HAS WORKED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE U.S. citizen ….. none of it !!

        Time for Isolationism. About 10 years oughta do it. Unemployment would disappear because we would be forced to make the things we need, and that puts everyone to work, somehow…. Or are we saying that we are so lazy, stupid, unskilled, uneducated, that we can’t possibly do that?

        Let me tell everyone something. The real cost concerns between taking care of your customers with a U.S. staff versus outsourcing it are “negligible at best”…. The language barrier, the distance, the training, the additional communications costs, more than sour any ROI first thought of. No amount of “warm & fuzzy” can bring back lost customers after a distastful and painful experience trying to communicate to (insert favorite foreign name here), the steps you’ve taken already solve your issue.

        Companies have lost site of the goal, and that is to take care of the customer. Can there be anything more important than your customer, that put you there in the FIRST PLACE? And truth be told, if the negligible amounts of savings by outsourcing (if any at all) are all that’s keeping you in business, then you’ve got other problems…….WAY bigger than a couple nickels to be shaved off the debit side…..

        • #2715560

          HA!

          by dwiebles ·

          In reply to Right on stress junkie

          Good Luck with isolationism, your natural resources, oil, electricity, and much technology (more a collaboration globally then a US Spearheaded effort), a good portion of all come from outside your own country. The US’s power stemmed from global economy, and forign trade. Isolationism just stagnates innovation within a country.

        • #2715475

          Answer Man Needs Some Answers

          by robotech ·

          In reply to Right on stress junkie

          I got tired of searching for jobs via CareerBuilder.com etc. So I decided to work as a consultant. Why do experienced persons like myself have a problem getting IT jobs? Because companies don’t want to pay. I have an enviable r?sum?, or at least so I?ve been told. But employeers and headhunters would rather hire a kid fresh out of high school with A+ and perhaps an MCP. Why? Cost… they pay less.

          It doesn’t matter how much the kid screws up the network, if they have to fire him two or three months later they still hire a new ‘baby’ to babysit their network. All in the name of saving money. These are the people, RIGHT HERE IN AMERICA, who come to TechRepublic’s forums to find answers to their questions. I am surprised at times by the questions that A+’s and MCP’s ask, yes, right here in good ol’ USA. I sometimes wonder who they bribed or blackmailed to be managing a network with more than 50 users.
          People in third world/developing countries should be given more credit. They are hard workers, they are willing to read Microsoft FAQs and recreate the situation in a lab. I have friends in third world countries who are not even aware that TechRepublic forums exist.

          I’m not bitter though. I’ve found my niche, and my goal has always been to keep up to date with technology so that I can provide solutions quickly.

    • #2715645

      Think alternatively

      by mel_wwy ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      Hi junkie.

      You may be right about that.

      Only when the companies realize that the quality of services in the new offshore rep. office is ALWAYS not up to standard, will they think about switch back to home countries. That seldom happens, unless the cost of living at home countries will be lower or same as the developing country (what a joke!! A country needs to suffer from continuous deflation in order to compete with developing countries…..??)

      I feel the same. However, have you ever thoughts about selling your skills to overseas companies? are you ready to work at night (in order to cope with the time difference) and get your pay via teletransfer from a company in Asia? etc. etc.

      Think positive. When someone can “export” their skills, why not you become one of them?

      Tech. skills may probably one of the best “product” for globalization.

    • #2715643

      Reply To: Supporting our replacements?

      by elwoos ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      Like many, I have benefited greatly from the knowledge of others and fully believe that knowledge should be shared. I don’t see how I can do most of my job without doing that.

      Someone (non IT) I used to work with used to say to me “I’m going to learn as much as you about IT and computers” and at first it scared me a little, but then when I sat down and thought about it I realised that I had been ‘doing’ computers for about ten years on and off and that it would take him at least a few years to catch up with where I was then, but of course in those few years I would have advanced further (with hindsight much more than expected) and so I stopped worrying and started to feed him more titbits which made my life easier at the time.

      I think this raises two points. Firstly the people who threaten your job aren’t neccessarily those abroad or from certain (other) countries.

      The second point is that realistically, how long has it taken to get to where you are, even assuming you worked as hard as you possibly could and learnt as quickly as you possibly could, I bet it’s a good few years. These guys are going to take the same amount of time or longer (and they probably don’t have access to the resources that you did, the difference may be that the Internet is now used to disseminate information) – and how much more knowledge will you have by then. By the time these guys have learnt this stuff there will have been so many complaints to a corporation that they may well have ceased outsourcing support.

      There will be a need for tech support for the forseeable future, if you are having trouble finding something suitable, have you considered widening your outlook slightly or diversifying a little. I’ve recently been on a SQL Server course with two older guys who have gone from being the local mainframe database guru to a junior DBA. While they were finding it hard, they also knew that they had learnt many trasnferable skills

    • #2715629

      I agree with you

      by mijobra ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      A couple of months ago I subscribed to a Security Newsletter. The info contained in it is intermediate level security info. With it comes the email of posts to their forums. The questions are almost entirely non-american\european names. With questions like ” How do I enable Auditing in W2K3?” ” what is a port” How do I know if a trojan is running? It is obvious that these people do not have the level of knowledge of even a well versed user and they are stealing the jobs that many of us paid tens of thousands of dollars to secure ( I still owe on my student loans How about you?)

    • #2715621

      Reply To: Supporting our replacements?

      by mysticmaestro ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      If you think outsourcing is new look around you. Outsourcing has been going in various forms for decades. Look around the aisles in Walmart, every one of those items could have been (and most used to be) manufactured in the good ol’ US of A. Not anymore. Why do think this is so? Walmart would rather buy these goods from China/Mexico/Bangladesh because they are manufactured at a tenth of the cost. Do you think twice before buying any of those items. You go to Walmart especially because it is so cheap to stock up from there.

      The same thing happened in the Auto industry a couple of decades back. What car do you drive? It happened to the Steel Industry before that. And it will continue to happen again.

      The same is happening in the IT industry. It just so happens that the IT crowd today can start such discussions on the Internet. This ability to gripe to the whole world from the comfort of your desk is a new phenomenon. But that doesnt change the economics of outsourcing and offshoring. And the hard reality is that this is going to continue.

      By the way, you are mistaken in thinking that IT folks in India (or one of the other 3rd world countries) are underpaid. They are most likely to be the highest paid employees in that country. Their salaries seem low compared to US salaries because of something called ‘cost of living’. How much did your lunch cost you? Can you buy a complete wholesome lunch for less than a dollar in the US? You can do just that in any one of these ?offshoring? countries. That is why when they get paid a sixth of a US salary they are still happy since that is more than what the anyone else in that country earns.

      A last word ? do know who was manning US helpdesk before India stepped in? Most banks and credit card companies had setup large helpdesk enterprises inside US prisons. This was because prisoners were paid between $1-$5 for doing this work. Talk about cheap labor.

    • #2715619

      You may be right but….

      by husp1 ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      You may be right but the coin has 2 sides there are people out here that actualy use the information passed on in these forums to perform jobs not involving outsourcing. I have been around since tape readers and card readers and alto I have tested high in school pretests I have neither the time or inclinarion to persue a career in the I.T. field (at my age I just don’t see a good chance of finding employment that will cover the cost of the school loans and support my family at the same time.) But I still find that there are many helpful solutions posted here for all I.T pros to use, as well as us “power users” so please be aware that if you limit your answers based on Alias names then you might be silently defeating the purpose of the site altogether, And that would be a darn shame because my grandson reads these postings on my system an has expressed a intrest in a career in the field(quite bright for a 14 yr. old) maybe When I get to old for my job I’ll look at schooling (just for fun) but untill that day I’ll just have to muddel my way through with your guy’s help.

      • #2715429

        re: your Grandson

        by luhmpei ·

        In reply to You may be right but….

        well – if you truly care about your grandson, you may want him to think twice before learning the trade of the buggy-whip-makers….

    • #2715614

      Incredible Arrogance

      by fred tatt ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      What incredible arrogance. Only Americans are technically competent? Please!

      Do you only read and act on replies from Americans? This is a global forum. The knowledge sharing goes both ways.

      If I have a question, I can ask the people in Ops or search the web. Both yield answers.

      A competent user in darkest Africa.

      • #2714929

        Correcto!

        by recovery ·

        In reply to Incredible Arrogance

        Exactly.
        You may guess from an id where the question or answer comes from but that is the only geographic hint that is normally given – and it maybe false.
        I work internationally so although my id maybe country based it’s not where I’m working.

        I think the real answer to this one is the viewing perspective.
        You have to look at your glass and believe that it’s half full, not half empty. i.e. be positive.

    • #2715607

      May be

      by hrosa ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      May be your right, however: you assume that Americans are the only people that can produce tech gurus. This is a faulty assumption. I’ve met a lot of sharp foriegn techs. The Chinese excel in math and science. The foriegn workers are not at fault for taking our jobs, the fault is with multi-national corps. who exploit these workers and in turn exploit us.

    • #2715600

      Beware of political nationalism

      by valhalla ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      Tech new hires and wannabes (including many of us in times past) have always depended on boards like this one to tap the experience of others to get the job done. We have always been potentially training our replacements and competitors in the job market.

      The only difference noted in the current discussion is the apparent country of origin of certain participants today.

      These folks are doing the same thing we have done, and it’s not any of our faults that companies seek to improve their balance sheets by getting us to compete with each other for available jobs, bidding down the wages in the process.

      That’s always been our common condition as wage workers, no matter what the job or how high the salary. We compete with each other in a market controlled largely by the buyers of labor power.

      This is just part of the big changes that keep making the world a smaller place. Bigger changes are coming, and we need to know that we can count on each other, no matter what color or gender we are or where our mother was when we were born.

      We only shoot ourselves in the foot if we subscribe to corporate propaganda that is politically designed to get us to shift the blame for this state of affairs onto our colleagues in other countries who face the same questions of survival that we do.

    • #2715599

      Senior Management

      by kalhoun ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      While I think it is tough to lose your job and have to train someone to do your job, that is just the way it is.

      But what I would be interesting in seeing is the people who make the decision to outsource, whether overseas or not, that they would also be agreeable to outsourcing their jobs as well.

      I’ve not seen yet where the people who say “it is the best approach for the company to stay profitable to outsource” to also include their job in the outsourcing event.

      Interesting how their jobs are too important to outsource.

    • #2715595

      On Board, but not happy

      by teamdave ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      I also loathe the idea that I may be training someone who took my job a couple of years ago. I find myself noticing the “written lingo”, and basing my decision to contribute an answer on that…but often, my professionalism takes over, and….
      BTW, congrats to Dell for bringing jobs back over. I got my start in IT as telephone tech support when they first launched the Dimension and Precision lines – on Braker Lane in Austin, long before they moved to Round Rock.

      • #2715425

        re: Kudos to Dell

        by luhmpei ·

        In reply to On Board, but not happy

        I agree – in the midst of all the offshorism – they are supporting the economies in which they sell their products. (I’m not saying they don’t sell “overseas” but at the same time, they sell a lot in North America, and to support those economies can only help them in the long run.)

        They just announced a new call centre opening here in Edmonton, AB. That was unexpected, but pleasantly welcomed by the community. JOBS JOBS JOBS!!!

        (not that that’s the job I necessarily want, but we all need to start somewhere!)

    • #2715592

      Overseas Outsourcing Experience

      by gsquared ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      A subcontractor that does a lot of web work for the company I work at has outsourced a lot to a company in India, and I’ve had (too much) experience in dealing with these guys now.

      Basically, you get what you pay for when you offshore your IT work. They are cheap ($1000 per month gets you a full-time developer in this case), but they are really only good for work that requires no imagination, no real problem-solving skills and even so they do require considerable oversight and review of their work.

      The owner of the company in India pointed out to me that he had people who were trained on database programming (SQL specifically) in high school and who had over 10 years of experience each in the field. And these guys can write a simple select statement, a few normal joins, an update or insert or delete procedure.

      Ask them to put some flow control, a few case statements, a conditional join, a complex IF condition, and instead of 10 years experience, I get stuff that produces either bad results or no results.

      Tell them “here’s the form we used on the old CRM database, copy that functionality but on the new data structure”, and I get a form that looks pretty much exactly like the old one, but which loses vast amounts of functionality. It requires an imagination and some creative ability.

      So, if you’re trying to determine if the tech questions are being asked by offshore tech personnel, look for questions that require problem solving, project definition, deep understanding of how code works and why, etc.

      Questions like that aren’t going to be a specific “how do you query a recordset in VBS?” kind of thing. They’ll be in terms of “I have a project that requires me to track changes in a database and trigger events on that. I’ve set up workflow in the MS SQL server, but I don’t know what kinds of things to track. Any suggestions?” That kind of “help me figure out WHAT to do”, as opposed to “help me figure out HOW to do it”. If you see WHAT TO DO type questions, you are probably safe in assuming it’s more likely to be offshore techs asking.

      At least, that’s my experience with these guys. Admittedly, my experience is limited to 1 company for less than 1 year, but I’ve heard the same kind of thing from other companies that have offshored development.

    • #2715591

      Be a good steward

      by jim87231 ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      You may have a point, but choosing to live under a cynical pall will not serve you well. I encourage you to remember a few things: 1) The person you’re helping is usually not the only one who gains in the exchange. You gain as well — whether from the additional research you do prior to issuing your reply, or from the development/reinforcement of interpersonal skills necessary to politely and concisely help them. 2) If the issue of helping a potential competitor bothers you, you do not need to give them the entire answer. The point here is not to be pissy or passive aggressive with them, but to genuinely give them enough information (so that they can research the rest), and to be upfront in telling them you’re doing so. Good luck to you.

    • #2715587

      Take it on a case-by-case basis

      by your mom 2.0 ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      Seriously, you have no sure way of knowing who you’re helping. As you said yourself, you’ve learned quite a bit from forums similar to TR’s…should the possibility that you’re assisting your replacement keep you from helping others who were in the position you were in once? That’s your decision, but I don’t think that helping others in need of assistance is going to hurt you or contribute to the bigger problem of overseas outsourcing. Actually, by NOT HELPING you’re probably going cause more people to turn to phone-based support as a last resort.

      Personally, I’d much rather post to a forum and do my own leg-work than wait on the phone for Haji or Mujibur to pull out their Pakistani-to-English dictionary to look up their translation for “press the reset button”.

      Do something else. Use your call center experience (I’m assuming) to move on to something better. A long time ago, I used to work as tech support / customer service with a large consumer electronics company and my job got outsourced, too. It was my first “real” job, but I learned alot from it. To this day I still call upon and put into use the experience and knowledge I gained from that job into my current job.

      Bear in mind that customers vote with their dollar. When it gets to the point where a company’s customer base is diminishing because their support s**ks, the company will change the way things are done just to keep the money coming in.

      Companies like Dell have used their rep for providing excellent support as a selling point for years…now that their support has been less than stellar for awhile & they’re shutting down call centers, they are losing their position as one of the top sellers in the field. Personally, I avoid dealing with Dell now just because of bad past experiences with their support.

    • #2715579

      Then vote for John Kerry

      by virtualgardener ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      He is the only candidate with a plan to address this issue. That is the beauty of America, you can change the governmental policies you dislike with your vote.

      • #2715536

        A vote for Kerry is a vote against capitalism

        by vanlandingham ·

        In reply to Then vote for John Kerry

        The beauty of America is that you can make a living doing whatever you choose, so long as what you are doing is providing value to the market. If someone in India can do it better or cheaper or some combination of the two, then they get the job — no hard feelings. This is the American way and the American Dream.

        This Kerry guy is the one that has an answer for everything and for every one. You socialists better hope that he doesn’t find himself with people on both sides of an issue asking him for answers at the same time; at least not before the election. And, although less likely to happen, you better hope you never find yourself in a battle where you need to count on his loyalty.

        • #2715426

          HooRaa!

          by cygnusx1z ·

          In reply to A vote for Kerry is a vote against capitalism

          Kerry will give us everything we ever wanted and he will get the money for it only from the “rich”. Yeah right! And I’m the king of England.

          I guess Kerry and the other Socialist have not heard: Socialism is dead! Read Joshua Muravchiks’ book “Heaven on Earth: The Rise and FALL of Socialism”. Another book that will help understand economic issues is Thomas Sowells’ “Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy”. There are many “Aha” moments in each of these books.

        • #2714976

          Imagine if everyone learned basic Economics

          by vanlandingham ·

          In reply to HooRaa!

          If I am in a union, and the leadership (being paid with my dues), fights for my rights and gets me as much pay as I want, and the company goes under, then I won, right?

    • #2715569

      Thank you for describing the average American End User…

      by boomslang ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      Who is on this forum trying to keep his small company up and running.

      Due to economic reasons, his company cannot afford full time IT personnel at the wages they deem finacially adequate, and they often find it politically degrading to have multiple vocations (do more than one job function, and not computer related), and his company has already tried the intra-US outsourcing routine only to find that it is just as miserable as the bigger companies off-shore junk, so they are starting to depend on their own “Power Users” to keep things running.

      These people will not have the training, will be lacking knowledge in basic areas and may not have very good troubleshooting skills.

      You are in a catch 22 here. You aren’t going to get your job back because the expected wages are too high and not providing that knowlege puts someone lower on the ladder at a disadvantage which hurts the economy and guarantees you are not going to get your job back.

      As to worrying about the “foreign them”, they aren’t as stupid as you think and will gain the knowledge you think to protect in other ways.

      You have already seen this with the Japanese Automotive Manufacturers, remember all the jokes way back when, “Japanese junk quits quickly”, “Tin Can Automobiles, open the door and read the beer lables on the inside”. Watch any news footage lately? 10 to one, you will see a Toyota in the picture, overseas in the outback of the world, that ratio gets closer to 2 to one. This is not the only industry where that has happened. It all begins with imitation and ends with innovation.

      I’ve talked to Pakistanis who better understand how a computer motherboard works than most American computer techs. They have been doing this stuff for a decade or more now, so they’re probably not getting more stupid.

    • #2715567

      Hard thoughts

      by bhunsinger ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      Should you help? Totally up to you, but collaboration means just that. I really understand your frustration, but I’ve heard too much about thew greed of ‘paper MCSE’ to sympathize a lot. I was one of those, and got lambasted with that title. I spent 4 months, 8 hours a day on a training program hammering out the training modules to get my MCSE. It was paid for by a job retraining program because the manufacturing company that I worked for went under. I also spent a month geting my A+ cert.
      I did not exagerate my qualifications, and for my first job was put in break fix to season me. 2 years later when the break fix contract was not renewed, I was gone, having gain no experieance in software. I finally have a job learning those things at a small shop.
      There is only one place to get experience, that is to get that firs job and work. Am I to be slammed for wanting to have skills BEFORE I seek work? Am I to be labled greedy because I don’t want to flip burgers. I already know how to show up on time, not hung over, willing to work. I have two degrees, and have managed operations.
      Being able to learn and pass test is a plus. Or was unimportant to my previous empolyer, who to sell a large order of Toshiba laptops, gave me 4 working days to start from scratch to become certified on the things, while studying to recertify my ASE and prep for W2K school?
      We are all in this together. Half the discusions I see on this sight are about dealing with management, career and personel issues. Should those of us with that insight and experience keep our mouths shut?

    • #2715564

      Yes they do

      by laq999 ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      As the title says; yes they do learn from us the people they will be replacing. They also form strong and very widespread networks within their own group. They can get contacts with other Indians or whomever who are either working in the United States or working for an offshore firm somewhere else. They don’t mind doing some stuff we might find ethically daunting like sharing training cds that cost us $$$$$. I have noticed on several projects I have worked on where there were up to 30 Indian resources brought in that most of the resources probably didn’t know anything about the subject matter. They of course would not speak english, at least until they learned a little of the subject matter. This is the most frustrating part to me. Because when I’m trying to find a job the hiring manager expects a US citizen to be perfectly qualified or its a nogo. There is no opportunity to learn on the job for a US citizen.

    • #2715562

      Supporting our replacements?

      by darrahg ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      US citizens who believe that a ‘free enterprise’ system is the way to go live in an idealistic world. Every country has some restrictions that protect their own people except those that have nothing to loose (e.g. most 3rd world or developing countries). I agree with your thoughts on the subject and, at some point, we have to protect our own lives. Go for it dude!

      • #2708483

        Did you see what happened with the steel tariffs?

        by vanlandingham ·

        In reply to Supporting our replacements?

        If you try to artificially inflate prices, the market will make you pay, usually alot worse than you bargain for.

        You can’t stop the free market.

    • #2715553

      Get some fact before seeing a shrink

      by dfields ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      • #2708486

        Nice touch

        by netdmg ·

        In reply to Get some fact before seeing a shrink

        Greatly appreciate the ellegant response.
        LOL, maybe I should go back to being a data analyst and get paid for the same kind of reference work. – At least for me, that paid more regularly than my switch over to IT, about when the dot com bubble burst, has since then.

        🙂 IT is more fun though. 🙂

        I can’t blame outsourcing very much for my current woes, but I can beat up on the general economic situation which has caused slowdowns in IT infrastructure investment. And some overextended outsourcing was a componet of that breakdown.

    • #2715548

      Info-Hoarding…

      by Anonymous ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      Is a pretty dumb idea. You’re blaming the wrong person. He’s just trying to make a living. Additionally, you are slowing progress and helping to encourage selfishness.

      I think (in my ideological little mind), that by sharing information, and fostering that spirit of cooperation and sharing and generosity, that we can:
      1) Create a smarter global population
      2) Reduce the power and influence that the wealthy few have over the “starving masses”
      3) Maybe even generate a counter-culture that isn’t so obsessed with self and self(over)-indulgence.

      You want to truly do something about your job loss? Then stop supporting companies that take advantage of cheap labor in third-world countries. Stop supporting industries and organizations that make a practice of overindulgance. (ie stop supporting multi-million dollar actors and atheletes, and start supporting teachers).

      Yeah, I know big dreams… better to aim for the stars and miss, than to aim for a pile of poop and hit it…

    • #2715527

      It does happen

      by raymond w. ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      Several forums I look at appear (note, it was not stated by the asker) to have outsourced help desks coming to the forum to get help. Since most of our help on these forums is/was from the same tech support people who LOST their jobs to the outsourced group apparently asking the questions, it does make one wonder about who/what is getting the outsourced contracts.

      This in no way demeans ‘third world’ countries since many of their people appear to be better educated on the average then the US, but are those people the ones getting the support for the masses jobs?

      Now I know that some people have posted ‘it is global IT’, but outsourcing to a place that needs to get help from the people who lost the job is not global, but greed. You hate to say stop helping people in the forums for that is one thing the net was meant to be used for and the innocent will get squished along with the incompetents.

      (yes, I know I did not give an answer, but I do not think there is one as long as greed takes priority over enlightened self interest.)

    • #2715498

      Be realistic

      by ecadogan ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      I read tech forums all the time for answers to questions, I also post answers to questions that other people post. I see it as a means of sharing information and preventing the “reinvention of the wheel” issue. I do not live in the US, Canada, Australia or Britain but can safely say because of my qualifications I can work any where in the world. English is our (yours and mine) first language but if we had to communicate in French we would probably not have a mastery of that language either.

      Companies outsource for many reasons, but no “smart” execitive will make a decision to outsource support to a location where the people are not capable or qualified enough to do the work. One of the primary reasons companies outsource is because it is just more cost effective, (remember companies are in business to make money, not to keep us techies employed).

      Let me give you a senario, in my country one US dollar is equal to two of our dollars. That means that if a company pays a support person 3000 US per month, he could get the same job done by outsourcing to my country and only pay 1500 US a month (equal to 3000 of my dollars per month). There are locations around the world where the difference in exchange rate is even greater, and where the skills are lacking, the people are trainable, (the second reason why companies outsource).

      My suggestion to you, as I have done personally is to augment your IT skills with other skills, in other word become multiskilled so that you have more than just IT to offer a company.

      Hope this helps.

    • #2715495

      Ditto Oz! Let’s talk history!

      by emmanemms ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      I would hate to have been the 55 year old owner of a typewriter repair shop in the 80s! Or a radio tube salesman in the 70s? Seen any horse and buggy repair shops lately? How long do you think we’ll see a “postman” walking our neighborhoods? There are more careers lost to technology than you or I can probably imagine! (the ice man, milk man, diaper man, gas station attendant, blacksmith…) It’s how our world progresses. And thank goodness. And there are just as many NEW careers than we may realize (PC repairman, chip maker, mouse mfg…!)
      I live in Houston and see, on a daily basis, the effect of foreign workers on our economy–but it’s not necessarily negative either. If a segment of our world (or local) population can do something cheaper (and be thrilled doing it!), then so much the better. It’s money saved which will undoubtedly go elsewhere in a company or a household-and money which may be saved from foreign aid! On the flip side, I personally don’t like trying to get phone support of ANY kind (from PCs to lawnmowers) from someone who doesn’t speak easily understood English! I don’t particularly care that they’re sitting in Bombay, but I DO care that I can only understand every third word. Not their fault, they’re just doing the job they’re hired to do; but I can hang up, transfer or search elsewhere–my choice.
      Flipping again–and being tacky and sarcastic–if Americans can take money from foreignors (a la, puke, Al Queda members) to train them to fly aircraft only to have them use that training to terrorize our nation, then maybe it’s not so bad to pay a foreignor to train us/give us tech support. Now, if they start terrorizing us with that tech support, maybe we should pull the plug! LOL
      I was in a similar situation several years ago–got Enronized (laid off by an oil company)–and decided I was tired of being bounced from one company to another or laid off, so I changed careers at 44! Best decision I’ve ever made. You are obviously a bright individual who probably has many capabilities. You have a great opportunity to (a) continue helping others with tech issues (good for the self-esteem) and (b) choose a new career path which can utilize your basic talents and experience (good for the checkbook as well as the self-esteem). Search the net and find a site that will help you analyze your strengths, weaknesses and interests and then follow. AND GO WITH THE FLOW… you can continue “swimming against the current,” but do you really want the life of a salmon–outcome’s not that bright! (LOL) Good luck!

    • #2715487

      It’s a give and take situation here!

      by b cat ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      As much as I appose outsourcing I still believe it is in our must interest to continue sharing our knowledge as we have in the past. Yes we will end up helping foreign IT workers in the process but as they learn they will post as well, just because they get paid less than us does not mean that they will not present valuable information and help us as well. It’s a give and take situation here, just like open source ideology for software. O and yes I?m a 3rd generation US citizen.

    • #2715482

      You’re Absolutely Right

      by paul.tiffany ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      For a while, you could tell by the names, but Indians are now taught to use Americanized pseudonyms. (Did you see 60 Minutes?) How about some of those recruiting calls with strange questions starting with your current compensation and no familiarity with the position offered? Less than a year ago, they used their real names, now it’s Sally or Johnny Smith with a strong Indian accent. I had one recruiter who did not know that analyst and architect were design positions. Another acused me of being a liar when I told him I was used to $150K per year or $160 per hour: “Nobody makes more than 80 thousand!!”

      With recruiters, it’s possible to demand where they’re calling from, although many refuse to answer. In tech postings, it’s much harder to determine. We need to have a required addition to positings as they do with letters to news magazines: City, State.
      — Paul Tiffany
      — Los Angeles, California

      • #2715391

        Why?

        by techytype ·

        In reply to You’re Absolutely Right

        Technology is international in nature. Why require location information? Unless your intention is to deny knowledge to people in other parts of the world. The Roman Empire collapsed when they became so arrogant, corrupt and lazy that they were no longer able to maintain their pre-eminent position. Does anyone see any parallels here…..

      • #2714827

        need to have a required addition

        by clindell ·

        In reply to You’re Absolutely Right

        That won’t work either, they can spoof that to and so could you if you wanted. What’s to stop me from saying I am from India? The hosting site could use a bot to capture the originating IP of a member and that could show about where the member is posting from.

    • #2715480

      Doing It Without Knowing It

      by rwcapewell ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      How about this one. I have over 20 years in IT with over 10 years as a Network Administrator. I have been out of work for over 1 1/2 years but get interviews. Gray hair and wrinkles are the big suspicion for not getting the job.

      Network Administration appears safe for now.

      I was a Sr. Programmer Analyst in COBOL, JCL, 4GL contract programming for over 8 years. While work on a job at ElPaso Natural Gas in ElPaso, Texas in the late 80’s, I had to do my job plus help train begining programmers from India, check and fix there work and show them where they went wrong.

      At that time, their ‘very low pay’ was being subsidized by Wang and we thought that it was just to help India to get good programmers trained.

      How were we to know that even back then, we were training our replacements.

    • #2715471

      I’m finding people to support me to become their replacement!

      by admin ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      Find people who can only move up if they replace themselves and help ’em out!

    • #2715466

      Broad Questions, Little Details More Common

      by willcomp ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      Haven’t had time to read all responses thoroughly, but one of Stress Junkie’s points is very valid. In the short time I have been participating in Q&A there have been more broard scope questions appearing. Essentially asking step by step instructions for network configuration, VPN setup, and the like.

      Also seem to be more questions of the “it don’t work, how to fix” variety without any supporting information that should be readily available to a reasonably adept end user.

      My philosopy is to pass on the broad scope questions and normally request more information for those lacking fundamental details.

      We probably won’t see a return of lost jobs. Too many other industries have had jobs permanently outsourced. Seems our growth is limited to the service sector and health care as we baby boomers age.

    • #2715420

      The TechRepublic audience is only 20% international

      by jasonhiner ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      So, 80% of the people you are helping are from the U.S.

    • #2715397

      May be true in some curcumstances but….

      by techytype ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      I am based in the Vancouver, BC, Canada region. In the past few years I have seen many unqualified individuals and companies moving into the service/support area as hardware has become increasingly less profitable.

      This is hurting me in the short term but ultimately people do learn where good value is. I will continue to help people by answering single issue questions. When I get calls that are obviously multiple issue or layered then they are told to get the neccesary technical material or pay for services. To answer would be doing a disservice to all.

      Tech forums work best for those seeking answers to specific questions. They are not a replacement for a solid base of experience and knowledge. “Newbies” have to start building their own foundation somewhere, forums are one such resource. We can and should help.

      Those people using the forums to cheat and give the appearance of skill will fail because they do not have the ability to put a specific answer in context with an understanding of interactions and consequences.

      My best source of new customers are those that have been hosed by incompetent people pretending to be technicians where their only interest is making money and not gaining reliable technical skills. This includes people working for companies with the same attitude. This problem is exacerbated by the prevalent “I want it now and I want it cheap” attitude existing today in far too many countries, not just the self appointed “developed nations”.

      I see many countries where greed is not paramount and the citizens have happy productive lives. It almost seems as if technology feeds the greed which feeds the technology….. A self feeding cycle. With many disastrous side effects. Look at many of todays jobs and the requirements, not much difference from them and sweat house jobs of the early industrial era. The more things change the more they stay the same. If we don’t learn from our mistakes we are doomed to repeat them. Only technology allows us to repeat them in faster and ever shorter cycles.

    • #2715001

      Not just outsourcing

      by set me free ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      Funny we are all human desiring the best pay and paying the least amount for goods and services. I think I understand now what a college professor once termed “the nature of the beast”. Despite the comment it seems our corporate structure has grown way out of hand…in some cases down right illegal.
      A lot of folks are concerned about the evolution of outsourcing in IT. How about the impact the Wally Worlds in this country have on local economies? Wally comes in and offers the “lowest price”. Everyone jumps on the wagon for the sake of “saving money”. The local Joe goes out of business but in the end Wally sneaks its price back up without anyone realizing it happens.
      I still think in-house IT provides the best service. In-house can hire the best personnel rather than simply someone with a heartbeat. Cheap labor begets poor service.

    • #2714992

      Cultural differences and opportunity

      by mgtucker ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      When I complained to an Indian customer service rep for AT&T, she just did not understand what my complaint really was. Neither did her manager. Culturally they just did not get it. All they could do was repeat the script AT&T gave them.

      Still, I did not cause AT&T customer service to come back to the U.S.

      Look for opportunity WHEREVER it is. That may NOT be in I.T. I am pursuing a different career altogether after two years of looking for my “next” I.T. job. There are still THOUSANDS of people around Raleigh, NC who are looking for THEIR next I.T. job. I don’t want to move away. So I am changing careers to something I am better suited for anyway. (It’s about time.)

      If YOUR job can be outsourced. . .start looking for a job that CANNOT. If you must get different training. . .get it now. NOT when you’re unemployed. And do not get more training in what everyone else has; like MCSE, or A+, OR SQL.

      Learn how to network with PEOPLE. A voice over the phone can never replace someone who looks you in the eye.

      The world has changed from the 1990’s. Change yourself to match. Don’t waste this time trying to pretend it is still the 1990’s.

      You cannot lose with God’s help. I would not want to try, without.

    • #2714972

      What ever happens the public will vote with their dollar.

      by bfwilley ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      What ever happens the public will vote with their dollar, if -BIG IF – they have a choose. I’m not but are you happy to have your credit history in a third world country? What about your medical history?

      Well it’s probability there already. As to out sourcing — programing — Tech support or anything for that matter. It’s happened or will happen.

      The quality and security of it is still to be determined.

      The main question of the post, does the free posting of tech tips and tricks, best practices add to outsourcing?

      No I can’t see it as any real or gross threat.

      Even with step by step instruction and 3 x 5 color glossies and Cliff notes there has to be a basic knowledge and infrastructure available.

      A little knowledge is dangerous, a lot of knowledge and no skill, wisdom to use it is deadly.

      Short term.

      Hence the fact that scripted help-desks, cut–copy and paste programing may work for simple things in a quick and dirty manner, but in the long run it will not prove out to be a good value.

      However — BIG HOWEVER.

      As resource’s and technology changes that may not stay the case.

      SO post what your feel like, even that super cool back handed over under tweak for printer services in Windows 2003,4 5, what ever server. I don’t think it will hurt.

      On the other hand if you post something proprietary or marketable…..Well..Was it really a bump on the head that gave us the flux capacitor or was a news group post?

      BradW

    • #2714935

      Putting Up the WALL

      by m.daspit ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      I agree with junkie on this matter, as in most areas of our open society we are trusting and cooperative with others to beneifit the overall good and to help others. We and including the corprate heads need to understand that most of the world does not have even similar standards that we in the west have. We give so much away to those who have an ultimate objective of bringing down western civilazation.

      This true in the tech world were countries are undercutting American workers pay because they know that by eroding our base employment in the advanced fields we are slowly becoming weaker while we freely dispense critical knowledge to other parts of the world in hope of open and fare trade.

      The question is is there a real desire to put up a wall saying enough is enough. For once putting ourselves first. The need is there but is the will there?

      Companies going “off shore” for there employment and services may save a buck or 2 now but ultimately it will cost as they are pumping money into those wishing us harm.

    • #2714919

      Fear and Paranoia

      by stubby ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      Your chosen monika is apt – stress junkie – I guess you’ve labelled yourself that because of your lifestyle.

      Ever considered that you suffer from stress because you are letting fear and paranoia rule your thinking?

      The world has always progressed forwards and will continue to do so whether you, I or anyone else elects to help the less knowledgeable. We all need that help initially and what does it matter if it is here (Western world) or India that the help is given or gleaned from?

      The fact is that the world’s bosses have elected to go to India and the like to save money – us bleating in here will not resolve that. The way to resolve it, I believe, is for us to make ourselves irreplaceable without some major effort on behalf of the bosses. Train yourself up, become indispensible, make yourself everybodies right hand person (PC rules!!!!!) and so on.

      I also firmly believe that these things go in cycles. End users want “good customer support” and I think if we address that first then “our jobs” will stop going abroad. Over my few (20) years in the trade the number one complaint is that of poor customer support – little things like a phone call when a job is dragging on, or to say you are running a little late …. it doesn’t take much effort but IME I don’t see a lot of it going on in the places I have worked.

      Just my 2p.

    • #2714909

      As history has it..

      by codelife ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      There have been so many discussions on this topic in various shades and in various times of history. I want to make one point on companies’ behalf or rather the state of things as they actually are. This is the truth and has been repeating in this world history, so many times.

      Companies outsource not just to improve bottomlines, but in an effort to survive. If company A does not reduce costs, company B will, and company A may be wiped out totally, making all employees of company A to lose jobs. (This is the simplest way of putting it, though it is actually not so simple.)

      When you weigh the options of few lost jobs against the company closing out, you would definitely appreciate the first choice. As Oz has posted, we all should do what we want to do and need to do, so do these companies.

      We can elaborate on this topic and end up discussing so many things like equal sharing, care for fellow humans, etc. But the survival instinct always wins and this is what has been keeping the earth rotating.

      All this discussion is because we are bothered about survival, like these companies have done.

      Why blame only these companies..

    • #2714882

      This Island Earth

      by gazoo ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      We are all in this together, and helping hands across political borders is what helps make the world a better place. The US is not the only repository of knowledge on the planet, what if technicians in other countries keep their knowledge secret?
      The idea that somehow sharing your knowledge will lead to a loss of your job to someone in India (horrors!) is a sad reminder of the ‘fear account’ which all too many strive to pay into. Remember when Japan was the evil economic empire that threatened your job? Stop living in fear and get organized.
      Your job walked because the globalist economy is based on rip-off capitalism. As wages go down rates of traded goods fall off and wages have to be cut again (and again and again). Nobody on the top side of the economy cares as long as their stock prices and salaries stay high. There is a moral to the story, in the end nobody can buy goods except at Christmas when the ‘tax rebate’ comes. That is extreme capitalism’s dilemma and dumping on your colleagues overseas isn’t going to help you fix that problem. Working with them might.

    • #2714830

      Come on now…

      by sullyman ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      What is going on? What has happened to the camaraderie of the IT industry, the sharing of information is something that helped myself and many people grow in this profession. You cannot blame an IT person from another country because they might be working as an outsourced solution. THEY did not take your job away; a free global economy possibly took your job away.

      Living with the fact that you are possibly training your replacement is something that we all live with on a daily basis, when the new IT kid comes into the office and asks how to add permissions you cold be training him/her to replace you. IT is IT no matter where you reside, and I used to pride myself on the level of information sharing that took place. Your comments scare the hell out of me, as do the posters that agree with you.

      This mindset is becoming more and more prevalent in today?s society; it encompasses many industries in the US/Can/UK/Aus. IT, Movies, Auto, Steel, Beef, Dairy and the list goes on. We all have to remember that we cannot be everything to everybody. Don?t blame the person sitting at a desk in India making a living, blame the consumer for demanding lower prices VS. buying locally.

      My 2 cents?..

      • #2714779

        blame the company……

        by kurtasha ·

        In reply to Come on now…

        or even better blame the company that outsourced the product for cheaper labor but still sells it for the same price to you as a US customer, so what did they acomplish they got a product that cost them less to produce and a bigger profit to put in their pockets, so you my friend didnt get a price break you only lost your job to greed.

        • #2715104

          Recent experience with Dell

          by a.techno.geek ·

          In reply to blame the company……

          Talk about outsourcing. I had a recent experience with “Dell”. Actually I did this for a friend of mine that had just bought a Laptop system and received a “Disc on key” brand USB memory device. He comes to the School where he retired (Macomb Community College, Warren MI) as a Chemistry Instructor to use the broadband connection of the school’s. To make the story short, he needed drivers for the “Disc on key” to work on our “Windows 98” desktop. We went to Dell’s site to see if we could get the drivers, no luck. So we tried the on-line tech support (the old adage we write/type the way we speak is true). When we got the the “Tech” the question was posed, “How do we get the drivers for the “Disc on key” device. We were told to go to such and such a site, I informed him we had done that all ready and it did not work. The tech came back with, “I would not be knowing about that, I am a laptop technician.” Of course it would be after midnight there, because it is afternoon in our locale. I ended up going to the “Dell” forum and found out who manufactured the “Disc on key” USB device and was directed to the site and low and behold, there were the drivers for the “Disc on key” USB device and the Windows 98 drivers. Loaded them on and away we went, we were able to use the “Disc on key” on the desktop school system. The moral what good is any support, outsourced or otherwise if they can not, won’t, or use the an excuse like that above (“I would be a laptop technician”)for not being able to help. I love it though, US companies paying for non-support. If US companies just want to waste money, don’t throw it away off shore. Throw it away here by re-educating people here!

    • #2714824

      Economics and the Outsourced Job

      by nusigf ·

      In reply to Supporting our replacements?

      If you look back in history, many of the manufacturing jobs went to Mexico and Asia. Why? Cost and the fact that the job could be done somewhere else. And an even more pointed question, why are we surprised now that Operations and Support job are leaving? As soon as the US-based companies tap the Indian market, India will outsourse their contracts as well. In fact, some of their work is already starting to end up in Mexico. Honestly, the quality of help-desk support has never been good, even when it was based in the US, so why not outsource it? This is an issue with the Operations department of the company. Who’s at fault? Look at your upper management. How is a company to remain competitve and viable? And I guess more importantly, what can be done about outsourcing?

      We are a consumer-based nation. We pay our entertainers (athletes and movie personae), but not our service people (teachers, police officers, fire fighters, etc) and yell at our waiters when the bread is too cold, and the water is too hot. And with a global economy, doesn’t that point to moving jobs that can be done elsewhere to those places?

      What did those steel and automobile manufacturers do? What can any person do other than reorganize yourself, retrain yourself and retool yourself into a new position. They didn’t stick around the mills and plants waiting for the lights to come back on. It might suck at first, but I’m not saying it’s easy. What “can’t” a company outsource. Start there and figure out what you like to do.

      All in all, this a result of our culture, not of a single company / industry. Many of the companies that outsource have done so for years. Support and helpdesk are just extensions of that outsourcing; software development started going first. I mean who cares if the Java code was written by the Indian Andy from Souix City, Iowa or the Indian Rajesh from New Delhi? example. Additionally, most companies aren’t sending their entire operations and support functions overseas willy-nilly. Most are doing it smartly, and some are even pulling those jobs back to the US.

      I guess the job that I would do if they started outsourcing Information Security is either building custom motorcycles, start playing professional poker or pick up a Government job.

      • #2705932

        We all get what we pay for

        by tomaaa19 ·

        In reply to Economics and the Outsourced Job

        In our (north american)consumer society, we all want to pay the least for everything, and business is the same. If we take this to the extreme we will all be working at Wal Mart wages, living in crowded appartment complexes and driving a Yugo. If we want nthe better wage and all that goes with it we should be willing to spend a little more for our goods and services so that others may make a better wage and buy the products we make.

        Taking everthing to the lowest price point puts in a constant downward spiral.

        No companies actions are isolated, if you lay off 100 people the ripple is felt throughout the community, affecting everyone the displaced workers deals with, food, rent, car purchase etc.

        We as a society need to have a debate about what we want and where we want our society to look like in 10 -20 years

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