“But you’re working for a foreign company!”

I encountered the first person who overtly considered me a form of “scab worker” (albeit a bit ) today while getting my hair cut. The woman cutting my hair, upon asking my profession, responded with a rant about “the Indian call center employees” and how her husband demanded someone who “spoke English” (Pro Tip: English is one of the official languages of the Republic of India) when calling for support on their Earthlink DSL account.

My parents had warned me that this was bound to happen someday, especially in the Metro Detroit area (where the UAW and the Teamsters are king) – so I tried to do damage control. I tried to explain that I interviewed with numerous US-based companies, yet none of them offered me a position – but she was having none of it. She just kept railing on how foreign companies (and probably myself) were the sole cause of the sagging US economy. I wisely just ignored her shrill diatribe for the remainder of the hair trimming, paid and left. It reminded me of the South Park episode where the famous phrase “DEY TOOK OUR JERRBS!!!” was coined.

I guess I “asked” for it by joining a multinational corporation with headquarters outside of the US. Heaven forbid I should choose a lucrative opportunity with a dynamic company that provides excellent starting pay and benefits and intensive paid training in an emerging market just because some people’s xenophobia doesn’t allow them to grasp the new economic reality of the 21st Century.

The key to the future is skills development – what skills do you bring to the table that provide value for an employer? I’ll write more about this topic next time.

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1 Comment

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One response to ““But you’re working for a foreign company!”

  1. Nate

    Good insight. I’ve had some of the same questions about why I was supporting “outsourcing”. I like to respond, “actually, outsourcing is supporting me.” Then I asked them how many computer science majors they know who’ve lost their jobs to Indian workers…

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