Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Ever Changing Ways of Doing Business

Years ago, I read a book called the World is Flat by Thomas Friedman, and though it was a bit repetitive, I found the ideas it presented to be quite interesting. One of the main things that I remember was his discussion of outsourcing, especially the case of airlines outsourcing their call centers. As we’ve all noticed when you call Delta or a similar big business, you end up talking to a machine or talking to someone with a strong Indian accent, who insists that his name really is Jake. Outsourcing was a huge step for American and European businesses that left their home countries searching for cheap labor. And, boy, did they find it. China, South America, and many other countries provided hundreds of thousands of able bodies, who were happy to work for $2 an hour.

Friedman went on to discuss how this was going to affect America, and basically meandered through an interesting, if longwinded, explanation of the demise of the blue collar worker. Nowadays even small businesses outsource. For example, a yogurt shop opens in town, and the owners make a website for their business. After it’s set up they go online and find someone in India or the Philippines who can update their website on a regular basis. 

This is where I come in because I write articles for people all over the world. Some of these people are building their own websites, and some of them are building websites for others, but they need someone to write copy for them. Unfortunately, sometimes I write for people who use my articles as their own. They will send them to an original client. Basically, I’m the outsourcer’s outsourcer. So, in one case, I’m writing articles for a guy in Bangladesh, and I know that he is turning around and giving these articles to someone else. It’s possible that even he isn’t giving the articles directly to the person who wants them.

For some reason, I do not feel like I am making much progress here when someone across the world is using me to write an article for someone else. In the end, if I were getting paid better, I wouldn’t care if I was subcontracting for the subcontractor’s subcontractor. Unfortunately, I think I must be making less than the guy in Bangladesh, which is seriously altering my worldview at the moment. People in India and Eastern Europe, for example, are simply overjoyed to have me working for them since I actually speak English.

I have yet to find a good way to avoid entering this system so far down on the totem pole. I have found one job where a company is looking for a content manager. This means that their writers would send content to me, and I’d review it before sending it to the employer. I’d also write articles for them. They invited me for an interview, and I responded with the information they wanted. I haven’t heard back from them yet, but I only sent that information this morning, so I am still hopeful. It’s the most promising long term job I’ve seen since I started back at this. I hope to hear back from them soon, until then I’m still working for pennies for a man in Bangladesh.

1 comment:

  1. You know pooks....I am always impressed by your writing skills.....hang in there, something will develop from it and thanks for doing this blog....i like reading it mom