River Wissey Lovell Fuller


June 2009

Ian looks at the trend to move call centres to India and the consequent mis-understandings

Of India and Call-centres

It will not have escaped your attention that several companies have moved their customer call-centres to India and that this is causing a variety of problems. The potential cultural differences between the stockbroker from Esher and the lad who lives in Bangalore are cataclysmic and it is not surprising that problems occur. If you let your mind wander with mine, we could imagine the following scenarios:

Possible newspaper article in Bangalore: Mindful of the problems of communication between English toffs and our own local call-centre operatives, English companies have taken a variety of measures to help our lads make the British feel more comfortable during their conversations. Videos of Coronation Street, East Enders, Casualty, Jimmy Logan, etc., are being sent to India to help to provide common topics of conversation. Simultaneously, the call-centre staff will be given lessons in British culture, accents, current affairs, history and politics.

What could be the results? Let us imagine a few conversations between call-centre staff (hereafter known as "I") and a variety of customers from around the UK (to be known as "C")

I : Good morning. Sir. I see you live in Wales, isn't it? How are you , Taff? That

Bonnie Prince Charlie of Wales is a boyo, isn't he. What is you address?

C : 47, Llanfihangel Glyn Myfir Avenue,



I : Can you spell that?

C : Yes, thank you.

After this start, it is all downhill! By the way, this village does exist. The name means "St Mary's church in the hollow of the white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the church of St Tysilio of the red cave". And, yes, I can pronounce it!

I : Good evening, madam, you live in London, don't you? Are you sipping your Rosie-Lee? I'm in a right two and eight tonight 'cos I had a barney with the trouble and strife down the nuclear sub last night. She accused me of telling porkie pies about where I'd bin; she cut up my whistle and threw me down the apple and pairs - I really hurt my aris at the bottom.

C : Actually, I live in Belgravia and I have no idea what you are talking about.

I : Hellorear, hen, you live in Glasgie. Does Billy Connolly live in your tenement?

Whit you aw aboot?

C : Now see here, Jimmie!

I : Please be excusing me, madam, my name is not Jimmie, it is Shivajirao.

I : Good evening, Norfolk lady. Are you a Norfolk dumpling? Hev yew gotta loight? Lend us a lug and I'll tell you about our offers.

C : What are you talking about? I live in Wells-next-the Sea and no-one I know has a Norfolk accent.

I : What are yew loike? Hold yew hard and I'll stop talking squit. Cor, blarst me, we've runned out of time. I've got to stop. Howmsomever, be that as it may, dew yew keep a troshin!

I : Good evening Sir, I see you live in Newcastle

C : ****####@@@ !

I : I'm sorry, sir, but I do not speak your language. Please try later.

We could go on with the above for pages; I hope I have given you a few ideas to think about.

Comedy section:

I recall a friend telling me that he did not realise he was dyslexic until he went to a toga party dressed as a goat. He had a friend who was a dyslexic alcoholic - he had a very sad death, choking to death on his own Vimto. Another friend has an Irish dad and an Iranian mum - they spend most of their family holidays in immigration.

If you are being chased by a police dog, try not to go through a tunnel, onto a little see-saw and through a hoop of fire; they are trained for that.

Granny's sayings: I tried on a thong yesterday - I'm still trying to dig it out.

Men are always whining about how we are suffocating them. Personally, I think that, if you can hear them whining, you are not pressing hard enough on the pillow.


By the time you read this, Revd Joan Horan will have been licensed as the priest for the parishes of Feltwell, Methwold, Northwold, Hockwold and Weeting. I am sure you will all join me in making her extremely welcome to this area.

Best wishes to you all,

Ian G. Nisbet.

Copyright remains with independent content providers where specified, including but not limited to Village Pump contributors. All rights reserved.