Thursday, July 5, 2012

Self Outsourcing

Going with the flow monster.

Sure, I was bitter.

Worked there 23 years. Loyal. Always showed up on time. Had great performance reviews.

Then the ax fell.

Downsizing. Rightsizing. Market adaptation. Streamlining. Meanlining. All different ways of saying the same thing.

I was out. That was it. That was all.

I spent a lot of time in my apartment. Went for a lot of walks. Looked for work. You know how it is.

No one was hiring. Not me anyway.

Then I got an idea. Here's how it works.

Say you lose your job to someone in the Philippines who's making one tenth of what you did. With me so far? Probably.

You can't compete, right? So you have to do something else. Now this "something else" could be a lot of things, but chances are good that no matter what, you'll never make more than one tenth of what you did before. If you are lucky.

So the other part is that there are lots of companies looking for cheap contract labor, and they don't care who you are, where you are, or really how good you are. You need only three things.

One is being cheap. The second is being available. The third is being foreign.

So I started a summer camp. I call it a "computer camp".

I hook up with parents who have kids they need to get rid of for a few weeks, and I offer to train them.

I collect $1000 a week per kid, give each a computer and a headset, and teach the kids how to do phone work, computer support, give astrological readings, buy and sell stocks, read x-rays. You name it.

The first half day is spent covering the basics, but these are bright kids so they catch on fast.

The hard part is getting the kids to carry out a full transaction using only one accent. It doesn't matter which one it is, as long as they can stick with it for five minutes. Some of them start giggling. Some forget who they are supposed to be and slid all over the globe, verbally.

But overall it works.

I give the kids 10% of what their parents pay me, plus $5 an hour. That's pretty good money for a 14-year-old. Some kids beg their parents to leave them at my camp all summer. Not many can make it work but they try.

I've found that almost any semi-intelligent teenager can handle almost anything. And let's get real here - how good is the service anywhere else?

Sure, you can say that a medical diagnosis is a pretty big deal, but on average we do about as well as any other outsourced medical services company. We've got Wikipedia, Google, and a few other online resources, plus a lot of info on DVDs, and some military training materials I was able to get at a discount from a couple of guys.

You'd be amazed and what they're willing to sell. You know, the Department of Veterans Affairs just doesn't help that much, so in a way these guys are just doing what I am, but with optional laser sights if you need them.

Anyway, I stay out of the freaky end. I live a nice, quiet life "offshore", and will actually be able to retire in a couple of years.

I've always wanted to travel, and I may just visit the country where my offices are supposed to be.

Or not.

No one cares anymore, least of all me.

Life. There are still sweet spots to be found.

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