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Archive for November 25th, 2005

With all those reports of call centers heading off to India, one U.S. brand intends to tap into the subcontinent’s growing prosperity. Hooters is exporting its controversial brand of home-grown sex appeal.

The Atlanta-based restaurant chain, known more for its scantily-clad female servers than its rib-sticking menu, this week announced it signed a deal to open several Indian franchise locations, though it has not said where.

Is it time to welcome the Babes of Bangalore?

"I am looking forward to the ‘recreation’ of this dining atmosphere," Sunil Bedi, Managing Director of franchisee H.O.I. Pvt. Ltd., said in a statement.

Hooters has drawn attention — and more than a little backlash — for its trademark outfits, generally a white tank top and hip-hugging orange shorts, more often than not worn by young, attractive, often … um, well-developed women.

"The outfits don’t change. We make some allowances for local menu," said Mike McNeil, vice president of marketing for Hooters of America . "We might have the steak sandwich, but you might also be able to get fish and rice or curried chicken or something like that."

**Sigh** I love capitalism.

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Cyber Coolies?

A think tank in India has completed a study that disputes the notion that Indians who have jobs in call centers that are outsourced from American companies are grateful for the work. Among the terms used were "cyber coolies," and one of the points made was that the employees are under more surveillance than inmates in a prison. You can listen to the NPR report by going to the linked story.
A debate has begun in India over whether the country’s educated and talented young people working in call centers are victims of exploitation. A report from a government-funded think tank compared some centers with "Roman slave galley ships" and says some employees suffer chronic fatigue and depression.
Most of the people interviewed were recent graduates just starting out who couldn’t get better jobs. Not everyone agrees with the study, but I would venture to say that those who truly believe such inane hogwash that people with outsourced American jobs are being exploited are a small minority. India has a enormous rising middle class, and call centers play a significant role.

Linked to the Blue State Conservatives.

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Full Disclosure

In the spirit of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson’s admission that he was not, in fact, drafted by the Kansas City A’s in 1966, I feel it only right that I clear the air on a few things myself.
  1. I didn’t fully grasp the actual details of the Iran-Contra affair until I was 37. I always thought it had to do with the Hostage Crisis during the Carter administration that spawned Nightline. I never understood why the media branded it an "affair" and not a "-gate."
  2. At a young age, I lost an argument where my side said that the US Capitol was the White House. I was probably about 7, but I cannot clearly recall if that is the right age or if I was really 12. Or 22.
  3. I do not know what the hell Technocrati is or what it does or how it works. I also have no clue what an RSS feed is, nor do I know what an aggregator is.
  4. I can use the term "IP address" in a sentence properly, but I couldn’t define it in a way that a lay person would understand.
  5. I can use the term "Subjunctive Tense" in a sentence properly, but I couldn’t define it in a way that a lay person would understand. If I were you, I wouldn’t hold that against me.
  6. I hold a BA in English, but I forgot how to diagram a sentence sometime around puberty.
  7. I never gave any thought to the consequences if, in the 2008 election, the media decides to make Republican states blue and Democratic states red.
  8. I have no clue what the hubbub is about this Pajamas/Open media thing is.
I apologize if I I ever gave the impression that my actual knowledge on these matters was to the contrary at any time in my past. I am grateful to my wife and family for their love and support. I have made my peace with my mother goddess. I hope that this settles things once and for all and that we can all move forward.

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