Insiders on outsourcing

SAN FRANCISCO (09/26/2003) - I'd like to thank the many readers who've offered advice about the shambles that is my love life. Pammy says I should mellow out about Amber and meditate to align my chakras. I told her my shock absorbers were just fine but my brakes needed work. She seemed confused.

Indian bummer: Pammy's not the only one who thinks I'm out of alignment. I recently suggested that if Microsoft moves its training operations to the Far East, MCSE (Microsoft Certified System Engineer) might soon mean Microsoft Curry Seasoning Expert. Apparently the curry comment made some readers hot under the collar. Let me be clear: I meant no offense to the many hard-working, capable members of India's IT community. Besides, other readers suggested better alternatives for MCSE: "Must Consult Someone Else" and "Microsoft Can't Speak English."

Life on the Ganges: Meanwhile, a major U.S. computer maker that outsources support to India has allegedly told its offshore personnel to lie about their location. If asked, techies are instructed to tell callers they're based in Springfield, Missouri. You know, near the birthplace of that famous literary hero, Huckleberry Singh.

Expo No Shows: Tumbleweeds were seen blowing across the floor at the sparsely attended Technology Exchange Week (TECHXNY) in New York. Maybe the geeks stayed home to wait out Hurricane Isabel, or maybe they were watching Sun hand pink slips to 1,000 employees at its Network Conference in San Francisco. My spies say most of the TECHXNY action took place at OutsourceWorld, where reps from Egypt, Romania, and lands further east were enticing companies to relocate their IT services. Normally I'd make a joke here, but I'm already in enough trouble.

Buy a Saturn, Dump the Dell. One bargain-hunting Cringester says he recently found more than 250 identically configured Dell Dimension 2400s listed on eBay. Interestingly, General Motors has been giving away the exact same models in its recent "Buy a Saturn, Get a Dell" promotion. No word on whether new Saturn owners kept the Michael Dell bobblehead doll that came with the car.

Got hot tips or better ideas on what to do with a new Dell? Send 'em to cringe@infoworld.com. I'll pay $50 for the best.

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