Outsourcing here also

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

On the morning of New Year’s Eve, while I was loafing on Main Street, I meet an old friend of mine.

“Hi!” I say.
“Hi,” he says, “where to?”
“Aimless loitering,”
I say, “And you?”
My Friend Ankit:I’m going to work.”
Me:Work? This early? I thought your shift starts in the evening, or late at night. You work at a call center don’t you?”
Ankit:Not now. I quit. I’m on my own now.”
Me:On your own? What do you do?”
Ankit:“LPO.”
Me: “LPO? What’s that?”
Ankit: “Life Process Outsourcing.”
Me: “Life Process Outsourcing? Never heard of it!”
Ankit:“You’ve heard of Business Process Outsourcing, haven’t you?”
Me: “BPO? Outsourcing non-core business activities and functions.”
Ankit:
Precisely. LPO is similar to BPO. There it’s Business Processes which are outsourced, here it’s Life Processes.”
Me: “Life Processes? Outsourced?”
Ankit: “Why don’t you come along with me? I’ll show you.”

Soon we are in his office. It looks like a mini call center.

A young attractive girl welcomes us. “Meet Rita, my Manager,” my friend says, and introduces us.
Rita looks distraught, and says to my friend, “ I’m not feeling well. Must be viral fever.”
No problem. My friend here will stand in.”
“What? I don’t have a clue about all this LPO thing!”
I protest.
There’s nothing like learning on thejob! Rita will show you.”
It’s simple,” Rita says, in a hurry. “Seethe console. You just press the appropriate switch and route the call to the appropriate person or agency.” And with these words she disappears.
It’s the shortest training I have ever had in my life.

And so I plunge into the world of Life Process Outsourcing; or LPO as they call it.

It’s all very simple. Working people don’t seem to have time these days, but they have lots of money; especially those double income couples, IT nerds, MBA hot shots, finance wizards; just about everybody in the modern rat race.

‘Non-core Life Activities’, for which they neither have the inclination or the time – outsource them; so you can maximize your work-time to rake in the money and make a fast climb up the ladder of success.

“My niece daughter in her school. They want someone to pick her up and take her home. I’m busy in a shoot and just can’t leave,” a creative ad agency type says.
Why don’t you tell your husband? I say.
“Are you crazy or something. I’m a single mother.”
“Sorry ma’am. I didn’t know. My condolences.”
“Condolences? Who’s this? Is this LPO?”

Yes ma’am,” I say, press the button marked ‘children’ and transfer the call, hoping I have made the right choice. Maybe I should have pressed ‘doctor’. Nothing happens for the next few moments. I breathe a sigh of relief.

A yuppie wants his grandmother to be taken to a movie. I press the ‘movies’ button. ‘Movies’ transfers the call back, “Hey, this is for movie tickets; try ‘escort services’. He wants the old hag escorted to the movies.”

‘Escort Services’ are in high demand. These guys and girls, slogging in their offices minting money, want escort services for their kith and kin for various non-core family processes like shopping, movies, eating out, sight seeing, marriages, funerals, all types of functions; even going to art galleries, book fairs, exhibitions, zoos, museums or even a walk in the nearby garden.

A father wants someone to read bedtime stories to his small son while he works late. A busy couple wants proxy stand-in ‘parents’ at the school PTA meeting. An investment banker rings up from Singapore; he wants his mother to be taken to pray in a temple at a certain time on a specific day. Someone wants his kids to be taken for a swim, brunch, a play and browsing books and music.

An IT project manager wants someone to motivate and pep-talk her husband, who’s been recently sacked, and is cribbing away at home demoralized. He desperately needs someone to talk to, unburden himself, but the wife is busy – she neither has the time nor the inclination to take a few days off to boost the morale of her depressed husband when there are deadlines to be met at work and so much is at stake.

The things they want outsourced range from the mundane to the bizarre; life processes that one earlier enjoyed and took pride in doing or did as one’s sacred duty are considered ‘non-core life activities’ now-a-days by these highfalutin people.

At the end of the day I feel illuminated on this novel concept of Life Process Outsourcing, and I am about to leave, when suddenly a call comes in.

“LPO?” a man asks softly.
“Yes, this is LPO. May I help you?” I say.
I’m speaking from Frankfurt Airport. I really don’t know if I can ask this?” he says nervously.
Please go ahead and feel free to ask anything you desire, Sir. We do everything.”
“Everything?”

Yes, Sir. Anything and everything!” I say.

I don’t know how to say this. This is the first time I’m asking. You see, I am working 24/7 on an important project for the last few months. I’m globetrotting abroad and can’t make it there. Can you please arrange for someone suitable to take my wife out to the New Year’s Eve Dance?”

I am taken aback but quickly recover, Yes, Sir.”
Please send someone really good, an excellent dancer, and make sure she enjoys and has a good time. She loves dancing and I just haven’t had the time.”
“Of course, Sir.I said to him
And I told you – I’ve been away abroad for quite some time now and I’ve got to stay out here till I complete the project.” he says
“I know. Work takes top priority.” I say
My wife friend. She’s been lonely. She desperately needs some love. Do you have someone with a loving and caring nature who can give her some love? I just don’t have the time. You understand what I’m saying, don’t you?” he says

I let the words sink in. This is one call I am not going to transfer. “Please give me the details, Sir,” I say softly into the mike.

As I walk towards my destination with a spring in my step, I feel truly enlightened. Till this moment, I never knew that love was a non-core life process worthy of outsourcing.

Long Live Life Process Outsourcing!


57 comments:

Er. Nidhi Mishra said...

he he
kaha se sochta hai ye sab...maan gaye tujhe bhi

Er. Nidhi Mishra said...

always good 2 see some humor from u, good keep it up!!

Anonymous said...

intresting LPO

Dr. Pragya bajaj said...

r u going 2 start such LPO?

Dr. Aradhna said...

good imagination, humorous read

Ashok said...

kaha kaha bhaagta hai tera dimaag?

Rohit Sharma said...

If u strat such LPO i am ready 4 business partnership
:-)

Anonymous said...

intresting concept good reading this

Alec said...

Good imagination, well written
regards

Dr. Neha Srivastav said...

well written, wonder if it wud be posible in near future...
:-)

Prachi Pandey said...

that was good reading'
:-)

Anonymous said...

that was good one

Er. Paayal Sharma said...

that was intresting concept...nice reading it BUT wont be surprised if it happens in future
:-)

Anonymous said...

Intresting sir

R. Ramesh said...

thanks avi for passing by my blog..

Mehnaaz said...

hey that was intrstin read

Shalini Chopra said...

wonder if dat wud be possible but the way evrything has changed n ppl r running out of time its might well be

That was good reading
Regards

Shilpi Verma said...

that was nice reading sir, with the kind of life we are living and the way time has changed drastically in last decade or so, i wont be surprised if ur imagination turns into reality in future.

Its ur vision now but might well be part of our life.

Thanks for sharing ur visionary thoughts and putting up a nice post. I love reading your articles, poem and fiction.

Regards

Anonymous said...

that was nice

Ritika Pandey said...

My meories about you has been that of a charming, bubbly, happening and one excited boy as i saw u last time some 10yrs back when u were in high school.

But now when i read ur fiction n poem and rest of ur articles, i find you to be grown up and if i use word Intellectual for you i wont be wrong.

Hope to converse u someday.

This post was nice reading, it was in complete contrast with what you have written in rest of the blog. Loved reading it.

Take care.

Amrita Kumari said...

The versatility of ur writting skills is very much visble in this post, the way u switch on from one mode to anothere is truly surprisng and appreciable. read lots of ur posts today, and saw lots og godd thought processes being articulated with immense ease.

Keep posting.
Regards

Swati said...

this was a good humoric read like thepost just belo this. Its very rare to see some one excelling in diffrent form of writting with immense ease.

Other day when i read ur ficion, culd'nt believe u wrote it for first time. The way u express and convey urs thoughts is really aprreciable. The fictions are good, humors are laughter riot, poems are mesmerising.

Hats off to you for being a good writer.

I Always look forward for a post from you.

Regards

Shreya Rajput said...

that was good reading sir, hope to find some simlar posts from you but yea i am waiting for some romantic fiction from you
regards

Anonymous said...

good one
:-)

Ria Taneja said...

that was good reading
:-)

Priya Talwar said...

intresting concept a good read
Regards

Rashmi said...

that was good humorus read,well written
Regards

Tracy said...

nicely written with an intresting concept
Regards

Tracy said...

good one sir
Regards

अविनाश said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

that was very well written with good imagination and lovelt text
Regards

Anonymous said...

god one
:-)

Jyoti Dixit said...

that was lovely reading, nicely written and the imagination was converted to text with immense ease good one sir
Regards

Anupama K. Mazumder said...

I actually thought this was true till much later in the post... you have raised sensitive issues all so easily... well thought.

Ritu said...

that was some out of box thinking n intresting one.loved reading this.
Regards.

Anonymous said...

that was intresting

Ruchika Mittal said...

that was intresting, far sited humor

Jimmy said...

hhahaha bouth he aacha post yar

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Anonymous said...

wat a concept!!

purnima said...

Good imagination,
sir,

Aslam Pyarajan said...

been there for quite long...it just found a new name i guess

helping hands agency ...watch carryon regardless http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054727/

Shweta Saxena said...

good imagination...well written

Dr.Rita Raman said...

intresting concept well written

Dr. Gunjan Gehlot said...

wont be surprised if this really happens

Dr.Ruchika Rastogi said...

might sound surprisng now but might well be psbl in future

Well written

Pretty Me!! said...

sadly such thing existz to some extent .. as i read yesterday "problem today is that we love things and use people" !!

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