Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Arranged Marriages and Call Centres

The other day, my mother asked me what I thought of girls working in call-centers. I asked her "What's there to think in that" .... "Girls work at call centers"..... period. But she persisted asking me what I thought of their morality, ethics, etc. I got the drift, but replied that they are expected to follow extremely strict confidentiality norms and these call centers are extremely high on ethics, so that the client's sensitive data, to which these call centers have access to, is safe.

That made my mother come straight to the point. One of her friend had got a marriage proposal for her son. The girl was working in a call center and my mother's friend was skeptical about accepting this girl as her daugether-in-law as she had heard that girls from call centers tend to have loose morals and character.

I have had the "character" arguement a lot of times with my parents and know their views on morality, which are different from mine. I am not passing a value judgement on their values, all I am saying is that they are different from mine. But I digress.....

Coming back to the point, she (my mother's friend) thinks that call center-girls have loose morals because they work late at night in the company of male colleagues, have easy money and easy access to pubs, discos, etc. Hence, there is a much larger chance of them "slipping" as the evils are easily accessible.

My primary arguement against this - A girl who has to "slip", in other words, sleep around, will do so even in college or in the locality, while a girl who decides top remain chaste will remain inspite of all the evils lurking around her. ---- Irrefutable, so taken.

Second arguement: Girls working in call centers are not safe....... They could be lured into something and taken advantage of ----- This thing really put me off...... I was now blunt ------ "If a girl is raped just for the fact that she is a girl, why would you refuse marrying her? Whta is the girl's fault in the case where she is raped" .... That again led to a wierd arguement, which I may write abt later.

Point is, are people being influenced to believe that call centers are bad places for girls to work at? Or people working there are devoid of morals? The media reports do seem to give this perception.


Vaibhav said...

wow man ...nice to see that u r writing something substantial....ya i too had a friend working in the call center and people do tend to take liberties with girls there....basically their social life gets messed up

Onkar Joshi said...

I think you are being unfair.

Most call centre jobs do not offer any career prospects, though notable exceptions exist.

Therefore, the USP of the call centres is that as long as you can deliver the goods, you get the job, and the cash. Most call centre hires get paid more than engineers who are graduating from third tier universities.

So there you have it. While it may be unfair to judge a single girl just because she works in a call centre, it does not mean that the stereotype itself should not exist.

One should evaluate a person taking into consideration the stereotype, and not evaluate the person based on the stereotype, because that is no evaluation at all.

e.g.: If you go to South Africa, you may be advised against going into black neighbourhoods after dark. While it is ridiculous to presume that every black neighbourhood is a cesspit of crime, it is also true that most tourists get mugged in those neighbourhoods. The fact that black people are a majority there may have nothing to do with it. The fact that most of the population of such neighbourhoods does not have access to good education and employment may more logical a reason than the race of the inhabitants, but the race of the inhabitants is merely a marker that serves as a caution, and not the cause itself.

Therefore, call centre employment in a prospective daughter in law's resume could be justifiable cause for concern, however it is no justifiable cause for rejection.