Indian call centre staff taught Oz 'dumbest continent': report
Indian call centre staff taught Oz 'dumbest continent': report - Indian Express
Indian call centres were allegedly teaching their staff that Australia was the "dumbest continent" and its people were "quite racist" and "drink constantly."
According to a report in 'Courier Mail', the staff, while being taught about "how to act Australian", were also told to "speak slowly" to customers on the other end of the phone line because they tend to be technologically "backwards".
India-based phone helpline operators were also warned that Australians were "touchy" about their pets.
The staff were also advised that they could hang up the call with Australians who used the "preferred term for us" – "brown bas...ds".
After these allegations first appeared in the reputed news magazine 'Mother Jones', they have caused a concern in the US over cultural stereotyping, the report said.
One of the magazine's writers, Andrew Marantz, spent weeks undertaking training in India with locals at an organisation called the 'Delhi Call Centre' (DCC), as part of investigative journalism. "For three weeks, a culture trainer will teach us conversational skills, Australian pop culture and the terms of the mobile phone contracts we'll be peddling," he was quoted as saying.
"Our first job at DCC will be to interrupt Australians at dinner and ask them to switch phone providers."
Marantz told The Sunday edition of the newspaper that he undertook the investigation last year, when there was some publicity about Indian students in Australia facing violent attacks.
The training programme taught employees about conversational skills and Australian pop culture in the hope that they would build a rapport with the person they were trying to sell to.
In "dissecting" the Australian psyche in 20 minutes, the teacher told the class, "Just stating the facts, guys. Australia is known as the dumbest continent. Literally, college was unknown there until recently, so speak slowly".
"Technologically speaking, they're somewhat backward, as well. The average person's mobile would be no better than, say, a Nokia 3110 classic."
That revelation "drew scoffs from around the room".
"Australians drink constantly," the teacher warned. "If you call on a Friday night, they'll be smashed - every time."
"Oh, and don't attempt to make small talk with them about their pets, OK? They can be quite touchy about animals."
When one call centre student asked what kind of people lived in Australia, the teacher responded "Let's admit: they are quite racist. They do not like Indians."