Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Identity and Naming

One of the predominant characteristics of stories in media about call centre employees that I have noticed is that this becomes a primary marker. The fact of their being such an employee, that is. Stories (very often gory and related to murder or other mayhem) are titled "Call centre....." and then go on detail events which in actuality have neither taken place on the premises of the call centre nor do they bear ostensible direct relation to the process, fact or event of employment.

For example,

Call centre employee murdered

The arrested youth and girls included call centre and IT firm employees, sons and daughters of affluent businessmen, air hostesses and college students.

BPO murder victim's colleague arrested

(A few caveats on the observation:
1. A number of these have come out in light of the Bangalore murder case at HP which was facilitated by loopholes in the call centre transport system.
2. The same loopholes exist in other call centres (or at least existed during the time of the above case) and hence safety is an issue around the call centre industry.)

Last but not the least;

This picture of call centre employees as victims of crime on one hand and perpetrators on the other; who or what does it pathologize?

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