Tuesday, October 25, 2011

In which Sunrise infuriates me.

I'm in the break room making a coffee. The tv is playing Sunrise. I overhear the headline: "New guidelines to put in place to force call centre operators to have a specific accent level to be allowed to call Australian."

"Okay," I thought, "this can't be as stupid & discriminatory as what I think it is. At least they won't be stupid enough to put an insulting sub-heading on it."

Really? Alright then.

But surely once the guy throws it to panel discussion, we'll see the pros and cons of the issue, right? Wait, the panel are all women. He just called them his "Angels". Uh oh.

Ms. Armitage viewpoint is "it's not politically correct to say, but it's maddening!" Okay. Care to follow that statement up? No? Nothing on the fact that you're talking about restricting job applicants using something that is not their fault?

Well, I'm sure the next panelist has a background more suited to discussing the ramifications on the telco industry, so we can OH FOR FUCKS SAKE:

Sex and relationships expert?! What?! Why?! What?! (three excellent questions)

She discusses that anyone who calls you is trying to swindle you and having an accent makes that easier. Bravo, lady. You've just linked "having an accent" to "dishonest business practices". Plus, you're American, which means that to Australians, you have an accent. oh bravo. I'd sarcastic slow-clap, but I'm typing.

Look. I've worked in call centers for 7 years. I understand the seemingly inbuilt distrust many Australians have for anyone without an Australian accent (especially if that accent is Indian or Asian). Strangely though, no one seem to have a problem with MY accent. So is it an accent problem, or straight out prejudice? I say this: you get good agents and bad agents across all nationalities and accents. Stopping someone from holding a position because of the way they speak is discrimination, and worse, it's enabling the bad behaviors of the jerks who escalate to a supervisor because they don't want to speak to an Indian.

Well, I'm sure this hard-hitting journalistic juggernaut has another serious subject to discuss:

Yep. Fit over 40 like Brad & Angelina, Lindsay Lohan's Playboy shoot, and her dad getting arrested.



Dooga said...

I missed the tipping point where journalism in this country stopped being about facts and started to flat-out pander to rednecks, conservatives and xenophobes.

And Channel 7 has form on this. Watch this weeks ep of Media Watch on the ABC for an insight into how bad its gotten with refugee bashing over on Today Tonight (not-coincidentally hosted by Smantha Armytage).

Dooga said...

My mistake. Kylie Gillies hosts TT. The point still stands because she's also a Sunrise regular. (Or part of the "Sunrise Family" as they like to call it. Shudder.)

Aussie on the Road said...

God, this made me laugh and rolls my eyes. What a load of bollocks.

I can say without any word of a lie that a British, American, Kiwi, or South African accent on the phone wins me over more surely than an Aussie one.

I feel for my Indian friends. They cop a lot of shit despite trying hard and, in some cases, being fantastic employees and co-workers.