India loses jobs to Ohio

Yep, it’s a crazy world. Expedia, like so many companies today, farms out its customer service call centers to India. Tata, the Indian company who handles Expedia’s calls has opened a call center in Ohio.

To bring you up to speed on your globalization vocab, when Expedia farms out their work to an Indian company it’s known as “outsourcing” and when that Indian company opens a branch in the USA it’s know as “insourcing.” Got it?

You can read the full story here.

If this kind of globalization stuff pisses you off or amazes you, read The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman. It’s full of this kind of head scratchin’ stuff….

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Flooding in Bangladesh nothing new

Flood

Each year 1/5th of Bangladesh is flooded, displacing millions. I got an email from a friend that taught me to play cricket in Dhaka. He told me that the floods were upon them once again.

I worry that global warning is going to kill the world’s coral reefs. In Bangladesh this must seem like a frivolous concern.

I searched for reports of the flooding. First I looked in the newspapers, but thbest account I’ve found was on the blog Bangladesh Barta:

The latest round of flooding has hit us, and once more it was deep. I went out to take some photos and it was up to my knees, but I managed to get a few shots in between dodging floating chicken…

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91 of 4,000

I cranked out 4,000 words today on the Bangladesh chapter. Here’s 91 of them…

Three men wearing pink frocks are examining my “Jingle These” underwear. I mean really examining them. They pull them, stretch them, rub the fabric between their fingers, examine seams, hold them up to the light, pretty much everything but smelling them.

I packed light for this trip and the boxers still hold a place in my underwear rotation. As I watch the examination take place, I try and think of when I wore them last and if I had washed them since. I never expected them to come under such scrutiny….

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Helping doesn’t always help

I never got around to posting about the other two parts of the Dateline piece, I will eventually. Until then, I wrote about it today while working on my Bangladesh chapter.


In 1993, Dateline NBC aired footage from inside a garment factory in Bangladesh, featuring a Wal-Mart production line where kids as young as seven were operating machines and trimming garments.

Wal-Mart argued that the people of Bangladesh are extremely malnourished and that people that appear to be seven-year-old kids are actually adult Bangladeshis whose growth has been stunted.

Obviously this ridiculous spin of the situation in Bangladesh did nothing to falsify the accusations. “Made in Bangladesh” became synonymous with “Made by Children.”

The American consumer, out of concern for the child laborers of Bangladesh, took action the only way…

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A great weekend to be a writer

Writers’ conferences are depressing and they are uplifting.

The truth is always thrown in your face: how the slush piles are leaning towers of crappy writing; how slim the chances of you being published actually are. But for me this conference was mostly uplifting for a couple of reasons.

1) Every conference I’ve attended I leave feeling blessed to write nonfiction. There are a lot of places for me to publish my work and buildup the ever important “platform.” But the poor fiction writers carrying around their 858-page space/time travel romance fantasy novel they describe as “like Harry Potter, but with more sex and no wizards, and…you know…in space,” you’d have to be heartless not to feel their pain. There are very few magazines that publish…

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The Midwest Writers’ Conference Day 1

One thing not so great about writers’ conferences is that they make you do silly exercises. Like this one I did in the workshop of Crescent Dragonwagon (yep, that’s her name. I took this session on “how to writer with the emergency brake off mostly because I wanted to meet the person behind the name. If you were wondering, she has red hair and wears a lot of black.)

The goal is to write your name vertically down the side of the page and then writing a few paragraphs using the letters of your name. The only rule is that you should try to have more than one word associated with each letter and it should be words that just pop in your head so you…

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