Sunday, April 04, 2010
Opportunity to teach Hawaiian language in Mumbai
by Larry Geller
How does someone with a bit of an accent (we have many here in Hawaii) explain to an operator in New Delhi that they just moved to Kalanianaole Highway from Maumauluukaa St. in Kaaawa, and please send their welfare checks to the new address?
Department of Human Services Director Lillian has been
ruthless scrupulous in cutting costs. After 228 direct service workers are eliminated and applicants have to phone for public assistance benefits, I don’t think it will be long before she figures out that Hawaii is an expensive place to operate a call center.
Predictions by DBEDT and others that Hawaii would become a leader in the call center business haven’t exactly panned out. If you call HP, you get India. If you call Amazon.com, your call is answered in Costa Rica. That’s the way it goes.
We need jobs in Hawaii. Laying off 228 workers hurts them, their families, and our economy. The remaining jobs in the DHS call centers won’t be very secure either. Lillian is smart. She might figure out that outsourcing is cheaper, just as she outsourced the state’s QExA health care to two Mainland firms.
I hope she doesn’t read this.
Hawaiian Airlines could set the example by bringing back its reservations center to Hawaii from the Phillipines. What other companies need to follow the example?