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Employment in the News

Finding a job these days just isn't as easy as it used to be. "Employment in the News" can give you the edge. Here you'll find news on current employment trends and companies who are making headlines, career resources and hot employment sectors. Check back often.

 Title   Date   Author   Host 

Outsourcing Pipeline

by Paul McDougall

October 11, 2005

While offshoring call center work to India can save businesses millions, the practice can very quickly become a boondoggle if quality of service slips. The latest example of this came last week when a British Telecom executive called those customers who c

With those words, Bushell flunked marketing 101. She is effectively blaming the customer for a problem of BT's own making. How else does she expect customers to respond if they're forced to deal with an agent who, in the worst case, is unintelligible and, in the best case, is restricted to walking callers through a forest of scripted responses that may have little bearing on the problem at hand' This isn't just an issue for BT. In my own experience of late, I've noticed a sharp decline in the English proficieny of the Indian call center workers I deal with in my daily life. I think the reason is fairly obvious. More and more businesses are rushing to place call center work in India but the country's supply of workers capable of conversing freely in English as it is spoken in the West is limited. More and more, Indians with marginal English skills are being put into customer facing call center positions with predictable results--frustration at both ends of the call. This bodes ill for the growth of the Indian call center industry. IT outsourcing to the country will continue to skyrocket because technical work is not as dependent on language and heavy accents don't matter so much when writing, say, a Web services application. But call center work is quite different. As more and more businesses receive complaints about poor customer service from India, I suspect many of them will reevaluate whether the savings are worth it. There are plenty of middle-cost areas where English is the first language, such as Australia, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, or middle America, that may provide better overall value for a company's call center dollar. Those are places with which Meryl Bushell and BT should become more familiar, instead of just blaming their customers for refusing to accept poor service.

C Net News

by Ina Fried

September 2, 2005

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer vowed to "kill" Google in an expletive-laced, chair-throwing tirade when a senior engineer told him he was leaving the company to go work for Google, the engineer claimed in court documents made public on Friday.

The allegation, filed in Washington state court, is the latest salvo in an increasingly nasty court fight triggered when Microsoft executive Kai-Fu Lee jumped to Google in July in what Microsoft claims is a violation of a one-year, non-compete agreement. In a sworn statement made public Friday, Mark Lucovsky, another Microsoft senior engineer who left for Google in November 2004, recounted Ballmer's angry reaction when Lucovsky told Ballmer he was going to work for the search engine company.

San Francisco Chronicle

by Ilana DeBare

August 21, 2005

Many small family-run businesses rely on help from a child or two, but Sweet Sisters takes this a step further. Cafe owner Deborah Lyse Quenneville- Clairmont is homeschooling her six children and conceived of the restaurant as a part of their education.

Her teenagers spend 25 hours each week at the cafe and 25 hours each week on academics, while the younger children accompany their mother to the cafe and help out more informally. "This gives our children more of a real-life experience rather than a book experience," Quenneville-Clairmont said. "It gives them the opportunity to meet so many different people. And it gives them a sense of belonging to something -- they feel the restaurant is theirs."

Chicago Tribune [Free Subscription Required]

by Michael Higgins

August 18, 2005

J. Matt Barber, a born-again Christian from Villa Park, hoped to get some reaction in December when he wrote a fiery online essay denouncing same-sex marriage and the "destructive nature ... of the homosexual lifestyle."

But the strongest response, Barber said, came from his employers at Allstate Corp. He said two supervisors slapped the article down in front of him, told him he was suspended without pay and had him escorted from the company grounds in Northbrook.

Las Vegas Sun (NV)

by Emily Richmond

August 5, 2005

The job description for the next superintendent of the Clark County School District will include a base salary of $290,000 plus benefits.

That's an increase of nearly $78,000 over Carlos Garcia's salary at the time of his resignation as superintendent in July. The School Board also approved spending up to $99,950 on the nationwide search.

Universal Preschool

by Diane Flynn Keith

August 5, 2005

Dear Mr. Reiner,
I am a fan of your films including When Harry Met Sally, Ghosts of Mississippi, and This Is Spinal Tap. I am not a fan of your politics.

Rumor Has It that you have introduced a Preschool-For-All initiative that will be on the California ballot in 2006. While I realize that you have great concern for every little Alex & Emma whose parents cannot properly care for them (as demonstrated in your movie North, about a boy who divorces negligent and self-absorbed parents who are always too busy with their careers to give him the attention he needs), I fail to see the logic in your push to provide taxpayer funded preschools for every child regardless of want or need...

News With Views (CA)

by Tricia S. Vaughan

July 30, 2005

When it comes to preschool, the race is on. I remember questions from other moms about what I was going to do regarding preschool when my oldest son was a baby.

I said "we're homeschooling" because it was an easy answer and I had indeed thought about doing so, but still I felt compelled to check out preschools, to apply frantically, and to make a deposit so that my child wouldn't be left out of the race. I was already feeling as though I wasn't good enough to teach my own child.

Rutland Herald (VT)

by Louis Porter

July 11, 2005

MONTPELIER - It's a tough time for unions in America, but in Vermont, membership is still holding its own.

Against a backdrop of declining U.S. manufacturing jobs as companies seek cheaper foreign labor, union membership last year dropped to 12.5 percent of the workforce, down steadily from a high of more than 20 percent in 1983.

The Christian Science Monitor

by Kim Campbell

May 24, 2005

A few years back, Chelsea Rippy was a frustrated shopper. She would go out once a week looking for new clothes and would come back empty-handed.

Racks of cleavage-baring tops and low-rise jeans were leaving the stylish young mom with few options for clothes she felt comfortable in. Ms. Rippy, a Mormon, finally decided to fix the problem herself. Last fall she launched her own line of stretchy T-shirts and camisoles that can be worn under today's most revealing clothes. She's been surprised by the reception her shirts have received - and by the diversity of customers who buy from her online and at home parties.

World Net Daily

by Joe Kovacs

May 15, 2005

A former teacher of the year in South Florida is hoping to keep her teaching license after she was fired last week for giving her freshman high-school students a creative quiz hinting of sexuality and obscene language.

One question read: "What is a four-letter word that ends in K and means the same as intercourse'" Hint: You do it all the time, especially when you shouldn't, except when your parents ask what you did in school." The answer, according to Littrell, is "talk."

[Socialization] - how do you answer the most popular homeschooling question?

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