Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I have to have a small operation and was discussing it with the assistant doctor at Southampton Hospital. She said the surgeon would write to me with some possible dates. I asked when his letter would arrive. "It should be with you in ten days," she replied. "I dictate the minutes of our consultation today, then the report is sent to India to be typed and then it is sent back to the surgeon. After that, he'll write to you." She asked me not to ask why she can't simply e-mail him or speak to him directly, after all, they work in the same hospital.


Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

Good luck with this, and let's hope there are no mistakes in translation!

8:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having worked for a 'big 4' bank / retail financial services / blue-chip rock-solid corporate [delete to taste] I can sympathise.

Initially the bandwagon effect did suck in people who saw the mammoth cost-savings to be made from sending work to India. Salary costs worked out at roughly one-tenth the UK equivalent.

Of course, when everybody wanted to do it, the costs savings were not quite as much, as the Indians could 'bid-up' the tendering costs.

Then it took an awful lot of leg work in the UK to design and build the new processes. And implement the 'hand-offs' from 'on-shore' to 'off-shore'.

Of course, as you add more steps to a process, the chances of error increases exponentially. So the 'huge cost savings' become much more illusory as you advance towards the mirage.

And it is difficult to calculate the cost of lost goodwill, pi$$ed off customers and loss of retention of valued business.

But even with all this, there is still, often, a marginal saving in cost, which is why we will still continue to see the sort of process you describe...

10:04 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, one more thing...

The reason direct contact is not possible is that the consultant is probably on the golf course. The 'Passage to India' allows him time to complete the game..

10:06 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

That's a good point, Ellee! I wonder how many right legs have been amputated in error.

Yes, Anon - perhaps the best strategy is to leave his post at the final hole.

9:02 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose there one other 'grumpy old git' point to make here, which is that the standard of English education in India is possibly a lot better for the typists in India than for many of those who have been in the British state education system recently, sadly.

So the accuracy of the transcription may well be better even after it has been send to the South Asian sub-continent. There is a lesson for in there somewhere methinks...

12:59 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

You are very pessimistic today, Anon!

8:10 am  

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