Business, but not as usual

Business, but not as usual

To the Editor:

Today I was trying to get some information about Comcast services, because dial-up via Verizon’s exceptionally expensive land lines has frustrated me long enough. The young man was struggling to spell out and pronounce West Tisbury as he accumulated information so that he could provide details about various Comcast packages.

He was interested to hear that West Tisbury is the summer home of “Mr. Comcast,” Brian Roberts. When I suggested that perhaps Mr. Roberts might step into his office, and wouldn’t it be nice if he could pronounce West Tisbury correctly, he responded that he would be honored to have Mr. Roberts stop by. After some further conversation, I asked where he was located, and he responded that he was in Castries, St. Lucia.

My next project was to make a reservation via Greyhound Bus for February. Again, although very helpful, the young man was struggling with English. I asked his location and was told Columbia.

Last week, I was attempting to call Allstate Insurance, and after some particularly difficult linguistic juggling, I asked the young lady her whereabouts. She said that she was in Mumbai.

Hmmm. These are three very American companies that have obviously found it more efficient and cost-effective to outsource various services overseas. Why isn’t this a mini-industry on our Island? Not that we are a third world sort of place but because we have lots of people here who could be providing these sorts of services and without the frustrations of language and cultural barriers. This could help to broadbase and diversify our Island economy in a sustainable way.

Virginia Crowell Jones

West Tisbury

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