Sunday, November 12, 2006

Job Snobs

I know the negativity is to be expected, but it's really starting to get to the knee-jerk level.

You’ll recall the casino that’s not a casino. Well now we’re to have a “call centre that’s not a call centre.” As Phil Taylor, director with AMVESCAP, took great pains to drive home this week at his company’s announcement thereof. From the CBC:

While the AMVESCAP office will consist of people taking phone calls and answering questions, Taylor said the operation would be a lot more sophisticated than what Atlantic Canadians have come to think of when they think of call centres… “This is really a client relations operation. So we would be dealing with sophisticated financial advisers, or our end clients, or the back office admin groups of our corporate clients, like, let’s say, RBC Dominion here in Canada.”

And from The Guardian:

The Global Enterprise Centre will not be a call centre, said Taylor. It will provide client relations with financial advisers, as well as act as a backup to its Toronto headquarters in the event of a weather or terrorism-related crisis.
This is specious, by this logic it would be impossible for any kind of business-to-business operation to exist, because as soon as they mentioned what it wasn't, that's what it would become. Apparently perceptions are entrenched even among people who really should know better.
And therein lies the rub: whether it’s called a “Global Enterprise Centre” or an office for telephone-based “client relations with financial advisers” or a call centre doesn’t really matter: it will still suffer from the same “fair weather friend” nature of all such enterprises.
Yeah, umm, that's the corporate world for you where ever you go. The difference between Alberta and Cape Breton is about 50 years of stuff still left in the ground. Yes, we live in a capitalist society, and yeah it can sort of sucks, but it sucks equally everywhere, if you've been paying attention to the opening and closing of auto plants every few years, and making cars has given Oshawa, Ontario the highest standard of living in the country. So I'm wondering just how high the bar would be set for an acceptably "secure" job. We can't all work for the provincial government, after all. And, oh, wait, they just went ahead and axed a bunch of IT employees with the stroke of a pen because of similar financial reasons.

Unless one truely envisions 100,000 cottages with 100,000 cottage industries as the backbone of a robust PEI economy, let's please not dismiss an entire group of people who will get the chance to make a good living and live here while they do it instead of Alberta.

By al - 7:28 PM |

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