No place for racism here!

11 12 2010

I am quivering with rage as I write this, but I feel I have to share.

I have just trashed a comment that was left on my blog (on this post) that contained some of the most disgusting, racist filth I have ever read. I’m not going to re-post the entire comment (which is now safely marked as spam and permanently deleted anyway) because the terms and language used were extraordinarily offensive, but the gist of “HindusOutOfUSA’s” comment was that we shouldn’t outsource to Indians, “and if Obama had any sense” – India would be destroyed, “along with Pakistan and Afghanistan”.

Please, please, forgive me for using the F-word on what is otherwise a well-written and professional blog, but WHO THE FUCK DOES THIS IDIOT THINK HE IS?

I honestly and sincerely hope that no reader of this blog thinks that I am racist, or that at any point in any of my posts about or freelancing in general I have ever insinuated that I am anti-India or incited such disturbed opinion. I’m completely aghast and very much saddened at the thought that someone felt that my blog was the right platform to air their hateful views.

What I have done on this blog is express my frustration, as a Western freelancer, of competing with low-wage workers on platforms such as, but c’est la vie. The job marketplace is global, especially for remote freelance work, and it’s a fact of life that companies will outsource to where they can get equivalent quality for a cheaper price. My strategy, therefore, is not to sell myself short and compete with my rivals on price – to do so would be unsustainable. Instead, I hope to persuade potential clients that I’m worth paying more for in terms of quality.

I have also expressed disdain for Western companies that are unprepared to pay a fair wage to any freelancer, let alone those in already low-wage countries. Somewhere along the line the emphasis has been put on the “free” in “freelancer” and employers seem to think that we should be grateful to receive a pitiful few dollars for lengthy pieces of work. I am mindful of the fact that people in India and other Asian countries do have lower costs of living and therefore the average wage is remarkably lower than here in the UK, but I would urge all companies who outsource or are thinking of outsourcing to reward high quality with just wages and find the best people for the job, regardless of where they are located. The cost benefits of employing freelancers should come from the fact that you are not responsible for paying employee’s tax, that you do not need to provide them with any equipment, office space or facilities, that you’re not obliged to stump up for holiday pay, sick pay or social security, and that you can employ us for only as long as you need us – not from the fact that we will put up with paltry hourly rates. We won’t.

I digress. “HindusOutOfUSA”, by the way, attempted to justify his xenophobia by giving the example of poor customer service when contacting outsourced call centres; “Have you ever suffered when calling Bellsouth’s customer service and some Hindu girl with heavy accent was just repeating sentences from a script and couldn’t help you with your actual problem?” he asked. Dude, if you can’t understand the accent, try opening your goddamn ears and listening for a change, and if indeed Bellsouth’s customer services team are unable to help you with your queries (which, of course, I am sure you presented in a polite and respectful manner…), the fault lies not with the individual Indian staff, but with the poor quality of training provided by your blessed American company.

Of course, “HindusOutOfUSA” was too cowardly to provide a real email address when he posted his comment (my expletive-filled personal reply to him immediately bounced back),but if anyone cleverer than me with regard to things like this can tell me how to find out who this cretin is so that he can be reported and prosecuted for inciting racial hatred, I’d be very interested to know. For anyone else thinking of plastering my site with racial hatred – don’t. All such comments will be deleted and reported.

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