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Do Non-American Tech Support Personal Change Their Name?

 
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I was recently having to get a CD-ROM replaced on my Dell laptop. So I contacted their support department. I talked to a woman first. I believe she was an Indian woman. She said her name was Emma. Well, for some reason, I got disconnected. So I called back and I got a man this time who I believe was also Indian. He said his name was Steve.
So I am wondering if it is typical for Non-American Tech Support people to change their name? I am assuming it is so that the caller can better tell what the persons name is. I also know that some of my Asian friends have an "American" name by which they go by because their names are hard to pronounce if you are not Chinese/Japanese/etc.
I really wanted to ask them if that was their real name, but I felt I might insult them somehow. So I guess I felt better about insulting someone on Javaranch. Just kidding.
Anyone have some insight into this?
 
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I am assuming it is so that the caller can better tell what the persons name is.
That's a good guess. I changed my first name, too, when I came here, after I realized that my original name would just complicate my life. I still have a hard to spell last name, so whenever I come to a restaurant where there is a wait, I introduce myself as John Smith. End of trouble.
 
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You are right Gregg.
My cousin work at a support department, where the callers are mainly from US. At work place her name is "Maggie". Not only her, everybody in her office have a nick-name, so that the callers can remember the name of the attendent, if they call again.
My cousin's name is "Mangaiyarkarasi". Can you remember it?
 
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oh yes...many change the names or should I say shorten their names sometimes to make life easy for others and sometimes to make their own life easier (a friend of mine once told his name to his new co-worker and she started laughing .... poor ignorant woman.... lives like the "Frog in a well"....if u know what I mean.)
 
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I'm against changing names for so many reasons and hate when people do it.
I don't really feel like getting into it right now, I just wanted to state my opinion
Shortening ones name is ok to make it easier, but completly changing it I don't like.
 
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Keep in mind that much of Dell tech support is in India. I have heard that many of the call centers in India that deal with American callers strive to give the illusion that the call is being placed to the US, and as a matter of course adopt American sounding names to conduct business. Maybe somebody more familiar with Indian call centers can give a more definitive answer though.
 
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Also keep in mind that a lot of people of Asian or Indian descent were given "American" (or Christian) names at birth, and that IS their "real" name. Speaking for myself, I have two "real" names: one is Chinese, one English. They mean entirely different things and are not correlated to each other in any way (other than to identify me). However, my Chinese relatives in China call me by my Chinese name, and my relatives and friends elsewhere call me by my Christian name.
I'm not sure about tech support - I don't call tech support
 
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I myself also have an English name (not official) which was picked by my wife.
Many of my American friends (whites) who ever visited China and are interested in Chinese culture have a pure Chinese name. Many famous American scholars of Chinese politics have a very classic Chinese name.
I think sometimes it might just be for fun. As far as I know, none of those names are official.
 
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Keep in mind that much of Dell tech support is in India. I have heard that many of the call centers in India that deal with American callers strive to give the illusion that the call is being placed to the US, and as a matter of course adopt American sounding names to conduct business. Maybe somebody more familiar with Indian call centers can give a more definitive answer though.


Well I guess that is correct , one of the Dell support centre sits here in Bangalore and I know a couple of friends who work there and they have Western names over the phone. They say its make the person on the other end more comfy , they even try to put up an accent. Usually people with neutral accents are chosen for the Job ,some of them are trained on other accents.
 
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I, myself, got a few different names. They, however, point to the same object.
 
Mani Ram
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Keep in mind that much of Dell tech support is in India. I have heard that many of the call centers in India that deal with American callers strive to give the illusion that the call is being placed to the US, and as a matter of course adopt American sounding names to conduct business. Maybe somebody more familiar with Indian call centers can give a more definitive answer though.


It is true that the workers in Indian call centers are given American sounding names. But as I mentioned in my earlier post, it is mainly done so that the callers can remember the attendents name. The idea of creating an illusion doesn't sound logical to me. I don't think the people can be deceived just with an English name (or with an accent).
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Mani Ram:
The idea of creating an illusion doesn't sound logical to me. I don't think the people can be deceived just with an English name (or with an accent).


Hi, I'm in Bangalore (but I Dare Not Tell) (New York Times)

In case her callers ask personal questions, Ms. Suman has conjured up a fictional American life, with parents Bob and Ann, brother Mark and a made-up business degree from the University of Illinois.


Say Hello to Sanjeep, Er, Sam (Wired)

More than 30,000 employees at Indian call centers, among whom Radhika becomes Ruth and Satish becomes Steve, are told to adopt American names and say they are calling from a U.S. city in order to put their American customers at ease.

 
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Thanks for the links, Jason. Shouldn't you be busy tending to a gaggle of visiting Menards though?
[back to the topic...]
Mmmm, that's kind of sad. Having an easy-to-remember handle seems like a legitimate businees need if you're a the phone support business. Having to impersonate a different culture entirely on the off chance the caller is a stupid redneck is most unfortunate. (I'm thinking of the caller who said "You guys blew up the WTC".) I'm a bit surprised this ruse is considered worth perpetrating. Most of the Indians I've known speak perfectly understandable English, but I'd never for a moment believe that someone with that accent was named "Steve". (Though I wouldn't object to that as a handle; I just wouldn't believe it was the person's real name.) Or are the Indians in call centers a sort of linguistic elite who are realy, really good at impersonating native-born Americans? I admit most of the Indians I've known were not hired for their linguistic expertise so much as other skills. (Not that I had any trouble understanding them, usually - I'm just saying an accent is an awfully difficult thing to lose, I know.)
On reflection, I think the most offensive part of this is the fact that some people on this planet are being encouraged to watch "Ally McBeal" in order to better assimilate into American culture. :roll: "Friends" is OK, I understand that. But Ally or her coworkers as typical American people? Please! :roll:
As a closing aside, the article titled "Say Hello to Sanjeep, Er, Sam" reminded me of a favorite SF novel, Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny. The opening lines:

His followers called him Mahasamatman, and said he was a god. He preferred to drop the maha- and the -atman, however, and called himself Sam. He never claimed to be a god. But then, he never claimed not to be...


OK the connection is tenuous at best, but the primary points here are (a) I approve of nicknames which are legitimate simplifications of longer names but not outright forgeries, and (b) Zelazny was an author who peaked early; his early works were often the best, and the opening lines were often the most memorable part of his work. Though what followed was not without merit, and should not be discounted. RIP. <endorsement type-"blatant">Y'all should go out and buy everything Roger Zelazny ever wrote, stating with his earliest work.</endorsement>.
Umm, remind me, what were we talking about again?
[ October 11, 2003: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]
 
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Recently there were discussions going in media about Call Center culture.One 'Left' inclined professor critisized these 'coolies'culture which is growing in Indian metros .There are salary cuts or bear the insult from manager if you don't speak the customer's accent.
 
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