Two women in IT tell how they are losing their jobs to offshore contractors, and having to train their replacements...
At New York Life, IT employees are training overseas workers to do their jobs. It's a difficult task that takes an emotional toll, and there are odd rules and processes to follow.
The training starts with sessions over the Web with the offshore contractors. Eventually, the IT employees expect to train the contractors in-person.
One IT employee, who is training replacement contractors, said she has been told by management not to ask the contract workers any questions. Even simple queries, like, "Did you have a chance to read this document?" or, "Are you familiar with this technology?" to the contract workers, from India-based Tata Consultancy Services, are not allowed.
"We should have the understanding that [the offshore contractors] have all the skill sets," said this IT employee, whose name cannot be disclosed because of the risk to her job. Asking questions is "like insulting the process."
There's also a regular survey process that seems like a Catch 22 system. As the replacement training moves along, the IT workers have to rate the offshore contractors on a scale of one to five, with five being the highest. If the contractor receives the highest score, the thinking among the employees is it may accelerate their replacement. If the contractor gets a low score, the IT employee may be blamed for providing poor training, which may also accelerate job loss.
"The employees are playing this game, playing defense, trying to figure out what to do," she said.
The IT employees also must be pleasant on the calls with contractors, not just matter-of-fact, but pleasant. The process is anything but that. As this IT employee, a computer science graduate, grappled with the reality of it, she said, "I break down. It's so hurtful."
Meanwhile, the offshore contractor on the calls is beginning to use possessive pronouns, saying "our" or "my" to show he is taking ownership of her job. "It's bad for my heart when I hear that," she said.
There was a time when working in IT was a good job, she said. Back then, there was promise, and computer science was a worthwhile major.
"I've been telling high school students and college students that you should not major in computer science anymore," she said. IT work has "turned into a factory job."
Two female employees were interviewed at the company and both are training their replacements. The interviews were arranged by Sara Blackwell, a Florida attorney who is representing Disney IT workers who were also replaced by offshore workers.
What New York Life is doing is no different than...
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