Friday, December 14, 2007

The Nits Get Picked

This is a nit, but it's a real annoyance to me. It gets under my skin that we have become so politically correct, so adamant that everything should be equal that we can't even fill out an online form without having global equality shoved in our face. Here are two insipid examples:
  • My company employs approximately 325,000 people. 125,000 people are in the United States, a clear majority among the countries. But is the United States first on the pick list on our web forms? No. They've set them alphabetically because the company doesn't want to offend anyone else around the world by putting the US first. So the 3 people that work in Algeria get to fill in their forms with two clicks, while it takes me, along with 124,999 other people, several to get the information input. Let's say that takes an additional 2 seconds per day - that's a potential 70 hours of lost productivity in the US each day, or $4900 in average salaries. It that happens just every other day it costs the company almost $700,000 per year. At the same time, I can't spend $20 on a gift card to reward one of my employees without 3 levels of approval.
  • I work in a customer service center. A few years ago we started moving a lot of the work to Canada, so to show them we are truly supportive of them, we didn't do any cultural workshops, we didn't do any training to learn what life is like in Toronto...we changed the spelling of Customer Service Center to Customer Service Centre.

Canadian 1: "Those Americans are so arrogant, eh. They think they are so much better than everyone else because their system of capitalism has been dominant for 231 years."

Canadian 2: "Hold off there, hosehead. Look at this. They spell customer service centre just like we do!"

Canadian 1: "It appears I don't know what I'm talking aboot. If they spell it like we do, I'm obviously all turned around on this thing. I love America and her respect of our spelling!"

If only it were that easy.

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