Australians Are 'Technically Backward And Drink Constantly'

That's the delightful view of the 'culture instructor' at an Indian IT call centre group. A Mother Jones reporter recently went behind the scenes, and discovered that apparently, "the average Australian's mobile would be no better than, say, a Nokia 3110 classic."

Wait, it gets better:

"Australians drink constantly," Lekha continued. "If you call on a Friday night, they'll be smashed—every time. Oh, and don't attempt to make small talk with them about their pets, okay? They can be quite touchy about animals."

That's right. Why bring my dog into this? He didn't ask for your cold call to interrupt his kibble chow-down did he? Seriously, though, what the hell? The rep does hit home with a few sensitive points around racism, but man, what do you expect when "literally, college was unknown [in Australia]until recently." Wow. Time for some lunch if I can manage to find my face hole. [Mother Jones via Defamer Australia]



    Wow. That's an eye-opener.

    TBH though, I'm happy for the rest of the world to remain ignorant of Australia. Makes it more likely for them to underestimate us, and "mostly harmless" is a nice way to stay under the radar.

      +1 for the Hitchhiker's Guide reference.

    They're not really that far off. Aussies do love the grog, sometimes to excess, and we love our animals a little more than may be considered entirely reasonable. But the average mobile being a Nokia 3110? He needs to check our smartphone sales charts...

      Can't agree; only some Australians like alcoholic beverages. I cannot stand them myself. Don't mind if others drink, that's their decision, not mine, but I have never encountered an alcoholic drink that I could honestly say I like.

      I suppose that some would say that alcohol is consumed for affect rather than taste but who'd want to experience the results of heavy drinking?

      So the person making the claims is wrong everywhere.

    To quote 'Up in the air': "I stereotype. It's faster."

    I don't mind if they give us this 'Friday night smashed' image, just don't complain when we hang up on you.

    At least I won't get calls after I get home from work. (Not that I get calls from call centres anyway)

    Kibble chow? Wow, you really did spend some time in America didn't you Dan? hehehe

    Seriously though, I rarely read an article that extends longer than 2 screen lengths unless it's about a topic which already interests me (Wow, I'm really not doing much to dispell the myth that Australians are "ineducated" [heh]) - but this piece had me glued from start to finish.

    "literally, college was unknown [in Australia] until recently.”

    That's probably because it goes Primary School -> High School -> Uni/Tafe/Work in Australia. College as a standard part of schooling is an American concept. Good to know the guy who said that is completely ignorant of how things actually work in Australia.

    Also freakin' LoL at making a comment on how Aussies are based on how they interact with call centres! I know I'm kinda rude to people in call centres but that's because they COLD CALL YOU IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WORK DAY AND WASTE YOU TIME BEING CIRCUITOUS ASSHOLES.

      Although unfortunately as a whole it seems he's pretty right about Aussies being racist :/

        Yet you miss that the call centre trainer is being racist!
        Yes, that's right... Black (and every other colour) people CAN be racist to White people!

        Having said that, it's probable that the guy has only ever interacted with people who call with problems - ie largely the "technically backward" component of the population.

          you kind've have to call a spade a spade on this... 'white' is different to 'Australian'.

          it's a cultural stereotype... not a racial slur!

          what's sad is that i get similar comments from friends i know in America and Europel; mostly pertaining to Aussies being racist and obnoxious...

      'College' = Uni. It's just an American term. Chances are, if you ask a graduate here, "Have you been to college?" They'd probably say no.

    Eh, most of the time when you call and get someone from over there the issue doesn't get resolved anyway so who are they to talk? They get Diplomas in "IT" and are taking phone calls for my Cable Broadband. Who's backward now?

      That may be true, but it doesn't change the fact that what he is saying is quite true and honest. Why people need to react the way you do, and feel defensive seems quite silly to me.

    I have a pet neanderthal in the back yard... He gets a bit touchy when I make him answer the phone... He is never pissed though... Just has a bit of deep voice and a little tough to understand...

      Is he your drunk dad?

    Don't know about the rest of the readers, but I get pissed off because they not only call in the middle of your dinner, but they're quite simply some of the most simple minded people I've ever had to speak to.

    I had one guy called "Dave" from "Melbourne" who said his office had a great view of the harbour bridge.

    Nice try rajesh.

    “If you call on a Friday night, they’ll be smashed"
    hey i just get over hydrated. thats why i vomit, cos my body dont need all that liquid.
    and on whos the ones with low tech stuff? i have a cordless phone yet in your photo you have corded ones like babies toys!

    This is probably true, for those not tech savvy enough to be on the Do Not Call register.

    Ah call centres. I had one call up once saying he was John from Melbourne when the VoIP handsets said it was from over seas at which point I proceeded to say that my handset said he wasn't at which point he got really "confused" and hanged up.

      They always tell me that they're from "Victoria". Asking them to be more specific typically ends the call pretty quickly.

      At least, that was until I signed up for the DNC register.

    That's because the only people he gets to talk to aren't smart enough to use

    Switching to a voip landline did a good job of stopping mid dinner calls too.

    If I want a companies services, I'll contact them. Don't try and sell me stuff I don't want/need... and I don't want to do your survey. I'll tell you when you are doing it wrong. If you don't hear from me and I'm stilling paying, then I'm happy.


    There is irony in the picture provided of the Australian contact centre using a handset when on a computer. Any call centre in the past 30 years would have a headset, kind of undermines the tone of the post when the picture suggests we are backward. No barriers or large spaces between CSA's would make it hard to hear and be heard too. Just saying is all

    They're not far off at all. Particularly about the racism.

    *takes a swing of rum mixed with red wine* what'd ya say about ma dog?! You fucking paki!

      I would double "Like" your comment.

      I am guilty of messing with cold callers - a big shout out to the guys from "Windows Support International" (who aren't actually affiliated with Microsoft, as it turns out) who keep calling me every Friday and Saturday night trying the old event viewer scam to get me to open the ports on my computer. A sterling effort from the gentleman I spent 45 minutes getting to explain to me what the Windows key on my keyboard did, and a big congratulations to the lady that wasn't phased when my first response to her claim that she had detected some unwanted activity coming from my computer was that I didn't have a computer.

        I want one of those Microsoft calls!! All my friends keep getting them and I want in on the fun!

          I know the feeling. I work in IT and everyone around me gets them but me. I already have my bit worked out. First, I'm gonna say "but I don't have a PC", then I'll spend 20 minutes pressing buttons on the microwave, and then after all that, I'm gonna sit there for 10 minutes just going "uh-huh"

            well if u do that.. then u would prove their point that aussies are dumb!! So you get to have fun but they stereotype us cuz of your behaviour... then they would be trained about people who can't distinguish between computers and microwaves and there would be another article out here.

              Stick your head in the microwave while you're pushing the buttons (mate).

    too true. this country is second only to the US in ignorant hedonists

    I switched to a VoIP landline a few years back and haven't had any non solicited calls through it at all.

    Of course I don't really even use the thing I have a mobile phone so I use that all the time.

    I work in a call center here in Australia and I'd like to point out something people might not know.
    If you get a call center call, don't hang up right away.

    I'm not sure about others, but in our business, if the caller hangs up, we have to just set a recall for later in the same day.

    It's much better to spend the few minutes on the call, thank the person and then tell them that you do not wish to be contacted on this number again and to please remove it from their system.

    Otherwise you run the risk of getting called back.

    We only call solicited calls in our business (existing customers only) and our law stipulates that we are allowed to contact 3 times in a week and no more than 10 times in a calendar month. If you hang up without saying anything, this is 'NOT' considered a contact, so you may be called more often.

    Save us the trouble, and yourself the grief. Give us just a few minutes and if it's something that is unsolicited and you don't want, ask for the number to be removed.

    *smiles* Thanks for listening guys. Remember that us call center workers are people too.

      "Remember that us call center workers are people too."


        My favourite tactic for any unsolicited call is to interrupt them, and politely ask....
        "When you were a child, is this what you wanted to be when you grow up?"

    And the objective of posting something so specific against 'Indian Call Centers' on a website like Gizmodo thats read by countless people is??.....

    C'mon people, everybody has preconceived stereotypical views of other nationalities whether or not its spoken about openly. Its the effect of mass media and from 1st, 2nd hand experiences. But that doesnt mean you (Gizmodo) go on to post articles like this that's zoning in on specific nationalities. What a buzzkill! Only if I wasnt redirected to this site

      It's specifically tech related, something we've all dealt with, stirs debate, and ultimately: you can choose not to read it.

      It's hugely eye opening to see how we're percieved, but my highlighting that perception is in no way "against indian call centres".

      The Mother Jones article is a particularly well researched and well-written piece that truly is worth your time reading.

      You may feel different, and I'm glad you left a comment to say so. Opinions from all angles (except narrow minded racism) welcomed.
      --Danny (Editor, Giz AU).

    They're right about drinkers and Luddites- if any of our federal politicians are to go by (Labour AND Liberal) we're at a pretty humiliatingly embarrassing state.

    These views may not represent us (the sorts of people who read and comment on articles such as this), but WE are not exactly representative of the majority of Aussie general public.
    The truth is that even though those Indian cold callers are unwelcome and endlessly irritating, the average Aussie does tend to drink a lot, hold quaint racist views, with technical knowledge restricted to the level of which brand names they can remember.

    Hey! I only drink when I'm driving or having sex. (Down to five bottles a day.)

    An Average Aussie

    Developing an opinion of a nation from call centres is ignoragnce, almost defined. I'm not insulted by his remarks though, they are his opinion. Had a whitey said it though, good lord.

    I'm not racist! I think all call centre workers can go and get fu.... equally :)

    Having an Indian call centre operator call you racist is like having Charlie Sheen call you crazy. Good thing he's not allergic to irony, or someone would've had to pull out the epi-pen.

    This was written by my cat under my drunken and consistently imbecilic "direction".

    I could have contributed to this. I used to pretend to be drunk, if I weren't actually drunk, and talk crap whenever India was calling.
    Harmless fun I thought.

      I think I may have contributed too Dave. I had problems with a telco and the call centre (in Melbourne) was trying to resolve the matter and would get back to me. I asked her not to call me after 4 on Friday because I would most likely be on my way to smashville by then

    When we get the computer related calls, I tell them I have an apple mac. They hang up straight away, not even saying bye!

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