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Techies Asked To Train Foreign Replacements 765

Posted by Zonk
from the have-a-good-trip dept.
Makarand writes "David Lazarus of the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that Bank of America (BofA) is moving thousands of tech jobs to India and has asked its techies to train their Indian replacements or risk losing severance pay. Although there is nothing in writing that says precisely this, the employees have been made clear about this responsibility in their meetings. BofA is outsourcing tech work to Indian companies whose employees do the work at half the cost of what a U.S. worker gets paid. According to an estimate, outsourcing has allowed the bank to save about $100 million over the past five years."
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Techies Asked To Train Foreign Replacements

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  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu.gmail@com> on Saturday June 10, 2006 @06:41AM (#15508432) Journal

    From the article (regarding requiring training to receive severance): ""I know hat's parsing things a bit," Norton acknowledged. "What we ask associates to do as part of getting severance is that they stay on the job until the job is transitioned."

    Norton (and BofA) is parsing employees in a more metaphorical sense, cutting them into tiny pieces. It's a violation of a tacit ethic.

    Next: ""It's a common practice when your job is being transferred from one person to another that you train the new person," she added. "We expect our people to stay until their jobs are consolidated.""

    Yes it is a common practice. What's not so common (though it's seemingly becoming so) is a scenario where the person you're training is transparently there to be trained because they're going to do the job on the cheap. What's not so common is the egregious in-your-face requirement to train someone to replace you when you had not been planning to leave!

    I've trained replacements before. And, I KNEW I was expected to finish that work to consider my work satisfactory. But, it's always been when I was moving on. I'd like to be in a place where when faced with being required to train my cheap-suit replacement that I could refuse on principle alone.

    It's unfortunate and worse, unethical, to require training your replacement to receive severance. As an aside did you ever wonder why severance packages max out at ten months, e.g., by some algorithm you get X months pay for each year served, with a cap at ten months? Ten months (actually, 300 days) is how long an employee has to file an action on discriminatory practices! Often times training cheaper replacements targets older and higher paid employees.

    And finally and most offensive: "But BofA stands out because it acknowledged earlier this year that it understands how much the practice offends its U.S. employees.
    Barbara Desoer, BofA's chief technology exec, told BusinessWeek magazine in January that she was aware how much grumbling it caused when workers at the bank's Concord technology center were told they'd have to bring their Indian replacements up to speed before being shown the door.
    "

    First of all, the bitch Desoer doesn't deserve the title CTO, she's a fucking hatchet man... she isn't managing technology, she's betraying her work force, I'm guessing for some pretty decent blood money... Fuck her.

    So outsourcing and required replacement training is becoming common enough companies begin to admit it. The tipping point is here, they can all claim they do it with the rationale, "everyone ELSE is doing it." Posh!

    This is legal but it's unhealthy. The return to the shareholders is short term and long term this practice stands to damage employee morale, and based on the kind of "replacement" results piss off the customers.

    A global economy is coming. For some it's a speeding train coming right at them, and they've been tied to the railroad tracks by their employers.

    • by Znork (31774) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @06:56AM (#15508467)
      "A global economy is coming."

      As the current situation is, I wouldnt really call it a global economy. Something more like a segragated economy, where the main trick is to move work to one place, while keeping prices artificially high in another through legislation, then reaping the profits on the market discrepancy and allowing a rapid transfer of funds from the middle class.

      A good step towards restoring a free market and getting something even remotely like a 'global economy' would be to reconstruct the intellectual 'property' monopoly legislation from scratch. Western, and american, labour would get a whole lot more competetive (maybe even maintain the current standard of living at half the pay!) if they didnt have to fund, directly, and indirectly, huge grotesquely inefficient copyright and patent taxation financed monopolies.
      • by yurnotsoeviltwin (891389) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @09:52AM (#15509051) Homepage
        labour would get a whole lot more competetive (maybe even maintain the current standard of living at half the pay!)

        You hit the nail right on the head. The problem is not that Indians (and Mexicans, for that matter) are "stealing" our jobs, it's that they are willing to do it for a lot less money. Honestly, you can't blame the companies for going with cheaper labor that can do the job just as well, or close to it (though forcing the American workers to train their replacement is a different story). If Americans were willing to work for lower wages, then labor wouldn't NEED to be outsourced. Of course, the problem isn't only that Americans aren't willing to work for lower wages, it's that we often aren't able to, so what you're saying, or something similar to it, would be the way to go. If Americans started to work for less, basic (and slightly simplistic, but still mostly valid for an approximation) economics says we would pretty much maintain the current standard of living, but only in the long term. In the short term, it just wouldn't work, because it only works if EVERYONE is working for the lower wages. The "early adopters" would be screwed until everyone else's wages went down by the same amount, at which point prices would also come down to meet demand. So the way to do it, as you say, is to start out by lowering prices a bit (revamping copyright/patent/monopoly law would be a reasonable start, though some would argue monopolies would help with this transition) and let that naturally be followed up with a lowering of wages, then rinse and repeat until we're competetive on a global scale.

        Another way to ease the trasition would, of course, be to cut taxes like whoah. Americans pay, on average, a net of about 40% of their income to the government (not only income tax obviously, but including basic economic principles such as "corporate taxes raise prices," etc.). If we were to cut down on pork-barrel spending alone, that could probably be reduced to 35%, maybe even as low as 30%. That means the average American can take a pay cut of 5-10% without changing his net income at all. Then if you're willing to cut government programs that don't quite count as pork-barreling but still provide less benefit than what they cost, you could potentially bring total taxes down to 20%. That means we could bring wages down even lower (20% lower) without hurting the average American household's standard of living, with the exception of those who rely on whatever social programs are cut. Even still, losing a program is preferable to losing your job to someone overseas.
        • Americans aren't willing to work for lower wages

          So are you going to lower their monthly payments for taxes, mortgages, car loans, insurance, health care, telecommunications, food, gas, and other things one needs to live?

          I didn't think so.

          Illegals can only work for less because they don't pay taxes or (frequently) various kinds of insurance. A friend of mine suffered $500 from a hit and run driver to his parked car who was an illegal who didn't have insurance, and his own insurance conveniently estimated the
        • by jlowery (47102) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @12:58PM (#15509795)
          Then if you're willing to cut government programs that don't quite count as pork-barreling but still provide less benefit than what they cost, you could potentially bring total taxes down to 20%.

          You mean like Iraq?
        • by Excelsior (164338) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @01:54PM (#15510008)
          If Americans started to work for less, basic (and slightly simplistic, but still mostly valid for an approximation) economics says we would pretty much maintain the current standard of living, but only in the long term. In the short term, it just wouldn't work, because it only works if EVERYONE is working for the lower wages. The "early adopters" would be screwed until everyone else's wages went down by the same amount, at which point prices would also come down to meet demand. So the way to do it, as you say, is to start out by lowering prices a bit (revamping copyright/patent/monopoly law would be a reasonable start, though some would argue monopolies would help with this transition) and let that naturally be followed up with a lowering of wages, then rinse and repeat until we're competetive on a global scale.

          Hmm, sounds complicated. I have a more simplistic idea for simpletons like me: I'm going to move my Bank of America accounts to another bank who employs solely domestic workers, and encourage friends and family to do likewise. If such loss of customers affected BOA enough, Bank of America would have to drops their fees to compensate to lure business back to them. But, then that would lower their profits forcibly accomplishing what you've detailed, right?
          • by BoldAndBusted (679561) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @03:57PM (#15510381) Homepage
            I had Bank of America. Then I switched to a credit union in 1997. No more weird fees, no more impersonal service, no more problems with getting a car loan due to old roommate credit "issues". Decent interest rates, and a warm sense of "belonging", and a knowledge that my money isn't being used to prop up a for-profit enterprise, just a non-profit one, that offers a tangible benefit to my community and fellow workers.

            Yes, we have web-based banking (not AJAXed or fancy, but does the trick), automatic bill pay (though I don't use it), direct deposit, wire transfers. Yeah, I do hate the lack of just *tons* of ATMs, but the CU ATM Network isn't so bad, if you plan ahead a bit before traveling.

            Forget Mega-Corporate banking. Join your community. Join your local Credit Union. (No, I don't work for a Credit Union ;) ).
    • by mcheu (646116) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @07:30AM (#15508578)
      >This is legal but it's unhealthy. The return to the shareholders is short term and long term this
      >practice stands to damage employee morale...

      That's one of the problems with the way performance is evaluated now. They're ALWAYS looking for the short term fix, because that's the timeframe used to gauge performance. If you institute a short term policy that looks good NOW, but hoses the country or the company later, by the time that happens, you'll have moved on, and it's someone else's problem. Further, there's absolutely no incentive to introduce stable long term solutions under these conditions, because all the credit for them will go to your successor, as he/she will be at the helm when the your decisions bear fruit. In the meantime, it's your fault for that great big hole in the budget (the cost of putting those solutions in motion).
      • by TopShelf (92521)
        Actually, the entire premise you're building on there is bass-ackwards. If such a transition is properly managed, the gains are long-term: a fundamental change in the IT cost structure. The trick is that these arrangements aren't a slam-dunk, and they require rock-solid management. They're difficult, but they can work - and when done properly, they do provide long-term benefit to shareholders.
      • by v1 (525388)
        This didn't used to be the case. Large businesses used to be owned by families and had been in the family for many generations. The family chose who would be the next head of the company, even if it was some dimwit son that was going to do the company great harm. The rational was that the heir had a vested interest in the long term well-being of the company, and even if he was inept, he would be good intentioned. Companies flourished due to the dedicated nature of these owners. Given these were the peo
    • Employment is just a contract between you and the employer.
      If you want to leave, you can.
      Similarly, if the employer wants to kick you out, they can also.
      What I have seen is that once you go up the management ladder, esp. in a big company, you tend to have less contact with the employee as a person.
      This inturn changes the view of the higher level manager about the employee - from a human being to just another resource.

      And when you are just another resource (in their view), it is easier to replace them with
    • We need to Boycott (Score:5, Informative)

      by BigJake4589 (953700) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @08:31AM (#15508766)
      I have an account with BofA as of this coming Monday; I'm closing my account and moving my money to a smaller local bank. I ask that other BofA account holders do the same. The only way to stop this out sourcing of American jobs is to boycott the source.
    • "...the kind of "replacement" results piss off the customers."

      Yagu hit the nail right on the head. This pisses me off doubly, as being replaced by an indian for half the wage happened to me and all of my techs when I worked for a major computer manufacturer. Now my bank is doing it? BASTARDS!

      Here's what I'm going to do, and I'll urge the rest of you to do the same if you're BofA customers. I'll be closing my personal and business accounts next week. I'll sit with one of their account representati

  • Obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10, 2006 @06:42AM (#15508434)
    I for one welcome our new Ind...

    Actually... scratch that.
  • Just great... Now I have to learn Hindi to challenge my bank errors...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10, 2006 @06:43AM (#15508438)
    Lisa, if you don't like your job, you don't strike--you just go in every day and do it really half-assed. That's the American way. - Homer Simpson

  • by brockbr (640130) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @06:44AM (#15508440)
    Sorry - But IndiaTech is not worth what you pay for it most times.
    • Time to change banks?

      And which bank would you change to? The one that's not outsourcing to India and Latin America? Every major bank in the US is outsourcing, offshoring, or expanding certain operations overseas. Tata (TCS) is one the largest firms all US companies are going with - because they have a pretty good track record in dealing with sensative, highly regulated transactions. Some of the top 10 are opening company-owned divisions overseas to ensure even better control. It all comes down to on
      • by jafiwam (310805) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @07:37AM (#15508600) Homepage Journal
        Might I humbly suggest that the solution to this is maybe a large but local Credit Union?

        Any services you know of that a bank can do a CU cant?

        Didn't think so.

        Plus, they are nicer, have better customer service and seem to do a better job hiring hot chicks to run the teller lines.
        • "Any services you know of that a bank can do a CU cant?"

          yeah, give me a VISA check card (Golden One CU runs a credit check before giving out what EVERY OTHER FUCKING BANK IN THE STATE DOES), not hold deposits more than $500, and actually have some farkin branches.
          I still have a CU account because all of the branches are too far away for me to go close it, but they treat me like shit. Oddly enough, Bank of America has actually given me *less* trouble than any other bank I've ever dealt with.

          Credit unions suc
      • by djlowe (41723) * on Saturday June 10, 2006 @07:50AM (#15508644)
        "And which bank would you change to?"

        Why not join a Credit Union? They offer the same services, tend to be local and regional (which helps the local/regional economies) and in my experience their customer service is far better than that of commercial banks.

        Best of all, they are non-profit, which eliminates the greed factor that drives outsourcing.
    • by Zemran (3101) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @07:32AM (#15508585) Homepage Journal
      Lots of British companies that outsourced to India 5-10 years ago found that it cost more overall because the quality suffered and so much time was spent with managers flying backwards and forwards. Many of those companies returned to the UK because it is cheaper to pay for something to be done properly in the first place that to get a cheap job done that needs twice as much spent on fixing it.
      • Many of those companies returned to the UK

        Can you name names?

      • by MrNougat (927651) <ckratsch@@@gmail...com> on Saturday June 10, 2006 @10:17AM (#15509129)
        I have an apt analogy.

        Yesrs ago, I sold auto parts at car dealerships, mainly to body shops. A good-sized local body shop chain was buying parts from us for 5% over cost, delivered. They came to us and said that they were going to switch to someone who would sell them parts at 3% over cost, delivered, unless we could match it. We let them go.

        About 18 months later, they came back: "We want to come back to you." Why? Because my company could provide better service. The 3% over company would deliver parts once a day, that's it. If something was missing or wrong or broken, they wouldn't try to find it someplace else and do a second trip that day, they'd just order another one and deliver it when it came in.

        So when this body shop chain came back to us, we said, "Okay, but it's 10% over cost now." They agreed.

        The moral of this story? Maybe in five or ten years, when US industry figures out that the front-end savings they're getting on offshored labor translates to a higher "total cost of operation," they'll come back to the US labor market. And when that happens, salaries for US tech jobs will rise.

        I'm prepared to ride it out.
  • Half the cost (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DoctorBit (891714) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @06:45AM (#15508441)
    Interesting that the article quotes the figure of half the cost. Five years ago, people were saying Indian companies could do the work for one-tenth the cost. If Indian salaries and other costs increase 20% a year for a few more years, the advantages of outsourcing will have largely disappeared. In the long run, good for India and good for U.S. I.T. workers.
    • Re:Half the cost (Score:2, Insightful)

      by orthogonal (588627)
      If Indian salaries and other costs increase 20% a year for a few more years, the advantages of outsourcing will have largely disappeared. In the long run, good for India and good for U.S. I.T. workers.

      You're assuming the cost of outsourcing have gone up.

      But maybe it's that American salaries and benefits are on the decline.

      (Of course, since CEO compensation is up, we can look forward to great jobs as valets and stable-boys on the lush estates of our masters.)
      • Outsourcing costs have definitely gone up, for example a company I worked for a couple of years had it's entire Indian development centre walk out after they were offered a blanket 20% pay rise for them all. The staff considered 20% to be rubbish compared to the offers they were getting from other companies.
    • How long ago did Nike move production overseas? And yet those manufacturing jobs have never come back. I suppose it may happen ONE day, just as soon as the US reaches economic parity with the Philippines, but I'm not sure I can look forward to that.
  • Red Herring (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bheer (633842)
    Training your replacement is standard operating procedure for many jobs. If you don't like it, the time to argue about it is when your work contract is being signed. The fact that the replacements are Indians is a red herring here -- it'd be the same if the jobs were being moved to the Appalachians.

    Once upon a time autoworkers and shipbuilders were considered high-skill workers. Hell, look back far enough (1800s) and button-manufacturing was high tech. The commoditization of IT is happening faster than the
    • Re:Red Herring (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Eivind (15695) <eivindorama@gmail.com> on Saturday June 10, 2006 @08:57AM (#15508856) Homepage
      Sure it's standard.

      But it's one thing when an employee has voluntarily quit his job, or is retiring, to ask him to train his replacement as his last task. That makes sense, and I can't imagine anyone thinking differently.

      Neither is the case here. You where not planning on leaving. You are not superfluous, the job you where doing is still going to get done. Only they'll hire some Indian for 1/3rd the price.

      That is not standard. Infact in many countries in the world it would be downrigth illegal. Under Norwegian law, for example, you can only fire people if a) they failed to do their job or otherwise to uphold their part of the work-agreement. b) The job they are doing is no longer going to be done and you can't possibly use them in some other position in your company. Or c) Your company is experiencing a lack of business and needs to reduce the workstaff to stay in the black.

      "We make a profit now, but we'll make even more of a profit if we fire you and hire an indian to do your job", simply ain't on the list of acceptable excuses.

      Requiring you to actively assist in such an undertaking just adds insult to injury.

      Yes, I realize americans don't enjoy much, if any, protection against being fired for any reason at all. I'm just saying it's not all that strange to be upset about this -- seeing that in many parts of the world people where upset enough about this kind of shit to make it illegal.

  • Definitely, indian tech workers will be demanding more in the future.

    This is something new now, and they are making considerable money they have never dreamt of before for their country's standards, but when the standard of living rises, so the wage demands will.

    But when ? I reckon not earlier than 2 years.
    • Re:Trend will turn (Score:3, Insightful)

      by HateBreeder (656491)
      How about 20 Years?

      You, literally, wouldn't believe, how far the American dollar goes in India.
      • Technically while an indian worker may be paid 1/10th of an American worker currently outsourcing saves about 50% at BEST. This is because of taxes and many middlemen. It won't be long at all till you will be paying the same at all.
  • by segedunum (883035) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @06:54AM (#15508465)
    I'll simply repeat another of my comments from the past about this.

    I've been amused by many companies over the years who thought they could save a huge bundle of money, when in reality the staff employed in those functions they want to move makes up perhaps 20% of their organisation but makes the most impact. Do people in a foreign country answering your calls, where it is totally obvious they know not even the most basic things about where you live (and you have waste time and money repeating things twenty times), does that sound good and make you want to use that company? I'll quote Joel Spolsky and Pradeep Singh:

    "(Here's something Pradeep Singh taught me today: if only 20% of your staff is programmers, and you can save 50% on salary by outsourcing programmers to India, well, how much of a competitive advantage are you really going to get out of that 10% savings?)"

    You also have the additionally huge costs of training those new employees, or outsourcing organisations, up in the ways of the organisation, the products, the technology and you also spend huge amounts of wasted time and money on communication. I've known many banks who've had that experience. A poor call centre worker gets the warm ear treatment from a customer in Europe, US, Canada etc. because the website is throwing up errors and he/she can't complete a transaction. A call is logged and there is a series of frantic phone calls and e-mails to the outsourced programming company in India, who needless to say, haven't got the faintest idea what they're talking about. Also (and this happens even in outsourcing companies situated in the same country but in another part) because they are not physically located in the heat of battle, and within on-site reach, they just don't give a shit. They'll do it when they've got time.

    "Because they don't actually work for Bank of America," the engineer replied. "They work for Infosys Technologies and Tata Consultancy Services, which are both in India. They do the work at half the cost of what a U.S. worker gets paid."

    Would anyone like to guess how much time, money, effort and resources is going to be spent trying to communicate with these idiots, and actually get anything done?

    In short, you need to have your support functions in your company with you completely, and they need to be as close to your paying customers as you can get. If there is a market in India for your products then by all means get close to your customers and open offices in India (and how many BofA customers are in India?). After all the diasters, and let's face it we know companies everywhere have had total outsourcing disasters, I can't beleiev anyone thinks they're still going to save money like this. Idiot CEOs and boards still have this ridiculously stupid fucking idea that the world is a place separated only by a common language - English. I think even British, American and Australian people can agree that that is most certainly not true. I suggest these idiot board members go and read the number one, definitive guide on running a multinational company properly - as well as making some serious profit.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/186197691 [amazon.co.uk] 7/sr=1-2/qid=1149421474/ref=pd_bowtega_2/202-73591 57-8712641?_encoding=UTF8&s=books&v=glance [amazon.co.uk]
    • Would anyone like to guess how much time, money, effort and resources is going to be spent trying to communicate with these idiots, and actually get anything done?

      I was with you up to this point, but if you're referring to the folks in India as idiots, your argument gets drowned out by apparent bigotry. If you're referring to the Bank of America management as idiots, that doesn't upset me, but given the context of the quoted statement, I have to assume you're calling the Indian workers idiots.

      • by jafiwam (310805) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @07:43AM (#15508616) Homepage Journal
        No. "Idiots" is a descriptor that involves skill, worth, maybe experience.

        "Curry smelling dot-head" is bigotry.

        Idiots like you are what allows _real_ bigotry to flurish, you cant even recognize it when you see it.

        I have met some quite skilled folks from India over the years. Mostly in telcos engineering departments... but they were in the US and either born here or on their way to US Citizens. The ones answering the phones while still in Bombay... chances are "idiot" is a pretty good description of their skill level and experience in whatever job they are doing. The GOOD ones get better jobs after a short time.
  • this is like asking auto factory works to build the robots that will replace them (i dunno if that is shaky enough for a /. analogy)
  • by NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @07:02AM (#15508493)
    Honestly, if you're counting on your employer (or anybody, for that matter) to look out for your interests and "play nice," you're just asking to get a situation like this dropped in your lap. It doesn't matter what your contract says, and it doesn't matter how nice you think your boss is. If somebody with enough power thinks they can save/make some extra money, expand their own influence, push their own agenda, etc., there are ways around contracts and nice lower managers. After all, if you can't pay your own expenses for a few months without a severance package, you can't afford to fight them in court, now can you?

    This is why it really pays to have your own severance package set aside in a savings account. If I was given the choice these people have been given, and I had 3-6 months of expenses in my savings, I'd tell them to, "Train my replacement your own damn selves." I might even do it if I didn't have such savings, depending on how blatantly it was presented to me.

    If you plan ahead, you give yourself the power to make a statement like that if it needs to be made (assuming it's worth making).
  • Quality (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ernierubadue (172605) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @07:02AM (#15508494)
    The replacement worker is always trained half ass in a layoff, can you imagine the quality of the training, when its a layoff, your replacement cant even speak english, and they are in India? how stupid
  • Most desktop computers fail because the chips work loose. Before calling hardware support please attempt the following. Carry your PC to the stairwell and drop it at least three floors. If the PC still doesn't work call support (by the way, don't tell support you dropped the PC - they don't like their job being done by others.)

  • by Esion Modnar (632431) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @07:05AM (#15508505)
    before getting a bullet in the brain.
  • B of A SUCKS!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Newer Guy (520108) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @07:05AM (#15508506)
    I've been with B of A since the mid 1980's. The past couple of years they have begun making this loud sucking sound. They suck fees out of my account that lowers it below a threshold and then suck more fees out. On one single day after I screamed, they credited back over 200 dollars in fees into my account. They've been putting 5 business day holds on Govt. checks that used to go in as cash. They obviously have the fees dept. going full tilt, along with the bean counters. I'm moving soon and as soon as I'm settled, they're history. I've had it with them!
    • Amen brother.

      I used to live in California, and there was a BoA on main street. It was painted this horrid institution green and it was SO depressing in there. On top of that, the people were jerks and they got robbed at LEAST once a month for the entire year and a half I was there.

      Right down the road from them, in EASY walking distance was a beautiful Union Bank of California. It was beatiful inside and out, the tellers were extremely friendly (they even OFFERED to fill out my deposit slip when I was too
    • by Svartalf (2997) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @08:08AM (#15508697) Homepage
      Any time they place a 5-day hold on a Government check, get the branch manager to take
      the thing right off as soon as you see it.

      It's in violation of Federal Depository Regulations (The one that governs check cashing, etc.) to place a hold
      on a Government check- per the regulations, they are to be treated as if the check was a CASH
      transaction.

      It's a violation of Federal law for them to do it and any fees incurred by this hold are due back to you
      including any fees the people you pay end up charging you, etc. I've had BofA branch managers stand toe
      to toe with me on that one, only to back down when shown a copy of the actual regs from the Fed website.

      They know the regs, even going so far as to being balsy enough to try to palm off things that aren't in
      the regs as being "per Federal Depository Regulations"- and I've had to jam it down their throats
      repeatedly. Again, it's a good thing I'm shifting my banking elsewhere; this BS is just one more good
      reason.
  • by Vo0k (760020) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @07:08AM (#15508514) Journal
    4 letters define how the training should be conducted:
    B. O. F. H.
  • by EEPROMS (889169)
    US Geek "Ok, now once every 12 week we get this file called "master customer records" and copy it to /dev/nul.Then once every 8 weeks email this file called "CEO_pr0n_copy" to the Washington post.

    Indian Geek "seems strange but you Americans are a stange lot". US Geek " now the last thing before I leave copy this file called "master_crdusr.pwd" from the main system to a nice gentleman called Ivan and his email is HAXr3d@owned.com.ru."
    Indian Geek " I be thanking you very much for this help"
    US Geek "yeah y
  • At least, if I were working for BoA, and in any way could manage to do it without going bankrupt, I'd just tell them: "Fine...good luck with that...I'm outta here. Oh, and be prepeared to spend money, lawyers, and time when I sue you..whether I think I'll win or not, even if I have to represent myself!" hand them my employee badge, and walk straight out.

    Maybe the workers could band together for a class-action, or at least organize to share legal costs.

    I understand that many with families and in debt up to t
    • by Confused (34234) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @08:39AM (#15508798) Homepage
      Walking out isn't a good solution, because probably you're just another cog in the big machine. If you refuse to train them, you'll just save them your severance pay without much effect.

      To really spite them, you should make the effort an train your indian replacement, in a creative way.

      Step 1 is to dig all those SOX and ISO-9000 procedures, you have been forced to fill out over the years. Per definition, they describe your work in a reproducible way. These should be the base of any training. Make your replacement memorize them an apply them in harmless cases, where they don't generate too much mayhem. This alone should easily occupy about 3 months worth of training time and prove totally worthless while being the perfect employee by the book.

      Step 1a, if above mentioned documentation doesn't have enough volume, take the time and have the trainee update it. This alone should cover another 6 months.

      Step 2 have your trainee sign of every thing you've told him, that he learned and understood the procedure. By the end of every day, you shoudl have at least 4 signed papers by your replacement how well you've trained him. Add copies of these signed statements to your daily work log.

      Step 3 stop doing any regular work - except for problems that are not easy to fix an will appear again after you've left. The trainees and the managers should get the impression your job is just easy routine. If some manageroid comes with urgent requests, let him know that you don't have time for it, as you have to train the replacement for your severance pay and the replacement isn't ready to perform this yet. If they want it done anyway, get it in written and signed on paper, best with HR also approving that you don't have to train the replacement while doing soem other things. Give a reasonable time frame (eg Rebooting a desktop: 2 work days)

      Step 4 is only valid if you get the explicit written order, that you need to stop training your replacement for some time period. Use it to to the fullest.

      Step 5 you naturally work only from 9 to 5. Should your trainee be late or has to leave early, complain immediately with HR that he fails to appear. If your trainee has certain time constraints, make sure you make it as hard as possible for him to keep them.

      Step 6, do all work under the account of the trainee, best let the trainee do the typing. If something gets messed up, it was him. How do you say in hindi "rm -rf /." ?

      Step 7, if you can stomach it, always be nice and friendly with your trainee. Try to connect with him, make him feel comfortable. This way, he'll be easier to have him do things that have long term consequences.

      With these easy steps, you should be able to cover any time necessary to get the full pay, generate a good enough paper trail to document your outstanding commitment and can do more damage than any other way. If you manage to coordinate these procedure with collegues, you might be able to teach all trainees the same crap while leaving out the importatn stuff. Nothing beats having some poor indian schmucks create 5 documentation copies of the same irrelevant procedure on how backup tapes are stored, while leaving out that the backup job needs to be run manually every day.
  • Evil. (Score:5, Funny)

    by numbski (515011) * <numbski@@@hksilver...net> on Saturday June 10, 2006 @07:14AM (#15508533) Homepage Journal
    Purely evil.

    From a business standpoint, it's neccessary (the training, not the outsourcing), but it's still evil.

    Kinda makes you want to have some fun with crontab and shell/perl scripts.

    Like keep randomly changing posix group, ou, or dn info in the LDAP directory. ;)

    There was a perl script I wanted to write a while back called "jackass-milter" for sendmail. (a take off of spamass-milter, for spamassassin).

    All it was designed to do was take each message that passes through the exchanger, constrain to body text (not attachments, or headers), then run a series of regex's on the body based on what the author wants to do to the message.

    Example? Regex searching for things like /[\w|\n]yours truly\n/i /[\w|\n]cordially,\n/, change it with "I find you strangely attractive".

    A good regex that searches for nouns and verbs and randomly replaces it with the f-bomb. Another good one is to search for all instances of "the", but only randomly replace it with "teh". Spell-checkers be damned! ;)

    What does this have to do with Indian-outsourcing? Sabotage. Make sure you do enough damage on the way out the door. Nobody gets out alive.

    EVERYBODY GET DOWN!!!!111one one one

    (here he comes....here comes speed ra-cer...)
  • Quite seriously, if I was told to train my replacement, I'd go out of my way to make sure he is useless. I mean, what guts does it take to tell someone to dig his own grave?

    Yes, I'd train him, but my working script would be every single antic from the BOFH archive. And I'd also hand him the dictionary from the infamous Monty Python sketch.
  • by blueZhift (652272) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @07:27AM (#15508570) Homepage Journal
    This is just more fuel for the fire. Next there will be an article about some CEO complaining about how there aren't enough skilled IT workers in the U.S. and how college students are not entering the field. I just don't understand how U.S. companies can continue to build up so much ill-will (or bad karma if you will) with practices that BoA at least acknowledges are offensive and yet continue said practices. A big price is going to be paid for these betrayals someday, a very big price.
  • bunch of things (Score:4, Insightful)

    by m874t232 (973431) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @07:31AM (#15508582)
    First of all, many US companies derive disproportionately more revenue abroad than they create jobs abroad--that's an imbalance that must be corrected. From that point of view alone, outsourcing is inevitable.

    Second, current employees have a choice: they can drop their pencils immediately and leave without severance pay, or they can do an unpleasant chore with severance pay.

    Third, in training their replacements, they might also try to teach their foreign replacements about collective bargaining, US salary levels and benefits, and the kind of profits that their company will be making.

    Well, those employees that still know about that sort of thing can. If you're part of the SUV-driving, Bible thumping, Republican voting crowd and don't remember why exactly people used to organize in unions and that sort of thing, then just think of the outsourcing as a free market mechanism for getting rid of inefficiencies--you in this case.
    • by Assassin17 (60351) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @07:57AM (#15508671)
      Please. Unions are criminal, evil, lazy socialists. I know that because a television news show -- funded by I'm not sure who -- told me so. Those picket-loving, olive-green-wearing organizations and the words of ingrates like yourself are just thwarting the trickle-down effect. See, you have to wait for the trickle to reach you; that's why it's called a "trickle" and not a "stream". Give it time, and all will be right!

      The proper way to benefit from trickle-down economics: kneel at upper management's feet. Aid them in removal of pants. After they've swung the hatchet enough on your brethren, they'll undoubtedly start to perspire, and condensation will form on their genitalia. Wait patiently for it to fall, then complement your utter superior on the salty goodness.

      The wrong way to benefit from trickle-down economics: criticizing Republicans and SUVs. You may as well vandalize George Washington's grave with a back hoe, traitor. Why do you hate America, m874t232?!
    • Re:bunch of things (Score:3, Insightful)

      by smchris (464899)
      Third, in training their replacements, they might also try to teach their foreign replacements about collective bargaining, US salary levels and benefits, and the kind of profits that their company will be making.

      Well, those employees that still know about that sort of thing can.


      Aye, there's the caveat. As someone who grew up in a blue collar, Democrat, union home and has had his taste if IT, it has been my impression that the culture is overwhelmed by so-called libertarians of the "Corporation uber alles"
  • by macguys (472025) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @07:39AM (#15508604) Homepage
    I don't have a BoA account so I have nothing to close, but I wonder how many other techies are going to their local BoA branch and pulling out their money. What a great opportunity for the credit unions [cuna.org]. Imagine the advertising campaign: "Your Federal Credit Union, we don't send jobs overseas."
  • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @07:59AM (#15508676) Homepage
    I think it's pretty ridiculous the way they jack with people's lives and then say "it's just business." With all the people they are shit-canning, you't think at least one or a small group of them would seek some sort of revenge. So for a fleeting moment, my mind flashed the idea mimicking one of those horror movie scenarios. In this scenario, one of these 'money saving execs' is kidnapped, then strapped to a pole or something with some explosives near by and then told he had to cut off an arm or a leg or something in order to escape.

    When you get down to it, this is not too dissimilar to the horror these soon-to-be jobless people are facing. Not only will you be fired, but you will be forced to train the people who will replace you?

    The knee-jerk reaction of many will probably be, "train'm wrong!" but I'm sure they've already thought about that and have some way of preventing that.

    If that group of people were unionized, they wouldn't be facing this. They wouldn't have to train their replacements. They could all agree to decide to walk out at once leaving this business to hurt for their decision. Hell, for that matter, if they were unionized, they'd have some leverage and not have their jobs outsourced to India.

    On one hand, labor unions are a pain in the ass. On the other, it's easy to see what employers are willing to do to individuals.
  • by spectrokid (660550) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @08:09AM (#15508702) Homepage
    My experience: for each guy you fire, another one gets panicky, looks for a new job, and finds one. You can fire the guys you need least, but guess which one of the others will find a another job first... And then, train a foreigner, knowing you are getting the sack. For fuck sake, this is a BANK! All you need to do is to claim the indian guy doesn't understand your accent, throw in some "unfortunate misunderstandings", and the whole IT dept is on its way to hell. If I had money there, I'd run for my life.
  • SOS, different day (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pongo000 (97357) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @08:10AM (#15508704)
    I can't say I feel much sympathy for the BofA folks in the article...if they don't have the backbone to say "no," then they are simply condoning what BofA is doing. I'm not saying it's right, but please take your whine somewhere else. I would bet not a single one of them is a member of the Programmer's Guild [programmersguild.org] or any other organization that has been trying to address this very issue for years.

    You lay in the bed you make. Don't come whining because you don't have the balls to stand up to shit like this. Suck it up and move on. Or consider becoming proactive about the problem, joining a guild, pushing for a union, or contacting your congressmen. But please don't whine about the problem you've made for yourselves.
  • by houghi (78078) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @08:46AM (#15508819)
    In Belgium this would most likely be such a union issue, they would not even try it. I know to Americans unions are the evil of all evils. Due to them I get severence pay of 7 months after working only 2 years at a job and they decided to scrap 50% of the people.

    What they do hee with outsourcing most of the time is sell off the IT department. Many people will not want to move away from their life and family, so that cuts down in staffing who they then can replace with cheaper people.
  • by blueZ3 (744446) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @09:06AM (#15508881) Homepage
    It's not directly related to IT outsourcing, but I wonder why people even use these big banks?

    My financial institution will never outsource their workers, because I do my banking with a four-branch Credit Union (SFCU). Deposits are insured by the FDIC, but unlike B of A, Wells Fargo, or Citi (my former, evil, bank) you can actually get real customer service from a teller, talk to knowledgeable tellers in a branch, or even talk on the phone to someone who speaks and understands American English. My checking account pays dividends, there's no monthly or per-check fees, and the CU will even reimburse me for up to four ATM charges if I need to get cash from a non-CU ATM.

    If you don't like outsourcing, or dealing with outsourced customer support people, don't rant in an on-line forum. Vote with your money and take your business elsewhere. Corporations don't listen to Slashdot discussion, but when enough customers leaving giving "I couldn't understand the person I talked to on the phone" they at least know there's an issue. Don't buy a Dell, don't bank with B of A. Support small, local businesses.
  • by javabandit (464204) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @10:12AM (#15509111)
    This practice truly disgusts me. The textile and manufacturing industries saw this same exact thing occur with everything moving to China, Taiwan, and Mexico. Now the same thing is occurring with IT functions.

    But this "problem" isn't the real problem, its a symptom of an overly "free" market with little or no controls. The politicians in this country have not introduced any kind of real legislation which protects US jobs. And this is because big business donates billions of dollars to politicians to prevent them from doing it. That is an absolute travesty.

    If the only jobs located in the United States are going to be jobs which require geographic residence within the United States, then we have a huge problem.

    Unfortnately, I don't see a solution to this problem for the United States. The only real solution is to move to a country which believes in protecting the jobs and skills of its citizenry. Because almost every country other than the United States does this.
  • by Internet_Communist (592634) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @11:46AM (#15509464) Homepage
    I had a savings account with them for about 2 months, i wanted to get a checking account but they didn't offer any free checking. I called their support to cancel the savings account and was speaking to someone in india. As soon as I asked to cancel I was then transferred to someone in america. OK.

    Anyway I closed the account and went with another bank that did have free checking and never looked back.
  • by Kaemaril (266849) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @06:45PM (#15510853)

    Fancy some irony?

    RBI staff threaten to strike work

    New Delhi, June. 6 (PTI): Reserve Bank employees, who observed a token sit-in protest today, threatened to strike work if their demands for putting an end to outsourcing of jobs and continuation of revised pension scheme were not met.

    Read the rest... [hindu.com]

    Looks like it's not just US workers who feel threatened ... :)

  • It's a tax dodge (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sydbarrett74 (74307) <sydbarrett74@@@gmail...com> on Saturday June 10, 2006 @10:12PM (#15511419)
    The reason why companies outsource is simple -- to lower their tax liability. With FTE's, you have to pay FICA, Social Security, Medicare and other payroll taxes. If you outsource (whether keeping it in the country or not), you can deduct the whole shebang as a cost of doing business. I'm sure there are small savings to outsourcing in addition to the tax savings -- but they're nothing like what proponents claim. Administration and overhead increase as a result of outsourcing, negating a lot of the savings. Now I hope nobody mods me as a Troll or Flamebait or anything, but there is a possible solution to all of this -- ***REFORM THE TAX SYSTEM IN THIS COUNRY!!!!*** ... I am a proponent of the FairTax [fairtax.org], which would abolish the IRS, repeal the 16th amendment, and take us to a consumption tax where the costs of government are visible for all to see. Take a look at it. You just might like it.

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