Tuesday, November 11, 2014


A Spoof

Sometime ago I met a friend and his better half on loafing on Main Street (MG Road) in Pune. 

We are really enjoying life, he said, do you know how  well we have outsourced everything, yes, each and every thing  all household activities, parenting and even pet parenting. 

So you have done LIFE PROCESS OUTSOURCING, I said, tongue in cheek. 

Absolutely, you've said it, Life Process Outsourcing, that is the key to happiness, they exclaimed. 

As I said Bye and walked on Main Street, I suddenly remembered a story I had written long ago on the subject of outsourcing, when I was trying to fathom as to what the term outsourcing really meant. 

I wrote this story more than 8 years ago, on 18 April 2006, ago at the height of the BPO Boom in Pune.

So here is the story, a spoof, abridged and updated, under a new title: LOVE PROCESS OUTSOURCING, for you to read  my ignorant take on outsourcing. 

Dear Reader, please remember that this is fiction, a spoof.

Do tell me if you liked the story. 

I look forward to your comments and feedback.


One leisurely morning, while I am loafing on Main Street in Pune, I meet an old friend of mine.  
“Hi!” I say.  
“Hi,” he says, “where to?”    
“Aimless loitering,” I say, “And you?”  
“I’m going to work.”    
“Work? This early? I thought your shift starts in the evening, or late at night. You work at a call center don’t you?”   
“Not now. I quit. I’m on my own now.”    
“On your own? What do you do?”    
“LPO? What’s that?”   
“Life Process Outsourcing.”    
“Life Process Outsourcing? Never heard of it!”   
“You’ve heard of Business Process Outsourcing haven’t you?”   
“BPO? Outsourcing non-core business activities and functions?”  
“Precisely. LPO is similar to BPO. There it’s Business Processes that are outsourced, here it’s Life Processes.”    
“Life Processes? Outsourced?”   
“Why don’t you come along with me? I’ll show you.”  
Soon we are in his office. 

It looks like a mini call center.   
A young attractive girl welcomes us. 

“Meet Rita, my Manager,” my friend says, and introduces us.   
Rita looks distraught, and says to my friend, “I am not feeling well. Must be viral fever.”  
“No problem. My friend here will stand in.”    
“What? I don’t have a clue about all this LPO thing...!” I protest.    
“There is nothing to beat learning on the job! Rita will show you.”    
“It’s simple,” Rita says, in a hurry. “See the console. You just press the appropriate switch and route the call to the appropriate person or agency.”

And with these words Rita disappears. 

It is the shortest induction training I have ever had in my life.    
And so I plunge into the world of Life Process Outsourcing  or LPO as they call it.   
It’s all very simple.

Everyone is busy. 

Working people don’t seem to have time these days.

But they have lots of money  especially those Double Income Career Couples (DINK and DISK), IT nerds, MBA hot shots, finance wizards  just about everybody running desperately in the urban rat race of life.

So what do they do? 


They outsource...!

‘Non-core Life Activities’, for which you have neither the inclination, nor the time – you just outsource them 
 so you can maximize your work-time to rake in the money and make a fast climb up the career ladder of success.

A ring, a flash on the console in front of me, and I take my first LPO call.   
“My daughter has puked in her school. They want someone to pick her up and take her home. I am busy in a shoot and just can’t leave,” a creative ad agency type with a husky voice says.    
“Why don’t you tell your husband?” I suggest.  
“Are you crazy or something? I am a single mother,” she screams.  
“Sorry ma’am. I didn’t know. My sympathies and condolences,” I say. 
“Condolences? Who is this? Is this LPO?” she asks, with irritation in her voice.
“Yes ma’am,” I say.

I press the button marked ‘children’ and transfer the call, hoping I have made the right choice. 

Maybe I should have pressed ‘doctor’.    
Nothing happens for the next few moments. 

I breathe a sigh of relief.    
A yuppie wants his grandmother to be taken to a movie. 

I press the ‘movies’ button. 

‘Movies’ transfers the call back to me, and says: “Hey, this is for movie tickets. Try ‘escort services’. The bugger wants the old hag escorted to the movies.”    
‘Escort Services’ are in high demand. 

These guys and girls, slogging in their offices minting money, want escort services for their kith and kin for various non-core family processes like shopping, movies, eating out, sight seeing, marriages, funerals, all types of functions; even going to art galleries, book fairs, exhibitions, zoos, museums or even a walk in the nearby garden.    
A father wants someone to read bedtime stories to his small son while he works late. 

A busy couple wants proxy stand-in parents at the school PTA meeting. 

An investment banker rings up from Singapore...he wants his mother to be taken to pray, to do an elaborate pooja, in a temple at a certain time on a specific day.
Someone wants his kids to be taken for a swim, brunch, a play and browsing books and music.    
A sweet-voiced IT project manager wants someone to motivate and pep-talk her husband, who has been recently sacked, and is cribbing away at home demoralized. 

He desperately needs someone to talk to, unburden himself, but the wife is busy – she neither has the time nor the inclination to take a few days off to boost the morale of her depressed husband when there are deadlines to be met at work and so much is at stake.   
The things they want outsourced range from the mundane to the bizarre.

Life processes that one earlier enjoyed, and took pride in doing, or did as one’s sacred duty, are considered non-core life activities now-a-days by these highfalutin people.    
At the end of the day I feel illuminated on this novel concept of Life Process Outsourcing.

I am about to leave, when suddenly a call comes in.    
“LPO?” a man asks softly.    
“Yes, this is LPO. May I help you?” I say.   
“I am speaking from Frankfurt Airport. I really don’t know if I can ask this?” he says nervously.  
“Please go ahead and feel free to ask anything you desire, Sir. We do everything,” I say. 
“Yes, Sir. Anything and everything...!” I say.    
“I don’t know how to say this. This is the first time I’m asking. You see, I am working 24/7 on an important project for the last few months. I’m globetrotting abroad and can’t make it there. Can you please arrange for someone suitable to take my wife out to the New Year’s Eve Dance...?”   
I am taken aback but quickly recover, “Yes, Sir.”    
“Please send someone really good, an excellent dancer, and make sure she enjoys and has a good time. She loves dancing and I just haven’t had the time.”    
“Of course, Sir,” I say.
“And I told you  I have been away abroad for quite some time now and I have got to stay out here till I complete the project,” he says. 
“I know. Work takes top priority,” I say.
“My wife. She’s been lonely. She desperately needs some love. Do you have someone with a loving and caring nature who can give her some love? I just don’t have the time. You understand what I am saying, don’t you?”    
I let the words sink in. 

The guy wants to outsource the love process

This is one call I am not going to transfer. 

This “process” is something I am going to take on myself.

Yes, I am going to in-source this love process to myself. 
“Please give me the details, Sir,” I say softly into the mike.    
Later, in the evening, as I walk towards my destination with a spring in my step, I feel truly enlightened.   
Till this moment, I never knew that love was a non-core  life-process worthy of outsourcing.
Long Live LPO...!

I love LPO.

What really is LPO?

Is it Life Process Outsourcing...! 

Or is it Love Process Outsourcing...!

Call it what you like, but I am sure you have got an idea of the great benefits of outsourcing.

And now you know what to do – if you want to outsource something – whether it is a life process – or love process

Just call up LPO and I will be there to assist you.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

1. This story is a spoof, a yarn, just for a laugh, no offence meant to anyone, so please take it with a pinch of salt.
2. This story is a work of fiction.  Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

This Story First Posted by me 

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