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India call centre staff in sex romp shocker

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Any reader who has ever wondered what Indian call centre operatives get up to between harassing angry BT punters about overdue bills and then selling their personal details to the highest bidder may be surprised to learn that they do not actually fill their spare time with watching old episodes of Eastenders in order to hone their English skills ("Good afternoon sir, your British Telecom bill is 11 minutes overdue, would you like to pay now by credit card or am I gonna havter get on the bleedin' blower every ten minutes for the next munf til you cough up the wonga, lawks a-mercy luv a duck?"), but rather blow any call-free moments indulging in torrid rumpy-pumpy with follow headset jockeys.

That, at least, is according to a revealing report on India Times, which cites the steamy case of 24-year-old "senior process associate" Mandakini Sandhu and squeeze Ashish Gupta.

The India Times explains: "For many BPO [business process outsourcing] employees like Sandhu and Gupta, the office space is not just a professional domain. Instead, it symbolises one's personal space, thanks to long hours being spent in office. From making friends to cultivating relationships, BPO units are slowly becoming hubs where inter-personal bonding takes place. And it comes as little surprise that many also give vent to their sexual urges in the office space."

Crikey. Sandhu apparently spends 12-13 hours a day interfacing with the public, so her office is "the only place that allows her to snatch a few cozy moments with her boyfriend". She elaborates: "For us, the office is practically everything. Weird working hours means that most friendships happen usually within the office and in similar working set ups. And in such a situation, intimacy is a foregone conclusion."

For those who like their details in sort-of plain English, Sandhu admits she has gone to "fourth base" with her hormonally-charged colleague, but claims she has "refrained from having a quickie in the workplace as it's quite a risky proposition".

We're not quite sure what "fourth base" means here, since Indians clearly have a different base system to that understood in the UK. Brits - working on a simplified two-base system - understand anything after first base (complete failure to get down and dirty) as full-blown beast-with-two-backs action. To Middle England, therefore, fourth base would involve something seen only in Swedish DVDs and certainly illegal in the United Kingdom.

But we digress. The India Times continues:

If the recent visual footage acquired from strategically placed cameras in a leading Mumbai-based business process outsourcing (BPO) unit showing a couple having sex in an office cubicle is anything to go by, workplace sex is no longer an aberration for most couples working in India's sunrise sector. With work schedules stretching into long hours, and bonding happening between emotionally lonely employees, sex is just a manifestation for physical needs as two individuals try and seek a connection.

And what do the clients make of this? Well, According to BPO hotshot Prakash Toppo: "Since most of our customers are influential, they want cameras as they are dealing with a lot of sensitive information. For the couple caught in a sexually compromising situation, the one question that arises is why were they doing what they were doing in the office premises."

We can answer that one for you Prakash: You spend 12-13 hours a day sitting in a room attempting to seek a connection with irate BT customers. After a while, your emotionally loneliness kicks in and you decide to seek a connection closer to home. Suddenly, in walks Ashish Gupta with a "let's go to fourth base you call centre minx" look in his eye...

Anyone reading this who has recently outsourced his or her call centre operation to Mumbai should not, however, imagine that the BPO management is going to take this rampant promiscuity lying down. J Kalyanaraman, Human Resources supremo at HCL Comnet, asserts: "Filming is essential as it is in tune with keeping the faith of employees. It's not a breach of employee privacy as there is a huge amount of customer-sensitive information involved, so it makes good sense to impose surveillance. First instances of compromising behaviour (kissing, smooching in the office premises) are let off with a stern warning as such kind of behaviour is similar to misuse of facilities given by the organisation and is therefore liable for punishment."

Quite what this punishment is, we do not know, but it likely involves being locked into a secure cubicle for a month and put on conservatory sales cold-calling duty. Or worse - three months on the BT overdue bill roster. Cor blimey. ®

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