Among the bromides fed to the kids of my generation was the sensible advice that “people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.” The whole vulnerability thing comes to mind because this is the very position offshore outsourcing providers find themselves in today with regard to their public image and, in particular, their performance. In this case, however, we might invent our own bromide—something to the effect of “people who live in glass houses should not do anything to upset those who are likely to throw stones.”

The likely rock hurlers here are those who purchase the outsourcing services—perhaps outsourcing their IT or customer relations functions—in order to save money (while also reducing workforce). Offshore outsourcers are under constant scrutiny because what they are doing is inherently controversial, and because if they don’t deliver great service with the promised savings, they are likely to be terminated by the companies (including some insurers) who hired them. So if you’re going to take U.S. jobs away, you had best be prepared to take a whole lot of heat if you mess up.

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