Adds Sanjay Salooja, CEO of Empower, "This has nothing to do with the BPO
sector. It happens everyday in every job. It is all about mutual attraction -
two people can be attracted to anyone, anywhere. It is just that hotels, PG
digs and hostels don't have hidden cameras, while BPOs have hidden cameras all
Why does it happen? When in Rome, do as the Romans do - this is exactly what
seems to be the mantra of the BPO exec. So they are making a point of aping
America - be it their lingo or lifestyle.
As Sanjay Shah of Daksh (name changed) says, "Execs want to portray a cool,
modern attitude and for them it translates into blindly following the US, even
in sexual mores." In other words, they believe in living life American ishtyle
in every way.
"Most of the people working in call centres are either in college or have just
completed their education. Suddenly they start getting a great pay packet and
enjoy immense freedom. This is soon followed by an urge to 'experiment'," adds
Where's the time for EQ? Surprisingly, even the high attrition rate fuels the
passion. Says Ankur Biswas of IGTI, "Most executives feel that since they would
be leaving their company within six to eight months, they can do whatever they
want. So even if they get physical, they don't have to carry the baggage for
long." In other words, where's the time for EQ (emotional quotient)!
What's rank got to do with it? And in case you though 'sexual hanky-panky'
happened only at the junior level, here's more.
Says call centre exec Hemant Singh, "The sky is the limit. It could be a junior
or a very high-ranking official. It could even be a junior and a senior."
Of course, a senior-junior linkup is all about climbing the ladder fast. Says
Teresa Darlong, a call centre exec with IBM.
"No doubt those who work hard are paid well, but at times sexual favours and
promotions do get linked. This makes employees frustrated, many a times forcing
them to quit."
Worry not, for there ain't much one can really do. Says Siddharth Goel, Manager
Operations, Baxy Infosol, "Termination... nothing more than that."
As a matter of fact, even the law has no say in the matter. Informs Amit
Khemka, advocate, High Court, "Being caught in the workplace (even other than a
BPO) is not seen as a criminal offence. It will be regarded as a violation of
the terms of contract or misuse of place. One can be terminated only on the
grounds of indiscipline."
In fact, it is all a question of luck. As Lalit Tiwari, former employee of
Wipro Spectramind tells us, "It depends purely on what you are caught doing and
who catches you doing it.
If the President spots you even holding hands, you've had it... if it's the
Vice-President, holding hands would be accepted but getting closer would be a
In case you are caught by the Assistant Vice-President, you can go scot-free
unless the act is as serious as making-out in an empty corridor... in that case
you get the pink slip!" However, the company makes sure that anonymity is