There was a show that had appeared on Australian television accusing the average Australian of being dumb, drunk and racist. The accusations came from telemarketers in Pakistan and India. Strangely enough, what wasn’t told at all well was the average Australian’s side in all this. Thus young Australians watching the show got to see a heavily prejudiced view of what their fellow Australians are really like and were left feeling numb. Also the university and college students the show was aimed at no doubt responded to what little facts are in evidence without delving deeper into what was and is going on. Television is, after all, a mighty tool of persuasion.
Are there Australians who fit the profile of dumb, drunk and racist? The answer is yes with the understanding that such people are far from unique to Australia and can be found anywhere in the world. Also, they are not in the majority.
So what is the average Australian’s side in all this?
In recent times there have been overseas scams that have, at the very least, irritated my fellow Australians. My dad was phoned up and told one evening that the memory on the hard drive of his computer would be destroyed by a particularly nasty virus if he didn’t act at once and got the person on the other end of the phone to fix the problem. All was needed was access to his computer and the details of his credit card. My dad’s response was to inform this phone person that he didn’t have a computer and hang up. If my dad did have a computer, however, the story might have turned out different. He might have let them have his computer card details and been stung badly. He is a pensioner but still with a good, working mind. Even so, like a lot of elderly people, he doesn’t understand computers very well and so can be seen as vulnerable by the vultures out there. Not having a computer seems the best thing for him but perhaps not for other old folk in different circumstance.
These overseas scam artists can best be summed up as just plain cruel. In other words, there are sharks in the communications waters every one with a phone needs to be wary of. This, of course, does not always make relations between people living in Australia and overseas telemarketers friendly.
Some elderly Australians live in terror of the click that indicates the call is from overseas. I was told about one elderly Australian who has his phone disconnected much of the time and only reconnects it when he makes a phone call. He would like to have his phone connected all the time just in case he needs to make an urgent call or some friend or relative needs to cintact him urgently. He doesn’t, however, feel safe in doing so. Someone from overseas might sell him something he doesn’t want and cannot afford.
Telemarketers operating from India and Pakistan view Australians as wealthy but the truth is that there is a lot of poverty in Australia or there are people just getting by. There are families and single people struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table. A mistake over the phone and their world can come tumbling down. A family doing it tough can quickly become a family losing ground and then going financially backwards. Not everyone can be clever over the phone and the penalty for not being clever can be very severe indeed.
Even the so-called legitimate telemarketers are full of tricks. One is to convince you at the beginning of the conversation that they are an off-shoot of a service you happen to be connected with. Then, later on, they reveal that they are actually with another company that wants your business. In other words, they lie to you straight off the mark to get you to stay on the phone. So what happens, when being lied to by a number of telemarketers, you get a fair dinkum phone call from a real representative of your gas or electricity company? Chances are they will have a tough time convincing you they are being straight with you.
Another trick is finding out whether or not you have a mobile phone or a PLAN for your communication services. They may find out this information from you. There may be a list of Australians who don’t have mobile phones and could be talked into a PLAN going around. If you are on this list you can be sure of getting a phone call once a week from a telemarketer. It may even be the same telemarketer going through his or her list of people in Australia that might come around to their way of thinking about mobiles and PLANS. You may say a polite no thank you for the first phone call or even the first dozen phone calls. Then your language might understandably become more colorful.
By week twenty you may be ready to scream at the telemarketer. They are either trying to wear you down into taking their PLAN or they don’t understand they have been phoning you up week after week with the same damn off you have clearly told they you are not interested in. Some people, once they hear the click indicating an overseas call, simply hang up. Others cannot do so. If you have friends or relatives living in another country you want your phone to be open to them. If they are in need of help you want to be there for them. This means that the telemarketer can get his or her metaphorical foot into your metaphorical door.
Something done by both illegal and legitimate telemarketers is the gathering of information on you over the phone. Don’t tell them anything. If they represent the phone company or electricity company you are with they will already know your home address. They will already know how you make payments. They will be aware of your birth date, etc. Identity theft is big business.
Some Australians could be more polite with overseas people they have phoned for help with their computers. Please understand, though, that the customer phoning for help is probably only semi-literate when it comes to computers thus he or she needs careful guidance and understanding. He or she might be easily frustrated and apologetic later on if he or she does explode over a task deemed for a moment to be too difficult or downright impossible. This does not point to racism. Just frustration over computers and how they work.
In Australia times are changing but not always for the best. There are political parties here pushing hard to double the intake of migrants into the country. They would love to get young people out to prove they are not racist on side in this. Mind you doubling the intake of migrants would be unfair to the majority of people already living in the country.
People wearing motor bike helmets are not welcome in banks unless they take off their helmets. Bank staff are understandably nervous if the other person’s face cannot be clearly seen. Bank robbers, after all, sometimes wear masks so that later they cannot easily be identified. Some pubs in Sydney will not serve you if you are wearing a hood until you take the hood from your face. Hence when people object to the berka it is for legitimate reasons. Of course such objections in the world of political correctness must be ignored because the berka has something to do with someone else’s culture.
What then should be done about my culture that relies on openness and visibility? Driver’s licenses have photos of the driver on them for easy identification of the driver. Without proper identification of the driver a police officer cannot do his or her job properly. Who knows if the driver caught speeding is the same person who’s photo is on the driver’s license if their face is hidden? It could be the right person or it could be someone else. Therefore if you wish to drive a car in Australia your face should not be covered up in such a way that only your eyes can be seen.
If a woman goes for a swim in the surf at an Australian beach and she is covered head to foot in heavy material, she might well drown from the weight of the clothes she is wearing. If a surf life saver rescues her from drowning he should not be abused by anyone for having done so. He should be congratulated.
What’s more, if you as an adult male cannot stand the sight of women wearing bikinis and mini-skirts in summer you should go live somewhere else and not in Australia. If you have a need to abuse women because they wear bikinis or mini-skirts in summer then you really do need to live elsewhere.
Australians generally try to be fair minded but there is a breaking point. Since the end of the Second World War, migrants have been flooding into the country. There are now people in their 60s who cannot remember a time when there wasn’t a flood of migrants. Certainly there are people in their 30s upward who have had a gut full of it. They want to know when it will end. There might have been something in it for the country in the ’50s and even in the ’70s but not anymore. The populate or perish idea has long ago had its day. It is now a case of overpopulate and perish. The feeling of being conned by the various political parties on this matter is now very strong.
The Greens party have pushed through a carbon tax to reduce carbon emissions. They also want to doubt the intake of migrants so as to negate any benefit to the environment that might be gained from the carbon tax. Is it any wonder that Australians feel as if they are being bled dry of money and for no practical reason?
It is true that there have been students from overseas bashed in Melbourne and Sydney. Should they have been mistreated? Certainly not. Where people feel they are not getting a fair deal or even being properly listened to, however, violence can and will erupt. It is a pity when it is innocent students that suffer. It is, however, not all Australians doing the wrong thing by these students or even wanting the wrong thing done to them. There needs to be more places for local students in local universities. The best way to go about getting this to happen is to hound the politicians who should care about making more space for locals who want to be university students. Students from overseas are just after an education and have no control over any policy of any university except in terms of being fee paying students. While they are here they should really be considered guests of my country.
So how do Australians generally view Indian and Pakistani telemarketers? I would say: Scheming, Lying and Arrogant. They seem to think that all Australians with phones and/or computers live in palaces with servants and drink their beers from gold goblets. Or they live in hovels with hundreds of thousands of dollars buried somewhere in their backyards. Neither image cuts anywhere close to the truth for many of us.
It is also doubtful that any television show produced in Australia that is obviously biased in favor of overseas telemarketers would, in any real way, touch upon how most Australians conduct their lives.