Thursday, December 13, 2007

BPO Idea: Sir, I'll sleep for you

"Sir, for five dollars per hour only, I'll sleep for you. I don't need to know what you do with your extra waking hours sir, and I will keep my sleep secret," says a yawning Ram to a caller from Unites States.

Ram opened his sleep BPO in the sleepy nineties. People who laughed at him back them, were caught napping when the Y2K boom came. Ram had hired a team of five hundred sleepers by then. The company has grown like Kumbhkaran by now, and is voted as the best company to work for by the entire employee world.

"It wasn't easy to find the right people for the job. Most of the sleep deprived customers demand that their consolation sleep must be peaceful and natural. No sedatives, no drugs must be used. Plus, I need to ensure that the sleep starts and ends at the designated hours. To have the sleepers report at the right time requires a team of fifty strong men, assisted by fifty women who have the best irritating high pitch voice that can be found in the whole of our state."

The software boom and doom came and went, and the whole sleep business continued to flourish. The company went public in early 2003, and the initial responses were very sluggish. Yet by the end of 2003, Ram had become one of the youngest sleeping billionaires of the world.

"The nature of my business is such that I cannot worry too much about how markets are behaving. Our product is unusual, but it is the demand of our time to have a collaboration between sleepers and non-sleepers to take the world economy forward."

Ram has set high standards in the business. He still keeps at least twelve hours of sleep for himself, making sixty dollars a day from his own naps.

"My best employees work up to one hundred and fifty hours a week. I don't allow them to go beyond the magical figure of seven hundred and fifty dollars per week. These employees wake and sleep as required and eat in intermissions that last anywhere between twenty to thirty minutes."

Ram chuckles when I ask him about his Sleep Research Institute.

"We call it the Awake Section of our company. The scientists were hired from some of the best universities of the world. Cheng-Fu is a Complexity and Synchronization PhD from MIT, and models the influence of Dollars versus Euro on sleep patterns. John is a biologist, who is interning with us, and he has taken a year off from his doctoral studies at Harvard. He has been buying our sleep for last ten years. When he was selected for internship, we agreed to give him a lifetime sleeping partner in return. Lee is a social anthropology graduate from Columbia and is here to examine sleep in his pursuit of the complete understanding of "The Sleeping Races: Historical perspective, regional influences and patterns of slumber evolution". His book with be published by my flagship company, "Neend" (Hindi word for Sleep) and the company is owned and managed by my daughter of the same name. Last year our Sleep Research Institute issued ten patents, and published hundred articles in world renowned journals in science, arts and mathematics. Neend published five best sellers, all written to ensure that half a page is enough to induce a nap."

There is a huge team of support staff that manages cleanliness, food, health and sound respectively.

"I personally slept through auditions of over five hundred lullaby singers, before hiring our current team of twenty. We have an American Idol finalist and an Indian idol winners in our team, and their salaries match the record deals most companies condescendingly offered to them.

The sound team has worked very hard to ensure that lullabies reach the person in question. We eventually helped Apple to develop I-headphones, which are a rage in world market now. Also our sound engineers have developed a device to convert the snores of our on-duty sleepers into a hum that is mixed with harmonies from the classics written by Mozart (in his sleep), and recycled into the sleeping quarters.

Doctors conduct routine check-up to monitor all ailments that keep sleep away. Our doctors are resident experts on insomnia and earn extra bucks in consultancy.

Since we are a socially conscious company, we have ensured that our employees are between age of twenty one and sixty-one. For just two dollar per hour surcharge, we can match sleeping partners by age or sex, if the need be. "

When I ask him about food that is offered to his employees, he insists that all the food is home-cooked, low on oil and fat, and induces good sleep as it is "very very very tasty".

"We cannot compromise on two things: sleep and food. I think the modern age has turned eating into an act similar to filling in gas or petrol. We seek the old ideal in sleeping and eating. This is our contribution to the mankind. Our company has been recognized by the WHO, the UNESCO, the Indian Government as well as the World Yawn Sleep Yawn Sleep Council for our attempts at keeping the world average of sleep at levels comparable to the happiest times in the world history. The fact that there was hardly a time like that ever, means my small but dedicated team has kept the average going. We are of course helped by scores of people around the world who take sleeping as seriously as we do. The only difference being that we are paid to sleep."

After finishing the interview, I am offered the most exotic, yet simple diet of home-cooked Indian food. A huge glass of buttermilk, lassi, is placed before me as an appetizer. I eat with relish and after the sumptuous meal, I am offered a very relaxing massage. Thereafter, I am lulled into repose by a melodious, sensuous voice that fills my ear with darkness and peace. When I wake up ten hours later, ginger tea is served to get me going. I leave with five books from Neend publishers, twenty CDs with lullabies in every major language, and a Gift card worth three hundred hours of sleep . I came in with a smirk, for the idea of Sleep BPO seems so ridiculous at first. My interview opened my eyes to the wonderful world of Sleep Studies, Sleep Sociology as well as economic benefits of sleep.


I leave Ram's headquarters on a tip-toe.


bhatti said...

I guess he would have made 50 bucks by selling the 10 hours of your sleep time. :D
Very creative, I must say

Geetali said...

Very innovative. Hilarious.

I wish such a thing existed for real though. Sleep is my favorite hobby, and would be freakin' awesome as a career.

lost said...

Just plain fun piece to read... Too good! keep it up.


Vivek Sharma said...


December 13, 2007
02:03 PM

Very funny! If only this could happen, New York city alone will account of thousands of wait, hundreds of thousands!

December 13, 2007
04:22 PM


you must have given a lot of sleep over this:)

before i tip-toe out can i point out this:

When I ask him about food that is offered to his employees, he insists that all the food is home-cooked, low on oil and fat and induces good sleep as it is very very very tasty.


Vivek Sharma
December 13, 2007
04:56 PM

Thanks Temporal:)

I should have put that under quotations too, but of course, both Ram and Interviewer are impersonations and the role play allows blunders, for then the blunders are ascribed to the role players.

I have often wanted a company that I could hire for allowing me to sleep even less than what I do now.

"I have miles to go before I sleep
Unless Ram offers me a job for a week."

Vivek Sharma said...


Anne-G posted 13 hrs ago

Wow! Interesting indeed.

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VETY posted 13 hrs ago

A goodwrite. Despite being humrous in fair measure it is full of ironical oathos regarding some thing all of us hold dear. The sleep- for which we seem to have little time.

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DSampath posted 17 hrs ago

Your story is what i would call a sleeping beauty.
Very funny ....

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Vivek Sharma posted 18 hrs ago

Sleep over the idea :)
We'll see if you can wake up in time for the real job.
Since most dreams are black and white, they are out of fashion these days.

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poetBittersweet posted 19 hrs ago

Any vacancies? Ready to join the company! This is a win-win situation. You use my sleep and I hold the IP rights to dreams that i may produce on work.

Vivek Sharma said...

more from

Vivek Sharma posted 2 mins ago

thanks sampath, vety, anne, happyheart, yashasvi (wow, thats a great name), vini!

I was just having fun with sleep:) Who knows though, anything can be made possible. Am I dreaming again?

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Geometrix posted 3 mins ago

This was one of the better blogs I have read in this site. I commend your explosive sense of humor.


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vini-wonders posted 7 hrs ago

hmm..quite creative and humorous

sleep outsourced?

good one!

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yashasvi2001 posted 8 hrs ago

nice one

innovation at its best


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happyheart posted 9 hrs ago

very interesting. did not know bpo inside story.

Vivek Sharma said...

yes John, Bhatti, Geetali, I was laughing in my sleep thinking about all the money I was making while dreaming and snoring.