Customer Apathy

25 July 2009

I so hate it when a customer care guy says, “But no one else seems to have a problem…” Come on, GIMME A BREAK! You mean I’m calling you for cheap thrills? Do I look like I care if no one else seems to be having the same problem? I do!

A small example of a usual phone conversation with my mobile service provider call centre guys. “I haven’t got my phone bill/an alert SMS from you. I don't know how much I owe you. As usual” CCE: “Oh! I am sorry.” Silence.

Tell me, wouldn’t you wonder? So I mutter a care-to-tell-me-the-amount-due. CCE: “I’m sorry for the inconvenience.” Silence. And a bored one.

Time to take charge, I think. “Look here, abc, it doesn’t matter if you are sorry or not. I need to know how much I need to pay!” CCE: “Well, we can make sure you get e-bills in the future, but we can’t do much about the past.” Man! He was daft!! He continues: “You WILL get your bill this time. Trust me.” Like hell I do! I bark at him, which gets me my answer, finally.

Ok…another thing, I haven’t been getting text messages from my friends for the last one week – none at all. Earlier, it’d be one-off, now it’s worse & frequent. CCE: “No? Sorry, but we haven’t heard of this complaint from anyone else.” Silence. A dead one, this time.

Was I wrong if I lost it? So, just because no one has complained to your oh-so-super-screwed company, does that make me a psycho who thrives on giving cc guys calls through the day? Snicker. Not mine. His.

I asked to be connected to his supervisor, complained(read: ranted) and got a whole load of promises. Out of sheer rage, I also lodged a formal complaint against the cc guy, sent a ‘VERY BAD’ as an option answer to the post-cc text message service they have, AND answered all the questions in a negative when I got a call-back from the company, asking about the cc guy. Sounds spiteful, but if this is what you are doled out each time you want a solution, so be it. And, it wasn’t a phone fault. I had my cell checked twice.

I have, since, changed my service provider.

Unfortunately, this one’s worse. I can’t even begin to tell you how dead they sound. Sigh!


Shoe Trouble

20 July 2009

A couple of friends were discussing their annoyance over shoes that just wouldn’t last.


Mine just don’t break! Yeah, I know. It IS a unique problem. Do what I may, my footwear just refuses to allow me to throw it away without feeling guilty. I am rather fed up. And, believe you me, I am not somebody who walks gingerly or carefully. Which is what makes it worse. More often than not, I find myself giving away practically new shoes, which makes my family wince. They have little idea of how old they are and I am so unable to explain my predicament to them! What looks new, is new. Period.

I think the time is right for a second sigh.

A lot many people have wondered at my jam. In fact, a few have even tried to help me out of this pickle. Run on loose gravel. Keep them out in the sun for a couple of days. Soak them in water. Dip my feet in tar. Moonwalk. Right.

As I write this silly little post, I marvel at those who are able to buy new footwear “because the old ones gave way.” What wouldn’t I do to be in their shoes!


Ugh! Somebody Shoot Me!

17 July 2009


Yes. I’m quite exasperated. With educated people who have scant sense of manners. Here are a couple of things I am fed up with:

  1. People sticking to you in a queue.(Holy mother of god!)
  2. People borrowing pens and miscellaneous stationary stuff from your desk without asking.
  3. People peering to see who’s calling when your cell phone rings, or, alternately, answering your calls in your absence.
  4. People leaving their plates or glass behind on the table for someone else to pick up and put into the sink after they leave.
  5. People reaching out across you for something on the table instead of requesting you to pass it to them.(I ask you!)
  6. People making sudden turns on the road without signaling and staring at you as if it's your fault you couldn't read their mind!
  7. QUALIS call centre drivers who think they can shrink their vehicle on the road and drive under this delusion.
  8. People driving in the middle of the road at 30 kmph and not letting you pass.
  9. People who are noisy eaters and talk while chewing food! (YUCK!)
  10. People peering over your shoulder to see what you are reading/doing on the computer.
  11. People barging into a/your room without as much as an ahem (knocking? What’s that?)
  12. People who don’t return borrowed books/CD’s.
  13. People rushing inside a movie hall even though their seats are assigned (Gawd! Why do people do this?)
  14. Men opening their woman’s bag to take whatever out.


People (educated, at that) thinking nothing is wrong with all of the above and wondering why you are making such a row about it!

What annoys you to the point of tearing your hair out, brandishing your teeth, banging your head against the wall, stomping your feet till the earth gives way and such like?


A Discussion on a Small Aspect of Social Hypocrisy

13 July 2009

A rather thought-provoking discussion took place the other day: why are people in India so obsessively crazy about Bollywood stars? A lot many of them don’t know how to behave, are criminals, hypocrites, no-gooders. They get drunk and drive over people, hunt when hunting is banned, carry around unlicensed weapons, beat up women, have little or no moral or social values. Why, then, are there long queues in front of their houses? Why do people listen to them when they campaign for various political leaders? Why do they appeal to people in spite of being rogues? Is it because people love rebels?

Well, why is it that people look down upon prostitutes (their children are denied admission in schools) and adore actresses dressed in hard-to-find-clothes, strutting around doing whatever it is that the movie “demands,” hugging and doing what not with a different “hero” each time? Most of them don’t even know how to act, for crying out loud! What special skill makes them ‘respectable?’ It is a well-known fact (remember those millions of sting operations?) that a lot of wanna-be actresses and top models have been known to be high-end call girls and escorts. What separates them from a regular prostitute? Beauty? Good PR?

Why must people be so hypocritical? What is it that a Salman Khan (he, of the drinking-and-running-over-people-and-beating-his-girlfriends-to-a-pulp fame) of the country will have to offer? How does he become a “hero?”


Whose Line is it, Anyway? Arbitrary Thoughts on My Many Faces.

10 July 2009

Absurdly, a statement from a desperate wanna-be set me thinking. A very belligerent woman, she said she was soft at the core but had to pretend to be brash to save herself from being mangled by the “wolves” of the industry.

Hmm. I realized I had a coupla faces myself. One for home, another for work, one for friends, yet another for strangers. I must be leaving people pretty befuddled. Imagine a group of people comprising a family member, a chaddi friend, a colleague, an acquaintance, an ex-flame, a stranger (to me, that is), and a person I don’t get along with. If they were to discuss me, they’d probably all have different things to say, quite like those 7 blind men, all touching different parts of the elephant and having totally varied and diverse things to conclude about the poor animal. Each, of course, positive that their unique experience was THE one; that the others didn’t know any better.

You get the drift.

Obviously, one can’t be the same with everyone one meets. Some would say it’s hypocritical. I’d say it’s essential. There is no greater pleasure than to be yourself; and of course, that’s the real you coz you don’t have your antennae up. You aren’t worried about being judged. That said, again, there is no greater pleasure than being a total mystery to the one you can’t tolerate! :-)Let ‘em keep guessing. The minute they conclude I am a snob, I belie that and do something sweet! Keep 'em on their toes!

Mean? Maybe. But when people are out to walk all over you, you have only so many options. Become a doormat, try to change their way of thinking, care a fig or confuse them. Actually, confuse-if-you-can’t-convince seems to work pretty well.

Well, most of the time.

When it doesn’t, I take the “Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!” route. Believe you me, it works.


The Best of P.G. Wodehouse!

08 July 2009

Snippets from PGW for all you PGW lovers!

* Bertie Wooster; "Well Jeeves, this gentleman who just visited me, was he a fellow with a belly like a boiled potato and face like a cauliflower?"

Jeeves, the perfect butler, with a poker face: "Certainly Sir. There is much resemblance to the vegetables that you mentioned."

Bertie: "A rather stout and fat party, eh?"

Jeeves: "Well sir, I wouldn't attribute the same adjectives myself, but certainly a gentleman with generous proportions."

* My Aunt Dahlia has a carrying voice... If all other sources of income failed, she could make a good living calling the cattle home across the Sands of Dee. She fitted into my biggest armchair as if it had been built round her by someone who knew they were wearing armchairs tight about the hips that season.

* Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove.

* You know how it is with some girls. They seem to take the stuffing right out of you. I mean to say, there is something about their personality that paralyses the vocal cords and reduces the contents of the brain to cauliflower.

* Scarcely had I entered the sitting-room when I found ... what appeared at first sight to be the Devil, A closer scrutiny informed me that it was Gussie Fink-Nottle, dressed as Mephistopheles. (can you imagine saying this about your own pal?!!!!)

* We do not tell old friends beneath our roof-tree that they are an offence to the eyesight.

* In build and appearance, Tuppy somewhat resembles a bulldog, and his aspect now was that of one of these fine animals who has just been refused a slice of cake.

* Aunt Agatha is like an elephant—not so much to look at, for in appearance she resembles more a well-bred vulture, but because she never forgets.

And, one of his best:
It was a confusion of ideas between him and one of the lions he was hunting in Kenya that had caused A. B. Spottsworth to make the obituary column. He thought the lion was dead, and the lion thought it wasn't.

And, some more...

* She looked as if she had been poured into her clothes and had forgotten to say "when."

* The Duke of Dunstable had one-way pockets. He would walk ten miles in the snow to chisel an orphan out of tuppence.

* The fascination of shooting as a sport depends almost wholly on whether you are at the right or wrong end of the gun.

* It is a good rule in life never to apologize.

* The right sort of people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them.

* I know I was writing stories when I was five. I don't know what I did before that . . . just loafed, I suppose.

*As for Gussie Finknottle, many an experienced undertaker would have been deceived by his appearance and started embalming on sight.

* Marriage isn't a process of prolonging the life of love, but of mummifying the corpse.

* The old lemon throbbed fiercely. I got an idea!

* There is only one cure for grey hair. It was invented by a Frenchman. It is called the guillotine.

* He had just about enough intelligence to open his mouth when he wanted to eat, but certainly no more.

* I always advise people never to give advice.

* Wilfred Allsop was sitting up, his face pale, his eyes glassy, his hair disordered. He looked like the poet Shelley after a big night out with Lord Byron.

* She wrinkles her nose at me as if I were a drain that had got out of order.

* The Aberdeen terrier gave me an unpleasant look and said something under his breath in Gaelic eye swiveling round stopped me like a bullet. The Wedding Guest, if you remember, had the same trouble with the Ancient Mariner.


Section 377: Time to be Gay

03 July 2009

A rather animated discussion was taking place when I walked in to my workplace. Topic: the revised Article 377 of the Indian constitution that makes gay rights legal, simply said. 5 men said it is not moral, 1 woman said it had nothing to do with morals.

The guys said now they’d have to go in burqas…afraid that any man might ask them to marry them on the road! Ridiculous. They also said one may as well legalize drugs, robbery and poison. They said it was unnatural, immoral and just not right. Gays ought to be sent to jail!

In this case, the eunuchs ought to be killed! Because that, too, is not natural, yes? But, then, that was different, they said in a chorus. Ah. And, how was that different, may I ask? Just because they were “different” physically? Is that all? So, just because a person looks different, it is natural. But, if he feels differently because it is natural for him/her to feel that way, it is illegal! Drugs, poison are harmful to life…being gay doesn’t kill…it’s just a sexual inclination, for crying out loud! What if YOU did not feel naturally attracted to men/women, as the case may be, however hard you tried? How can you force someone to be attracted to a particular sex when they feel absolutely nothing? Imagine asking such a person to get married to a ‘normal’ person! It’s atrocious, unfair …for both the individuals. In fact, it may even amount to rape.

I am aware of people pretending to be gay because they are bored or turn gay for the sake of shock-value, money, favours or attention – that is another matter. The discussion, here, is about people who are inherently different, not for the sake of kicks.

Every individual has a right to be themselves, as long as it doesn’t harm or injure anyone in any way. Why should we accept and consider only physical differences as normal? Just because it is obvious? Should I be considered a freak because I think, feel, react differently? Or, because how I am, is not ‘common?’ Am I to be not accepted because in your experience, I act contrarily to a system of universal or personal belief? How hypocritical, insensitive and lopsided a perspective/belief is that? Going by this, corruption should be legalised…isn’t it common? That is immoral. Pedophiles and rapists ought to be sent to jail, not souls who cannot bring themselves to feel the way ‘straight’ people do.

I think it is time we looked at things from a different angle…take a more comprehensive look; accept and recognize that people can be different, singular and unlike us…and just because they cannot feel the way they are supposed to "traditionally" feel doesn’t make them any less of a human being.


Fame mongers! I ask you!

01 July 2009

Rakhi Sawant...sigh! The woman who, despite multiple plastic surgeries, enhancements and what-have-you, still looks like a distorted mask, claims to become an “ideal wife” on national television!

Gimme a break! For a C-grade someone, she sure has gone overboard in acting demure and pure! The struggling item girl-turned big-boss-celebrity-turned-virginal-actor will now get married on TV! What will people not do for publicity and eyeballs! First a bhartiya-nari charade on being kissed, then a sob story about her life, a coupla third rate minute-long appearances in bhojpuri films and now this! Come on, she doesn’t even sound convincing!

Remember what happened to Rick Rockwell, the silhouetted multi-millionaire figure, in 'Who Wants to Marry a Multi-millionaire?' It so turned out neither was the man a multi-millionaire nor was the marriage real! The woman was paid to act along. They all got what they wanted: spotlight. By the way, the so-called marriage was annulled 2 months later.

Alas! There are some who think people like Rakhi are great. Haven’t I heard the “at least they are honest” dialogue a million times? Honest about what? The stories are “leaked” as media hype. One knows the truth is bound to come out sooner or later. Remember Mallika Sherawat? Turned out she was married and had concocted all those crazy stories of supposed ill-treatment.

Poor MJ’s not even buried when his ex comes up and reveals the goriest of details about their bedroom and what not. Is this the time, I ask you!

What IS the matter with people? What will they not do for a bubble reputation! One has to achieve higher goals, but at what cost?



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