27 Dec 2013

As seen… on Indian television

Here are some things I have seen -
1. Zee Café’s separator visual shows a certain part of the female anatomy in the “a” of the word café that normally attracts male attention. VNAWXUZV66F

25 Dec 2013

Things, People and Stuff I can do without…2013 edition

As 2013 draws to a close, here is my perspective on various things, people, stuff I can do without (with a tip of the hat to George Carlin (RIP).

Products endorsed by celebrities
Are there people who actually think Kareena Kapoor uses an “iBall Andy” as her phone? And that Dhoni writes with some cheap ballpoint pen or rides a TVS bike?

15 Dec 2013

This is a task for Obvious Man–Dec 15, 2013 Edition

I picked up today’s Deccan Chronicle at the local Café Coffee Day, not because I am a big fan but because it was free (duh!). And with my birthday a day away, I thought it would be a good idea to check out my birthday forecasts.

This is what Aparna Bose had to say for Sagittarians -

13 Dec 2013

As seen in Chennai–Dec 12, 2013 edition

Seating in the back seat of a Fast Track cab on the way to Taj Connemara, my eyes wandered -

 

1. Sign outside an Ayurvedic clinic in Mylapore – “We specialise in Arthritis, Diabetes, Impotence, Gas Problems”. If anybody can help me understand the link between the latter two, I would be grateful.

 

2. Sign outside a bike mechanic’s shop – “We phix all types geeyars, breaks, claches”

3 Sep 2013

People watching in the Lufthansa lounge in Mumbai

1. Fat girl, maybe around 10-12, wearing a tiara over a dress full of glitter with an even fatter mother (oh, and just noticed the girl is wearing a sash that reads "Hey, its my birthday!". WTF?)

2. 6-yr old boy with poop dripping out of his pants and the lounge staff searching for the parents (they were busy pouring the booze)

3. Single, old guy (around 50-55) trying to check how far his finger would go in his nose

4. Quiet older sardar who has been drinking for the last 3 hours

5. Tired lounge attendant desperate to see us get out in a few minutes so that she can go home too

13 Mar 2013

As seen in... Chennai

~ A pediatric dentist has named his clinic "Pedo Planet". WTF?? Isn't this genius aware of what the name implies???

~ Central Bank of India is offering a new product - Comp Exam loan; basically a loan for paying the fees of coaching classes for competitive exams. Seriously though, how expensive are these classes that a loan is needed? I am clearly in the wrong business!

26 Jan 2013

Customer service is alive…

Took me over a year to finally start posting, must be the “new year resolution” effect. Anyway, now that I have started…

 

Most consumers in India, myself included, believe customer service simply doesn’t exist in the country. Rarely do we experience it, probably because most people who get a chance to serve a customer don’t know what it means and most consumers have accepted its absence as something you live with in India. There are, of course, a few exceptions and I met one today.

 

I am on my way for a short international business trip. As per the policy of my employer, they issue the necessary foreign exchange in advance to take care of expenses. For the sake of convenience, I pick it up before departure at the airport. Well… today I forgot. Maybe because I didn’t sleep well last night or maybe because I am taking a flight from Bangalore instead of my home base of Chennai. In any case, I forgot and realized it only after I cleared security. Thanks to increasingly tight (and sometimes downright illogical) security rules, I was told by the inspector there that there was no way I could go back, collect the money and return to the departure area. I thought it made no sense as I would have been checked by the security guys again anyway. But then I was trying to explain logic to a government employee in uniform. Anyway, the only way out was to have an airline staffer escort me through security and bring me back.

 

I called my contact in Thomas Cook asking him if he could ask his local guy to come through security and hand over the money to me (easier for him as somebody who works at the airport). But because it’s a holiday, they only had one person manning the store.

 

Long story short, I finally found an airline staffer who patiently listened to my story and immediately agreed to help me. Less than 10 minutes later, I was back at the gate. He was helpful throughout in negotiating with the security guys, the immigration check personnel and whoever else needed an explanation. He even offered to carry my bag, which it made it sort of awkward. And then he waited on the other side of security until I cleared it to ensure I don’t encounter any last mile hiccups. I offered to treat him to a coffee at the Café Coffee Day, but he very graciously refused.

 

The intention of starting this blog was to give a voice to the cynic who lives within me. I am happy that I encountered something that not only tempered that cynicism a bit (probably temporarily :-)) but gave me a positive story to kick off posting.

 

Dear Rajeshwar, thanks again!